A friend from the states began his tour of Asia in the Philippines the other week, so we brought him along one of our weekend trips to Talipanan Beach on Mindoro Island. From metro Manila it’s a two-hour bus-ride to Batangas, followed by a two-hour(!) ferry ride to party-friendly White Beach. Finally, a P150 tricycle takes you to Talipanan Beach, which is the very last beach on the stretch of coast.
We stayed at Luca Cucina Italiania, which is run by an ex-pat Italian family. Reviews say it’s the best Italian food in the Philippines, and a weekend of huge pizzas, bowls of pasta, beer, mango shakes, and Italian bread beachside sounded just about right for us. (Sorry for the lack of food photos!)
For the beauty that this beach was, we were surprised by the lack of crowds. It was never hard to snag a beach chair, and more often than not we were the only ones taking a dip in the ocean. It’s a popular snorkeling spot, too.
Saturday morning we had a huge (free) breakfast and then set off to hike Mount Malasimbo. We found a “secret” trail that didn’t go through the native village that ultimately brought us to the main trail. The beginning part of the trail was one of the steepest I’ve hiked. I found myself using my upper body to pull me up much more than my legs.
Ultimately, we decided not to hike to the summit, as it would have been a whole-day affair through the jungle. (I was super pleased, as we had previously learned that the second half of the hike tends to be leech-infested. No thanks.) After three hours, we were satisfied by this view and all we wanted was a hearty lunch and to jump into that water down below.