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BORAWAN ISLAND Padre Burgos: Love it, Hate it.

To name an island after the two tourism powerhouses in the Philippines is to set high expectations. And you can't blame people if they do. Take for example Borawan Island in Padre Burgos Quezon Province,

Boracay -BORA
Palawan- WAN

Why is that so? Supposedly because of the claim that the island is a combination of the white sands of Boracay and the limestone cliffs of Palawan.


Don't blame me then if I also had high expectations of the place despite my effort to condition my consciousness not to. Perhaps that is why I got disappointed.

Borawan Island, whether it is in Borawan Island Resort or any other beach in the island for that matter, be warned is a "hate it or love it place".

Many blogs have been written about this destination but they failed to outline the thing you should LOVE, and yes, HATE about it. Here's my take.


LOVE IT because
of its proximity from Manila
1 bus ride, 1 mini-bus, 1 tricycle, 1 boat transfer --all in 6 hours and you are in the island, NOT BAD!


1. Take Jack Liner or LLI (Lucena Line Inc.) bus from Buendia or Kamias Stations to Lucena City Grand Terminal.
2. Mini-bus from Lucena City Grand Terminal to Padre Burgos Quezon Province.
3. Tricycle to port (depending on who your contact is)
Note: there are three set-off points to the island depending on your contact. These are three different Barangays in Padre Burgos with local associations taking care of guests.
4. Boat Transfer to Borawan Island (Island Hopping Package includes Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan Beach).

HATE IT because,
if you are to leave for Manila on an afternoon, expect the traffic to be annoyingly heavy in the areas of Sariaya and Candelaria in Quezon and San Pablo and Alaminos in Laguna. It took us eternity to get home.

If you take the 2am bus from Manila, you will get to Lucena Grand Terminal before sunrise. There are carenderyas (small restaurants) in the terminal and I advise that you eat early breakfast here because all you can find in Padre Burgos are bakeshops and you don't want to go island hopping starved.

Be wary though, food is not that good. Wag masyadong choosy. There are fast food restaurants in the terminal but they are still closed in the early morning. In short., no choice ka. ^^


LOVE IT because
of the small talipapa with fresh catch. And seafood is cheap!

Padre Burgos is a fishing village so expect fresh seafood in the talipapa especially in the early morning.

LOVE IT because
the boat transfer is quick.

Borawan Island is very close to mainland. You can see it from the port. I actually thought I could just swim to get there. Boat transfer only takes 15 minutes. That's really near!

And since the island is not in the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea side, water is calm most of the year. No buwis buhay boat ride! lols
that's Borawan Island in the background

LOVE IT because
It's "relatively"cheap.

Notice that I used the word "relatively"because it is still cheaper compared to flying somewhere South just to achieve that tan. But it also depends on how you define cheap in relation to the relative beauty of the place. In our case, ayos na.

Budget Per Pax: (in Pesos)
Essentials Only

Kamias QC-Lucena Bus –  436.00
Mini-bus Lucena –Padre Burgos vv— 75.00
Boat Rental for Borawan + Island Hopping--- 450.00  (1,800.00 /4 pax)
Food Contribution --   300.00 (300*4=1,200)
Barangay Fee (set off point) --   20.00
Entrance Fee (Borawan)     -- 120.00 --overnight  (80.00 day tour)
Cottage  (Borawan)         --  275.00 (1,100/4pax,  per tent is 200.00 pesos)
Tricycle to port-- 20.00
CR + Shower --70.00

TOTAL per pax :                         >>>>>>> 1,766.00pesos  
NOTE: This doesn't include expenses for Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan.

HATE IT because
in Borawan Island Resort "bawat kembot may bayad".

This is the BIG JOKE in the island, bawat kembot may bayad. Actually, pag apak mo palang sa isla me bayad na. Nakaabang na either si Manong guard or the personnel who is in charge of collecting entrance fee which is a bit of an annoyance.

80.00 pesos --day tour
120.00 pesos --overnight

This is one expensive island. Rent a cottage for daytime stay,700 pesos. Overnight, it's 1,100. Every use of the restroom is 10 pesos. Take a shower, 20 pesos. You can pitch a tent but you still have to pay 300 each. So we opted to just rent the cottage overnight even if it is a little more expensive. Imagine how inconvenient it would be if we didn't because we arrived 9 am and it was already scorching hot at that time. More so by noontime. The kugon roofing of the hut provided a cool relief from the hot sun. The floor of the cottage we rented is also made of bamboo so that's where we slept at night. Double purpose na. All five of us and we had a comfortable sleep naman. ^^
That explains the joke. You can occasionally hear people complaining about the fees and in many cases during our entire stay, we witnessed light arguments among other guests and the staff because of all these add ons.

You get to see the difference when you island hop to Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan Beach, water there is very expensive. 50 pesos per container! Ginto. Panu ba naman, inaangkat pa ang tubig at sinasakay sa bangka. Cottage rent and entrance fees in the other two beaches I mentioned are cheaper though.

That thread means unli-CR for 70 pesos.

LOVE IT because
your payments translates to convenience.
I also got irritated with this pay-this-pay-that scheme (lakas maka Tune-hotel peg) but I came to realize later on that at least you get what you pay for. I mean, at least when you stay overnight, you get to appreciate the effort of the resort to light key spots in the island. It's very reassuring that you could wander around safe even on a sleepless night. I enjoyed swimming in one area because of the spotlight nearby. The island is alive until before midnight. The restroom was also newly built with continuous water supply. Upon realizing that water is of scarcity in the area, I finally got to understand why with the expensive rates. They even put shower heads for a pleasurable after swim wash.

LOVE IT because
you can camp secure.
One guard at a time is always on duty so you feel a little more safe indeed.



LOVE IT because
there are many activities you can do.
Or maybe to say many is an exaggeration but it's nice that they set up two volleyball nets so you can do something else on the beach. The ball you have to rent of course. I am not sure if you bring your own volleyball but I reckon you still have to pay for using the net. Sa Borawan, bwat kembot may bayad remember? ^^

LOVE IT because
There is a restaurant in the island. 
I was actually surprised they sell set meals which I think area reasonably priced. We don't know if the food is good though because we already bought all our provisions in the market before going here. If you are too lazy preparing your food (which is supposedly part of the experience), at least there is a restaurant you can turn to. And they sell liquors too! And halo-halo!, which tastes so good in a beach setup like this. Quite pricey for 30 pesos though given small condiments and so so taste. The thing is, it's not sweet enough for me and they put too little milk. Maybe intentionally, because if you request for additional milk then that's another 5 pesos for every small scoop. As I said, bawat kembot may bayad sa Borawan.

HATE IT because
there's Jellyfish everywhere!
Be warned. Lots of jellyfish swarm the area. The resort is aware of this so they designated spots for swimming set up with nets so as to deter jellyfish from invading the area. You are not very free then to hit any spot of the beach. Sad. You can always do so but at your own risk. My wife invited me for a night swim in front of the area where we were camped (in the open sea) and she was attacked by jellyfish the moment we hit the water. I was more lucky I didn't have to endure the pain of jellyfish sting. Hindi pala basta basta. A day after returning home, the marks on her legs got even darker and more painful. That she had to treat more more than 3 weeks before the marks disappeared.

stay within these netted portion so as not be safe from jellyfish

my wife after being stung by jellyfish

HATE IT because 
the water could get really murky
(bordering to dirty)
This was the SHOCKING PART. I have never seen a beach this dirty. I mean, an open sea and you get water this murky? I was taken aback. And it was at around 3 pm that I noticed. That early and the water was already that dirty? Submerge your feet a few inches and you wouldn't even see it underwater. What's going on? Notice the succeeding photos I posted and see for yourself. I have my theory in mind but it requires a long explanation. We tried other sections of the beach because nobody could stop our urge for a before-sunset dip but it was the same.Notice my friend in the photo below.

LOVE IT because when...
NIGHT FALLS, you get to appreciate the effort of the resort to light key spots in the island. It's very reassuring that you could wander around safe even on a sleepless night. I enjoyed swimming in one spot because of the spotlight nearby. Oh, have I already said that? ^^

LOVE IT because
There is contact person in the area always ready

to answer queries and assist you.
Call center? Nah!

Php 1800 . Boat Boking 3 island Puting Buhangin, Dampalitan beach at Borawan beach. Max 8 pax.
Eduardo Cajes.

Much have been blogged about Borawan Island and Borawan Island Resort in particular but I guess mostly on the positive side. I am showing both sides of the equation here not because I want to discourage you from going here but at least for you to be able to carefully discern if it is worth it. If I got to discourage others, apologies. I would like to remind you though that other than Borawan Island, there's Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan Beach which are bundled in the island hopping tour if you are to rent a boat for only 1,800 pesos. Good thing there is more to the area than Borawan. It would have been disappointing. Ask me if I enjoyed. I did. Would I come back? Perhaps one day, but the kind that I will crave for specially because there are many other amazing nearby attractions.

DAMPALITAN BEACH Padre Burgos: A Good Compliment to Borawan-Puting Buhangin Island Hopping



  1. Antonio,

    Thanks for this post. It would be very helpful if you could also provide a map of where this Borawan Island is just to give us (fil-ams) a sense of location next time.

    1. you could search for Tamarind Tree Resort in Padre Burgos, is very near the area

    2. try searching Tamarind Tree is near the area where you will be sent off through a boat...

  2. It would be very helpful if you could provide a map of where this island is located, this way it will give readers a geographical direction.

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  4. I'm disappointed with the color of the water and being infested by jellyfishes plus it wasn't that really white sand at all to compare it to the famed Boracay sands (or it just the lighting of the photos?) since it was heavily featured on travel shows and blogs. But I agree, with the amenities you presented it is a love-it or hate-it destination in Quezon.

    1. meron season kung saan maraming jelly fish,
      pinakamatindi yung bwan ng may-june-july...
      wala kasing masyadong galaw ang dagat sa mga panahong yan kasi tag-init at kalma ang dagat, ang buhangin naman ay maputi pero hindi ito powder sand ng tulad sa boracay at panglao, medyo me kamahalan nga ang singil kasi pinipilit ng lugar na makalikom ng patubig at pailaw kasi hindi pa abot ng sibilisasyun ang lugar, maraming paraan makatipid pero madali kayong makakabawi sa pagkaing mabibili nyu ng mura sa pamilihang lugar bago kayo magpunta ng dagat. mura at sariwang pagkain, sariwang alimasag, at isdang samaral na matatanaw lamang ninyo sa mga nangingisda dyan sa malapit sa isla.
      meron namang mas magandang lugar, maayos na buhangin singputi ng hanap ninyo, pero sasakay pa kayo ng eroplano. hahaha.

  5. Thank you for a wonderful review about the Island. Very helpful because I'll be making a SWOT ANALYSIS for Borawan. This really fill some question I needed to answer. Thank you so much :D God Bless po :)

  6. thanks to this post, that's one destination crossed out on my list. :)

  7. JC

    Sobrang mahal naman ng entrance nila at cottages. Dati 120 yun entrance ngayon 220 pesos na talaga. Pati nmn mga bangkero ang mahal na din ng singil.

  8. this is really informative and balance writing, my fiance and I are planning to go there should we pay for the whole boat? or there are fares per head?

    1. No. you have to hire the whole boat. If you go solo, try to ask a group if they can take you in as a joiner. enjoy ^^

    2. merong pampasaherong bangka, kung borawan lang kayo, magpampasaherong bangka na lang kayo, madali lang mag-antay. kung island hoping, kailangan nyo umarkila ng bangka! wala kayong kakilala, umasa ka, mahal ang singil sa taga-maynila.

  9. Hi Antonio!

    Would you have contact details of a boatman we can hire?


    1. Gud pm. We have boat for rent here in p. Burgos just contact us here for more details 09069157383 look for aldy, boatman . Godbless.

  10. hi mam ask ko lng san po mismo sa padre burgos bababa to ride a trike para mkapunta sa jumpoff para mkasaky ng boat.

  11. hi mam ask ko lng san po mismo sa padre burgos bababa to ride a trike para mkapunta sa jumpoff para mkasaky ng boat.

    1. simply ask the driver and they will tell you where to drop off. enjoy!!!! ^^

  12. mas mahal ba nag rent sa boat pag dalawa lang kayo? sana may sumagot. thanks!

  13. ask ko lang, magkano kaya ang babayran kung dalawa lang kami? i mean magkano fee sa boat, ppntang borawan. di naman kami mag island hopping, sa borawan lang tlga gusto namin pumunta, magkano kaya lahat lahat? sana may sumagot Thanks!

  14. Hi. There's a changes in their entrance fee particularly in Borawan day tour is now 150/ head and overnight stay is 220 including the unlimited used of their water and cr. Boat rental is still the same.. for more questions and assistance just txt or call kuya aldy boatman 0906-915-7383. We have tent and boat for rent. Tnx and Godbless

    1. reasonable na ang 220 for unlimited use of amenities..kasi compared sa iba 50 per bucket paano nalang kung lagi kang magbabanlaw :) tsaka malinis nmn ang cr so sulit naman

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  16. Thanks for the blog.. Now i know... I won`t be going there..

  17. May lutuan po ba dun or ihawan or bring your own?

  18. Pwede mag luto sa borawan or mag ihaw?

    1. Yes, me mga naka setup na na ihawan in certain spots. ^^

  19. Hi po, mag kanu po kaya magiging budget namin pagpuntang borawan (for transportation, cottage and entrance lang po)galing po kaming gumaca quezon , balak po namin pumunta this scoming sunday for our project . thankyou po sa magrerespond. GodBless 😇😇

  20. Hi.. We went their last week and i think mas maganda yun nakuha namin na service from Ron kasi three islands at all in na ay nagcost ng 2,400/head lang kami. Convenient pa kasi provided nila lahat, personal things lang ang dadalhin mo kasi sila na ang bahala sa lahat. Very accommodating pa sila at may tour guide na kasama. Yun sa metrodeal na na-try ng kasamahan ko ay madami pa sila pinagbayaran pagdating ng borawan ang akala nila ay mas mura hindi pala. Just to share. Thanks

    This is his number 09157165645 or 09284484684

    1. hi.may plano kasi kmi pumunta sa puting buhangin sa april 2 2016. ask ko lang provided din ba ung van if ever susunduin kmi sa manila?

  21. thank to this review! were planning kasi to stay in borawan ng group ko pero parang sa kwebang lampas na lang and i think mas maganda yung beach doon? haha! thank you! super helpful!

  22. Hm po entrance sa borawan?

    1. Entrance fees
      Borawan 150 daytour 220 0vernight
      Dampalitan 80 day 100 0vernight
      Puting Buhangin 80 day 160 overnight

  23. you cn contact ms shela for a very affordable price enjoy n 1700 pesos lng po per head inclusions nila food (4meals), tent (1 set) distilled water, ice boat transportation entrance fee

  24. Hi. Sino po dalawa lang jan sa isang boat?Baka pwede kami makijoin ng gf ko or kayo makimerge sami. Preffered date is apr 27-28. 848 php per pax. Sa metro deal yan. See website nila for details. Thanks! just txt me po 09233127847

  25. TOUR PRIZE and
    Php 1800 . Boat Boking 3 island Puting Buhangin, Dampalitan beach at Borawan beach. Max 8 pax.

    Eduardo Cajes.


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