Sizzling Bacon Beach
Picked it out a whim, maybe because of the funny name, most likely because of its proximity to Legazpi.
As soon as we got off the jeepney, it was obvious that we had arrived at yet another fishing village where foreign visitors are a rarity. Nearly every pair of eyes went as wide as saucers as we popped into view, but faces all burst into smiles as soon as we waved and said hallo.
The only flaw here is that the beach is actually made from pebbles a coupla hundred thousand years away from being sand, but the super-friendly locals will help ya forget about that. Really.
They’re so friendly they’ll almost smother you with their kindness and curiosity, and in return for answering their endless questions they’ll fill ya up with free boiled bananas, fish, rice, mangoes, and whatever else you’ll take. The beer you’ll have to pay for, but at 35 pesos a bottle we had no issues.
While I lolled on the pebbly beach and learned a bit of Tagalog–gutom, hungry; busog, full; salamat, thank you–Xiker went off on an adventure to what he now refers to as the Secret Lagoon. He came back a few hours later with gorgeous pictures and I slightly regretted my earlier insistence that I just wanted a day to read in the sun (turns out I didn’t get much time to read cuz I was never left alone!)
I did enjoy getting to know the family, and plied them with almost as much questions as they asked me. It was interesting to learn that the majority of the resorts lining Bacon Beach are temporary structures, to be rebuilt after every typhoon season.
Besides the destructive typhoons, another reason why many of the resorts only have open-air huts is because the majority of people visiting Bacon Beach are local people—meaning, Southeast Luzon locals—on day trips, hence the almost complete lack of overnight rooms.
It costs about 5000 pesos (approx. 115 dollars) to build a single open bamboo hut, and the concrete houses are often also obliterated during the typhoon season, so almost everything has to be rebuilt. Everyone in the neighborhood have homes up in the mountains where they retreat to during typhoon season, and the beaches stand empty til October-ish.
Overall, we had a peaceful respite in Bacon Beach, away from the snarl of traffic that besieges many Philippine cities, and almost lived like locals for those few short days.
Unfortunately, the beach (secret beach notwithstanding) being what it is, I don’t foresee Bacon Beach becoming a major destination on the foreign tourist circuit of Southeast Luzon.