I arrived in Pagadian City without an itinerary…
all I know is that I’ll be staying here for 2 nights. I went to the City Tourism office to ask for a city tourism map and I was given some brochures and a checklist (it was sad that they don’t have a tourist map):
- Puting Balas (White Beach)
- Manga Falls
- Kendis cave
- Dao Dao Island
Thanks for the brochures and the checklist. I think I really have to make my own adventure. I went to the nearest spot- Puting Balas (Puti means white and Balas is a Visayan term for sand, transliterated White Sand/White Beach). To Putting Balas I went…
Later did I know that there are 2 White Beaches and the White Beach where I went into is a little fishing community. WOW Mali! No worries, I think this is better than going to where usual tourist go- the real White Beach. I really love this trip, off-the-beaten, just as what journeyingjames would like to experience.
The Beach Life
I just stayed at the small passenger port trying to observe. Locals are asking who I am visiting and why I am there. I just said that I’m traveling the Philippines, I do not know anyone there. They just smiled. Kids are playing around; they happily smiled at the click of my camera. Thank God, I am welcomed here.
Tweet: Went here at the white beach, which is actually gray beach… It’s like a fishermen ville.
The island life is so simple, no carinderia and a few sari-sari store selling basic commodities. Its also good to note that there is electricity and a public Elementary School.
Of Fishermen and Agar-Agar
I then tried to walk around the island, it’s just a small fishing village. They also culture agar-agar (seaweeds that are used to make soft rubber or slippers). I interviewed some of them and learned that this costs Php55 a kilo when dried. This is then shipped to Japan and Korea for processing.
The agar-agar smells fishy and salty. It is should be exposed under the sun for 2 days, 5 days if its raining. Columns after columns of agar-agar drying facility can be seen while walking on the long stretch of this island.
Salamat po Pepito Badajos!
Mang Pepito is the boatman who brought me in the island. When I was asking if there are carinderia in the island, (knowing there is none) he invited me to dine with him. I really loved to but I don’t want to get his children’s share of food and I’m not that hungry.
I was humbled to be hearing those kind words to a total stranger. I wish I brought something so I can join his family’s lunch and gain a friend. *Sigh* Hope I meet you again Mang Pepito!
How to get to White Beach:
From the City Proper, take the tricycle to San Pedro Public Market (Fare: Php 10). Go to the small port at the end of the market, ask around and look for the green wooden building, that is the terminal going to the fishing village (Fare: Php 8.00). You can charter the whole boat for Php50-80 depending on the boat’s size. Travel time is about 10 minutes.
Note: Puting Balas Fishing Community is not a tourist spot, don’t expect anything touristy. But if you want to learn the authentic island life and how hard it is to earn money in Mindanao, go and take a peek. Ask permission before taking some photos.
Pagadian Adventures is a 6-part series of my off-the-beaten path wanderings in Zamboanga del Sur, particularly in Pagadian City. My heartfelt thanks go to Dr.Wendell of Journeys & Travels for accommodating me in his house thru CouchSurfing.
WOW Mali at White Beach
Restricted Swim at LakeWood
Tagay sa Tapay-Tapay
Pagadian Adventure Summary & Expenses