Apr 13, 2014

How to make the most out of your Tingko Beach escapade

My summer 2014 was supposed to open with a 3-day vacation in Coron, Palawan but life doesn't always go according to plan. My trip to Coron got cancelled but rather than wallow in despair I decided to, as the saying goes, make lemonade from the lemons that life gave me! I called up a friend and planned a last-minute, one-day getaway to Alcoy!

A small town at the southern tip of Cebu, Alcoy is home to the wonderful Tingko Beach which is where my friend, Zara, and I were headed that particularly sunny day in March.

Keep reading if you, too, want to go on a getaway to Tingko Beach and enjoy beautiful white sand, sea and sun for less than 500 bucks!

Zara and I have never been to Alcoy but we were both eager for an adventure so the unfamiliarity of the place only made us more excited. Both of us were also determined not too spend too much money on that day -- I had splurged enough from shopping for my Palawan trip and Zara was on her way to Bohol. Here's how you can make the most out of your Tingko Beach escapade (while staying within a very reasonable budget!):

Bring a friend

I believe that the best experiences are those that are shared with a friend. Spontaneous getaways to new places are also more enjoyable and safer when you are with someone close to you (you can get lost together, too!). So the next time you decide to go on a last-minute road trip or an adventure to someplace new, invite a good friend to join you!

Take the bus

Tingko Beach is located in the barangay of Daan-Lungsod in Alcoy. This public beach is quite popular, very accessible and is really close to the highway. Getting there via bus takes about 2-3 hours (depending on the traffic and the road conditions) and a bus ride is both practical and very economical. With buses, there is no need to worry about parking and gas plus the fare is relatively cheap -- we spent a total of P240 bucks on an air-conditioned Ceres bus, if you want to save more, you can get on a non-air-conditioned one.

To get to Tingko Beach via bus, go to the South Bus Terminal and get on one of the Ceres buses headed there. Zara and I simply informed the bus conductor to stop when we were already in Tingko Beach.

Bring a tent

If you own a tent (that is just the right size for you and your group), it's a great idea to bring it to Tingko Beach. A tent will come in handy even if you are not planning on staying overnight. It will give you a safe place to keep your bags and other belongings, you can change your clothes in there and also, you won't have to pay for cottage rentals.

Go on a weekday

If you are antisocial in desperate need of peace and quiet like me, I suggest you go to Tingko Beach on a weekday. Many of the blogs and reviews I read online mentioned that, as with most beaches, Tingko Beach tends to become busy during the weekends. I really wasn't in the mood for a noisy and crowded beach (I see enough crowds and hear enough noise in the city!) so going to Tingko Beach on a Friday was a good idea -- the groups were few and far between.

Be in the living moment

The next time you go on a trip, enjoy the new scenery and the brief respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. My one-day getaway to Tingko Beach was a much-needed reminder for me to slow down and to make the most out of those rare moments of lightness and quietude. It also helped that Zara brought her GoPro camera because then I didn't have to worry about taking pictures with my DSLR!

Above all, my Alcoy adventure was proof that vacations don't have to be expensive, flashy and painstakingly planned. Sometimes, all it takes is a last minute decision and a reliable buddy for us to discover paradise and feel once again in sync with ourselves.

Tingko Beach was a pleasant surprise. I loved the white sand and especially how accessible it was. The trip is something I would definitely do again in the near future!

Tingko Beach trip wrap-up:

Total damage: P500 or less, includes:
  • Round trip bus fare (air-conditioned Ceres): P240
  • Tingko Beach entrance: free!
  • Comfort rooms at Edward's Place: P10 per use
  • Food and drinks: P200 (we bought our supplies at Cebu City)

Other good to know information:
  • Tingko Beach is located next to the highway. You can wait for your bus ride home right outside the beach premises. 
  • There's a cozy bed and breakfast across Tingko Beach called Edward's Place. Their rooms are reasonably priced (P1,200-P1,500) and can accommodate groups of up to 8 people!
  • Edward's Place has a small convenience store. We bought ice and disposable cups from them and enjoyed our booze ice cold by the beach.
  • You can take a shower at the comfort rooms at Edward's Place, they charge P10 per use.

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