Alcoy Itinerary, Philippines

A short day in Paradise

Summer has always been my favorite season. This is the time of the year when the heat of the sun feels like cotton and the breeze smells like mom's cooking. It's not entirely true but let's just put it that way.

I'm already finishing my summer vacation days and I thought to myself why not visit another beach before heading back to reality. I sent a message to my oh so close friend who always says yes to adventure to meet-up the next day. We traveled for 4 hours to a place where feeling good doesn't cost a thing. That was back then now there's an entrance fee to the beach, thank you tourism. Let's go!

How to get there: Cebu City to Alcoy Beach

From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:
You can take a cab going to the South bus terminal.  The estimated fare is 250 PHP – 350 PHP, depending on traffic.  Or you can take it straight to Tingko Beach 1 in Alcoy, but we try for the cheapest travel method, which is by bus. 

Alternatively, if you're familiar with Uber and/or Lyft, then you can download and use the mobile app, Grab, to book your transportation. 

Travel time from Airport to South Bus Terminal: 1 hour (depending on traffic)

From Cebu City:
Take a cab or jeepney to South Bus Terminal which is a few meters away from Elizabeth Mall.  The terminal is clean and organized.  Buy your ticket at the counter and make sure to read the board signs placed in front of the windshield mirror before hopping inside the bus.

From the South bus terminal: take the Ceres Bus 

Buses Operate from 1 AM – 9 PM 
Bus Fare: 150 PHP – 180 PHP 
Bus Route: Cebu to Alcoy
Drop-Off: Tingko Beach 1, Alcoy
Travel Time (bus/private car): 3-4 hours

Prices may have changed.  

Power outlets: are commonly type A, with standard voltage 220 V and frequency 60 Hz.  Be sure to bring a universal plug adapter!
Money matters:  We recommend getting your currency exchanged via Western Union (WU) since you'll get a better rate than at the airport.  You can send your travel budget to yourself and pick up the exchanged amount at the local WU.
Convenient phone apps:  Grab for transportation.

Survival Terms
CR is the term for the toilet
Salamat means "thank you"

Tingko  Beach 1 Entrance fee: 10 PHP

This is a day trip adventure so my checklist was just small: bikini, sarong/mat, camera, sunglasses, water, or beer? and food.

We woke up late as usual for our road trip to the beach. The sun was blazing when I was out of the house and it was draining all the fluid I have in me. Nowadays going out for trips is a bit tiring, I think I can blame the weather for that. The temperature is increasing drastically and even rainy seasons in the Philippines feel like summer now. But of course, that won't stop us, we just have to deal with it and come up with a solution. We decided to take the air-conditioned bus bound for Alcoy. Good thing these days open-air bus is a thing of the past. It only means less exposure to dust and heat, which is quite convenient knowing that we have a long travel ahead.

The beach was crystal clear and shining brightly while dancing along with the blazing sun. A sight I've missed with every cell and fiber in my system, the warmth of being there reminded me of having ice candy or freezer pop with "pandesal" (a popular small bread in the Philippines) on a hot, sunny day when I was in high school. I felt contented and free as a feather back in those days. Now, I have responsibilities and have to prove my independence in providing my own needs, welcome to the world of being an adult. But you what, I have more freedom now, it's an exciting year for me as I get to go to more adventures and I'm investing in myself.

A little girl greeted us with a smile and asked for a 10 PHP entrance fee. I'm not particularly sure if that child was legitimate to ask for money but we were feeling good and it's quite cheap compared to other beaches. It was a secluded place back then and nobody bothered us in terms of crowd and space. Now, people flock this place, restaurants and resorts mushroomed everywhere claiming the beach as their property. The simplicity is gone. I'm glad I was able to have a glimpse of the old Tingko Beach.

The beach was warm on the surface and the sand was cool below. It's very relaxing and I cut my hair really short which made my summer feels even better. The water was a bit calm with tiny waves coming once in a while from passing boats. It was silent even thou a lot of people were there. I guess I was in total peace of mind during that time that I able to filter the loud sounds around me, the so-called "Inner Peace", that simply reminds of the movie "Kung Fu Panda." 

To get back from Alcoy to Cebu City, cross the street where the bus drops you off and wait for a Ceres bus to pass by. The same fare however travel time will be longer as traffic builds up in the afternoon. If you're not in a hurry an overnight stay will be a great idea. 

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight, and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/BnB booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs, and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks add up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city/food tours).

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go to Oslob and see the famous whale shark or also known as "Butanding."

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is to Boracay, the island that never sleeps.

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