|Anda Public Beach|
Last Holy Week of 2012, while on vacation in my father’s house in Bohol, we decided to hit the beach. Of course, one’s trip to Bohol wouldn’t be complete without a stopover to any of the hundreds of beach resorts surrounding Bohol island. This time, we chose Anda Beach. My brothers have been there years ago, and I’ve heard stories from them of how beautiful the beach in the town of Anda is.
Anda is a fifth class municipality located 99 kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, Bohol’s capital. People say that it would take 2 hours by private transportation from Tagbilaran to Anda, so I guess it would take more time via a public transport like bus. Don’t fret about the long drive though, since from Tagbilaran to Anda, one would take the exterior national highway. Thus, along the way, one could enjoy the good sights of Bohol’s ocean on the right, and mountain ranges, trees, and old churches on the left.
|map taken from http://bohol.gov.ph/|
For us though, we came from my father’s house in Sagbayan town, located in the interior part of Bohol. We left at around 7:30AM. The drive was slow since we had kids on board, and we did some stopovers to buy some drinks and food like lechon and inihaw na manok in Candijay town. We finally arrived in Anda past 10:00 AM. The drive was lovely, passing mountain ranges, rice fields, vegetable gardens, smiling local people, the Pilar dam and its river, among others. I always love driving around Bohol.
Upon entering Anda town, tourists have to pay the environment fee of 20 pesos each person. Being a small town, the tourism people of Anda know who are the tourists or the locals entering the only road going to Anda. Upon paying, we continued our drive. Along the way, one could see a lot of entrances to different private resorts in Anda. Before visiting Anda, one could check out first various websites as to what private resorts would be best. (Example: http://andabeachresort.com) If you don’t have any resort in mind, just drive through along the road and take your pick. I doubt that all the resorts would be fully booked since there are really a lot of them.
|Anda Catholic Church just across the public beach|
We decided to head off to the public beach, though. It is the one in the center of the town just across the Anda Catholic church. This was what my brothers and father visited before. Upon reaching the place, I couldn't believe that it was a public beach. The view was great, with coconut palm trees lining and giving ample shade. The local government had set-up cute cottages along the beach. My brothers said it wasn't that improved when they went there years ago. It may not be as good as a private resort but it feels like one in terms of view and cleanliness of the area. There was no garbage littered around, and there was ample parking space.
Since it was a public beach, no entrance fee was asked. But we needed chairs and a table. We were able to rent some from the government people manning the area. The monobloc table was being rented for 30 pesos, and monobloc chairs for 20 pesos. We didn’t mind the cost, as long as it would go to the government fund. The good thing was that we were given a receipt for the 1 table the 3 chairs that we rented.
The tides were high when we came so it was a nice time to go swimming. We really enjoyed the fine white sand and cool breeze. The sun was high at that time of summer but the wind just so nice that I didn’t mind being toasted under the sun. The waves were perfect as well. We went to the middle of the ocean and had fun meeting the waves. It could have been great if we brought a surf board. It was much better than the wave pools in some resorts in Bulacan. Nothing really beats the real thing!
Far ahead, one could see a glimpse of the provinces of Leyte and Camiguin. By lunch time, it appeared to have been raining in Leyte area and the strong wind started going to Anda, blowing sand to the tourists’ faces. Others enjoyed the strong wind but my baby and I took refuge for a while in the vehicle as we waited for it to stop. Good thing that after 10 minutes, the strong wind diverted to another direction and so was the rain. By 2:00 PM the tide slowly receded, and the small children enjoyed more the shallow water of Anda beach. We were given the chance to see more of the white sand of the beach before heading home.
There was a foreigner who decided to settle in Anda and opened up a shop along the beach renting scuba diving equipment, snorkeling, among others. I wasn’t able to ask for the prices but the banana boat ride is worth 400 pesos for 10 minutes of ride. He also made comfort rooms beside his shop which could be used by tourist for a fee of 3 pesos. The comfort room is clean enough and one would be given free tissue to use. There are open showers along the beach as well, free for all. However, there was no free shower rooms. On the left side of the beach, though, behind the SK office, is a small public bath room where we took a bath using a pale and a dipper. The water was strong, and the bath room was clean enough but it was an old one, so don’t expect much.
Overall, our Anda beach experience was great and worth the travel. Perhaps next time we would be back and try any private resort there. I recommend Anda beach. Enjoy its beauty and the meet the kind Anda people!