[Balesin Island#2] Where in the Philippines is Balesin?


UPDATE 11/6/13: Check out the latest blog post on Balesin Island Club developed by Alphaland:
BALESIN ISLAND (ALPHALAND): Food Tripping Around the World in 7 Beach Resort Paradise!

This shot was taken 7 hours away (4 hours by land + 3 hours by boat) from Manila. The travel could be as short as 30 minutes by a chartered plane (imagine how expensive that would be). This was in the remote island of Balesin in Pollilio, Quezon Province and my Balesin series will give you a glimpse of this beach island paradise in the East.

The land trip was a 180kms, 4 hours drive from Manila to the Atimonan port. It sounds easy if you know or have been traveling to Bicol because this is 1/3 of the way to Bicol. You travel via South Super Hi-way –> Sto. Tomas, Batangas –> Alaminos, Laguna –> San Pablo, Laguna –> Tiaong, Quezon –> Candelaria, Quezon –> Sariaya, Quezon –> Lucena, Quezon, –> Pagbilao, Quezon –> then finally arriving at Atimonan, Quezon before Gumaca. (whew! that was long) All I can say is that follow the road signs going to Bicol so that you don’t get lost in one of the fork roads. If you have been to the Viaje del Sol destinations then you are just 1/2 of the way to Atimonan. In the Balesin Brochures, it would say that this is 3 hours away ( they forgot to put “at night” ) but if you leave manila at 6am, I would guarantee you, it would take you 4 hours at least.

We arrived at the Atimonan port Friday 11am and left on Sunday at 4pm. It cost me a total of P143 pesos for leaving my car at the port. Here are the breakdown of the fees:

Parking Fee — P10
Entrance Fee — P10
Terminal Fee — P3
53 hours parking — P125
Total: P143 pesos

I suggest that you bring a car cover to protect your car from the heat and as a deterrent for people who might be tempted to steal your car’s contents. Although they say that the port has 24 hours operation so ensure that it is in front of the port office.

I just came from El Nido the week before (this will be a topic in a different series), so the sight of this boat was horrible. But it was huge and able to accommodate 30+ people plus luggages. It was safe and it looked sturdy enough for the 3 hours boat ride.

In El Nido, there is a culture of safety first where you always need to wear a life jacket (which are nice life jackets). Upon seeing these life jackets, I guess they are just conforming to the law to have them in the boat. Not sure though if they are reusable. They didn’t even bothered to have us wear those life jackets. Maybe they knew that it would just be a waste of time distributing it since it would not be as useful as its purpose to save lives of the passengers. During our boat trips, I vowed that we will buy our own life jackets to bring with us when we are traveling via sea. Better safe than sorry specially for us who have kids towed and travels a lot locally in the Philippines.

This was the front of the boat and we joined the management group of Safeway who went to Balesin for their teambuilding. You can only see the horizon in front of you after 3 hours of sea travel! Ok, the travel could be shorten to two hours and 30 minutes if you leave early in the port before 12nn. At this point, all of us were wondering where is Balesin? You can only see a glimpse of the white strip in the horizon. We were excited and anxious to arrive in Balesin.

This was a heavenly sight! All of us were excited to see how white the beach was and we can’t wait to jump right into the crystal clear waters.

Since it was low tide, we transferred to a smaller banca before finally touching the white sand beach of Balesin! Another comparison between El Nido, this banca was pathetic, but what can you expect. If you can see from the Photo, the Balesin resort does not have any assuming structure or dominating facade. It is just plain simple which is also what I like about this place.

There is no globe or smart signal on the island which means there is no cell site. The only phone working is a 5110 with a Smart sim located inside the structure above connected to an external antenna. You can see the antenna protruding on top of the structure.

The trees are well manicured I should say and blended very well with the beach front rooms.

This is where we stayed and this is already an old structure which is very evident as you walk inside.

It was an old electric fan powered room with wood flooring and old fashioned jalousies with screens. Imagine this, rats playing on top of the roof while resting, birds chirping outside, and insects flying around any light that they could see. Do I need to say more? One good thing though was that the beds smelled and looked clean and an excellente’ room and towel service!! No complaints on that area.

The room has windows all around such that the winds pass through the room and give you that cool sleepy effect. Every time we stayed in the room, either we are taking a bath or sleeping 🙂 One problem though was that at night, people can see you inside so you had to bring down the roman shades to give you privacy but blocks the cool wind. Overall, the room was very comfortable and functional specially the toilets. I wonder why!…


47 thoughts on “[Balesin Island#2] Where in the Philippines is Balesin?

  1. hey anton! this is nel’s wife (nel, rommel’s officemate). just wanted to say that the pictures taken are really GREAT!!! he’s been trying to convince me to go there with him and after seeing the pictures of balesin there’s no need for anymore convincing. Great blogs by the way!!! i’ve been visiting it ever since i learned about it. Ü keep on blogging…

  2. hi! im she. i just browsed ur blog since iv been looking for facts & contact details of Balesin. Their number isn’t working at the moment. would you mind? can you give me other contact details of Balesin? it wud be greatly appreciated. iv been arranging it for our annual team building in the ofc ( for next week) & with your awesome photos… i almost fell inlove with the place.
    Thanks for the time…

  3. Hi! I love your pictures. I want to go to Balesin. Saw it on TV a few years ago but your pictures beat that 2 minute feature. would like to ask:
    how much is the boat ride, where an I stay, how much is the food and how can I contact the place?
    let me know please. would like to go before summer ends. my email add is joi_valencia@apl.com

  4. Hi Anton. I bumped into your blog while looking for some directions and features about le viuex chalet in antipolo. Nice blog! I even told my friends to look at it. We all wanna go to Balesin. Could you please give me contact numbers of the place and may i ask you to give me an idea of the room rates, food prices and other expenses so me and my husband and our couple friends will know how much to raise for our next summer trip =).
    Thanks much.

  5. hi anton. great balesin pictures. i have always wanted to go to balesin but i am wondering how to get there and how much do i spend if i take my three adult children. please give me names and contact number of the persons to get in touch with. thanks.

  6. hi! this is really awesome! another hidden place to discover…phils is really a great place which are not appreciated by majority of pinoys. we’re planning a summer outing here, just like to know how much is the budget for the accommodation in balesin. thanks!

  7. hi
    this islands seems promising, how much did the 3 hour boat ride cost? how much is the accomodation? i am a kiteboard fan living in Bora, wondering if there is wind on the eastern beach of the island. thanks. great pictures!!

  8. i am from boracay, me and my boyfriend frederic lives here and we kiteboard in bulabog beach. we are very curious to find a kite spot and balesin seems promising, with the sand bar at the tip of the island it will be really cool! the wind and the bay must be perfect for kiting, we’ll check it out one of these days =)

  9. hi Anton,
    I’m living at the neighboring island of balesin, the island is called Jomalig, maybe you could check it out. its more beautiful than Balesin, I swear!

  10. hi….sa lahat nang taga balesin polillo ako…poh to si…….bernadeth zamora………ganda talaga nang balesin…….i really love this place……………….he…he

  11. hi,anton…. taga balesin kaba??? kasi ako taga balesin……pero ikaw di kita kilala…………..

  12. hi! anton, this is arlene. i saw your blog about balesin and i find the place very beautiful… could you tell me how much is the accomodation, coz my friends and i are planning to visit the place. thanks.

  13. Hi anton. Thank you for the perfect info and pics.
    I am Korean who’s studying in Manila. This coming my b-day is my 1000th day with my girl friend. I was looking for nice place using google earth and i found this place.
    It is really fantastic but i am worried how to get there.
    I am very ordinary student who usually ride FX rather than taxi. Of course I do not have a car.
    So i will just ride a bus to Lucena then will
    try to go to antimonan.
    What i want to know is the schedule of the boat.
    How often boat goes to the island and how much is the fare?
    Do i have to make a reservation on resort?
    Can i just go there w/o reservation?
    I am very much wondering about this island
    Please email me!!! I really need your help!

  14. anton,
    i am a photographer base in miami, florida. i was shooting there for menshealth, cosmo, and goodhousekeeping. the whole island was to myself and my crew. yes that place is the best. i have seen and had been to places that they have rolled the red carpet for me. the people of Balisin are true to there island. beautiful, also i surf all over central and south america. Balisin has a secret spot.(south to north riding west, 4′ to 6′ and no chops).
    i’ll have to search the for the fotos from there and send some to you,
    thank you for sharing happines, it is only real when it is shared.

  15. anton,
    one more thing. i flew in like a high$ photographer and rode back out with a outrigger with a motor, feeling humble. the rest of the crew flew back.
    the Ausie creative director and i wher just amazed how beautiful the boat and bus ride back was to manila, make sure you tell them about the caves in the island, natural pools, fireflies at nite that cover the whole trees… and also to take the slower buses going back to manila, you see more provincial culture.
    jose (jose@joseamigo.com)

  16. Just came upon the site. I used to go to this island back when I was a kid after some deep sea fishing for a few days on a trusty bangka with my dad. This place was heaven for me…I literally jumped out of the boat even if I were half a mile out from shore and swim and snorkel and explore. Nice pics!

  17. wow!!! beautiful island!! my relatives of my mom live in Infanta, Quezon and have been inviting us to this island. The prob was we have to leave the port a certain time (like 4am!) because of big currents in the morning. and we have to ride a bangka (cant imagine waves crushing down on me on the bangka)… Anton, if you are into raw and beautiful beaches untouched by civilization I recommend Pandan Island in Sablayan, Occ. Mindoro. If you are planning to go, Im happy to be a tour guide. hehehehe

  18. Hi Anton,
    The photos bring back memories to me. I was born and
    raised in Balesin. I once work there as a waiter, 15
    years ago.
    I live now in the US. Please post more pics.

  19. Hi Anton,
    The photos bring back memories to me. I was born and
    raised in Balesin. I once work there as a waiter, 15
    years ago.
    I live now in the US. Please post more pics.

  20. Hi Anton,
    The photos bring back memories to me. I was born and
    raised in Balesin. I once work there as a waiter, 15
    years ago.
    I live now in the US. Please post more pics.

  21. Hi Anton, thanks for your pics and words of Balesin.
    Hanah, I am living in Pagbilao and I’m really keen to visit Jomalig. What is the best way of travelling there and where would I stay? I am a surfer and love swimming and snorkeling also. I have friends that would also love to travel to such a beautiful place like Jomalig.
    I have heard from my girlfriend there are so many mambabarang on this island? Sounds interesting :)!
    Sana you can get back to me –> greggzeeno@yahoo.com.au <–
    Salamat! Gregg

  22. Hey Anton, this is a truly nice presentation of Balesin. A neighboring island municipality, 2 hours from this place is Jomalig, how I wish you were able to feature it too. It is accessible by air travel, a beach resort is already operational, shoreline is comparable if not better. offers views of endangared species of Philippine crocodile and Wild ducks by the hundreds not to mention the taste of mouth watering lobsters, crabs and huge squids. These beautiful islands are haven to nature lovers, perfect hideaways for persons seeking quiet, non crowded beaches.

  23. Hello Anton,
    I couldn’t help but felt nostalgic upon seeing the photos. I’ve never been to Balesin Island but I have a cousin who grew up in Burdeos Island not far from there and she’s always inviting us to go in Balesin. I now live in the States and when I felt happy when I saw the Atimonan Port because just an hour from there is Alabat Island, where my mother is from and where we go for summer vacation from grade school to high school. Thanks for the wonderful photos and blog.

  24. Balesin Island seems closed now. Anybody knows why? what happened to resort?
    Also, how can I get in touch with the owners of the island? Please help.
    Is this a windy island? can any wind activities be done there?

  25. Hi Dimitri,
    I heard some people are raising funds to invest in the island once again. It will be closed for this summer.
    Live an Awesome Life,
    Anton Diaz
    Founder, http://www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
    Call or Text Me: +63917 5683-627 (LOVE-OAP)
    Follow Me FacebookTwitterFlickrYoutube
    Latest Blog Post on Our Awesome Planet: The 10 Biggest Foodie Trends in Manila 2010!

  26. hi Anton, Nice place… may I ask how much is the cost of the room and food? thanks a lot… hope you can reply to me… nadrev_mjr@yahoo.com, we are planning to go there this weekend… thanks a lot

  27. why is it closed this summer? i spent my childhood summers in Atimonan but never heard of Balesin, now i feel like going there this summer. Please give us updates…

  28. My name is Corazon Ventura Carino, i used to work in Balesin Island at the Accounting Office, my husband work in the Resort Dept. On the late 70’s it was owned by Edgardo Tordesillas and private members. It has 9 holes golf course and tennis courts. The Lanai restaurants is one of a kind, Big lobsters and ocean fishes caught in the island is served frsh in the restaurant. Coconuts served right from the tree. Acomodations is by cottages, nice swimming Pool in the middle of the resort. Used to have telephones thru PLDT, small planes are dropping and picking up guests everyday. Groups of Japanese tourists are the most guests by groups. My family moved to Canada in the late 80’s.

  29. is baselin monopolized by alphaland?wala nko makita hotel packages or accomodation in baselin island except membership in alphaland which of coures you’ll have to be millonaire to do so.. any suggestion to visit this island?


  31. Hi Anton,
    Pwede po bang malaman kung magkano ang magagastos namin papunta dyan sa balesin? dito kami mag mumula sa alabat island,bigyan mo naman kami ng idea kung magkano ang presyo ng mga cottages yung mumurahin lang po

  32. Hi Anton, hope you could post some idea on the cost, and is there any cheap accomodation? or need to be a member? Thank you,

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