Ternate: Katungkulan Beach Resort and Marine Base
Formerly known as “Boracay de Cavite”, it is one of the coves of Ternate that possesses fine sands and gentle waves. The beach was once restricted to the families of marines but eventually was opened to the general public. Even so, an appointment is required prior to arrival, to ensure your planned visit would not coincide with military exercises during which it will be shut off.
KATUNGKULAN BEACH RESORT
The beach is within the area of Camp General Gregorio Lim Marine Base. From the gate, you have to descend more than three kilometers before reaching the cove. Many restrictions are enforced, and the site is full of warning signs. Usually, the Marines are those keeping orderliness and cleanliness.
The sea usually has fine, gentle waves. The coast is surrounded on both sides by a stone wall that adds beauty to the scenery. Brahminy kites can be seen soaring over the air. At both sides of the beach are rocks that are perfectly suitable for photo-ops.
Though we arrived at weekdays, by nine in the morning the beach is already crowding with tourists. With their influx also came the litters and long queue lines in restrooms as well as in the parking area. The air is being filled with the PA system constantly keeping order on the tourists. We suddenly missed the Kaynipa Cove, not far away, which in contrast is secluded and serene.
CAMP GEN. GREGORIO LIM MARINE BASE
One of the rewards in visiting this place is you can see the marines undergoing training. Marines in full battle gear, especially marine snipers constantly pass by. You can have a peek in some areas in the complex, such as the firing range uphill, the barracks and training grounds. Whenever they pass you by, you will always be greeted with “Good morning sir”. (I am actually tempted to respond them with “Well done Marines!”)
To reach the firing range, you have to climb 100 steps. Being at the enclaves of Manila Bay, from here you can see the entire beach, as well as the Carabao Island, Corregidor, Bataan, the Caraballo and the famous Fort Drum aka El Fraile. You can see some scattered bullet casings spent from the shooting.
The marines also serve as lifeguards, ensuring your safety and protection. And if you come early, you might have a chance to take photos with one of the hovercrafts parked at the shore.
Being a military base, orderliness are strictly implemented and many restrictions are enforced, like:
- No littering
- No noise pollution (but they have karaokes hehe)
- No bonfire
- No taking photos and videos of training grounds
- No parking outside designated parking areas, unless if you want your vehicle to be constantly aired through their PA system
- No excessive drinking of liquors
- Going to rocky areas is restricted (there are warning signs telling where visitors can go)
- No foreigners allowed
- If there are no cottages available, you can erect a tent.
- Water supply here is limited.
- A convenience store and lechon manok stall are available, especially those who brought no food.
- The site is open up to six in the evening only. Only families of soldiers are allowed to stay overnight.
- Coordinate with the administration first before visiting, as this is closed during Balikatan or any major military exercise.
Lower your expectations to avoid disappointment. Because of proximity to Metro Manila, this is crowded during summer.
Alternative: Kaynipa Cove. Located just 15 minutes via the highway, but you have to take the remaining 1.5 kilometers by foot as it is still unspoiled and have no established path yet.
- Entrance Fee – 100
- Cottage – 500
From Manila, take Cavitex and Governor Drive and you will be passing through Kawit, Rosario, Tanza, Ternate, and Maragondon. Upon arriving at Maragondon, take the road straight to Nasugbu via Ternate-Nasugbu Highway. This road is a bit steep and curvy so take extra care. Upon arriving at the junction, take the road to Caylabne. At the highway, there is the camp’s signage, and from here you can inquire. Travel takes 2-3 hours depending on traffic.
Take the bus going to Ternate. From here, rent a jeep or a tricycle that can take you here. There is no public transport going here, so it’s better to rent a vehicle.