Pagudpud: Blue Lagoon of Maira-ira Cove
Branded as “The Blue Lagoon”, the Maira-ira Beach is one of the best beaches of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. That place is like the main attraction after enjoying the sights of many tourist spots such as Timmangtang Rock and Bantay Abot Cave along the road to the lagoon.
Before my fellow sheep and I got to the road down to the Blue Lagoon, we paid an entrance fee from the Balaoi Barangay Outpost worth 25 pesos per head. According to the locals, halves of proceeds go to the Municipality of Pagudpud and to the Barangay Balaoi. The improvement was evident as we rode down to the completely concrete road from the post to the beach when we visited there last December 2014.
Everything there is near perfect. The blue sky brings the bluest of the sea, the ivory sand there – that is on par with the Boracay’s – glimmers thanks to the sun, and the wind orchestrates the dancing of the greenery beside the shoreline and on top of the hills. With a fine weather, you can see the scenery there is too saturated to be true.
TupangGala have been to Maira-ira Beach yearly for the past six years, and we became the witness to the changes and developments of this haven. Among the resorts and homestay there, the most prominent is the Hannah’s Beach Resort. Year by year, the resort continued to acquire and develop more lands, and to add more amenities. One of its amenities that can’t surpass by other premium resorts is the longest zipline of the world over the water, which spans 1.2 kilometer.
We’re kind of a shock when we saw that the resort occupied the front most part of the beach, where the cottages and comic character statues replaced the huge amount of trees planted there. They should’ve left that place untouched since it makes me feel the beach is much exploited for profit, and the water there is too dangerous to swim. The owner of Manuel’s homestay (our “suki”) doesn’t come short of reminding us to avoid swimming on that area. She told us recently that another tourist was drowned when he ignored the locals to swim on that rocky part of the beach. Better if that person contented to enjoy the fine sand of the beach like us.
If you don’t mind spending much, it is highly recommended to check-in to Hannah’s Beach Resort and Convention Center. That resort definitely can provide the best accommodation and services for you. But if you’re on a tight budget (like TupangGala, hehe), there are other resorts and homestays that offers very affordable stay and cottages (around 400 pesos per cottage). You can also enter the vicinity of Hannah’s Resort for only 100 pesos per head (or free if you’re good ;)) and enjoy taking pictures with the full-scale statues, on a hanging bridge, and in front of its Hollywood-like façade.
For the past six years, the Maira-ira beach still won’t fail to impress me of its beauty. For me, it is the best beach in the northwest part of the Philippines. So, better include it on your itinerary when you visit Ilocos Norte.
Head north along the National Road of Pagudpud until the Balaoi Barangay Outpost and pay the entrance fee worth 25 pesos per head. Then take the 3.5 kilometer road going to the Maira-ira Beach.