Maragondon: Patungan Cove
At the southern part of Maragondon is a small fishing village that seemed to be forgotten by time. It was far from any access to electricity and commercialization, but it helped the village by preserving their livelihood and the natural beauty of its surroundings. But it is feared that its days may be numbered because of the looming exploitation that is already on its doorsteps.
More known as the Patungan Cove (Barangay Sta. Mercedes), the place is blessed with natural attractions. It is surrounded by mountains on both sides which helped absorb incoming waves. Its ivory sand makes it ideal for swimming, and it’s one reason why it’s often visited especially during summer. At the eastern part, the mountains of Maragondon can be seen, with the summit of Pico de Loro and the monolith visible.
At the shoreline, there are rows of boats that are docked, an obvious sign that fishing is the primary livelihood of its residents. Fishing boats arrive here almost every twenty minutes, implying that the nearby seas are blessed with abundant resources. Walking further along the beach, you can witness the village’s simple life, with most men doing the fishing while others are drying their catch. The carefree children are endlessly playing on the beach even under the intense heat of the sun.
Aside from fishing, tourism is considered the second significant source of income for its residents, as the place is visited most during summer. That’s why some houses facing the shore are converted into cottages for rent, with rates between 500 to 2000 pesos and can accommodate up to fifteen persons.
While the village lacks a stable power source, at six in the evening the generators are brought to life to bring electricity to the small village. This lasts up to ten in the evening, after which the small village would sleep near silence.
For two days, this had become the temporary home of the flock. Thanks to Mang Victor, a resident for more than fifty years, who accommodated us and served as our guide to our travels. This includes our trip to Carabao Island, Limbones Island and some other beach coves in other places.
During our stay, I was unable to avoid being curious about the unusually many security guards that were stationed at the entrance near the highway. I learned that the place is filled with tension between the residents and the large corporations craving to seize their land. Its the reason why security is very tight. Anyone attempting to enter the cove by road will be blocked by a dozen security guards. The only way to reach the cove is by a boat.
According to the residents, they are offered PhP50,000 just to vacate the place. There are plans for an SM-owned company to develop the cove into a large resort, similar to what was done to Pico de Loro in Hamilo Coast that is also owned by SM Development Corporation (SMDC).
There had been numerous reports of an unusually high number of security men armed with powerful rifles roaming around the otherwise simple community, intimidating and even harassing residents. The tension did flare up last year when a demolition operation became unruly. The mega-corporation responded by filing various criminal charges against residents, including malicious mischief and trespassing, and those cases are still under litigation.
Read this news for more info.
I am uncertain if how long this small paradise would last, because of some entities with vested interests wanting to develop their project here at this cove at the cost of the residents AND their livelihood. If you wish to see its beauty, better visit this before it’s too late.
Take the road to Brgy. Mercedes (Patungan), Cavite. Its the last village of Maragondon that borders Nasugbu, Batangas. It’s almost 3 kilometers away from Kaybiang Tunnel.
Take a bus bound for Maragondon, Ternate and drop off at the town of Ternate (P80 fare). From there ride a tricycle and say to the driver to drop you off at Sta. Mercedes (Patungan), P300 fare (good for 4). It pretty far away from the town so it’s better to get the contact number of the tricycle driver to fetch you when you’re finished.
- Banca ride – P25 one way
- Cottage Rate – P300 – P2,000 (Depends on your preferred size and style)
- Kaybiang tunnel (3km)
- Carabao Island (5km, boat ride)
- Kaynipa Cove
- Pico de Loro (9km, jump-off trail)
- Maragondon Town (15km)
- Bonifacio Shrine (16km)