Did you know that the Philippines, with over 7000 islands, is also home to some spectacular sandbars? FYI, a sandbar is a ridge consisting of sand and other matter built up by wave currents, which emerge during low-tide, and is often located just a few hundred feet off the shoreline. Flanked by clear blue waters, one is a sight to behold overhead and serves as an ideal pit stop for pictorials and lounging around while island hopping.
Now you might have already heard of the more famous sandbars in the country like the Kalanggaman Island in Leyte or the White Island in Camiguin, but if you’re looking for a relatively underrated destination, then Pangasinan’s Panacalan Island deserves a second look. In fact, it's being touted by some Pinoys as the "Maldives of Pangasinan," and with good reason.
A long strip of white sand just off the coast of Anda Island, Panacalan's little known sandbar is the municipality’s secluded gem. In fact, it’s so obscure that tourists more often than not find the island all to themselves when visiting the hidden spot. Its shape depends on the season, and with no establishments nearby and only one hut on the island, it’s the ideal place if you’re in need of some R&R, or if you simply want to take photos for the ‘gram. That said, make sure to bring your own food and water if you plan on staying long. Camping and pitching tents are also allowed on the island.
For the more active folks hoping to do more than just bum around under the sun, the Panacalan sandbar is also situated near a marine sanctuary. Don’t forget to bring your own goggles or snorkeling equipment if you’re eager to view the rich underwater life thriving by the island.
Wondering how to get there? Once you’ve found your way to the town proper of Anda, Pangasinan, you can take a tricycle ride to the port of Baranggay Macaleeng. From there, rent a boat and enjoy the 30-minute ride to Panacalan Island.
Learn more about Panacalan and the nearby Tondol Beach here.
*Main image from Shutterstock; for illustrative purposes only.