Our Old Beach.
Shortly after we arrived here in April of 2012 after a long hiatus in the U.S., we didn’t waste any time packing up some food and refreshments, loading the brother-in-law’s boat, and heading two beaches over from our barangay to a place called Panglobnan Beach. There we would relax and while away the day in the crystal clear waters of the shoreline, and when we had our share of sun, we would then move into the cooler shade of the coconut trees which lined the beach. There were no cottages or shelters, let alone running water or electricity. The beach was about as natural as a beach could be in this day and age. Up until this time, little had been done to improve this area except for some general housekeeping (beach clean-up) where all the larger rocks and stones were collected off the beachhead and deposited into larger piles away from the sandy shoreline. Some undergrowth had been cleared and any old tree remnants were cleaned up and burned. It only added to the natural serenity of the entire beach in my opinion. This was thee place!
When we finally returned for good in July of 2013, we would take a break from working on the house and load up the boat with family, food, and drink and head over to Panglobnan Beach for a day of relaxation. Only now we would find that there had been a couple of make-shift cottages built and somebody was clearing trees away from the beach. Not a lot had been done but something was going on. Somebody was now living here in a little bahay kubo at the west end of the beach. Caretakers. No worries, it was still the most secluded beach around and there was really nobody around to disturb our serene picnic outings.
Progress Followed Us Here!
Over the course of time, we would occasionally make a trip to Panglobnan Beach to relax, only to learn that the new owner, rumored to be the Calbayog City mayor, had renamed the beach to Crystal Beach! Little by little we began to witness improvements as more native styled cottages were built, then a comfort room (CR), more concrete was poured, a rock wall was constructed along the beachhead, and more land was slowly being cleared. Once I spotted the large CAT bulldozer back in the cleared section of jungle, I knew then that a road was coming, and that our little fantasy island getaway spot was coming to an end. Once the road was finally cut, we would still come by car (barely) and by boat. Because the road was rather crudely done (rutted dirt), not many visitors were showing up. Fast forward almost three years and BOOM! The construction and tourism boom is upon us!
It has been nearly 8 months since we last visited the “New” Crystal Beach, so my wife and I decided to take a short bike ride to check it out. It is only about a 4 kilometer drive from the house so it takes us literally just a few minutes to get to barangay Tinambacan. We were previously aware that there had been some concrete paving of some small sections of the access road (or “blocking” as the term goes around here), but we were totally surprised to find that the entire 1.6 kilometer road was almost completely finished, except for a couple small sections. We were further shocked by what we found when we got there. Like the old Joni Mitchell song goes… “they paved paradise… and put up a parking lot!” So much for a nice, quiet, fantasy island getaway spot. As we have all said so often about when we grew up in the west: “So much for the good old days!”
Check out my video below to see what we were amazed to discover!
Retired in Samar, Philippines.