We have been traveling for quite sometime now and we understand that everyone doesn’t have a budget for travel all the time.  So, one of our friends, Cams of Adventures of Camille, came up with an idea to create a challenge for the group.  The challenge is to find a destination and create an all-in itinerary with a maximum budget of P1,000.00.

For our first destination, we chose MARIVELES, BATAAN.

Mariveles, Bataan is just a couple of hours away from our starting point.  It’s the perfect destination for the challenge because of its proximity and the wide range of activities to choose from in this area.  Not to mention that its beauty is quite underrated and should be explored more.

Five Fingers in Mariveles, Bataan

Located in the western part of Mariveles is a series of coves that forms like fingers, thus getting the name Five Fingers.  The islands can be toured on a boat and overnight camping is allowed on some of the coves.  Activities here include cliff diving, snorkeling, island hopping, swimming, and of course, unlimited beach bumming.

We opted to skip the island tour and decided to stay at one of the nearby resorts.

How to get to Five Fingers

From Pampanga, ride a bus (Genesis) going to Mariveles.  In front of the Genesis bus terminal, ride a jeepney that will pass by Porto Circle.  The fare is P8.00.

From Porto Circle, walk about 100 meters going to Claubel Beach Resort (formerly Hawla Beach).  You can get a cottage for P500 or set up a tent.  We decided to get a cottage only to find out that there are lots of areas inside where you can camp out.  This is allowed but the entrance fee is P100.

After we rested for a few minutes, we asked the caretaker of Claubel who was kind enough to give us instructions on how to get to the nearest cliff where you can see the complete formation of the islands or coves.  Just a few meters from the resort is a small beaten path leading to the tip of the cliff.  We followed the trail and after about a 20-30 minute trek, we reached the cliff’s summit that offered an outstanding view of Five Fingers.  There’s also a path leading down to the ocean if you want to take a dip in the clear blue waters of the beach.

After that, we went back to the resort and grilled some chicken and fish we bought earlier for lunch. An important tip is to buy food before going to the resort :).  After lunch, we went for a stroll on the shore and then off we went to our next destination for the day.

Sisiman Beach and Lighthouse

From Claubel Beach, walk back to Porto Circle and look for the jeep terminal.  Hop in on one the jeeps and ask the driver to drop you off at the corner block going to Baseco.  Fare is P11.  From Baseco, ride a tricycle going to Sisiman Lighthouse.  Fare is P12/head.

Sisiman is an open bay area.  You’ll have no trouble finding San Miguel’s Peak because it’s that big, majestic rock magnificently staring at the ocean.  We are told that it’s possible to scale the rock but extra precaution should be considered since it’s slippery.  For safety purposes, we encourage anyone who wants to climb to get a local guide.

Right beside it is the famous lighthouse you see in the images related to Sisiman.  There is an open path leading to the ocean and onto more rocks!  From the lighthouse, you can walk a few meters more going to the other end where Sisiman Beach is located.  This area is cleaner with less noise and less crowd.

How to get to Balanga, Bataan

We’re not ready to call it a day yet so we decided not to wait for sunset at Sisiman and push our side trip to Balanga.  From Sisiman, ride a tricycle going back to the market.  The fare is P70.  From the market, look for minibuses or in our case, we chose to look for Bataan Transit going to Balanga.  Bus fare is P80.

The bus will drop you off the highway going to Balanga.  From there, ride another tricycle and asked to be dropped off at Robinsons.  Tricycle ride is P15/head.

It’s already dusk when we reached the area.  The trip was worth it because we were able to witness the gorgeous Balanga Church set against a mesmerizing sunset.  The entire square in front of the church where Robinson’s Mall and the City Hall is situated is simply magical at night.

We had a quick dinner, wrote down our expenses, and to our surprise – we spent less than 1K!  It’s a day full of wonderful sights.  We covered 3 destinations, Five Fingers, Sisiman and Balanga spending less than 1K.  Most importantly, it was a chill kind of travel, we had enough energy at the end of the day, plus some change in our pockets.

With that, we can proudly say – first 1K challenge, achieved!

Claubel Beach Resort also offers day tour package for P700/head inclusive of boat rental, island hopping, lunch, and cottage fee.  For more information, check their Facebook page here.

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Armela is a food and travel blogger from the Philippines. She has produced content for different local and overseas brands. Armela is also a self-taught photographer. She is an optimist by heart who loves to travel to discover new places, different cuisines and meet new people. She is a Digital Marketing Strategist and a Creative Designer by profession.