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The hidden beaches of Mactan

Jansen Secret beach facing Liloan town, Cebu

MACTAN is an island filled with secret beaches.

Unfrequented by tourists, the beaches practically sit at the end of public roads, dirt paths and seemingly private driveways.

Nearby, razor wires fence off gardens, private guesthouses, and docks.

These beaches are tiny crevices of public space that , offers the average beach bum a chance to quietly take in the view of a multimillionaire without the fear of being evicted.

They exist, pristine and clean, thanks to the residents living nearby who keep an eye on visitors who take a dip in the waters and leave trash in the area.

The writer, on a day trip

On a recent weekday morning, my friend Nica Malubay and I set out to survey some of Lapu-Lapu City’s waterfront properties hoping to find the best “Secret Beach.”

Jansen Secret Beach

Just a few blocks before reaching Amisa Residence in Barangay Punta Engaño, we located the final stretch of Sitio Jansen nestled at the tip of Lapu-Lapu City.

The street ends on the west side; to its right, a straight narrow path—watery light and a glimpse of the sea beckoned.

At a meadow, a man sitting on a blanket seeks shade under a tree, the water lapping gently in front of him.

Franco Lucera, 46, said that the Jansen “secret beach” is where he likes to relax and enjoy the scenic view of Liloan town.

“Ganahan kaau dinhi kay hilom unya walay daghan samok,” said Lucera.

Baliwis beach in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Marigondon in Lapu-Lapu City

Engaño isn’t known for sandy beaches, but Lucera said rocky beaches are many and they offer great views, without the fine sand.

“Dili man siguro kaau nindot ang ba’s dinhi pero enjoy raka sa view og kamingaw, maka relax ka labina kung daghan kaau ka og gi hunahuna,” added Lucera.

Ikid-Ikid Beach

Perhaps wanting to keep his privacy, Lucera referred us to another secret beach, a place referred to simply as “Secret Beach” during his high-school days.

This one sits a little farther east of the island in barangay Maribago.

We decided to search for the “Secret Beach” but first stopped by a dead end in Marigondon Beach road in barangay Marigondon, a rocky public shore that’s only about 30 feet wide.

To get there, we walked down a long driveway that seemed private but city signs reminded us it wasn’t.

We then followed a dirt path that leads to Ocean Pear resort.

From there we continued walking through bushes until a rocky waterfront which locals called “Ikid-Ikid Beach.”

According to Nica, Ikid-Ikid Beach is a long stretch, but where we were was the only spot that has sand.

Sadly no one was there to help us better understand the area, but the public beach had a nice makeshift picnic shelter and a hammock tied around
a tree which tells us that some people already know of the place.

Large bushes cover the back of the beach while the crystal clear water invites you to take a dip.

Then again, we also realized that all these street-end beaches lacked something essential: toilets.

Baliwis Beach

The first two beaches we visited were both ranked “worth a visit.”

And then there’s the third “Secret Beach.”

It sits at the end of Baliwis Road in Sitio Ylaya, Marigondon.

To get to the beach, you have to walk a crumbling bridge made of huge stones.

Alongside, a razor-wire-topped fence of the exclusive Belle Air Golf Club can be seen a few meters away from the bridge before arriving at a public bench placed on a rocky shore with a great view of Olango Island.

The sight of hammocks tied on trees greeted us when we reached the place.

There was the familiar smell of saltwater, and I saw kids who most likely skipped class (judging by their uniform and because it was still 3:30 p.m. at that time.)

This was the nicest among the three beaches I’ve been to.

There is a wooden bench, a stretch of grass for lying down or a small picnic a bit of rocky shore and some shade trees.

Even if we didn’t bring snacks nor a stool, we had the best view of Olango Island—seamlessly afloat the turquoise waters of Baliwis
beach.

And even though the island is miles away from us, the story would be the same.

Here on this little stretch of beach— our “secret beach” if you will—we owned it all.

TAGS: beaches, hidden, Mactan
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