Summer is one of the most-awaited seasons in the Philippines (depending on how old you are perhaps). It is a season of vacations, of endless excursions to the beach and, probably, of romance and sweet memories. It is that time of the year when ladies show their nubile young bods off frolicking in the water to the envy of some and the joy of many others (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) – the fruit of endless labors at the gym and food deprivation undoubtedly. Summer is when the ladies decide to bare ninety percent of their bodies in their bikinis, and men, polite as they are, choose to focus on the ten percent that is covered instead. What irony!
Cebu is blessed with pristine white beaches and blue-green waters making it a popular destination among tourists and adventure junkies alike. Wake boarding. Parasailing. Skim boarding. Snorkeling. A good number of resorts line both the northern and southern coasts of Cebu. Cebu is home to popular diving spots teeming with diverse marine life. As if these are not enough, it also boasts of several magnificent waterfalls and picturesque mountains. Culturally, Cebu is a big cauldron of different ethnic flavors. It is a cornucopia of traditions – foreign and domestic. It is where you see a dragon dance done right beside a Catholic Basilica where Muslim traders, mostly financed by Arabs on motorcycles, peddle their wares – from pirated DVDs to knock-off designer bags and shoes. Cebu is definitely one of the hottest tourist spots to never miss.
One of the famous yet affordable destinations in Cebu is Tingko Beach in Alcoy. It is located in the southern end of Cebu. Its long white strip of sand and clear blue sea make it a popular choice among tourists during summer. As you get into the beach by climbing down a small cliff from the highway, you will be greeted by the delicious scent of meat roasting over glowing ember. People dance and leap in a summer revelry induced by, perhaps, alcohol and happy company. A party is never a party without the ubiquitous videoke machines to sing our hearts out – Filipinos as we are. Boat rides at a very affordable price complete the experience.
Getting to Tingko Beach is quite an easy feat to do. You can board a bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal, and use whatever is left of your charm to ask the bus conductor to drop you off at Tingko. Prayers and crossed fingers may be of help too. The fare (as of writing) is 130Php from the South Bus Terminal to Tingko Beach. The beach is just right beside the highway making it every accessible to anybody.
The beach has cottages and rooms for rent too ranging from 1000Php to 3000Php. One of the growing concerns among visitors is the sudden increase in the prices of the amenities in the beach. The last time I was there, the only fee that seemed not to share in the ongoing price hike was for their boat rides. It remained at a very reasonable price of 30Php per person. Nonetheless, Tingko Beach remains one of the most affordable beaches in Cebu offering a wonderful beach and sea experience to friends and the family.