The sun fired off its last rays of the day. The clouds streaked, burning bright orange across the waning blue sky. I stood awed for a moment, unsure where to position my camera. The whole stretch of Jawili Beach sprawled right before my eyes. I was all alone to witness this moment, without a soul to share the beauty of the day’s end.
Packing up my equipment after shooting Tangalan’s Jawili Falls in Aklan, I decided to follow a sign from a dirt road I passed earlier in the day. A blue starfish painted on a white plywood. An arrow right beside it pointed to something a hundred and fifty meters ahead.
That hundred fifty meters turned out to be a beach. A desolate beach. Barangay Jawili’s secret beach.
While everyone’s frolicking across the tourists-laden sands of Boracay; here I was, all alone at a beach that tourist maps seemed to have forgotten.
I can imagine Jawili Beach being flocked by locals during weekends with its simple resorts lining its long sandy shore. But during my visit, the whole stretch of beach was all mine.
Well, except for some lazy dogs half-sleeping under empty bamboo huts, chasing me whenever I get too close.
It was low tide and I was able to stroll pretty far along the shore before the sea skimmed the rubber soles of my shoes. The cream-colored sand at Jawili Beach is very fine, definitely not as powdery as Boracay’s, but good enough.
It was so tempting to just strip off, forget about my camera, run to its deeper parts and simply swim the afternoon away. But with no clothes to change into, it just wasn’t happening. Kalibo was too far away to commute with wet boxer shorts.
As clouds transformed from whites to oranges, I saw fisher folks doing their daily routine; some of the boats even have kids helping out with the chores.
It was a simple life for the people living here at the town of Tangalan.
The fire in the sky intensified. It was time to really shoot.
I quickly scanned the coastline for something to anchor my photos, but Jawili Beach is completely devoid of any rock formations to use as foregrounds. It was pure sand as far as the eye can see. Luckily, I found some jackstone-like concrete barriers strewn across one end of the shore.
As the flaming sky disappeared and twilight started to set in, I began to ponder the problem of getting back to civilization.
I haven’t seen nor heard any tricycles plying the small dirt road leading to Jawili Beach. I asked a few of the locals where I could get a ride but they simply shook their heads.
Since school’s already out, it would be pure luck if I can hail a tricycle back to town.
My only options; stay the night at one of the resorts fronting the beach or walk. But rooms along Jawili Beach costs around Php800.00, not really an option for me. So it’s number two then. I heaved a sigh and braced my legs for two hours of walking across a dark and deserted road.
And I didn’t even have a flashlight with me. Tsk.
Address: Brgy. Jawili, Tangalan, Aklan
Entrance Fee: None
Cottage Rentals: Php800.00/night
GPS Coordinates: +11° 47' 30.58", +122° 13' 49.30"
How to Get There: From Kalibo Bus Station, ride a bus that will pass by Tangalan. From its town center, ride a tricycle and ask to be dropped by Jawili Beach.