Cabongaoan Beach + Depth Pool Trip in Burgos, Pangasinan
I grew up in a small town in Pangasinan named Burgos, an hour drive from Alaminos where the famous Hundred Islands is. My grandparents’ house is located near the green fields where only streams and small rivers are the only bodies of water I grew up accustomed to. Most of the time, me and my cousins would go to our auntie in Tobuan Beach in fishing town Labrador in Pangasinan, to play and swim. When I turned seven, my mother brought me to Manila to study and that’s when a visit to Burgos becomes only once or twice a year until now.
Imagine the surprised look on my face two years ago, when I saw a TV feature of a nice beach and a certain natural pool located in Burgos, which I did not know until then, while was skipping through channels one bored day.
I immediately asked my mother if this certain beach is actually located in our dear hometown and she nodded as if I’m asking a silly question.
So there, I grew up in this quaint town without knowing that there is actually a hidden gem in its outskirts. I do understand why my mother was not that vocal about this. She isn’t a beach person and so are my aunties and uncles. Majority of them are in Manila already. And considering the location of our house from the beach, it shall take up to two hours to get there. I do believe my auntie when I asked her where Cabongaoan Beach is and she said, “Idjaaaaaaaaay!”
Anyway, when me and my boyfriend decided to explore Cabongaoan Beach, we chartered a tricycle which took us to At Last Beach Resort for a day trip.
Cabongaoan Beach has a long stretch of sugary white sand which turns golden crystals when the sun’s out. The beach consists of a stretch with no rocks that is perfect for kids while there is a part which can get rocky and may not be suited for children playing. It has natural pools too for those who just want to frolic and swim in shallow waters.
What makes Cabongaoan Beach a hit to tourists is the Depth Pool located in its far end. But get this, Cabongaoan Beach is located in Burgos while the Depth Pool is under the jurisdiction of Sitio Masangret, in Brgy. Baruan in Agno, Pangasinan. It’s just that the easy way for beachgoers to go to the Depth Pool is through Burgos’ Cabongaoan Beach, especially if they want to experience both. In going there, one has to walk carefully through big rocks and climb rock formations before having a glimpse of the pool.
Depth Pool was initially made popular when it was dubbed by a TV show as “Dead Pool.” With its intriguing name and seemingly adventurous aura thanks to photos and videos seen on the internet a couple of years ago, the sleepy town of Burgos suddenly gained tourist attraction. But according to tourist officials, it should not be called as Dead Pool. Rather, it is Depth Pool, which the locals have called eversince.
Depth Pool is a round 20-meter in diameter natural pool located near the rock formations of Agno and is facing giant waves of the South China Sea. Oftentimes, thrill comes when big waves enters the pool, which makes swimming experience even more intense. During the low tide, the pool has a height of 16 to 18 feet deep.
It is surrounded by smaller natural pools which are best for those who can’t handle the pool’s thrill. Kids can frolic too in these smaller pools, some of which are located inside rock formations.
Tips in going to the Depth Pool
Wear protective footwear
When we went there, I was only wearing slippers. You have to be extra careful in climbing big rock formations as it has sharp edges. I saw some who didn’t expect the rough and sharp pathway to the Depth Pool and just walked barefoot which, for me, was an agonizing experience.
Visit in the morning
Expect heavy tourists during day time, especially during the summer. If you intend to swim by the pool by yourselves only, you might want to go there early morning as soon as the sun is out. Otherwise, the thrill of swimming by the Depth Pool with many people is still as fun and exciting.
Consider the height of the pool whether you would take the plunge or you just want to dip. While thrill seekers are always on the go for this kind of exciting swimming adventure, faint-hearted might think twice. Smaller and shallower natural pools in the surrounding area is an alternative.
I love how the local of Burgos now has another option for livelihood. Here’s to hoping that while it receives tourist arrivals, the town will be prepared in changes especially in guidelines and regulations concerning the environment and the safety of both locals and visitors.