Situated in the far northern tip of mainland Luzon is a long stretch of gray sand beach simply called Claveria Beach. It is more than 600 kilometers away from urban Manila and sees only a few tourists most of the time. Its raw and un-touristy feel makes it ideal for those seeking solitude away from the maddening crowd.
To get here, one must endure a 12-hour bus ride from Manila straight to the quaint town of Claveria which is already part of Cagayan Province. Along the way you will pass by the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. The fastest way to get to Claveria is to take a flight from Manila to Laoag City then ride a bus or van in going to Claveria.
Staying for a day or two is no problem since there are a number of accommodations near the beach. When we were there, we stayed in Claveria Bayview Inn which is just a few steps away from the sands. The airconditioned room we got has a rate of P1,000, good for two persons. The place is a bit run-down and the amenities are pretty basic but at is generally a clean and decent place to stay. Some resorts have their own restaurants and the town's commercial center is just walking distance away.
What to do in Claveria Beach? As I mentioned earlier, the beach has a raw ambiance so don't expect any motorized water sports here. The best thing to do here is to simply swim and hang out by the beach, enjoy the breeze and relish the unhurried provincial life.
Or if you're a runner like me, you can run along the shores and see how far your itchy feet can take you.