Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!
Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.
More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
The Historic Apatot Beach, San Esteban, Ilocos Sur
From Candon City, Tutubi tried to find the way to Santiago Cove in Santiago town but unreliable locals couldn't point him in the right direction. Tutubi's Garmin Nuvi GPS navigator was also useless in the area as it is unmapped (if Tutubi was able to find it, he'll update the map himself like what he's now doing to places he has visited)
Due to the problem encountered, he opted to go straight to the next Ilocos Sur "tourist spot" on his list: Apatot Beach, San Esteban town. This time, was able to find the right road to turn to with locals who directed him to the two beach resorts plus the modern lighthouse beside a barangay hall.
Apatot Beach, San Esteban, Ilocos Sur
Apatot Beach with lots of bancas docked, no place to frolick, picnic et al
Apatot Beach's sand up close, is not really fine white but rocky at most. the water has very visible green algae too, irritating to swimmers and beach bummers
Tutubi's verdict: Listed by Ilocos Sur Tourism office as a come-on for tourists, Tutubi finds it ordinary and not worth your time if you come from faraway Manila. It's a nice picnic place for locals though where the usual palce to stay at nearby beach resorts and while away time with the videoke machine at full blast.
Apatot Beach Resorts:
There are only two beach resorts on Apatot Beach seen by Tutubi with typical facilities and amenities. No phone numbers posted on the resort walls, no official websites and published room rates, cottage fees, entrance fees and overnight accommodations. Probably due to the fact that they cater mostly locals. No swimming pools sighted.
Don Coronel Beach Resort Contact Number: +63.919.660.4132
Ursa Major Beach Resort
No information if there are suitable snorkeling areas as well as dive sites nearby too
World War II History in Apatot beach, San Esteban, Ilocos Sur:
For history buffs, this cove in San Esteban, Ilocos was the site of a submarine surfacing during the latter part of World War II to unload arms and supplies for the United States Army Forces in the Philippines - Northern Luzon (USAFIP, NL. Remember in an earlier post, the Tagudin Town Hall served as USAFIP, NL hospital).
The old historical marker that was washed away states: " San Esteban Landing Site Twice surfacing at Santiago Cove on November 21, 1944, the USS GAR landed on this beach. Commandos of the Army of the United States with equipment, arms, ammunition and supplies led by Capts. William Vaughn and William Farell were Lts. Fred Behan and Donald Jamison with two other Americans and Larry Guzman with other G Filipinos of the First Filipino regiment. The landing was effected by USAFIP-NL under Col. Russell W. Volkmann with other paramilitary and guerilla units. By order of Volkmann, Jamison and Maj. Ferdinand E. Marcos sneaked through the cordon of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita to an air strip in Isabela and flew to Camp Spencer”.
Tutubi would have believed the story completely but there's mention of Ferdinand Marcos as a war hero. Take note, no offense to many Ilocano brothers who still put the Marcoses on a high pedestal, Ferdinand Marcos was president with a very well documented dictatorship and falsely documented exploits of war heroism. His medals of heroism during World War II were all fake custom-made to glorify himself. Such vainglory! Tutubi's glad the historical marker was washed away. It should've been replaced with a properly verified marker by historical scholars of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP, formerly NHI).
I think Apatot beach has its pros in the sense of it historical value, but based from your review, it is quite under developed and the probably not commercial. I think for people looking into dwelling in a more quiet type of beach, this is suited. Otherwise, I am positive other beaches in the area are way better.
RJE, nope. wasn't born yet. but historians, with authentic documents and firsthand accounts disproved marcos's claim to the medals. yes, he was in the war but his medals were fake. he even tried to pass himself as the hero of the battle of bessang pass to which many WWII veterans swore he was in nueva vizcaya. The whole world knows Marcos' medals were fake