A tropical secret near Manila: Talipanan Beach

Talipanan Beach, only a couple of hours away from Manila. (Camille Banzon/ Pacifiqa)

When one thinks of Puerto Galera, the most immediate thoughts are that it’s the “beach that doesn’t sleep.” Once the hot sunny day is over, the nights are filled with fire dancers, glimmering lights, loud music, performers, and buckets and buckets of beer or Mindoro Sling (not to mention the effects it has on people). And there’s nothing wrong with this kind of beach atmosphere, some actually live for partying on the beach. Fortunately, there are spots for those looking for a peaceful vacation without the hollering of videoke machines or inescapable “tugs tugs” sounds filling the air.

There’s a nearby beach where chaos doesn’t exist, and it’s in Talipanan Beach, one of the more secluded spots in the long stretch of coves in Oriental Mindoro. A 15-minute shuttle ride away from Muelle Pier via Batangas Pier, Talipanan’s area is tucked away from the noisy and crowded vicinity of White Beach. Talipanan boasts a rock formation worthy of a thousand postcards, with striking earth tones that change upon the direction of the sunlight. One can choose to climb carefully at one of the higher rocks and jump into deep waters as if coming from a cliff. One of the best things to do while in Talipanan is walking along the quiet shoreline, something that’s impossible to do in White Beach. A pocket beach perfect for lounging with a breathtaking view can be found in between the rock formations at the far left side of the cove, an appealing characteristic especially if you’re feeling a little adventurous. At the far right, there’s hopping on the boulders that separates Talipanan Beach from Aninuan Beach, another hidden gem of Mindoro. Tourists can even choose to hang out in Aninuan for the rest of the afternoon, if you’re after that “private beach” vibe.

A pocket beach hidden between the rock formations near Luca’s restaurant. (Camille Banzon/ Pacifiqa)
Walking through the rocks, with the glow of Aninuan’s white sand shore at view. (Camille Banzon/ Pacifiqa)

That Italian joint on the beach

The sand on the stretch of Talipanan Beach may not be as fine as what White Beach’s shore has, but the serenity and beauty that goes with it is priceless. One of the more popular resorts in the area is Luca’s Miramare Lodge, owned by an Italian who has been in the country for more than a decade.

During lean seasons, Luca’s Miramare Lodge charges Php 1,500 a night for an air conditioned room with a refrigerator, fan, and hot shower. The best thing about this deal is that the guests get free breakfast (standard for two persons) at Luca’s restaurant, and the food there, though good and cooked well, isn’t cheap. It’s advisable to load up on that free meal and get a dazzling view of the sunlit morning. On peak seasons, the rates go a little higher, but it will still be worth it considering the beauty and seclusion this spot can offer. The lodge is a couple of steps away from the famous restaurant the name was known for, and guests can order and pay for everything upon check out.

It’s not impossible to be hypnotized by Talipanan beach while at this lodge, and it’s usual to feel amazed with the realization that this place is only a couple of hours away from Manila. It’s the keyword phrase all beach lovers are gunning for anyway: a couple of hours away from Manila.

The view of Luca Cucina Italiana from its lodge’s veranda.


Aside from the beach, tourists and locals visit Talipanan to get a taste of the cove’s main attraction: Luca Cucina Italiana. Owned by the same family who runs Luca’s Miramare Lodge, the authentic and savory Italian dishes are delightful to have by the shore. Dining at the restaurant is an experience in itself: with the laid back ambiance of a tropical bistro and the exquisite view of the waves crashing into the boulders, as if joining together for a perfect setting. Of course, the dishes, especially the pizza and pasta, are unforgettable on their own.  Bestsellers include the Seafood Marinara pasta topped with a mound of fresh shellfish, the Eggplant Parmigiana, and the folded pizza. The cappuccino is worth trying too, for the sole reason that it’s usually difficult to taste decent coffee when in Puerto Galera (the “brewed coffee” in most restaurants in White Beach is usually watered down crap). Prices range from Php 200 to 500, with servings good for two to four.


Other flavors of the sea

If you feel like you want to break away from all the sauce, cheese, basil and dough, eat at Mengie’s for tasty home cooked meals. There’s no menu, but the owner will gladly offer you the day’s special. When I went there, a stingray was laying on the shore, freshly-caught by the local fishermen. Without hesitation, Mengie asked if I wanted some “Pagi” cooked in gata for lunch. It’s a far cry from the oven-baked Italian delights from Luca’s, but it doesn’t mean it’s less appetizing. The servings were hearty and there’s an endless supply of toasted garlic upon request. There’s also the restaurant’s entertaining mascot, a corgi-like dog named Wacko who feeds on anything, including imported cheese from the foreigners who beg to pet him or take him for a walk along the beach. Mengie’s also offers lodging for Php 1,000 (fan room) and Php 1,500 (air conditioned room) in case you want to explore other room options.

The stingray I ate for lunch. (Camille Banzon/ Pacifiqa)


There are other resorts in Talipanan, such as El Canonero Diving Resort, and it’s better to book here if you’re going in big groups. The resort offers diving courses and all day diving packages. El Canonero has an outdoor bar beside its pool open to everyone, even for those who don’t have a room booked in their premises. It’s one of the more reliable bars in the area, as it’s sure to serve patrons every night (but only until a certain time, depending on the mood of the bartender). It’s really not advisable to go all out in drinking when in Talipanan. Of course, a couple of beers or cocktails wouldn’t hurt, but make sure to not make extremely loud noises that might disturb those around. It’s so quiet in Talipanan that the bars, if deciding to open because of the lack of people, usually close at 10 in the evening. Pack a bottle of wine with you to drink under the stars, your trip will be more memorable that way.

Please go chasing waterfalls

There’s also the luxury of visiting nearby Talipanan falls, which is reachable by a 20-minute trek through the Mangyan village on the other side of the road. Not only do visitors get a slice of culture and see how these people live simply in a setting cradled by nature, but there’s also the splendid feel of bathing in cool, fresh waters and getting a natural massage by the falls. Since the beach isn’t usually crowded, trek guides will either approach you or you can ask the nearby sari-sari store if they know someone that can go with you to Talipanan falls. Their rate ranges from Php 150 to 300, but only pay 150 if you’re alone. These guides can also tell you more about the lifestyle of the Mangyans and the history of their gorgeously-structured wooden homes. You are free to bring food and drinks up to the falls, but make sure to clean up after your spot. Some even bring small grills and prepare lunch up there. Upon going into the falls, there’s also a short stretch of stalls where you can buy Mangyan woven handicrafs for way cheaper than what they are sold for in White Beach.

The author getting a back massage from Talipanan falls. (Camille Banzon/ Pacifiqa)


The rock formations at the left side of the cove (Camille Banzon/ Pacifiqa)

How to get there and how much it will cost you

The beach is approximately four hours away from Manila reachable through a two and a half-hour bus ride from Cubao to Batangas Pier, and a 45-minute boat ride to Muelle Pier. The best way to go to Talipanan beach is by booking an outrigger boat ride through Minolo Shipping Lines (MSL) as they offer free shuttle services going to Talipanan. That’s already a couple of hundred pesos worth of savings.

If bringing a car, you can opt to park your vehicle in the pier’s “Park and Sail” lot. Overnight parking will cost approximately Php 170.

Bus fare from Cubao to Batangas Pier: Php 180

2-way outrigger boat fare from Pier to Muelle Pier (Minolo Shipping Lines or MSL): Php 450 to 500

Overnight stay at either Luca’s or Mengie’s: Php 1,500

Average cost of meals per day: Php 300 to 500


Not in the mood for Talipanan? Here are 9 other beaches near Manila worth visiting!



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  • https://www/google.com Buddy


    Good day!

    Thanks for this. It’s very informative.

    We plan on going here come this weekend. Do any of the said resorts offer a snorkeling and /or island hoping packages? If yes, do you have any idea how much will it be?

    Thanks in advance.! More powers!

    • Camille Banzon

      Hi Buddy! Luca’s Miramare Lodge does not offer snorkeling or island hopping packages, but there are boatmen roaming around the area that will offer such services. It will also be better if you bring your own snorkeling gear. El Canonero offers snorkeling along with other activities, you can read all about them here: http://www.divingresortelcanonero.com/attivita_eng.html

      Enjoy your trip!