I read about Tondol Beach in Anda from Ivan. Since we're searching for the best beach in Pangasinan, we had to pass by here, seeing Ivan's great pictures. Who would not gravitate towards this beach? Anda is on the way to Bolinao, you just have to take a right turn from the main road to Bolinao, just watch out for the signs. From that turn, Brgy. Tondol is about 25 minutes away.
Well, we were still sleepless, and upon arrival in Tondol, we were greeted by this sight. An entire community had their family day of sorts at that time. The lady in the gate told us to move to the other side of the beach, nearer the island that was fronting Tondol Beach.
It was high tide, so we didn't see the spectacle that Ivan witnessed. It was already 9AM, and we were told that the low tide will come late in the afternoon. Too bad.
It was Beach no.1 in our search, and we were disappointed. Tondol Beach was a bit dirty. Trash was visible at the shoreline and at the back areas.
There were fishing boats and nets. I wasn't particularly happy as well with the sand quality. It looked like sand used in construction. Though fine, it was off white. The water was not clear as well, and had a lot of sea debris like sea grass.
We arrived at a modest resort that had some rooms and cottages. I thought there were no resorts in Tondol, but it turns that there there were a handful, all significantly cheaper than the ones in Bolinao. We decided to get a room for the day since it only cost us P600. The overnight rate was P1,500, but since we were the only tourists there, we were given a huge discount (the caretaker was friendly too). The room was actually good, clean and spacious enough.
We didn't rest in our room though. We laid out our beach mats in front under the trees. It was so relaxing and quiet. The sun was hot, but the coconut and talisay trees shaded us well. We took out our books, snacks, drinks and began to chill out. We were beginning to like Tondol.
At 10AM, I was able to sleep, and woke up at 12 Noon, in time for lunch. We bought lunch from the stores and another resort outside. We had tocino, fried bangus and pork barbeque. It was simple, but satisfying. We even had sweet mangoes for dessert - the beach life indeed!
I slept again after lunch, while the rest hit the beach. The tide was going down slowly we noticed. By 3PM, the tide was already low, revealing the water up to the knees, but still not the same as with Ivan's experience. The water was still not that clear. There were a lot of starfishes on the sand.
We bid goodbye to Tondol at 4PM, to catch the sunset in Patar Beach in Bolinao, our no. 2 beach. We were not as impressed with Tondol, but I think with the right clean up, the beach will be more attractive. The sand extended to the sea, and yes, it was perfect for swimming. Maybe, we came at a bad time. However, we stayed the entire day there, and witnessed both tides. A great beach will always be breathtaking, no matter what time of the day or year.