On The Beach Holidays – Swimming At Puyangi White Sand Beach in Bucas Grande Island, Philippines

On The Beach Holidays – An Introduction

On the beach holidays, especially during the feast of Saint John The Baptist, are pretty much spent by beach goers, island vacations buffs and natural attractions seekers wading in the crystal clear water of the best beaches in the world either on a white sand beach, black sand beach or pebble beach considered as favorite island getaways. In the case of the residents of Bucas Grande Island in Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Philippines spending the Saint John the Baptist Day in Puyangi White Sand Beach, located just a walking distance from the town center, has become an annual tradition.

On The Beach Holidays – Spending Saint John Day in Puyangi White Sand Beach

As a backgrounder especially for the non-Christian readers, Saint John the Baptist was the prophet mentioned  in the Holy Bible who prepared the faithful for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John’s main character in the gospels is attributed to his baptism to Jesus Christ at the Jordan River which is now one of the Seven Sacraments in the Catholic Church.  Since, he was 6 months older than Jesus, the Catholic Calendar placed the feast of John the Baptist on June 24, six months before Christmas.

June 24 is being celebrated in various ways according to the customs and traditions of the place. Other Christian communities in the Philippines celebrated it with fanfare more so for places who chose Saint John the Baptist as their patron saint, hence, the annual fiesta celebration. But other areas just considered June 24 as another ordinary day of the year.

But in Socorro, the lone town in Bucas Grande Island in Surigao del Norte, Philippines, the feast of Saint John the Baptist, though not their annual fiesta, is one of the important days marked in the calendar of the inhabitants. While it is not declared as a public non-working holiday, but the Socorronhons considered it as such as the entire family has to take time spending on the beach holidays  and take a dip to commemorate the Jordan River baptism of Jesus Christ. And, though there are several patches of white sand beaches surrounding the island, the inhabitants chose to converge  in the most popular beach in town- the Puyangi White Sand Beach.

On the eve of the June 24, 2011 Saint John the Baptist Day, I went to Puyangi White Sand Beach to scout for a place where I and my family could settle  for the next day’s  picnic and join the customary on the beach holidays of the Socorro  inhabitants. I rode on my motorcycle, went through a foot trail beneath the coconut trees  parallel to the 1.2 kilometer stretch white sand beach and reached the place in 5 minutes. As I stepped on the sand, I was enthralled on this tantalizing views . . .

On The Beach Holidays

The 1.2 kilometer-Puyangi White Sand Beach stretching towards the Socorro town center.

On The Beach Holidays

The Puyangi White Sand Beach stretching towards the Puyangi Spring.

I slogged over the pearly-white sand beach and loved the feel of a mixture of silica and pale quartz grains touching my sole as it actually squeaks a bit when stepped on until I reached the Puyangi Spring . . .

On The Beach Holidays

The impounded portion of the series of streamflows of the Puyangi Spring.

On The Beach Holidays

The Puyangi Spring spillway flowing to the Puyangi White Beach into the sea.

Candidly, I felt nostalgic as I waded through the knee deep crystal clear water while taking photographs of this scenic view of Puyangi White Sand Beach. . .

On The Beach Holidays

The Puyangi White Sand Beach showing the convergence point between the cool waters of the Puyangi Spring and the warm sea water.

I couldn’t help but imagine the days during my childhood when I was so fascinated with the bright sand at Puyangi White Sand Beach which makes the sea waters especially beautiful with emerald, light blue and sparkling azure colors. There were times that, while enjoying the swim, I would be told by my elder brother  that the proximity of a barrier reef makes the crystal clear water at Puyangi White Sand Beach naturally calm and warm. But the waters cascading from the Puyangi Spring enables the convergence point uniquely cool thereby offering  me and the other swimmers the option for an alternate warm and cold bath. I cannot forget the days when, after taking a languorous swim in the warm waters, I occasionally took a  quick dip at the refreshingly cool waters of the Puyangi Spring.

After quite sometime, I went home eagerly dreaming for the coming of the on the beach holidays a day after. Then, June 24, 2011 came. I went to the vicinity of the Puyangi Spring again and found some beach revellers already dotting the white sand beach . . .

On The Beach Holidays

On the beach holidays revellers at Puyangi White Sand Beach.

Including this pair on the way to their rendezvous . . .

On The Beach Holidays

A fiance with his fiancee having an idle and leisurely walk at Puyangi White Sand Beach . . .

As I slogged further, I was delighted by the sight of these children . . .

On The Beach Holidays

Two boys dashing neck-and-neck to beat the 100-meter dash . . .

On The Beach Holidays

A child wallowing at the sand enjoying the sand mask . . .

But nothing beats the sight of this innocent smile . . .

On The Beach Holidays

A child enjoying his labor . . .

While the sports enthusiasts really found time to blend beach going with sports . . .

On The Beach Holidays

A group of beach goers enjoying their Beach Volleyball game . . .

I walked further towards the direction of the town center and found a lot of on the beach holidays revellers positioning atop the limestone serving as natural breakwater . . .

On The Beach Holidays

Beach goers taking time to enjoy the Saint John The Baptist Day . . .

Until I reached the cottage where my family and friends were awaiting for  me to . . .

On The Beach Holidays

. . . signal the official start of the Eat-All-You-Can Challenge . . .

We then ventured into a lively chat while occasionally glancing the spot where my 8-year old child Edrian was enjoying the swim.

As the horizon started to dim, we called it our turn for a romantic and  languorous couples’ swim which we did until the later part of the night . . .

On The Beach Holidays – Final Thoughts

June 24 is an important event in the life of the Christians. It is celebrated in one way or another in various communities. Others made a mockery of the celebration by throwing murky canal waters at the sight of the passers-by. But in Bucas Grande Island, we chose to celebrate the day  of the Feast of Saint John The Baptist in a memorable and enjoyable manner with each and every able-bodied Socorronhon joining the much awaited annual  on the beach holidays celebration.


  1. Puyangi looks more beautiful when not crowded. Looks like a very popular spot for holidays.
    pinaytraveljunkie recently posted..Mt. Pinatubo: A Geologist’s Dream TrekMy Profile

  2. nice blog ^_^
    i read your comments just now on my blog, many thanks for visiting.

    actually i’m just awaiting for a cheapest fare, surigao is one of the most interesting province in our country.

    hopefully, this year and i can meet you there also.
    thanks in advance for being my hosy 🙂

    • Nice knowing that you are interested to visit Surigao particularly my island home. Let’s just keep posted with its other. I already subscribed to your feed and see you here.

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