Hidden Gem of Bataan
“Excuse me. Where is the port with boats bound to Five Fingers?” I asked random people on the street from the open window of the passenger seat.
“Five fingers? Five Fingers. Hmmm. I don’t know where Five Fingers is,” answered two or three locals of Mariveles, Bataan, living just a few kilometers from Porto del Sol, the answer to my question above.
It’s a clear indication that this new tourist destination, though it had already made enough buzz in social media, is still just starting to be known. With the locals, maybe Five Fingers is referred to by another native term. Our family only knew of this place when one weeknight, we watched an episode of Trisha Zafra’s Brigada episode, featuring this hidden gem of Bataan, three hours away from Bulacan. We later on confirmed from the bangkero that tourists only started coming in two years ago, in 2016 when the place was first televised. That Brigada episode invited us in. Our whole family accepted that invite and proved its beauty to ourselves during my sister’s birthday celebration.
Five Fingers is a steady mix of chill and adventure. It’s strikes a balance of being mysteriously hidden but accessible a few hours away from Manila.
The whole family enjoyed it, even my parents. My father was able to jump off the highest point of the cliff on one of the coves and my mother climbed the highest peak of the Kryptonite rock formation without needing the help of our bangkero, who also graciously served as our tour guide of sort and a photographer.
A cove is s a part of a coast where the land curves inwards so that the sea is partly enclosed. Five Fingers are five cloves (not islands), which look like five fingers spread out as seen from a map. Because tourism here is relatively new, tour guides are still not so adept in explaining each cove, even the basics on what the coves are called, some orientation of what to do there will not be mentioned unless you ask. Their tour wasn’t so educational in a classroom sense or in a way that more popularly known attraction tours are made – at least not yet. The boatmen knows the best spots for photos, though, so that pretty much makes up for it.
We went here mid-March of 2018 and one of the five coves, according to our boatman, can not be visited anymore as it is now privately owned by a big multinational company. A shipwreck nestles on that cove, too, and reportedly, the post on its highest spot is for the caretaker guarding the assets inside the shipwreck. So we went to just four cloves.
How to Go
- Private Car: Through Waze of Google Map, search Porto del Sol of Mariveles Bataan. We utilized NLEX and exited at San Fernando, drove through Guagua and Lubao, Pampanga and the towns of Bataan.
- Boat: Especially when you’re travelling on weekends when it’s expected to be flocked by more tourists, best if you could reserve a boat prior to your arrival. I recommend Ernie / Jedalene Angat (0916-5224-330) for boat rental and parking services. You can park at their house (Php150 daytrip; Php250 overnight) and use their shower rooms (Php25/pax) and rest rooms too before and after your Five Fingers adventure.
Journalyn Travel Tips
- Best place to go is during weekdays.
- Bring lots of drinking water.
- Boat is a bit small if you would travel by 10, its maximum capacity. Demand for life vests.
- Rates are standardized (see expenses below). Tourism is starting to be organized in the area, coordinated with the local government.
- There is now a small sari-sari store at Laki Beach; there is a comfort room, too, though I think that would be super crowded during weekends.
- There are tents for rent.
- Wooden beds and tables are provided for free on a first come, first served basis.
- There are few jelly fish in the coves and water of Laki beach. Just try to avoid them.
- TOLL: NLEX Sta. Rita Entry to San Fernando Exit is 80 X 2 = 160
- GAS: 800
- FOOD: packed breakfast and lunch and meriendas, dinner at Vista Mall’s Jollibee
- BOAT RENTAL: 3000 for Five Fingers + Laki Beach
- 3500 originally but we were able to haggle because we were only 6pax
- 2500 if Five Fingers only up to 10 pax.
- Bigger boats will be used if you’re more than 10,so rates would be higher.
- BARANGAY REGISTRATION FEE: Php5/pax; registration before loading the boat is a must.
- LAKI BEACH ENRANCE FEE: 200/pax for daytour; Php250/pax for overnight
- PARKING FEE: Php150 whole day or Php250 overnight
- SHOWER ROOMS: Offered by the locals for Php20/head. Bring your own toiletries.
Comment your experience here at Five Fingers and let’s help other travelers enjoy its beauty, too.