FORGIVE my limited vocabulary but “dreamy” just happened to be the first word that came to mind the first time I set eyes on Alona Beach in Panglao Island, Bohol. There’s something surreal about the whole place — the hundreds of bancas berthed by the beach, the palm trees reclining toward the sea, the purple sky… I was so mesmerized by the place that I almost called a man with a van and considered moving.
Alona Beach is the most popular beach destination in Panglao Island. According to some locals, it got its name from Ms. Alona Alegre, a Philippine movie star from a couple of decades ago. Ms. Alegre is best known as a favorite leading lady of the late Fernando Poe, Jr., the “King of Philippine Movies.” The dreamy – there I go again – and picturesque beach started to attract visitors after The King and Ms. Alegre went to Panglao Island to shoot one of their movies. At least that’s what the locals told us.
Alona Beach is no Boracay, that is a certainty. The sand in Alona Beach cannot compare to Boracay’s fine, white sand. But it’s pretty close, in my opinion at least. It is the closest to Boracay from among all the Philippine beaches I’ve been to so far. Or so I think.
Alona Beach is also much more laid back. Some tourists, myself included, actually prefer that. Quite a handful of foreign tourists were basking in the bright sun by the beach when we went for a walk down Alona Beach. It was quite obvious that they were in Alona Beach precisely for its lazy mood.