More than the Botolan beach, there’s more to see and experience in this coastal town. Botolan, Zambales might have a devastating history after 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption but, that’s what tourists come for. Its historic appeal charms the visitors to continue exploring the town and the scars of the wounded land have become popular destinations for tourists and even local residents.
Botolan makes the most out of Pinatubo’s past that has created an unexpected surreal beauty from its crater lake, chilly mountain rivers and falls, extensive lahar fields, and sand dunes, and even tropical mangroves and beaches.
If you want to experience Zambales in a more exciting way, check out these things to do in Botolan beach and more!
1. Visit Botolan Wildlife Farm
Photo credits to BOTOLAN Zambales- Yours To Discover
If you’re done lounging at Botolan beach, go on a safari trip! One of the most favorite places of tourists in Zambales is the Botolan Wildlife Farm. It is a family-run ranch established in 2000. The 55,000 sqm. place serves as a habitat for a wide range of exotic animals and plants around the world.
The Botolan Wildlife Farm is open daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
2. Ride a 4×4 to Mt. Pinatubo
See the unexpected beauty that was made out of a disaster. You can explore Mt. Pinatubo, its crater and lakes by riding a 4×4 or an ATV. The ride will be a rocky one but once you see the view, all the bumps you’ve gone through are worth it!
3. See the Ina Póon Bato Chapel
Photo source: Wikipedia
According to historical and mystical sayings, the Aeta had been worshiping a wooden statue set on a rock in the 17th century when Spain began its colonization of the country. The image was soon associated with the Virgin Mary, prompting the Catholic Church to dub the image as Ina Póon Bato (Mother of the Lord Rock).
While the chapel was destroyed by the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption, the image of Ina Póon Bato survived and was later transferred to a nearby chapel. Devotees are always flocking the chapel for miracles or as a sign of gratefulness for answered prayers.
There’s also a fiesta (Fiesta Póon Bato) held every January 23-24 in honor of Ina Póon Bato. Thousands of devotees gather to that event. One thing you should look forward to this fiesta is the cultural dance of the Aetas. Another festival that is worth experiencing here is the Domorokdok Festival, which is held in May and includes street dancing and parades, beauty pageant and a vibrant display of Botolan products.
4. Fort Paynauen
This historic fortress was once the most formidable Spanish garrison in Central Luzon during the first century of the Spanish regime in the Philippines. Fort Paynauen served as a prison not only for the rebellious natives of Zambales but also for Spanish officials who angered the Spanish Governor-General or Archbishop of Manila.
5. Stargazing at Botolan beach
What better way to cap off the day than lying on the sand while watching the stars? Instead of booking a hotel, you can try camping or renting a cottage at the Botolan beach. This way, you can feel nature more, serenading you with the waves’ rhythm, fresh air hugging you, and a good view of the sky. But if this is not your cup of tea, you can check-in at a resort in Botolan Zambales. A great Botolan Zambales beach resort is the Sundowners Botolan.
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