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Say it with us: our country is hella beautiful. There’s never a shortage for beaches to spend lazy holidays here, or mountains to traverse for action-packed adventures.

With Boracay and Palawan charming the socks off the world, comes another secluded beach to discover.

PINK

Down south, in Zamboanga, lies Las Islas de Santa Cruz, a pink sand beach that the Department of Tourism is looking to develop as a backpacker’s destination.

Las Islas de Santa Cruz is a 3,425-hectar marine reserve believed to be bigger than everybody’s favorite party island Boracay. Its turned pink because crushed red coral pieces is mixed with its white sand.

According to Manila Bulletin, it was operated by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise (TIEZA) and was turned over to the Zamboanga City government in 2011.

At the Pink Sand Beach, brave visitors can go on a lagoon tour, interact with jellyfish, and taste fresh sea grapes. There’s also some shopping to be had—pearls and precious stones, imported from Malaysia, are also available—if you’re done with adventure.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo recently visited the island to “show the world that Zamboanga is safe,” she said.

Adds Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick ALegre, “it’s so accessible. This is what global tourists want nowadays.”

From Manila, visitors can take an hour and forty-minute flight to Zamboanga city. From the airport, make your way to Paseo del Mar, where you’ll take a 20-minute boat ride to the Pink Sand Beach. There’s an entrance fee of P100 per person.

According to Pinoy Adventurista, the city government of Zamboanga has started developing the island, building low-impact and important structures such as cottages, a huge comfort room and a nice shower area for guests. They are also only low-impact activities so that the island can remain pristine. No restaurants are in place, but not to worry: You’re in an island. Locals are there to sell seafood, which you can have them cook.

[Photo: Pinksandbeachatzamboanga.blogspot.com/Manila Bulletin]

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