You can ride a Florida bus that goes straight to Pagudpud. The Florida bus terminal is located at Lacson Street on the opposite side of UST in Manila.
They have two trip schedules, 8:30 and 9:30pm. The fare is Php 600 and 10 hours travel time. Florida buses have portalets inside so you don’t have to wait for stopovers when you need to pee. When you get to Pagudpud, tell the bus conductor that you’re going to the white beach and he will call a tricycle that will take you the beach for 50 pesos.
Where to stay?
There are a lot of fancy hotels within the beach area with all the amenities of a standard hotel such as TV, refrigerator, wifi, generator, etc. If you need a place that has spacious rooms, a toilet and bathroom, aircon, two beds, but no TV, no generator, reasonable rates then try Northridge resort. Their peak rate is Php 1000/day.
What to expect?
The water has a lot of floating seaweeds that makes it look dirty. Most parts are like that and it’s like swimming in Manila Bay with all the floating plants. The waves are strong so if you don’t know how to swim, you’re better off renting a life vest just to be sure that you don’t drown. At night time, at about 7pm to 9pm there is a fluctuation in electricity and the appliances run slow not to mention the intermittent brownouts. But it goes back to normal at 9pm onwards. There are a number of tourist spots around the area such as the Kabigan Falls, Bangui Wind Farm, Patapat Viaduct, Maira-ira (blue lagoon) etc. You can hire a tricycle to take you on a tour from a minimum of Php 400 pesos for a tour to Kabigan and Maira-ira to a maximum of Php 1000 if you intend to visit all the tourist spots. You can also hire a local boatman for a boat ride or for snorkeling although there’s really nothing amazing to see under these waters.
Where to dine?
Most of the restaurants that we’ve tried took so long to serve our order. We’ve always waited about an hour or so for our food to arrive. But there is a restaurant called Casablanca Seaside Grille (restaurant of Terra Rika Resort) that serves your order fast plus the staff are polite and courteous.
How to get back to Manila?
If you intend to ride the Florida bus back to Manila, the trip schedule is also at night. But if you intend to leave in the morning, you have to ride a tricycle and tell the driver you’ll be going to Laoag. You’ll be taken in front of the Pagudpud municipal hall where mini-buses going to Laoag pass by. The fare is 70 pesos. In Laoag, you have two choices either to Manila or Cubao. If you want to go to Manila, ride the Fariñas bus. For the Cubao route then ride the Partas bus. Either way, just ask a local tricycle driver in Laoag to take you the terminal of these bus liners. If you choose to ride the Partas bus, you’ll be happy to know that it’s like riding a plane. It has spacious reclining seats with foot rest and overhead controls (lights, stop buzzer, aircon, etc.). The staff at the Partas Laoag terminal ticket booth was not nice though. They could use a little training in customer service and public relations. The fare for the Laoag to Cubao trip is Php 701. The trip takes up to 11 hours because of many stopovers, traffic along the way as many roads are being repaired.