The Manila Bay Dolomite Beach has been attracting a number of visitors, but before you plan your trip to the controversial place, here are a number of things you need to know.
The man-made beach reopened to the public on Saturday, Oct. 16, and received a record 25,000 visitors trooping to the 8,000-square meter area on Oct. 24. The influx comes as lockdown restrictions in Metro Manila, which is under Alert Level 3, are now gradually being eased as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to decline.
Although restrictions allow fully vaccinated individuals to travel on an interzone and intrazone basis, the Department of Health (DOH) said that safety restrictions will remain in place in Manila Bay to prevent a superspreader event.
“Kailangan po nilang ma-regulate ito pong mga taong nagpupunta kasi kahit po binuksan na natin ang ating mga areas for this kind of activities kasi outdoor naman, pero ang mass gathering po hindi pa rin po ‘yan pinapayagan dapat,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told DZMM Teleradyo.
"Sinabi kapag Alert Level 3, ang outdoors natin 50% capacity. 'Yung nakita natin nung weekend, hindi po 'yun 50% capacity," she added.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque also reminded the public against overcrowding.
"Hindi pa po pupuwede talagang magpasyal-pasyal ang mga bata. Sa unang-una nananawagan po kami sa ating mga kababayan," Roque said. "Pandemya pa po. Bagma't bumababa po ang mga kaso natin eh nandiyan pa po si COVID-19. So huwag po tayo magpabaya."
'PANDEMYA PA PO'— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) October 25, 2021
After thousands flock to Manila's dolomite beach, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded the public that there is still an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Roque also reminded parents that minors are only allowed outside for essential activities. pic.twitter.com/HwyoHBzUND
Still thinking of visiting Manila Bay? Here's what you need to know.
What are the operation hours?
Manila Bay Dolomite Beach is open from 8 AM to 11 AM, and 2 PM to 6 PM daily.
How much is the entrance fee?
There is no entrance fee to visit the artificial beach, which cost a total of P389 million to put up, with P28 million used for overlay of crushed dolomite mineral to be turned into sand.
Are children allowed?
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced on Oct. 25 that children below 12 years old are no longer allowed in the dolomite beach.
Do I need to be fully vaccinated to enter the premises?
No, but face masks are required. Face shields, on the other hand, are optional.
Can I visit during the holidays?
It will be closed on All Saints' Day and All Souls’ Day from Oct. 29 to Nov. 3.
How many people can the beach hold?
The man-made beach can accommodate around 4,000 to 5,000 people at a time.
How long can I stay on the beach?
Visitors can stay on the dolomite beach for five minutes, with a maximum limit of 15 minutes.
"Meron po tayongfive minute rule, maximum 15 minutesdepende sa numero ng tao, meron po tayong limitasyon ngindividualsna papapasukin," saidDepartment of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año on Oct. 27, after there had been calls to implement stricter health protocols.
What's a good time to visit?
It varies with each visit, but crowd build-up usually starts at around 5 PM.
"That is the crucial time because we learned that many want to see the sunset in the bay area,” said Manila Bay Coordinating Office's Jacob Meimban Jr,.
LOOK: Crowds gather as they wait for the famous Manila Bay sunset at the Manila Dolomite Beach during its second day being open on Sunday.— Philstar.com (@PhilstarNews) October 18, 2021
📷: STAR/Miguel de Guzman pic.twitter.com/FEJ5OjCk6O
Can I swim in the waters?
No, but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Environment and International Environment Affairs Jonas Leones said that it could be possible by the end of the year.
“Though people are allowed to visit the beach, swimming is still prohibited since there are still ongoing works to make the bay’s water quality fit for swimming,” Leones said. “Apart from making sure that enough dolomite sand has been put in place, we are continuously checking drainage outfalls discharging into Manila Bay."
Are pets allowed?
Can I bring food and drinks to eat while watching the sunset?
No, visitors are only allowed to roam the area and take photos to their hearts' content.