Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, commonly known as "Dolomite Beach", is an artificial beach along Manila Bay in Manila, Philippines, created through the process of beach nourishment.
The man-made beach along Manila Baywalk will be reopened to the public on June 12, coinciding with the celebration of the country’s 124th Independence Day, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Tuesday.
Once it reopens, the DENR said it will allow 1,500 to 3,500 persons at a given time inside the 500-meter span of the dolomite beach to ensure that minimum health protocols are strictly followed.
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Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) Executive Director Jacob Meimban said the dolomite beach reopening is only for visitation, walking, and sunset viewing, and not yet for swimming as water quality is still not within the 100 most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100 mL) standard fecal coliform level.
HOW TO GET TO DOLOMITE BEACH
- To commute from PITX to Manila Bay Dolomite Beach, Ride the Quiapo, Lawton, or Monumento via Roxas Blvd bus. The fare for Aircon bus is ₱25 and the buses operate from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
- To travel from Baclaran to Dolomite beach, you can ride the Divisoria jeepney that will pass by Mabini / Harrison and pay the fare of ₱13. Tell the jeepney to drop you off in Pedro Gil / Robinsons Manila. Then walk or ride the tricycle to Roxas Boulevard (fare: ₱20).
From Edsa, North Ave to Taft
- Passengers coming from North Ave Station going to the Dolomite Beach may ride the MRT to EDSA Taft, then take the LRT going to United Nations (Luneta) or Pedro Gil Station (UP PGH). and then ride the tricycle to Roxas Boulevard (fare: ₱20). If you are planning to walk, it will take you around 20-30 minutes from the LRT station.
- There are two ways to travel from Cubao to Manila Bay Dolomite Beach, 1.) Ride the LRT / FX / Bus from Cubao to Doroteo Jose (Recto Station) and then ride the jeep bound to Baclaran via Mabini / Harison. 2.) Ride the MRT or EDSA Carousel Bus to Taft Avenue, then follow the EDSA Taft instructions above.
From Quiapo / España
- The best way to travel from Quiapo / España to the Dolomite beach is by riding the jeepneys heading to Intramuros or Baclaran via Mabini / Harison. Ask the driver to drop you off in Robinsons Manila. You can also ride the jeepneys going to Manila City Hall or UP PGH then take the tricycle going to the Dolomite Beach.
- Commuters from Guadalupe going to the Dolomite beach may ride the jeepney going to Leon Guinto (L Guinto / Bukid) terminating in Taft Quirino Avenue. Once in taft, you can ride the tricycle to Manila Bay.
- To commute from Alabang to Manila Bay Dolomite Beach, you can ride the Lawton Bus from Starmall Alabang and then take the Bus from Lawton to PITX passing along Roxas Boulevard or ride the PITX Bus from Starmall then ride the Lawton or Monumento Bus via Roxas Boulevard.
- Passengers from Cavite going to the Dolomite Beach may ride the buses or UV Express van headed to Lawton (direct route) or PITX (cutting trip). From PITX, Ride the Quiapo, Lawton, or Monumento via Roxas Blvd bus.
From Laguna / Batangas
- For passengers going to Manila Bay Dolomite beach coming from Calamba, take the P2P bus to Lawton then ride the PITX bus via Roxas Boulevard or Baclaran Jeepney via Mabini / Harison. Passengers from Sta Rosa Laguna or Lipa / Batangas City may ride the Bus to PITX and then ride the bus to Quiapo, Lawton, or Monumento via Roxas Blvd bus.
From Bulacan / Quezon Avenue / Kamuning
- Passengers coming from Bulacan may take the bus to Quezon Avenue / GMA Kamuning then transfer to PITX bus via Taft. Once in Manila City Hall, transfer to a jeepney heading to Baclaran via Mabini / Harison
MANILA BAY REHABILITATION
It is part of an overall integrated coastal zone management aimed at coastal defense of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation project. When completed, the beach will cover a total length of 900 meters of Manila Baywalk.
It is an integral part of the integrated coastal zone management aimed at coastal defense of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation. Budget for the project was approved prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CRUSHED DOLOMITE FROM CEBU TO MANILAWorks on the project began in August 2020, when the government issued a permit to Philippine Mining Service Corporation to transport crushed dolomite from Alcoy, Cebu to Manila. Dolomite mining operations were suspended in September 2020.
Dolomite Beach was created through the process of beach nourishment, which a common practice in the creation of beaches around the world. Upon the extraction of debris in the 500 meters (1,600 ft) portion of the baywalk from the Manila Yacht Club to the United States Embassy in Manila, the project proponents dumped two layers of ordinary sand before overlaying it with crushed dolomite.
DOLOMITE BEACH OPENING
The beach was first opened to the public from September 19 to 20, 2020. Afterwards, it was closed again for expansion.
Originally, the beach was to be completed by December 2020, but it was pushed back in 2021. On January 17, 2021, DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda stated that the overlaying of crushed dolomite for a 500-meter portion of the beach will take one to two months to complete.
After the onslaught of Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) in November, the beach was dumped with garbage, with the DENR denying reports that the dolomite was washed away, saying that black sand was washed in to the beach. After a series of typhoons in late 2020, the DENR replenished the beach with a new batch of crushed dolomite rock.
A new coat of dolomite sand was laid over the beach in April 2021.
On July 18, 2021, the beach was reopened to the public without an announcement. By September 2021, an entrance arch was installed bearing the name of the site: "Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach". The beach was opened again on October 17, 2021.
DOLOMITE BEACH TO BOOST TOURISM WHILE PROTECTING MANILA BAY
According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the project will benefit tourism, commerce and the environment. It will also protect coastal properties from erosion and storm surges and beach nourishment are preferred projects over hard beach stabilizing structures (such as seawalls and groynes). The Department of Health released a statement that the use of dolomite is not a known health hazard.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has maintained that the dolomite used to create the beach poses no harm to the Manila Bay's ecosystem The laying of dolomite has been suspected as a possible cause for a fish kill on September 17, 2020, near the waters of the Baseco Compound.
The DENR countered the claim, saying that the fish kill happened 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) away from the beach and cited the prevalence of the southwest monsoon at that time, and the presence of a breakwater between the site and adjacent waters of the beach that prohibits the transfer of sand.
A HABITAT TO LIVE ORGANISMS
As with other beach nourishment projects, the area can serve as additional habitat for a number of species such as sea turtles, as well as sea birds and beach flora. When the beach was first opened to the public, a flock of egrets were seen at the beach area.
In February 2021, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources reported significant drop of fecal coliform level in the waters around the beach.
Fecal coliform level in Manila Bay dropped from 7.16 million most probable number per 100 milliliters (mpn/100ml) in 2020 to 4.87 million mpn/100ml in February 2021, while the fecal coliform level around the beach has dropped from 2.2 million mpn/100ml last January 4 to 523,000 mpn/100 ml on February 8, based on the average count from three monitoring stations. However, the level is still far from the ideal 100 mpn/100ml for coastal waters.
THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CITIZENS' SUPPORT
The project has received support from the Manila city government led by Mayor Isko Moreno. President Rodrigo Duterte also voiced his support to the project. Likewise, Secretary Roy Cimatu, seeing the throngs of people during the September 2020 opening, said that the project received the overwhelming support of the general public.
On its partial opening in September, people crowded the beach and the nearby area that physical distancing were not properly observed.
Vloggers have been posting positive updates regarding the project, which DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda cited as an "effective way in informing the public" about the project.
... AND CRITICISMS
The project received criticism from activists, environmentalists, and heritage conservationist groups. These criticisms include the timing of the project which was implemented amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns of adverse environmental effects caused by laying dolomite on the polluted Manila Bay.
Three senators also voiced their opposition for the project: Nancy Binay, Risa Hontiveros and Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan. Binay cited the lack of public consultation for the project, as well as the lack of study regarding the effects of the use of dolomite sands. Both Hontiveros and Pangilinan argued that the funds for the project should have been used on public health and relief goods.
Akbayan filed a case for the Supreme Court to penalize the Department of Environment and Natural Resources because of the project, but the petition was junked.
When asked about the criticism that the money spent on the project could have been better spent on response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that he does not "buy that argument" because caring for the people's mental health is also needed, pointing out that if people will visit the beach, the mental health effects to the people cannot be quantified.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Dolomite Beach
- 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 tayong five minute rule, maximum 15 minutes depende sa numero ng tao, meron po tayong limitasyon ng individuals na papapasukin," said Department 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,.
- Is dolomite good for beach?
Dolomite will protect coastal properties from erosion and storm surges and beach nourishment are preferred projects over hard beach stabilizing structures (such as seawalls and groynes). The Department of Health released a statement that the use of dolomite is not a known health hazard.
- Is dolomite sand harmful?
Despite the fact that the material is typically considered non-toxic in the construction industry, some studies have linked high levels of dolomite dust exposure to respiratory diseases
- How much does dolomite Beach cost?
The Manila Bay dolomite beach project costs P389 million, with P28 million used for overlay of crushed dolomite turned into sand. It opened last July, with people allowed on the “sand” for only five minutes.
- What are the benefits of dolomite sand?
The DENR chief, who has repeatedly defended the use of dolomite sand against critics, said the dolomite sand actually “cleans the water” of the Manila Bay, prevents erosion, and increases the width of the beach.
- 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.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN MANILA
Walking Tour Dolomite Beach Manila
Here’s a sample walking tour in Manila including the Dolomite Beach. You can choose to start off first in the Dolomite beach or have it as the last leg and watch the sunset in Manila Bay. This is a total of 8 kilometer and can be finished in one day. You can end your tour in Intramuros / Manila Cathedral.
- Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach, Roxas Blvd (Free Entrance)
- Manila Ocean Park (Entrance Fee: varies)
- Kilometer Zero / Quirino Grandstand (Free Entrance)
- Rizal Monument (Free Entrance)
- Rizal Park (Free Entrance)
- National Museum (Free Entrance)
- Liwasang Bonifacio (Free Entrance)
- Metropolitan Theater (Free Entrance)
- Jones Bridge (No Entrance)
- Fort Santiago (Entrance Fee: 75) closes at 5:00 PM
- Manila Cathedral / Intramuros
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