The nearest white sand beach to Manila is right on her shores. Manila Bay has a white sand beach that is purely made of shells. There was a time when this beach stretched from Ermita to Pasay. Early American era photographs and a Fabian de la Rosa painting show Pasay Beach at sunset. Pasay Beach was a favourite bathing beach of locals and colonials where the World Trade Center is now. We can imagine from this September 2007 photo of the "US Embassy Beach" near the northernmost end of Baywalk what it may have looked like. The picture reeks of nostalgia that is until you smell the sewage and see the garbage!
Sorry to take you out of nostalgia ville, this is what this white sand beach really looks like! Under piles of trash is the white sand.
If we can just clean up the bay then Manila can give Boracay a run for its money! Sometimes I wish I was born in the early 1900s if just to see what Manila was. But what we have are the sepia and colorized photos and paintings. This stretch of Manila shore was fringed by Pandanus plants as you can see in the de la Rosa painting. Manila Catholic history tells us that the first icon of the Virgin in the Philippines the "Virgen de Guia" was found on the beach amongst the fronds of the Pandanus plants where the Ermita Church is now.