Months of unintentional hiatus and honestly, I don’t know how to start writing this entry. Anyway, here it goes.
Last Wednesday, me and some friends from work went to Calaguas. (Calaguas, where? Here is a Wiki link on Calaguas) We wanted to save money, so we opted to go DIY. I planned our itinerary and budget, thanks to the help of travel bloggers who posted their experience of their Calaguas trip.
We went there by land via bus en route to Daet. We left Cubao at 9 in the evening, and alighted at Talobatib junction, the next day around 4.30 in the morning. From Talobatib, we were supposed to take a bus to Paracale, but apparently, buses bound to Paracale start picking up passengers at 7 in the morning, we decided to take a tricycle instead.
We arrived at the Paracale market at around 6 in the morning and shopped for supplies to be brought to the island. It is important not to forget the following items:
- Eating utensils (paper cup, paper plates, knife, spoon and fork)
- Cooking utensils
- Canned goods (or raw meat for your viand)
- Dishwashing liquid
- Garbage bag
While shopping, I texted our contact person, kuya Nelson (he who owns the boats for rental), letting him know that we were already in Paracale. He waited for us to finish buying our goods and helped us look for potable water. A gallon of water costs P50 but you have to deposit an amount of P200 for the container.
From the Paracale market, we headed to the Paracale fishing port. Let me emphasize that it is a fishing port, so there are no waiting areas for passengers. Simply put, the port is simply a shore where fishermen dock their boats.
Since we are not campers, we do not have our own tent and cooking utensils. For the tent, kuya Nelson let us rent one of his and for the cooking utensils, he lent us some, thanks to his good-natured heart. Ha ha.
Calaguas is a two-hour boat ride from Paracale. Out boat ride experience was quite smooth, contrary to what other bloggers have experienced. And do not fret, the boat comes with life vests.
You’ll know you’re near when the silhouette of the islands become detailed, giving you a truly majestic view.
I seated myself in the most front of the boat, even though I was exposed to the sun, to give me an unobstructed perspective of the sea. How often do you see places such as these?
Ang ganda! We were shouting and jumping when our boat finally docked because, with a sight like this, who’s not to go batshit crazy?
Our boatman even claimed that the water is so clear, you will still be able to see a coin even you are submerged neck-deep into the water. And it is actually true! Even though we didn’t try dropping a coin into the water, the water is indeed crystal, we can certainly see the color of our nail polishes of our feet!
After we have calmed down from our excitement, we looked for a cottage to settle to, set up our tent, and cooked brunch. Cottages range from P300-P350. Tent costs P300 (good for 4-6 persons)
After eating, we rested a little then went for a swim.
Calaguas is not developed commercially (and honestly, I hope it stays that way forever), so there are no bars or activities for you to enjoy, unless you bring your own booze or you bring your own sports equipment. The island has its own volleyball net, so you can bring a volleyball or you can bring your own skimboard or frisbee. You can also bring your own playing cards (just like what my friends did) or you can catch up on sleep and enjoy the fresh air (just like I did).
After swimming, you can wash yourself in the communal bathroom or go hardcore and experience bathing with a poso.
During night time, you can bask at the view of a, literally, star-studded sky. The lights from the cottages do not go off until 11pm.
Next day, the view pretty much stays the same. It is still breathtaking.
Also, during the morning, some locals sweep dried leaves off the shore. It is good knowing that locals do their part to preserve the beauty of the island.
Eventually, we have to snap back to reality, pack our bags and head home.
Our boatman (NOT kuya Nelson) claims he doesn’t know how to take pictures, but I suspect he is just aloof, heh. So we have to take turns in getting our group picture.
Parting is such a sweet sorrow.
Goodbye, wallpaper-isque view.
I am not a beach person because I do not tan nicely and I do not know how to swim (he he) but after this trip, I might have a change of mind. The hassle of the journey overly compensates the picturesque scene and the simple life Calagauas has to offer.
I hope Calaguas stays the same until I come back.
Total damage: P2,500
All photos taken with a Vivitar EZ35 x Fujifilm Fujicolor 200
Kuya Nelson’s contact number is 09095259821