(Warning:This post might be ‘weeheehoo-ahihi-full-post’, I’m sorry I think I will never get over Calaguas Island)
First of all, I would just like to thank the following peepz:
*Mr. Kent Balbino, for taking this beautiful shot in Calaguas. (We just accidentally saw the pic in Flickr and wondered where this place is. And, hmm.. I used the pic as my desktop wallpaper for 2 weeks to be my inspiration:P )*Lakwatsero for your entry about this wonderful island.
*And of course, Chyng, Thank you so much for your very detailed entry. Thanks for answering my inquiries as well. Anyway, Mang Buboy knows you, they gave us a discount. Weeheehoo!Lovet! 🙂
Now. Let’s start. For real!
When we saw the picture in Flickr, though we promised ourselves we are not going out this month. Haaaist, automatically we just found ourselves trying to look for details on how to go to Calaguas the next day.
Here were the options that we thought of on how to go to Daet, Camarines Norte:
There is no direct flight to Daet, Camarines Norte. So we tried to book a ticket to Legaspi or Naga. Check this links:AirphilExpress, CebuPacific, Philippine Airlines, and SEAir. Unfortunately, there were no longer seat sale for the month of June, neither Cebu Pacific nor AirPhilippines has it. With a limited budget, we decided to reserve seats in Amihan Bus of Philtranco (even it means it will consume our 24-hours for a roundtrip ride).
You can either take Philtranco or Amihan Bus to Daet.
Schedule and ticket price of Philtranco Lines.
For reservations, you can send an email to email@example.com. You may also book by phone and talk to a Philtranco representative. You may call 851-8077, 851-8078, or 851-8079 (Pasay Terminal). For Daet to Manila trip, you may contact (054)571-2718 or (054)440-2148.
Schedule and ticket price of Amihan Bus.
Daet is 350.8 kms from Manila so prepare yourself for a 9-hour roadtrip. Approximately in 4 hrs, you will reach Quezon National Park. An hour and so from Quezon, you will see the long stretch of beachside road along Maharlika Highway. For another hour, you will then experience the ultimate zigzag road in Atimonan which is famously known as Bitukang Manok.
*Take SLEX, in Canlubang Exit, pass the bridge and take a right at the Batangas/Lucena signage to get into Maharlika Highway.
*First stop is Brgy. Turbina, Calamba; take a left at the intersection after passing the town of Sto. Tomas.
*To head to Bicol, you will pass through the towns of Alaminos, San Pablo, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya on to Lucena City.
*In Lucena City, you will pass through the towns of Pagbilao, Atimonan, Plaridel through Gumaca
*Then after Sta. Elena, Camarines Norte, you’ll need to take Calauag, Tagkawayan, Sta. Elena, Labo, Talisay, then finally Daet.
And, luckily, that morning of June 8, before we leave, my parents were able to rent a van for P4000.00 exclusive of gas which was around Php2,500. We grabbed that offer. And since the driver is used of driving to Bicol, that means our travel time will be cut down, and of course our expenses too. :))
Howkey! So on the way to Camarines Norte, my heart was really pounding, wishing for a very good weather. I am quite scared because for the past 2 weeks PAG-ASA kept on saying that it’s already the start of the Rainy Season. It is also said that the waves and weather in Cam Nor is just good up until May, but oh! We badly need to go to Calaguas NOW!!! Since, We’ve seen the picture of Calaguas, I never got a good sleep. So even the rain start pouring here in the city, it didn’t stop us.
We left around 10pm of June 8, after 9 hours, we reached Daet. From the town of Daet, there are 2 Jump-Off Points to Calaguas known as the Vinzons and Paracale Port. Vinzons is mostly taken by travelers who took off a plane from Naga Airport. Boat Rental Fee in Vinzons is much higher than those in Paracale. So for those budget travelers, I recommend to take Paracale Port instead.
At Paracale Port, there are a few boatmen who will offer their boat to Calaguas w/ sidetrips to Maculabo and Cumalasag Island. Your rent fee should include at least a sidetrip to Maculabo Island. You can contact Mang Rolly 0920-5342129 or Mang Nelson 0939-8351453. Boat Rate: Php2500.00/4pax, Php3000.00/6pax, Php7000.00/20pax.
When we arrived at Paracale, we met up w/ Kuya Buboy, our textmate for the past 2 weeks now. He is the owner of the boats of Mang Nelson and Mang Rolly. At first he was giving the boat for Php3500.00 but w/ faith and the determination to go to Calaguas, I decided to use my convincing power, and *poof!* the boat fee went down to Php2,600 for a group of 6 w/ free life vests. (They usually charge Php20-50.00/vest). That fee already includes a trip to Maculabo Island. For those who are traveling by car, you can park your cars at Kuya Roland’s House for Php250.00. Kuya Roland is the brother of Mang Buboy.
Friendly Tip: Try to haggle, but take Kuya Buboy’s offer. Anyways, you can take some nap in his place while you’re charging your cellphones or ipods. You can also use their comfort room before and after your trip to Calaguas for a shower. Ate Mary, the daughter of Mang Buboy will also bring you to Paracale Market if you need to buy something. Ate Linda, the wife of Mang Buboy will also help you pack your things. And take note: these are all for FREE 🙂 (Yah, I know that’s a lot of names, but that would help during the negotiation part. More names that you mention, more chances of winning! :P)
So while some of my friends are loading our things on the boat, I headed to Paracale Market, it is just a few blocks away where you can buy some rice, pang-ihaw, etc.
Weeheehoo!And now off to Calaguas! 😀
Important:The weather and waves in Calaguas are just good from January-June. Boatmen say that the waves go wild from July to December(wherein people can’t enjoy the beach and a boatride is said to be dangerous).
The boatride is approximately around more than 2 hours. The locals in Barangay Paracale told us that it has been raining for a couple of days now, but you know the good news is? They said that even it has been raining hard in Paracale, it seems that the storm doesn’t go up to Calaguas. And yes, it’s true, that day, the weather was so good! The waves were very calm, you won’t even see a two-inch-high wave!!
(I’m just really so amazed the water is deep blue. And *Poinkz!* im not wearing a life vest. Tsktsk!)
Just so you know, Calaguas is actually a group of four islands, and around 11-12 islets in the Pacific. Tinaga Island which is named Mahabang Buhangin by the locals has the most favored white sand beach shore. Mahabang Buhangin, from its name, is a long strip of fine white sand with rocks on both ends and a hill on the left side.
On the way, you’ll also be asked which part of Mahabang Buhangin your group will stay. There’s really a charge for the maintenance fee of the island. There’s no resorts there, just 3 small cottages made of nipa. Boatmen will recommend for your group to stay in Mang Berto’s but he charges Php150.00 because it has colored flags on the area. Hehe Of Course I have an immediate response to that “Kuya, dun na lang kami sa walang bayad o kaya sa Fifty Pesos!” 🙂
End of Daydreaming. At Last! Weeheehoo!!
(Warning:the following pictures are understatement of our new found paradise – this island is really far different from the beach of Bora. Shots are unedited.)
Calaguas is very amazing. The first time I set my foot on the island, I was mesmerized and I just kept on running and running and feeling that very fine powdery sand on my feet. I just kept on shouting “Wow!”. The island is not beautiful, it is very beautiful that I think any adjectives would not really describe it enough. Yeah, I can say, Calaguas is a Paradise.
We were so excited to have a dip in the clear blue water, we hurriedly set-up our tents nearby.After we had our lunch, that was the only time when we realized that we need to fetch some water from the poso so we can wash our plates and hands too.We don’t have any detergent or sponge so we used the sand and malunggay leaves to clean our plates.
I So Love Calaguas!
This place is really just so awesome. The water is so clear and blue.There are no pebbles, stones, shells or whatever on the sand. It is just a pure fine white sand. There is also no weeds on the sea bed so for those people who get irritated and shocked, or to those people who hurries to go back to the shore whenever they felt that there are some weeds on their feet, OMG! This island is for you.
And the best part is – we were the only guests in Calaguas Island for that day so we can just run, shout, play and happily wear our two-piece.
There’s a lot of things that you can do here:
You can also go fishing w/ the boatmen and get some big crabs…
Sunset in Calaguas – hmmm.. I was not that able to capture a good sunset here since it is too cloudy on the other side, that part of Paracale. I only have some few shots.
After dinner, we just spent our night drinking some cold beer, stargazing and wishing to some falling stars. Kaka was right, you’ll see a falling star almost every minute whenever you are on a beach since the night sky is so clear.
Before we left the island, I thanked the family who takes care of Mahabang Buhangin. We also paid Php50.00/each for the maintenance fee. She was supposed to charge me P50.00 for the bamboo table that we used, but since I only have a few bucks left, Ate Glazel gave it to me for free.
The locals there were just really so great and nice. I told Ate Glazel that I’m gonna put this pic on the internet and she agreed. 🙂 By the way if ever that you got thirsty or the water that you brought w/ you is not enough, Ate Glazel sells some drinks. Sparkle(Spar-kol’) is for Php15.00 and a 1 Liter of Wilkins Mineral Water is for Php110.00. Yeah, a bit too pricey since these items are being bought from Barangay Paracale (a 2hour ride from this Island, remember?). You can also contact Ate Glazel so you can ask if the waves in Calaguas are all good (I can give you her number when I find my mini-notebook).
This is our last pic in Calaguas. Hehe A supposed-to-be-successful-jump-shot. It was already raining and we already need to leave the island. It was just the first time that it rained in Calaguas, and they said that it is the start of the Typhoon Season here. Thank God gave us the chance to witness and enjoy this wonderful paradise, it has been the most unforgettable trip ever. 🙂
Next Stop: Maculabo Island 🙂