This post is so overdue! Hello again, wordpress! 🙂
Local backpackers and netizens have been raving about this island. Tour providers have sprung out of Facebook offering their services for people who want to visit this place. I have been wanting to know what the fuss is about. So, I organized for myself, some of my college friends and our respective partners to spend the “Holy Week” vacation lounging in the sands of Calaguas Island.
It;s quite a long way from Manila! Is it worth the hassle? Yes.
The beautiful pictures of Calaguas Island that you find in Google is exactly how it looks like! Fine, creamy sand and torquoise, clear waters.
I went to Anawangin Cove last year. It was a nice camping spot until people have flocked in it. Unlike Anawangin, Calaguas Island is too big and can accommodate too many campers without being so crowded. It also have many trees for shed. Also, and probably the best thing about it, is that locals try very hard to keep the island pristine by having assigned people to take care of the island. Every now and then, we see people that collect trash and they strictly keep the passenger boats docked away from the shore so the guests can swim freely.
We availed of the package for 3days and 2nights from TravelAndSand (excellent service, delicious food, highly recommended!) for P3,700.00 per head. The tour included full board buffet meals, local alcoholic drinks during socials night (and a comedy show!), water, unlimited coffee, tents, 2-way transportation and transfers and a side trip to Bagasbas Surf Beach. To the “hardcore travelers” who think they are more of a traveler because they rough it out than those who take packages,well, you can suck on the delicious food prepared for us. And do know that while you are struggling to make fire to cook food, our time is being used already for beach bumming and swimming. Sometimes you have to buy the convenience because the point anyway is for you to relax and have a vacation.
To reach the island, we took an overnight bus from Manila (DLTBCo Pasay Station) to Daet, Camarines Norte and took a 2-hour boat ride to the island – from mangrove rivers to the open sea. It was quite bumpy and there’s a part of the sea where the waves are really huge. Our boatman took real good care of us though and knew how to handle waves well 🙂
Upon reaching the island, we were settled in by the trip coordinator. We were asked to choose our spot from their share of land (we chose the tents pitched under the trees) then we were called in for lunch.
Smorgasbord! They always serve really good dishes and good selections! There’s always a variety of viands and fresh fruits to choose from.
And at night, they give out a free comedy show and overflowing local drinks! Sooo fun!
My friend and Miss Universe 2013 3rd Runner Up Ara Arida (present that trip) also graced the show.
The next morning, we were ushered to a trek up to the hill for a top view of the island. The trek and the view is breathtaking!
After the trek, we spent the rest of the day beaching and bumming and playing cards.
The next day, we said our goodbye to Calaguas and headed for Bagasbas Beach (included in the package). We were settled in by our tour provider at a restaurant infront of the beach, where we were served our lunch. Some of us took proper baths (also included in the tour!) and some of us went surfing. Since we are with Ara, we were given a special spot at the rooftop of the restaurant. The wind is blazing! Some of us slept after lunch 🙂 Then headed home by 6pm. We reached Manila again by around 3 o’clock in the morning the next day.
What we love about this vacation:
– No phone signal – which can be a Con to some, too. But for me, it was bliss and just detoxing for me, personally. A complete escape from the usual busy routine.
– Wind is blazing! I did not mind at all having no electric fan or aircon
– The sand and the beach are both amazing!
– Our travel provider is amazing! P3,700 per person for 3 full days is beyond worth it.
– Clean beach area, clean seas. It’s like being in touch with nature again.
What we love a little less about this vacation:
It’s quite tasking to clean yourself. Of course, this is expected in a camping trip 🙂
Will I go there again?:
It’s not too accessible and I think the one time is already enough but will recommend this experience to other people