A Fun Time with Friends in Cagbalete Island, Quezon, Philippines
STORY: If you think this is another Cagbalete Island post, well, you're right! There's so much talk about this place for the whole year, it deserves an award as "Anawangin of the Year". Because if you are still googling about this island, then, you have to hurry up before time runs out. Everyone's been Cagbalete Island already.
Roughly 4 hours away from Manila, this gem of an island off the coast of Mauban in Quezon Province, is slowly becoming a hit among Manilenyos. People flock to this island in search of a perfect hideaway from the hectic lifestyle of the capital city. The weather is unpredictable now but if you think the sky will be clear and the sun shining this weekend, you know it's time to head out here quick.
In Cagbalete Island, time stands still. Daytime becomes longer, well, night becomes longer too. Bask in the sun and enjoy the white sandy beach. Write poetry if you are like me, or just think happy thoughts and think less of the worries back home. At night, amaze yourself connecting the stars up in the sky while drinking your favorite drink. Nobody’s here except for hungry travelers like you. Make friends and have a grand time together. You'll have more Facebook friends after, and more Facebook notifications than ever before.
While you’re in Cagbalete Island, here are a six awesome things you can do in this place called paradise! (You know this already, but i took the liberty of writing them down here.)
1. If you’re travelling with your friends and family, nothing is more memorable than shooting fantastic photos of you and the surroundings. Count 1…2…3 and jump! With the island’s vast shoreline, you can’t pick a more perfect place to walk, run and jump. C’est a la vie!
2. Prepare your appetite for you will eat all day long. Tour group operators serve three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner with two snacks in the morning and in the afternoon. There’s a nearby sari-sari store in case you want some refreshments, and well of course alcohol. Mind you, basic stuff are only sold here, so if you’re looking for good ‘ol jack, better bring that bottle here.
3. You’ll get rich picking sand dollars as my girlfriends did. The waters of Cagbalete Island are blessed with dozens of sand dollars littered along the coast. When it’s low tide, they show up like gems so practice your hand-eye coordination and pick the prettiest of them all.
4. Swim if there’s water. During my trip, the waters were pushed way farther out to the sea. So, imagine how I had to walk for close to ten-fifteen minutes before I can find seawater. Only to find out, it's just knee deep. When this happens, try to make the most of the situation and sunbathe till you go red, in this vast expanse of white sand.
5. Still sleep soundly even if air-conditioning is hardly available in this island. Or I should say, relatively unheard of. Sleep in the hammock or in an aged cushion (who cares?) and let the gentle breeze of the ocean lull you to sleep.
6. In an island known to many as a lazy man’s turf, there’s nothing much you can do but get intoxicated. I love a cold ice beer whenever i hit the beach but my friend suggested we try out this fermented raisin tuba (locally made). We finished two 1.5. liter bottles, and still can’t get enough of its flavor. Every shot, every laugh, was well worth it. I needed to take home two bottles, for souvenir.
REALIZATIONS: I love Cagbalete Island but i love the company who i was with more. If you're a lone traveler to this island, it might be a little tricky to tell if you're gonna love it. This island is made for friends, family, and yes...lovers. And if you're looking for a quick beach trip near Manila, Cagbalete Island is the place to be!
If you’re sold on the idea of an awesome trip to Cagbalete, hop on a bus, on a mini-bus and a boat, and you’re in paradise.
How to get there:
Jac Liner/ JAM Liner bus stations are found in Kamias – Edsa/Cubao or in Buendia –Taft (LRT) with hourly trips to Lucena. The cost for the three hour trip is P300. From the Lucena City Grand Terminal, non-aircon mini buses leave every hour bound for Mauban. The trip costs P60. There are also mini vans available but I highly recommend the former for a better view of the mountains and green paddies. Sit on the right side of the bus. From Mauban, asked to be dropped off near the boat terminal. The trip to Cagbalete Island costs P40. Often times, the boat man can drop you off to the resort of your choice. Mine was Villa Cleofas.