Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cagbalete Island, Quezon: Sweet Summer Sailing

Location: Cagbalete Island, Mauban Quezon Philippines
Date: March 24-25, 2012

   Morning stroll along the creamy shore and wind-swept seaside panorama   

"So throw off the bowlines. 
Sail away from the safe harbor. 
Catch the trade winds in your sails. 
Explore. Dream. Discover."

Reasons Why

Nanuk, Rar, and Dal bonding in the colorful katig.

Last year when my friends went to Cagbalete Island in Quezon, I was all broke. 

And since no one was actually willing to "libre" me (hahahah) I have to contend staying at home and wait while my friends upload their pictures... Miserably, I realized the opportunity I've missed.

That was more than a year ago, but the place  and the stigma of being swept away in that enchanting paradise remained. Like a longing waiting to be sated...

Fast forward to March 24, 2012...

I look out from the window of the moving non-aircon bus heading to Mauban, and I saw nothing...

It was pitch dark and the smell of copra filled the  cold air. Around me, the unruly baggage of passengers line the small bus alley. I smiled to myself. In between sleep and sanity, I realized that I'm finally heading to that place I've longed for almost a year.

Cagabalete Island, here I come!

Slumbering Port

We arrived at the port of Mauban Quezon after almost 2 hours. It was a swift ride and we were welcome by the 6.30 am sunrise. The smell of rural life was vivid. 

The sleepy port in the town of  Mauban, silhouetted by the dawning haze.

Beside the port is the town market where the fresh farm goods are stalled. We asked a few locals and found out that the first public boat trip to Cagbalete leaves at around 8am-10am.  With so much time ahead of us, we decided to walk along the boulevard and look for a carinderia. For breakfast, we've eaten a local pancit (whose name I've forgotten).

We were sharing stories in the small carinderia near the port when a local approached us and asked if we'd by chance want to join a group of passengers on a rented boat trip to the island. Rather than wait for the 8-10am scheduled trip, we decided to grab the offer. After a few more minutes, we were already sailing in the calm waters of Lamon Bay. We were huddled amidst a group of passengers (out on a religious trip). Well, beggars can't be choosers, they say.


{ The scenic ride in the heart of Lamon Bay in Quezon en route to the Island.
The sun was just rising and the sound of waves and motor outrigger filled the air }

Passengers have to ride a smaller boat to reach the shores


Island Bliss

 We arrived at the Island after about 45 minutes.  We were treated with a view of clear blue-green water.

From the ferry, passengers will be ushered to a flat boat (boat without "katig") where they have to stand as agile boatmen pull the boat to the shore using a rope.  It was my first time to see something like this. One false move and we will all plunge straight into the water. A cold chill run down my spine as I realized this (there were no vests). 

We were all joking about the experience as we made our way to the shore. For people who are not inclined to walk, a small boat can be rented to the resort. But since were running on a tight budget, we decided to walk. It was a goo 15 minutes of non-stop but leisure walk to Pansacola Beach Resort. 

We were assisted by local guide to the Resort. If one intends to arrive to the resort on time (and without the added adventure of looking for it yourself), then I suggest you get a guide. Not only will it save time, the locals can assist you with your basic questions on where to, how much to, and what to...  Plus, their service doesn't really cost that much. 

There are actually three other resorts in the area, but Pansacola Beach Resort had the best reviews and I couldn't agree more. But if you do intend to choose the place, better reserve a space/cottage beforehand (especially if your choice is going to be on a weekend). Since the place has gained online popularity with travel bloggers, more people flock in the area nowadays (although when we got there, the number of people was tolerable...). 

The owners of the resort were quite approachable and they are keen on maintaining a limited number of people in their area (somehow, they are quite aware of the word carrying capacity).  Also, the resort have the basic amenities good for a weekend getaway with family. There's electricity at night and restroom. I particularly enjoy their tree houses.

We chanced upon a basket of parrot fishes being sold by one of the locals.
We bought some for our lunch.


  1. Hi. I saw in a solitarywanderer's blog your comment that you went to Batanes last August 2013. How was the weather at that month? I need to know coz I'm going there too in August. :-) hope I get a feedback from you

    1. Perfectly fine. It was clear weather all throughout. The sea was calm. the plane ride was smooth. As long as there would be no LPA or tropical depressions, you're good to go.

      However, the week before we went there, many passengers were stranded due to an LPA. Luckily, when we arrived, the sky was clear. I guess, in a tropical country like us, it all boils down to LUCK. so goodluck, fellow traveler. Enjoy your trip.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...