Calaguas Island: A beach that’s within a reach
Camarines Norte, Bicol, Philippines
A quick gateway from a busy week. It was a two days and one night stay at the island. My sister and I joined a tour which I think is much cheaper than having to go there on your on considering the budget, familiarity of the place and of course the effort you would put in on driving your own car. The thing when you are on a tour, you can meet new friends and most probably making yourself comfortable during the travel.
We left from Metro, Manila Friday night it is an eight hour travel to Paracale Port, Camarines Norte, Bicol it is the port where you will ride a boat going to the island. The journey was actually I bit exciting because we are on van with people whom we just met and that you would be hanging out for the two days. Our van was comprises of a couple, the three marias (as we call them), me and my sister, the owner of the tour company and of course our driver (which is much younger than any of us, but he is a pro). We call our team as the “Team Eco Friendly” because non of us smoke during the stop overs unlike the other van we are with. During the journey to Camarines Norte we had a few stop overs since the lady from the other van was a “balikbayan” (returnees) in the Philippines, so we stop to eat and bought some fruits. The good thing about her she didn’t forget about us, because we are included on the things that she bought like the fruits and the drinks.
As we arrived at the Paracale Port it is morning and it takes two hours of boat travel, make it a point that before you take the boat ride make sure that your things are well covered and your skin. You may want to put your belongings in a plastic bag or a waterproof bag because as you approach the island the splashing of ocean water is everywhere and make sure you put on you sunblock lotions. Before you can go the Calaguas Island you hace to sign the manifesto at the port and making sure you bought all the necessary things you needed before heading. The boat ride was a little bumpy and sleepy because all you can see is water. And for your safety wear the life vest.
The View was totally amazing because I haven’t seen a beach like that. The water was clear enough that you can see the sand under it. The sand was white and powdery. As we approach the island the wave was a bit big that the boat was unable to land a little further to the sands, we have no choice but to jump from it that is why before you leave the Paracale port you have to change on a proper attire so you won’t be worry of getting wet. Since it is the summer season in the Philippines the island was a little bit crowded and you can see tents everywhere.
The accommodation was also an adventure because you will have to stay on a tent, it was a ok because the sand under it is fine. And the night that we slept was not that hot, the good thing by that time is that the wind breeze was cold enough for a good night sleep. TIP: If you are travelling on an island you should always bring a light weight bedding or a comforter (which ever you prefer). The pillow won’t be a problem because you can always use you bags but make sure you don’t have any breakable inside. The cons on staying on a tent was you have to keep safe you precious belongings that’s why it is a necessity for a beach lover to buy a water proof bag because even if you are on the beach you can bring it with you and keeping it safe and sound from water and other people. By the way since we are on a tour the tent was provided for us but you can rent it from the people living on the island. One more thing, there’s a fee on using of the bathroom since it is hard for the water to fill. The bathroom from where we took a shower we charged ten pesos per pail of water so it took me almost four of it.
The food was not that a problem because it was included on the tour package that we availed. Since it is a Bicol province the food was a bicol themed, there’s laing (famous bicol delicacy of spicy vegetable dish cooked in Coconut milk), a bicol express (dish made of pork cubes braised in coconut milk and chili peppers.) and a lot more. The food that we ate was cooked by the people who lived there and the good thing about it you can asked the if they have caught some lobsters, luckily by that time they had. The lobsters was not included on the package food, we just equally divided the cost among us. That is the first time I’ve eaten a lobsters since it is costly at Metro,Manila compare to Calaguas Island. We had so much fun eating because almost all of us don’t know how to eat or even open it, we even asked the man who cooked it on how to eat it.
The beach was actually what I would expect it to be, since I have into may beaches. The water was clear and there’s no itchy on your skin while you swim. And the depth of it was reachable enough that you can swim freely even if there’s a lot of people. The boats was also put on the other side so that the travelers could enjoy the the full potential of the beach. Just enjoy the sun, sand and the water.
I would come back and definitely recommend it to others. And also will try to remind them on the things that should kept in mind. The tips and some insights on how to survive and enjoy Calaguas Island. The experience and the friendship would be forever be treasured.