Overview: Cagbalete Island, a famous beach island which is a part of Mauban, Quezon. Mauban is 147 km. from Manila and 40 km. from Lucena City, the capital of Quezon Province.
The first time i’ve heard about this island is just through a post on Facebook. A friend liked an event hosted by Layag Malaya Backpackers, and seeing it got me interested. I researched everything I need to know about the island, and even created travel plans and expenses. But due to limited information, still, and the knowledge of spending more on island hopping by myself, I decided to join the event instead. Last minute decisions and talks, with the help of the summer heat, I convinced a few friends to join me on the trip.
We met up with the rest of the group at Buendia/EDSA Shell gasoline station @2am left at about 2:45 and traveled for only 4 hours approx. Even though most of the participants are already taking a nap, you can still feel how fast we are traveling even in our dreams. The part of Quezon, where roads are winding left and right, we are holding tight and feet firmly planted, just to stay on our seats. It was a fun ride, I can say for myself.
Yayyyy! we are already at Mauban Port, and this statue greets us together with the ray of sunshine and the breeze of the sea wind plus the fishy scent. We just arrived and we are all excited.
The other team (Van), is still out of sight, so we decided, in different groups, to stretch our legs and roam around the port. Me and my friends looked for something to eat and coffee!!!
We found a 7/11 store, had a coffee and a hotdog sandwich for breakfast and bought things we might still need in the island, because buying it there is far more expensive.
It is a weekend and a few days before Holy Week, so the influx of local tourists are there. With the influx of visitors and the summer season, here comes the additional information that I should have known. Boat going to Cagbalete Island, NOW, has multiple trips within a day. The biggest of the public boat ( I forgot the name haha ), starts the earliest trip at 8:45am but cost more for P100/pax, other 2 public boats cost P50. All 3 boats have 3 trips to and forth Cagbalete and have a 30mins interval in between each other.
The sea is very calm so it just took us about 45mins from Mauban port to Cagbalete Island. The sun is up, but the calm waves and the gust of cool sea wind made the travel very relaxing, and gave us enough time to recharge and take a nap. Right after the big boat stopped near the port, I already wanted to jump, and enjoy VitaminSEA.
The turquoise blue water + fine white sand (almost white), Cagbalete exceeded my expectation, and “I’m Lovin’ It”.
From the port, we walked about 20mins going to Pansacola Beach Resort. Right after arriving, we asked for the right place to pitch our tent, and get busy right away. Pitched the tent, prepared our swimming clothes, sunblock sunblock sunblock, and then looked for something to eat.
The sun is far too hot when we arrived, so we just decided to rest for a while, enjoy our lunch in a slow pace while chatting with the rest of the group, get to know them and have fun. The guys started right away, opened a bottle of rum + cola, and get the jamming started.
I can’t stand waiting for the sun to set, before we get wet. So at about 3pm, we care less about the heat of the sun, and explored the island.
The shoreline is shallow enough to have a safe and good swim, a combination of sea weeds, course to fine sand, and a few stones in between. At 3pm it is still high tide, sandbars are still covered with water up to knee high deep. You can see multiple sandbars with fine white sands within the island shoreline. Shoreline stretches around the whole (mostly) island, and connected quite well, so you can just walk going to other resorts and around the island.
After countless photos and walked along the shoreline for 2-3 kilometers and stroll, swim, stroll and swim again for more than 2 hours, we got tired, decided to head back to our resort, washed and get ready for dinner. After watching the sun to set, had our dinner and watched a little bit of entertainment from the local poi dancers, it is time to go to bed and get ready for another Sun, sand and sea’full day tomorrow.
Day 2: Woke up early as per usual, ME time to enjoy the beach and the silence with only the sound of waves crashing the shores while waiting for the sun to rise. Just a tumbler of coffee in my hand, I sat on the sand, alone, absorbing the warmth of the rising sun and the peacefulness of the morning.
From the night before, me and my friends already decided that we will extend one more day. Booked a cottage on the other resort and also booked an island hopping tour with breakfast and lunch, just for ourselves. Boat came at about 8am, said our goodbyes to the group and brought all of our things with us as well. Island hopping time.
We arranged the tour with Kuya Toto, my friend already booked him last time they where here, and he is highly recommendable. His wife, is a cook, and you can arrange for them to cook for you, cooking is free of charge, you just have to pay for the ingredients, and Kuya Toto will give you the detailed list of ingredients and how much it cost. You can contact him thru his mobile number : 0908-717-2962.
Breakfast is served on the boat on our way to our destination. First stop, is the picturesque Cagbalete sandbar and Mangrove forest, we stayed quite long here, taking photos of course.
Next is snorkeling a little bit in the middle of the sea, then swimming time, on the part of the island which has another fine white sand and chest high water, just good enough for us who do not know how to swim.
We finished the tour right before lunch, and right away go directly to the Joven Resort to check-in and rest for a while.
By mid afternoon, most of the resorts guests already left, and we and only a few people have the resort on our own. The resort is cleaner and more organized. There are clear pathways going to each cottages and prices are practical. Toilets are ample, and located near each cluster of accommodations.
Had a very good sleep and woke up early the next day. Picked up by the boat @6:30am, took the first trip of the public boat going back to Mauban port. Got the first trip of the public bus going to Lucena City, and had a little breakfast inside the bus, the original Pancit Habhab of Quezon.
This picture sums it up : this trip is definitely full of fun, wonderful view, old and new friends and more fun. Cagbalete I will definitely gonna come back. A simple video edit of my Cagbalete 2016 ,click LINK to watch.
Travel expenses and DIY information, click on the LINK .