Marketraveler Guide to Calaguas Island

calaguas island

calaguas island

The night before our trip to Calaguas, I had so much in mind (those good stuff), so much so that I only had 3 hours of sleep.  Can you blame me? I mean, you’re about to head to one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in the country and pretend not to be excited. Come on, let’s face it, it’s (about) summertime and it won’t be complete without at least spending few days at a beach soaking up the rays, burning the night with booze and laughter with family or friends. Most can’t wait to document their happiness and brag them to the entire world (fb and twitter with #soshalclimber).

Last weekend, I had a chance to fulfill my summer dream in Calaguas (frequently raved by bloggers and beach lovers). I’ve been hearing tales of how exquisite and pristine Calaguas Island is. And so, I was invited by a friend who had a travel buddy (Wally) somewhere, who knows a cool lass(Jackie) who has a group called Dayo that organizes backpacking trips (gets ba?). Trust me, everyone was witty and funny. (masaya, daming beky/pamin –but mind you, don’t bother joining the group if you lack sense of humor, ‘bawal sensitive at kj’, kasi they’ll eat you alive).  See fb group link below if interested to join (this is not a plug).

calaguas island- Dayo setting up tent

calaguas island- Dayo setting up tent

Anyway, let’s focus what the island has to offer. Almost everyone who sets foot on the white sands of Calaguas comes to the same conclusion: heaven exist.  Not only is the beach incredibly long white-sandy shores (but Boracay is much longer), it has clear, greenish-blue waters. How’s that not a paradise?  Sure, the beach is exquisite, but that means they’re also crowded, right? Well, just shows how great the place is. I didn’t mind the crowd though.  The cove is surrounded by cliffs and greeneries perfect for trekking or lovers to “i-Dawn Zulueta mo ako” – yuck.

calaguas island

calaguas island

The fact that it’s almost totally undeveloped means that you’ll also be able to enjoy the views without the a trace of commercial establishments.

Okay, here is my list of things to remember and reasons of my pre-Calaguas insomnia.  (pictures from a smartphone unedited)

  • Tent and Blanket. You know the drill, those are basic. Unless you’re okay sleeping in the open, which I did with just the sand as my bed, my towel as blanket and the stars as my night lamp. Keber, Keri na!
tent

tent

  • Travel light. Light clothes, swimwear and undies. Good for 1 night and 2 days. Huag magdala ng maleta, unless magdecide ka magpaiwan dun for good.
  • Bring basic toiletries only (i.e soap, toothbrush, sunblock, tissue, meds, etc). In case you forgot those, don’t fret, madami nagtitinda dun except sa meds. I didn’t see the need to bring insect repellant, but just the same, always be prepared.
Sarisari store- Calaguas

Sarisari store- Calaguas

  • Food and drinks. There are stores that sell canned goods and everything. They also have halo-halo (P35 only) with marshmallows, weird! For a planned group tour, it is advisable to cook your own. So to say the least, bring rice, water, fish/meat for grilling, etc.  Then have fun.
The team preparing for breakfast (Calaguas)

The team preparing for breakfast (Calaguas)

Longganisa for Breakfast

Longganisa for Breakfast

  • Expect basic Amenities only. Rustic toilet, open bathroom, deepwell water, nothing more.  On a positive note, it is good to not see much concrete establishments to preserve the area from going commercial just like its counterparts.  There are no hotels or whatsoever, so huag maghanap ng bathtub, o kaya caviar. Di rin uso ang privacy masyado.
open bath in Calaguas

open bath in Calaguas

  • Prepare yourself for 7-9 hour butt-numbing trip to Paracale which can depend on your driver’s respect of time. Ours(Kuya Ronnie) had so much focus on time and neglected safety –that in my opinion. You see, overtaking on a slopey road is a norm to them, but trauma to me. Now, if you’re a bit uncomfortable with the way they drive, just talk to them nicely, they’ll listen. We had our trip via Paracale. Alternatively, I think you may go the route via Vinzons (not really familiar about that. Or a plane ride to Naga, then take a 2-hour trip by van to Daet. Magbaon ng mga junk food at i-share (Miss Congeniality dapat ang peg).
Paracale stop

Paracale stop

  • From Paracale, take a boat ride to Mahabangbuhangin Island for approximately 2 hours. Take anti-dizzy meds if you have problems travelling by sea –lakas makaalon promise. I stepped-off the ferry, took a deep breath and exhaled with a sigh of relief. Buwis buhay (OA lang).
Boat ride to Mahabangbuhangin Island

Boat ride to Mahabangbuhangin Island

  • Be resourceful. As much as possible, don’t use plastics (you know what they do to our mother nature). We brought plastic plates and cups, though we had to re-use them on meals on our entire trip. Of course you need to wash them after use. As for your wet clothes/bikinis and all, sampay or ilapag mo lang anywhere and you’re good. Take responsibility na din, tumulong o magkunwari sa pagluluto at huag umastang prinsesa –hindi tlga cya 5-star hotel promise. Pick those rubbish of yours too, for our planet sake.
sampayan everywhere

sampayan everywhere

  • Flash light or any rechargeable light. Huwag na mag bonfire-not nature friendly. Walang kuryente, signal at wifi, which i like kasi walang istorbo.
  • Optional items to bring. Hammock (nakakarelax mag swing at kumanta ng Chandelier o kaya Thinking out loud na paulit-ulit), liquor (magdala na din), insect repellant, softdrinks (mura lng dun promise).
optional bonding

optional bonding

  • Join the social nights. Laugh as much as you can, gossip all you can( huwag lang intentional manira ng kapwa), umarte, um-aura, makipagplastikan, lumandi, makipag marshmallow kiss kung may diskarte (again, bawal KJ, kundi okray ka), sumagot sa Q&A, uminom ng empi lights, mga beki- maglakad lng sa tabing dagat after inuman solve na. Huwag anti-social, umarte din ayon a ganda. char!
  • Befriend the locals, especially the bangkeros. Kelangan pa ba i-explain, always be good to everyone anytime (golden rule po). Sa mga beki naman, malay natin may mapala sa pagbabait-baitan (alam mo na -ulterior motives hahaha char!).
My Skim Board friends. (locals sila) Ganda ko

My Skim Board friends. (locals sila) Ganda k

Calaguas Inspiration

Calaguas Inspiration

  • If all fails, chill lang, lahat may paraan. If the Plan A fails, there are 25 letters left -ang sabi. And it’s really good to let arguments go and focus on good vibes. Amuse yourselves with your mistakes. After all, you are there to relax and have fun. So veer away from arguments people.
calaguas friends

calaguas friends (photo credit to Mi)

So, this summer, pack your bags and head to Calaguas. This is bucket list material folks!

Calaguas Sunset

Calaguas Sunset- (photo credit to mark Villegas)

calaguas panorama

Calaguas Sunset- (photo credit to mark Villegas of Dayo)

groupie_calaguas

groufie_calaguas (photo credit to Arhj)

Special thanks to Jackie Magno and Dayo team for letting us join. If interested to join their next trips, you may visit Dayo’s fb group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/107068532713464/

For transportation needs, you may contact kuya Ronnie’s group they have new and nice Grandia Vans for comfy travel experience. 0922-8123244, email: virayronaldo@yahoo.com.

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