Have you heard about Cagbalete Island? Well, for some it may sound strange but for expert travelers it sounds haven. I’m just a simple guy who loves to work and stay at home. Work, house and church is my daily itinerary. I don’t travel that much, but since many of my friends in person and in facebook go on out of town trip, I somehow dream to be a traveler or backpacker.
Due to lack of chance and budget, which I think the utmost reason, I could not travel for leisure. Traveling out of town specially with your crazy friends could be one of the priceless experience in your life. Since I switched job from office staff to a contact center agent, I began to get a reasonable pay that makes me save some for leisure. In line with that, I wanna share my travel experience to one of the beautiful and serene island in Quezon Provice, the Cagbalete Island. I’m gonna share the cost and the travel as well.
We went there as a group since that was our Team Building/Christmas celebration. I was with my supervisor, teammates and other managers in our site. To reach that destination, we had to ride a bus from Cubao to Grand Terminal in Lucena. We departed Jac Liner Cubao Terminal at around 1AM for a fare of 218.00/head. It was a 5 hour travel.
We reached Grand Terminal in Lucena at around 5AM and from there, we took a bus ride anew going to Mauban Quezon for 54.00/head. The travel from Terminal to Mauban took 2 and a half hours. Upon reaching Mauban Quezon, we went to Tourism Office of Mauban just a few steps away from the terminal. We had to pay 50.00/head for environmental fee. Once you’re paid, you can take a tricycle ride to bring you to the port, and that’s gonna be 10.00 each or you can just walk if you don’t have heavy stuffs with you. For us to reach the island, we had to ride a big boat from Mauban port to Cagbalete Island. The boat fare is 50.00/head (not bad). Take note that the boat trip there has a schedule, 9am and 4pm. At around 9:30AM the boat departed from Mauban port heading to the island. The sea travel took almost 3hrs (ample time to rest).
About 12:30PM when we arrived at Cagbalete Island, but the place where we landed was not the actual beach. It was a resedential area where most are fishermen and bangkeros. However, the water is so clear and attractive. It was green and the seafloor is appearing for sight.
Though it’s kinda chaotic there due to plenty of boats and fishermen, I wanted to stay there and swim. haha There are also kids who will ask you to throw some coins and dive into depth to hunt for it. It was a cool experience, and it reminds me of Badjao kids when we went to Davao.
There are two ways for you to reach the resorts, one is a boat ride and the other one is carabao ride. Since it was a bit rainy when we reached the island, we opted to take boat ride for 100.00/head. I indeed enjoyed the travel going there. The water is so transparent that made us able to see the seafloor and the sea urchins as well. Finally, we arrived at Villa Cleofas Resort.
The resort was so silent and calm because very few people are coming there. It was like we owned the whole place. Moving forward, we stayed there overnight, and the cost of the room is 5,500.00 good for 20 pax. The room is made of cement and wood. It has no aircon but it is well ventilated. There is no elevated bed in the room, only matress and pillows on the floor. Nontheless, it was nice and clean. There are also rooms there good for two and five, the cost is 1,500 to 3,000.
I’ve been to some beaches in Zambales and in other beaches in Luzon, but this one is far different because the island is tame and quiet wherein you can relax yourself and escape from chaotic scenes of the city. What I like about Cagbalete the most is, it is not commercialized unlike other beaches. No videoke, beer houses, and very few people. The sand along the shore is beige, but the sand under the water is white. There are also some destinations in that island to visit, like bonsay island, young in mangrove forest and Cagbalete river which is connected to the sea. The river is almost 900meters away from the resort, but you can ride a carabao to bring you there. For young in (mangrove forest on white sand), you can take boat ride for 300.00/head.
My favorite part, and the one that amazed me so bad was the bonsai island. You can see that island from the resort, but it’s too small because of its distance. No need to take a boat ride to go there. You can just swim or walk through the water; somewhat scary at first because it’s far. Bonsai island is approximately 900meters or so away from the resort. You will be amazed when you get there. It was called bonsai island because it is the only islet that has bonsay plant in the middle of the sea. That islet composed of rock formation but it’s flat. When we were there, we felt like we were stranded on an island because the neigboring islands are so far. No one can hear you even if you shout at the top of your voice. It’s a fascinating place to visit. There, you will certainly enjoy the fresh cool sea water (the water is not that salty, and painful in the eye).
Cagbalete also has a pefect view of sunrise and sunset. Powebanks are necessary there because the electricity will only work during night time. Of couse you dont want to be hassled by depleted battery and will absolutely ruin your selfie plans. That place is like a precious gem yet to discovered. People living in that island are also good, they will accommodate you at their best. I remember when I left my phone somewhere and no one got it for a purpose. It’s a safe place I can say.
We had our late lunch at the resort. Villa Cleofas got a reception hall that has a kitchen wherein you can cook. It would be better if you’re gonna bring raw food and cook them there because there is no grocery store or even wet market around the area. Prior to arrival, we bought raw food at Mauban Market so as not to waste our time traveling back to buy goods. We had pork, chicken, fish, veggies and some snacks. Utensils are available for use in the resort, but do not be surprised because the use of gas stove is for a cost as well, 50.00 per 30mins.
Too bad because were not able to do the planned bon fire because all the woods and twigs got wet due to rain haha but nothing has stopped us from having smores.
We stayed there for 2days and one night and it’s all worth it. We packed and left the island at around 1PM. Some took boat ride to the island’s port and we took carabao ride. The road was bumpy and muddy which made the ride an adventure fun. The kariton almost turned upside down when the carabao knelt to wet itself on the mud.
We took another boat ride from the island going to Mauban port. From there, we decided not to take a bus ride going back to Manila, rather we looked for a van to contract so to bring us back to Manila.
We stopped at Lucban Quezon (near Municipal Hall) for our late lunch and for pasalubong as well. From there, you can just walk to see the St. Louis church; one of the oldest church which was build in 1593. It was a wonderful experience for me yet cheap. I spent less than 2,000.00 for out of town adventure. I had so much fun and experienced relaxation. It’s a best way for us to relieve ourselves from stress of taking in calls and sitting for 8hrs in a close airconditioned room. haha (Taking calls is fun too 😀 )
As a Christian who believes that God created the Heaven and Earth, it’s so fair to travel and witness His fascinating creations and continue to believe that He has made everything perfect for our pleasure. If time permits, I’d go back and be mesmerized again.