Feb 4, 2011

I can say that our DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Cagbalete Island Trip was one of the most unforgettable trips that I had. Why? Hmmm... Here's the full story:

We just learned about Cagbalete Island when we were playing with Google Earth, we were actually looking for Balesin Island (which we saw in a travel magazine). Unlike Balesin, Cagbalete Island had not yet been published in any travel mag; the beauty has not yet been touched. With that on mind, we had been immediately captivated by this undiscovered paradise, and decided to pack for a 2 Day-1 Night Stay in Cagbalete.

How To Get There:
suggested departure from Manila is 3 am.

1. From Buendia, you can take JAM or JAC Liner to go to Lucena (around 3-4 hr trip). Fare is P209.00/pax.
2. Once you reach Lucena Grand Terminal, take the ordinary bus to Mauban via Mainit. It is a 1 1/2 hr trip, fare is P50.00 each.
3. From Mauban Bus Station, take a tricycle to bring you to Pantalan Port (there are 2 ports in Mauban, so better to be specific). To make sure, tell the tricycle driver to bring you to the port to Cagbalete Island. Standard rate of tricycle fare is P9.00/person.
4. At the Pantalan Port, look for the ferry boats to Cagbalete. I highly recommend for you to take the big ferry boats Anthony or Neneng. It will be approximately 45mins-1 hr boatride depending on the weather. Fare is P40.00 each.
5. Once you arrived at Cagbalete (Sabang Port), to reach the resorts, you need to trek for about 10-20 mins.
Summary of Fare Expenses: P658.00 only Manila-Cagbalete-Manila

Since I was too excited to see Cagbalete Island, I had flooded my facebook wall with my countdown statuses for this trip; a colleague of mine, who was a local of Mauban (the town across Cagbalete), learned about my trip to this virgin island and immediately sent me a text message. She told me to be extra careful in Cagbalete Island since the island is known for Pitik-Pitik. She told me not to just drink or eat anything that will be offered by the locals. She told me to make sure that I will be bringing my own food, own water, and my own utensils. I kept on asking what Pitik-Pitik is, and she just uttered "basta mag-ingat ka". With those words said, promise, it scared the s*%T out of me, that I almost backed out. Yes, I almost backed out, that my overflowing excitement went down and was replaced by nervousness as the trip draws closer. I even try to search the web for any definition or description of Pitik-Pitik but I failed to get any. (In a country where Shake, Rattle and Roll is considered to be the best horror film of all time, there is nothing wrong on listening and believing the stories of the locals.)

And the trip went on...

We passed by Mauban Church before boarding for Cagbalete Island

Where To Stay:
There are only 3 resorts in Cagbalete Island. Do not expect some five-star hotel accommodations.

We chose Villa Cleofas and decided to pitch a tent there for an overnight stay. It is P300 for 2-3 pax. :)
While setting up the tent

While we were enjoying the beach around 3pm, strong wind blew and rain poured heavily. It destroyed the tent that we just set up. There were no typhoon reports or whatever so we were shocked. We stayed inside our tent from that time on until 8am the next day. How lucky right?

Flashback: It felt like it was the longest night I ever had in my life. I was so scared since it was just my first time to really sleep in a tent. I got crazy that I was thinking that a bull or any wild animal can just easily attack me. Thinking that we were the only people in that part of the island, every minute felt like forever. By the way, I haven't told you that the island does not have electricity yet. So define DARK NIGHT. It was also my first time to sleep in the dark, yeah, pitch black night.

Where To Eat:

Originally, we were planning to avail the Meal package in Pansacola Resort, however, they only cater for a group minimum of 10. So we ended up doing our own cooking. :)
We cooked everything before it got dark. We spent 3 hrs cooking all these using the "paypay method"

Our susyal burger :)

What To Do's:
There's a lot of things that you can do in the island... ... if the weather is good...

I felt like crying because the rain did not stop yet until we woke up. We have not enjoyed the island yet and that also means that we will be stranded in the island since the boats wont be allowed to go on board.

But as the song goes, "there's a rainbow always after the rain..."

Haaaist... Happiness!
Waaaaah! I can see the light now. :))

With all the the nervousness I felt, I think I have the right to celebrate right?After all, I almost got insane.
Celebrate good times, C'mon! Let's celebrate!


Isn't it obvious that I am so happy? Hihihihi!

Now, I am loving the fact that we're the only people in the island

What To See:
There's a lot that you must see in this virgin island.
You can find in Cagbalete Island the largest sand ripples

Go straight and see a bunch of pine trees. Nice!
Cagbalete after the stormy night

See the Bonsai Island...
The islet full of cutie little bonsais :)

Enjoy the low tide in the morning...
Sarap dito!

Going Home:
Important! Since there are only 2 trips from Cagbalete back to Mauban (7:30 am and/or 1:00 pm only), make sure to be there at least 30 mins before. Or else, you need to wait for the next day's trip.
Lalalala! Thank you Cagbalete!

Make sure to bring a drysack or at least some ziplock plastic bags; for you to board the Neneng Ferry Boat, you need to ride this small flat banca

Let's go and chase Cagbalete!

49 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't know that this island already has 3 resorts. The last time we went there, which was about 10 years ago, the island didn't even have a resident, except for the squatters who land grabbed a part of the island. Of course, there was also no electricity that time. All we had is a boatman's lamp. It was really scary to go to the toilet at night. But, indeed, this island is a virgin. I loved the low tide in the morning, perfect for taking pictures! It seemed to be a smooth wallpaper :) Thank you for the informations. It makes me want to go back and see what's new :)

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  2. i also want to go back to this island.. this time with a good weather hopefully.. hehe yes, the low tide is so perfect!

    until now, they still dont have electricity but you can request to use the generator. you're going to pay for the gas.

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  3. hi there! this is a very helpful post.. just one question; did you bring your own tent or rented in the resort? thanks!

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  4. Hi BlissfulGuro,
    we brought our own tent. Kaya Php200.00 lang bayad namin. Pag hihiram ka ng tent Php300.00

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  5. nice
    maka punta nga!

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  6. I love it! I'll surely put this on my list! Very detailed post :)

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  7. Hi. This seems interesting. I'm a actually planning to go there before the holidays. Can you give me a realistic budget estimate for a backpacker? Overnight lang naman ako dun if ever. Uwi lang din ng 1 p.m. the next day. Thank you.

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  8. Did you ever find out what pitik-pitik was?

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  9. just want to share my knowledge about pitik-pitik it is often called dawdaw in some areas.. They say that the locals may put some ingredients usually pinipitik nila sa pgkain or inumin, then the effects may vary gayuma, lason, pampatulog or pde rin pambabarang (insects in your body). D best way bring your own food and water, even when u buy softdrinks make sure u open it yourself.. Just take extra caution not just in this island,

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  10. in my case, i did a spur of the moment trip to cagbalete. ganda...yun nga lang, hirap sa skeds ng bangka, kasi twice a day lang sila.

    http://limbonisku.blogspot.com/2012/01/cagbalete-island-mauban-quezon.html

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  11. @ianisme,

    tama!kailangang habulin ang schedule ng bangka kung hindi ma-stranded ka

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  12. @ Backapacker,

    depende kung ilan kayo.. yung fare hindi na magbago.. so yung sa accommodation na lang.. tent na lang para mura..

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  13. Sir/Maam!!!

    Thanks po sa pag-share about sa knowledge niyo about Pitik-Pitik :D

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  14. Hello there Mam! :)

    We are planning to go there next month. Kaya lng worried ako baka hindi ako makakita ng kapilya bago pumunta ng island. Iglesia Ni Cristo brethren kasi ako. Mam any info about INC church malapit sa island.

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  15. Hi Sir/Maam,

    ang alam ko po merong INC church sa mauban quezon, that's the town proper bago ka sumakay ng bangka papuntang Cagbalete Island.

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  16. actually po maganda ung place aND ung kanilang sand the best kaso nga lang mahirap ang electricity 3am wala ng kuyente kasi generator lang gamit nila

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  17. and pag low tide mahirap mag swimming kasi ppupunta k pa dun sa medyo malalim layo p nman ng naabot ng low tide advice n din po mag suot kau ng slippers pag mag lalakad kau sa dagat kasi may mga sea urchins masakit yun maka tusok if ever nman na matusok kau patakan nyo lang ng kalamansi...

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  18. so the pitik-pitik is not true at all?... sobrang dami po ba tao pag hoy week?

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  19. holy week pala? i plan to bring my family this holy week..

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  20. maam im willing to help the i.n.c group just look me there at the island of cagbalete ate rose to i.n.c din po ako at tour guide ng cagbalete island at the same time nag ma massage me at the beach sa mga turista this is my contact no.09104518108 thanks

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  21. ate rose yung kapilya po ba sa mismong island o sa mauban pa?

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  22. I,ve been there last February with my travel mates and 3 guests,it was so nice,better trek than to rent a boat,from mauban proper kasi mababaw din naman yung tubig maglalakad din,and takes same time,di naman ganun kainit maglakad :),I,ve heard about pitik2 story but dont worry, people of Cagbalete are so friendly and accomodating,dont be afraid of them actually we need them for our convenient stay :), if you want a cozy place stay in Villa Cleofas but for Holy week the 3 resorts are fully accomodated because Cagbalete island,s popular already... if ever you guys wanted to tour around anywhere in Luzon,join our tours,just contact me, 09153097813/09333082680

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  23. Anthony FusinganFriday, April 06, 2012

    Just this holy week (2012), the department of tourism decided to raised the boat transportation from P80 (2-way) to P180 (2-way for adult) / 140 (2-way for children). The additional P100 would go to what they call Environmental fee (like in Boracay). Some genius tourism officer in the area or some official may have thought of a way to get easy money. This is an unreasonable price addition considering i did not see anything that may show where this money is going, even the locals there do not see any improvement with the process. The locals even think that everything now is wrong in their place. I did see several police officers and coast guards roaming around without doing anything useful. I would like to commend a “porter” who somehow care in arranging the irate tourist passengers who are waiting the boat even it was no longer his job to do so, a job that should be done by the insensitive police, coast guard and tourist officers in the area instead of just roaming around gossiping. Receipts for the boat ticket that were being issued to some tourists do not have BIR Number which makes me believe that there is red tape on going with this new boat fare. Process of the tourist office / coast guard is not organized also that made us wait for the public boat under the heat of the sun for 4 hours. I just noticed that the cost guard on duty that time (Coast Guard Luna) seems very interested with the registration form where all tourist signs, probably not of security concern but because this would determine the amount of rebates they will get. It makes me feel that the tourist office just want your P180 boat fare so they make ways for you not to learn about private boat rentals specially if your more than 15 in the group which sometimes make it more economical to hire private boat than to pay the P180/person that the tourist office are charging. Even the locals believe that there is some anomaly on going so this needs to be resolved or else there will be lots of unsatisfied guests who would not care to recommend or go back to this place. See the names of the officers managing this area.
    Anabelle Calleja – Tourism
    Ton2 Pansacola – Tourism
    Xyra Manipol – Development Center
    Rachelle Pansacola – Development Center
    James Laureles – Coast Guard
    GodoFredo Diaz – Barangay Captain

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  24. Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.

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  25. @Anthony Fusingan

    I share your sentiments. Been there this summer '12 too and if I have to describe in some words the port officials' systems? Chaotic. Disorganize. Palpak. (agawan sa banka, etc.)

    But of course maybe we can expect some improvements the next time around. Meantime, you may check out more of Cagbalete photos on my site http://malate.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/cagbalete-island/

    ..and of course, if time permits I shall blog about my @!#+?! port experience too.

    Nice post Mich!

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  26. @ anonymous - those are not squatters... majority of them are caretakers. Cagbalete are privately owned. We inherited huge hectares of land from our Lolo (Pastrana/Pansacola). Ours is facing the Pacific Ocean side. Our caretakers and their growing families are still with us. We consider them family too. When we were small we frequent Cagbalete.... it was in fact our summer getaway.. Our playground. Back then it was pristine and beautiful (still is). I knew it wasn't going to be kept a secret from the rest of the world.

    I find pitik-pitik as a myth. My lola would tell us a lot of stories (not just pitik-pitik) when we were growing up. It's all up to you to believe.

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  27. Chasing PhilippinesSunday, June 03, 2012

    @ marlon,

    Hello, thanks for sharing infos here. Nung nakapunta ako ng Cagbalete, napaki-usapan ko yung caretaker sa Villa Cleofas regarding sa electricity. Siguro, depende na rin sa budget, pwedeng ikaw yung magshoulder or magbigay ng pangbili ng gasolina na gagamitin para sa Generator.

    Thank you also for that reminder...
    IMPORTANT:Make sure to wear slippers or sandals kung maliligo or mamasyal man sa dagat during the lowtide. Medyo maraming sea urchins at kung ano-ano pa. Mayroon akong kasamahan na sa sobrang ganda ng Cagbalete ay natuwa sya na mamasyal at maglakad-lakad at nakatapak siya ng sea urchin. Namaga yung paa niya for about 2 weeks, nilagnat din siya.

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  28. Chasing PhilippinesSunday, June 03, 2012

    @ anonymous,

    sir/maam,
    about sa Pitik-Pitik, hindi ko po alam kung totoo siya. Pero nung pumunta naman ako ng Cagbalete, wala naman akong na-experience. Yung kwento about sa "pitik-pitik", kinuwento lang siya sa akin ng isang local from Mauban na kasamahan ko sa trabaho. At ng isa pang rumorondang kagawad sa Mauban, na pinaalalahanan ako tungkol sa "pitik-pitik" bago ako sumakay ng bangka papuntang Cagbalete.

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  29. pitik-pitik can deadly within hours if lason ang gagamitin....i personally know someone who's husband died because of pitik-pitik....imagine going on a family vacation that will end up in tragedy because of that? and the doctors can not explain the cause of death. the relatives were the one who conclude about the pitik-pitik because he's not lumaki in Quezon even if his parents were there. napagkamalan daw siguro.... another friend of mine, almost lose her husband because of pitik-pitik also. bigla na lang nag-diarrhea ng sobrang severe. buti na lang nung dinala sa hospital they made a culture of his stool and the result stated that he ate or he had taken a very, very, very spoiled food that cause his severe diarrhea. buti na lang naagapan. they even know who did it to him. and when he was confronted, he just shrugged his shoulder. usually naiinggit ang gumagawa nun. so beware! kahit saan meron marunong gumawa ng pitik-pitik. usually from the southern part.

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  30. no one would like to experience pitik-pitik if you know some stories about it....just be cautious....

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  31. hi there i read all the comments as of now cagbalete island ay inaayos ang kalakaran ng turismo ang daloy ng turista ay inayos na din ang mga resorts ay nadagdagan na ng 3 kong over load na ang mga resorts my home stay pa don na survey na ang ptikpitik o what so ever called ay walang katotohanan isang kwento ng pamilyang inaapi sa isla gumawaw po sila ng kwento para katakotan sila dahil binu bully sila ang mga lahing bisaya inaapi .thats all try nyo.....

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  32. try to use some punctuation marks in creating your sentence, so that we can easily understand what you're saying.
    Tagalog naman, pero nakakalito intindihin to.
    anyway, thanks na din sa update.

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  33. Chasing PhilippinesSaturday, March 02, 2013

    Thanks po sa mga update about Pitik-Pitik.

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  34. hi po! im planning to go to cagbalete with my mate dis holy week! my update po ba kau regarding room rates and fares going there! any information will be much appreciated! thank u! God Bless!!

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  35. Chasing PhilippinesSaturday, March 16, 2013

    Hello po!

    I apologize but I havent been to Cagbalete recently, but I think di naman po nagkakalayo ang presyo for the accomodations and all.

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  36. okey po! thank u! excited nko! sana everything will go as planned hahaha

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  37. Chasing PhilippinesSunday, March 17, 2013

    Have faith! :)
    Enjoy!

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  38. hi holy week ba kau nagpunta dun sa cagbalete?tingin nyo po sa holy week fully booked lahat ng resorts dun?

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  39. Chasing PhilippinesTuesday, March 26, 2013

    Mga 1st or 2nd week po ng March kami nagpunta dun, di po Holy Week. Not really sure if maraming tao dun kapag Holy Week, ang alam ko hindi pa naman ganun dinadagsa ng tao ang Cagbalete, which is good.

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  40. just got here 3days ago..super ganda sa cagbalete..although i will not really recommend this if you're the type who's planning to swim the whole day since ang low tide d2 ay parang naglakad ka sa megamall before you find the the best location to swim.. 10am-5pm po ang low tide.. this is more for the nature lovers, for wildlife enthusiasts, the corals in baliscar are really a sight to behold esp the sand ripples na pwede mong tulugan so puti at sa pino hahaha.. i love this place.. will definitely go back here.. i havent really heard of anything about pitikpitik, the people were so warm..this place truly is a paradise :)

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  41. Hi all

    Ask lang po kung sat and sun day po punta ng cagbalete maramidinpo bang pumuntang mga tao? and about sa pitikpitik tutuo po ba ito?\

    saan po magandang mag stay na resort dun kahit na tent lang.

    Thanks

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  42. Plan po namin pumunta ng cagbalete this coming august w/ my frnd.

    thanks

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  43. Chasing PhilippinesThursday, July 18, 2013

    @ june villasan, enjoy po. hope you can share whatever stories you have and updates too :)

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  44. Chasing PhilippinesThursday, July 18, 2013

    Maganda daw sa Pansacola. Though I havent tried it since sa Villa Cleofas kami nagpitch ng tent. :)

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  45. hi! we plan to drop by @Cagbalete. Your stories helped a lot... hope wala na ang pitik pitik stories.. it scares us a lot. The priced increased already when we inquired.

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  46. we planned to go in cagbalete this coming week! maybe this coming sunday i hope we have a wonderful outing tnx to all your info i learn and know a lot about the island.

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    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Thanks for reading po. Hope you'll enjoy your coming trip. Planning to go back to Cagbalete too. Ive heard that there's a new resort there. :)

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    2. Hi! Thanks sa blog na to. Very helpful :) Anyway were planning to go there next thurs. Pwede po bang pa update kung ano ng meron sa place. Sa mga nakapunta ng holy week, marami po bang tao? Sana di pa fully booked. Sana may magrespond. Thanks!

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    3. Di pa ako nakakabalik sa Cagbalete Island ulit. Pero gusto ko ulit sya mapuntahan. Ang lastest update is merong bagong resort - Nilandingan Cove. Based sa reviews, mura, maganda and maayos ang service nila.

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