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.
And the trip went on...
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. :)
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. :)
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..."
With all the the nervousness I felt, I think I have the right to celebrate right?After all, I almost got insane.
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
There's a lot that you must see in this virgin island.
See the Bonsai Island...
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.