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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Paradise Called Calaguas

We planned to visit this island too many times in the past. It was one of the places I’ve been itching to go to since I saw it in photos. The last time we planned obviously didn’t turn out well. It even caused us a "broken friendship". Yup, you read it right. Sad, but that was how it ended.

This year, we figured on spending our Holy Week vacation in no other than The Calaguas Island. To avoid hassles with other people (example: backing out the very last minute), we decided to just join a group tour. The first group we inquired with suddenly changed their tour schedule, so we were bumped off the tour. It was only a couple of days before Good Friday and we don’t have a definite plan yet. I even expected failure already because it seemed that things were not going our way. Thanks to my beau’s persistence, he never gave up not until he finds a way for us to spend our Holy Weekend in paradise. That was how we came along with Vagabond Pinas. We were ecstatic that they opened slots for us (my partner and another travel buddy of ours which surprisingly brought a date of his own haha!). We deposited our reservation fees as soon as our slots were confirmed. We received the itinerary the following day and we were off to go the night of Maundy Thursday.

We left Manila at around 9:00 PM. All in all we were in two vans. Since we were the last ones to book, the four of us were seated at the back. The most uncomfortable seats, ugh. Good thing, I still had work that day so all I have to do in transit is to sleep! Oh yeah, I slept the whole 8 hours. And they envied me for that hahaha!

Day 1

We’re already in Camarines Norte when I completely woke up. That was where we ate our breakfast and bought final provisions.

too early the market's still closed

Without further ado, we were transported to Vinzon’s Port where we took the boat going to the island. It was a 2-hour boat ride out on the Pacific Ocean. I was actually puzzled by this island because I can’t find it when I looked it up in Google Map. I found out that Calaguas is a group of islands, not a single one. The one that we were bound to is actually called Tinaga Island which is the largest island in the Calaguas group. There belongs the famous Mahabang Buhangin Beach.

Our trip going there was smooth. The waves are just fine and it was not that hot yet that early morning. The views as you get closer to the beach were so stunning. For me, it depicted those Batanes’ landscapes of lush rolling hills and rocky hills with waves splashing on them. We can’t stop clicking our cameras.


just awesome

Finally, we arrived! It was love at first sight. Long white sand with crystal clear waters, it was love I'm telling you.

long and wide sand stretch, perfect!

There were already several campers in the island when we got there. What do you expect? It was the Holy Week (Pinoy’s favorite beach season). We immediately gathered our stuff and start setting up camp. Right after we were given our tent assignments, we ran into the beach!

early morning in paradise

Crystal clear water, did I already say that? Hahaha! We had super fun taking photos underwater.

lush eden

We were so happy that we made it here! It is totally a paradise! It instantly became my most favorite beach of all time. It surpassed my feelings towards Boracay and Panglao. That’s how lovely this paradise is! All we did was swim, sunbathe, shadow play, siesta, eat, get drunk and fool around with our tour mates.

can you tell it is in sand? so creamy white!

my calaguas sunset

I so love this place! If only I can stay here as long as I want.

while the sun sets, the moon says hello

Day 1 was all fun, fun, fun. From sun up to sun down. I left the drinking session to the boys that night. I retired early to errr... tent (not bed). :)

Day 2

Who says drinking alcohol first thing in the morning is not a good idea? Hahaha!

morning drinking session with our super fun beach buddies

No beach camp is complete without booze, right? Ang saya na ng company, ang sarap pa ng pulutan! San ka pa? Granma + Empe Light = me wasak ;)

Back to the gorgeous beach after the "session".

We explored the island a little before going for a swim.

posed with the local kids who are so eager for photos :)

After lunch, swim again! Why waste a minute? We enjoyed the beach every moment we could! I didn't mind getting sunburned at all!

my turquoise dream

When another drinking session finished after lunch, we all decided to swim as a group. Another reason was to take photos of us enjoying the sea, not just the booze hahaha!

my happy peeps in my happy beach :)

It was our last day/night at the island, so we had our "complete" drinking spree that night. Walang matutulog ng hindi basag!

just drink and be merry :)

It was a very happy night. But in the end, Red Horse knocked me out. Haha!

Day 3

It was a glorious morning after that awesome night. Kinda sad that it was our last day already.

my last day in paradise

They still went swimming while waiting for our boat service. I just sat out there, laid at the grass and felt the warmth of the sun while watching people enjoy this tropical eden.

happy campers before bidding adieu

Time has come for us to leave. We have nothing but good memories. It was a kick-ass beach camp experience! I was with great people in an amazing place. Everyone enjoyed their Holy Weekend. :)

tanned much :)

I think I've said enough about Calaguas already. Effective April 6, 2012, it became my favorite beach destination in the Philippines. White sand, clean and clear water in turquoise color (my favorite haha!), lush vegetation, raw and uncommercialized, peaceful surroundings and friendly locals - ALL CHECKED. I hope it stays that way. I'll be happy to be back again and again.

Beach Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

***I don't have a sample itinerary and costing for this trip because we joined a group tour. If you also wish to join one, you may visit Vagabond Pinas' website. Just click the link. We spent Php 3800.00 per pax, all-in. Thank you Vagabond Pinas for this awesome experience! :)

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