Em and I stared down at the aquamarine velvet below us, resplendent under the sun that one can’t bear to look at its brilliance. Its clarity and purity hit us like calm waves, like the lulling of the sea foam hitting the body of our boat.
Thirty minutes of plane ride, two hours of bus, another one hour of van, two hours of boat…nearly six hours of travel to see this remaining piece of calm beauty in this edge of the world. Em and I looked at each other and smiled. Worth it.
Calaguas Island or Mahabang Buhangin Group of Islands is located at the farthest reach of the Philippines bordering to the Pacific. You can get to the islands on a jump point at Paracale where every summer, the port is thriving with tourists eager to see the islands they heard so much as the Mahabang Buhangin. Calaguas is just part of the island chains of white sand and blue waters, but having to spend an afternoon here is more than enough.
As i said before in my previous travel posts, I’m a fan of virgin beaches and unadulterated, wild beauty of Nature. That would explain why I usually travel off-season to avoid the large crowd. Calaguas didn’t fail and I’m glad to see that commercialism hasn’t taken over the place just yet. The islanders are especially nice and helpful. I hope by the next time I come back, it would still remain as the pure, undisturbed beauty as I remember it.
Calaguas is perfect for those seeking peace and tranquility at some isolated piece of the world. For those who crave for vulnerability and the solemn epiphany of being just a small speck of dust on Nature’s fingertip. There, on the vestiges of the Pacific, you will find a sense of pleasant submission to plunge down the blues and let the waves roll your body to the warm embrace of the sand.
Tips for Calaguas Island-hopping:
- Plan your trip to the island carefully. Many people opt to stay on the island overnight and leave the next morning. The waves are usually stronger during late afternoons and evenings (We realized it the hard way) If you’re planning to go there by land, it’ll be helpful to bring a tent and other camping gears.
- Book your boat ride in advance. Ours is Ate Chona and Kuya Boy. You can contact them through here: 09123602005
- Avail package if you’re traveling in large group to make the best out of the trip.
- The boat ride back to Paracale is usually rough because of the strong waves, especially on months like July and August. It would be better if you make banlaw in Paracale instead on the island because like it or not, you’re still going to get wet with ocean spits and foam.
- Additionally, make sure to bring waterproof bags or plastic containers to keep those things you definitely don’t want to get wet. If you’re staying in an inn, just leave all the important documents and IDs behind. Em bought her waterproof pouch-bag for the gadget and cash.
- Take note of the following expenses. Boat rent is PHP3,000.00, Entry fee to the island is PHP100.00 per head and a cottage costs PHP350.00 overnight.
- If you want to see the overview of the island, you can talk with one of the children living in the island to take you. The trek upward takes about 20 minutes.
- Take note that food and water in the island are more expensive than normal. It would be wise to fill your rations before you set off to Calaguas.
- And of course, remember the unspoken rule of every traveler:
Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.
Together, let’s preserve the natural beauty of Calaguas 🙂