Thrilling Solace in the Island of Calaguas

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

I was hesitant to say “Yes” when a friend asked if I am in. What could possibly be the reason why I did not jump at the idea of going on a beach trip to the Island of Calaguas? For starters, it’s already summer; how else can one spend it but at the beach, getting that nice sun-kissed tan. It’s also a good breather – away from the monstrous buzz of “JD Power certification” a.k.a. work. Plus I miss Ronie, one my bestest friends, it’s a good excuse for a get together.

But why?

It’s Calaguas and I have a phobia (or so I thought) of the unpredictable huge ocean waves. The idea of crossing the Pacific Ocean in a motor boat scares the hell out of me. The last time I was in a small boat crossing the open sea was back in El Nido, Palawan. I thought the South China Sea was not fond of our presence as she kept sending scary waves in all directions. I must’ve mentally recited ‘Our Father’ a hundred times at that time. After that terrifying experience I thought I’d never again succumb to going on a boat trip that would cross the open seas.

Until the idea of a Calaguas getaway was presented…

I said YES, finally and braced myself for the worst.

It’s true the boat ride did feel like I was riding a rollercoaster (as the travel agent described before we set sail.) I was holding on the wooden boat for dear life. I prayed silently, too but it was way better than the El Nido experience. The Pacific Ocean was more welcoming.

Nevertheless when I had my first glimpse of the island I thought I had set the wrong expectation. I should’ve braced myself for the beauty I was about to experience.

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Bicol’s gem, indeed. The stunning picturesque view; the endless white beach speckled with a rainbow of tents; the soft moist sand caressing our feet; the clear blue inviting water – it is summer’s heaven!

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The beauty of the island washed away all my hesitations. I was really glad I joined the excursion. We couldn’t resist taking pictures of the island and of course ourselves in the island.

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The sun was shining rather marvelously, noting that day will be full of fun. Our group consists of 4 separate set of friends. One from a nearby town in Bicol; others came all the way from Philippines’ capital, Manila (just like me). We occupied the cottages at the right side of the beach, where our travel guides settled.  You may occupy cottages there for Php 200, depending if one is not reserved. We learned this after we got evicted from one of the “nice” cottages. Since our tour reservation included the tent, we decided that we’ll just use the tent instead of paying for another cottage. Yes, we Are thrifty.

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The food prepared by our travel guides was mouth watering. The Chef received compliments for it. Good food, good view, good life.
After lunch, as the sun’s rays burned everything under it without a care, that’s about the time we got evicted from the cottage, we stay shaded under a tree; on a banig (native sleeping mat). It was our cue for siesta. My cell phone was playing our favourite love songs filling every corner of the island (or so it seemed). While waiting for the sun to set, I enjoyed the succour that the island brings. The billowing sound of the waves, the never-ending soft white sands – the entire Calaguas Island. I was enjoying the perfection.

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In the afternoon, before the sun sets, we were asked if we wanted to go hiking. At this time, I’d try anything (I hated hiking, too). I wasn’t expecting any “hard core hiking” so I brought nothing but my two-piece bathing suit and a camera. I should’ve been warned. I should’ve brought more water, towel and my hiking boots. I was never a trekker. I hated long walks, much more climbing a mountain! Thanks to Ronie for being my “alalay” while hiking. I was bathe in relief to know that it was just a short hike (30 – 45 minutes) and the view on top of the mountain was stunning (I have used this adjective so repetitively.)

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The evening promised a lot of activities. Our travel guides set up the videoke, also prepared the banig for stargazing and they even had lights set at the shorelines just in case we want to go on a dip at night. Food again was splendid.

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The morning after was bittersweet, we have to go. I am already prepared for the waves. I was not hesitant to sail the Pacific Ocean anymore. It was because I know in my heart I would’ve felt sorry for myself if I didn’t take this vacation. It was a trip worth taking again. If someone would ask should I return… definitely! In summer time only though, I heard a news that a boat flipped over when they set sail in October, during the stormy season. J


***All photos are unfiltered.
***Thanks to Travel and Sand for the wonderful experience