CAGBALETE ISLAND: Reach for the Beach

Graduation month is here. Temperature outside is rising. You know what these mean. Summer is coming! And before the peak season officially begins, we decided to go and take our well deserved vacation.

We were just being spontaneous and we were thinking of going on a hassle free weekend getaway. Zambales was actually our original plan. Unfortunately, no slots were available in our preferred resort, even for campers. We were really desperate since we already fixed our schedule for the trip. Then I remembered Cagbalete Island which I’ve been in before. I thought it might be time to recolor a memory.

It was Saturday. The four of us decided to leave Manila at 4:00am. Laurence was assigned to be our driver despite the fact that he hated driving. It was a 4-5 hour drive, and as usual, Waze has been a good party member. We reached the town of Mauban by around 9:00am, just in time for us to buy food in the nearby public market and wait for the passenger boat.
The scheduled boat trips from Mauban Port to Cagbalete is 11:00am and 3:00pm. It is recommended to arrive earlier since seats are on a first come first served basis. The trip is approximately an hour.

PHONE 1

After 5 hours of driving on hills and zigzags!

PHONE 2

St. Bonaventure Parish Church of Mauban

PHONE 3

All aboard!

PHONE 5

Manang bought these supplies from Mauban town proper which she will then sell to residents of the island.

PHONE 7

Glasses not needed.

PHONE 4

One hour boat ride is not bad. At least we had time to nap.

Upon getting off the boat, we have to walk for around 20 minutes to reach our resort of choice. We were already tired so we decided to ride the habal-habal for Php50. There is also an option to ride a carabao cart in case you want to try it.

PHONE 6

Walking to the resort is about 20 minutes, while riding the habal-habal is 10 minutes.

And finally, we reached our spot. We just ate lunch and took naps before exploring the beauty of Cagbalete Island.

DSLR 2

Villa Cleofas

DSLR 9

The Beach Hut has a bed which can accommodate up to 6 SLIM people.

DSLR 11

They have shower in their restrooms.

TRIP TIPS:

  • In a private car, estimated travel time from Manila to Mauban Port is 5 hours.
  • Paid parking spaces are available near the port for Php150 per night.
  • There are scheduled boat rides to Cagbalete from Mauban Port on 11:00am and 3:00pm.
  • Boat rides from Cagbalete back to Mauban port is by 1:00pm.
  • Resorts in the island serve food, but are a bit pricy. If you’re on a tight budget, it is recommended to buy ingredients beforehand and cook your own food. If you can, it is also good to bring your own cooking tools instead of renting from the resort.
  • Network signal is available in the island. You can post your beach selfies!
  • There is no electricity in the island. However, resorts turn their generators on from 6:00pm-6:00am. Utilize this schedule to charge your gadgets!
  • Island hopping is offered by bangkeros in the island which costs Php1500 good for four to six people.
PHONE 35

The shore during low tide. The sand is white and fine.

PHONE 8

It was already high tide when we got to the sandbar. No regrets though.

PHONE 16

The floating store at the sandbar.

EXPENSES:

545 – toll fees
1000 – gas
200 – environmental fee
560 – boat to and from Cagbalete Island
2200 – resort
1250 – food
1500 – island hopping
TOTAL: 7255 
Divided by the four of us = 1813.75 per person
PHONE 25

Staryu and Starmie.

To be honest, two days and one night in Cagbalete were not enough for me. Dipping by the beach calmed my heart, and talking with my pals broke the sadness brought upon the realities of life. Cooking for ourselves on bricks and coal gave me a sense of accomplishment. Hearing the splashes of waves and laughter of fellow tourists made me realize that it’s great to be alive. That when troubles are haunting you, all you need is quick escape to the beach.

PHONE 40

Sunburn in the making.

PHONE 44

Sunset by the boat.

Watch how our trip went! 🙂

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