So you feel like beachin’ but you’re worried about how much you’re going to chip-in? You feel like beachin’ but you can’t go any further than Quez’n? Then this beach island in Mauban, Quezon is your best ehpshen (“option”). Maipilit lang yung rhyme, sorry! Haha!
*Summer has finally come! So some college friends and I planned an outing (slash reunion, even though there were only five of us) to an island in Quezon. We’d been planning this outing for like a month prior to the beachin’ date. We went from “Who wants to come?” to “Yes, exciting!” to “Sorry, guys, I can’t come” to “It’s tomorrow already” then “Yay! We’re on the bus to Quezon!”
*LAST YEAR KO PA ‘TO SINIMULANG ISULAT, OKAY? HAHA!
We left Manila at around 4am and arrived in Mauban, Quezon at around 8am. The bus terminal in Mauban, Quezon isn’t exactly the bus terminal you’ll expect. So since we were unsure whether or not it was the bus terminal already, we did not bother to move our butts until almost everyone on the bus stepped out. (I’m adding this because I’m sure when you’re there, you too will not notice the bus terminal.)
We hired a tricycle to take us to the wet market so we could buy ourselves food for the next two days. While in the market, we ate whatever unfamiliar food the tindera and tindero offered us — like their famous pansit habhab. After an hour, we were finally done with our shopping, so off to the port we went. The tricycle is normally rated at P50 per ride with up to 3 passengers, but since we hired the tricycle for almost an hour in the market and there were five of us, we paid P200 (tip included).
At the port, we were asked to register our names and pay P50 each for the terminal and environmental fees. Then we hired a small boat to get us to the island. It costed us some PhP2000. Balikan naman so we thought it was a good deal. Until we realised that it actually was not. Hahay!
Since it was already low tide by the time we reached the island–after about an hour–we had to walk from where the boat could temporarily dock up to the island proper. In the picture above, you can see the sea grass welcoming us. They’re itchy and kind of irritating to the feel, but we managed to pass this first obstacle. Haha!
I Heart Cagbalete
Finally, we arrived on the the island and we could now start beachin’.
We booked at Villa Noe Beach Resort to pitch our tents since we brought our own–this costed us P500, P250 each tent. Funny thing though, we didn’t assemble our tents in the premises of the resort but in somebody else’s property! Haha! Nakakatawa yun kasi muntik na kaming ma-evict nung nakita kami ng may-ari! Fortunately for us, the owner was generous enough to let us stay there as long as we “guard” and do not let other campers stay in their property. Haha!
So anyway, here are some photos of this side of the Cagbalete Island.
During low tide, the sea water recedes like a mile away from the island. You can only see the sand with sea grass.
By 3pm, the high tide starts; the sea water starts kissing the shore and eating the sandbars.
By the way, that’s Allan; one of my favorite persons in the world–kasi pareho kami ng wavelength pagdating sa mga reklamo sa buhay.
Indeed, even the sun sets in paradise, however this time, it is in a paradise I’m not sure I would want to stay in for too long.
It was my first time in Quezon and, as always, first times leave great memories. And by memories, I meant the most unexpected ones–like being stranded for a day in a far-off island because of a typhoon. Haha! Oh well, at least it was just for a day. Hahay! Kung hindi, yare!
Our first day in Cagbalete went as planned. We had fun and acted like we had never been to a beach for like our lifetime! Until we heard a news on our second day–when we were supposed to be heading back home–that a typhoon was expected to pass this part of Quezon and no vessels were allowed to set sail.
It was clear as the sky that day (please refer to the photo above) that we had no other choice but to stay on the island and wait for the authorities’ advice. Some tourists though were already panicking and there was this lady person who was blaming the local government (barangay officials) for having no balls against the Philippine Coast Guards. Saying that the LGU should be the one commanding their boatmen to do what they need to do, not the PCG. We were like, “Duh, are you even hearing yourself?” We couldn’t let that pass so we interrupted her and said “No, miss, you’re wrong; pa’no kung may nangyari sa’yo? Kargo ka pa ng barangay! Dapat nilang sundin yung order sa kanila ng mas nakatataas.” Di ba? The LGU and the locals of the island were the only people who could help us at that time of crisis so why complain when they were just following orders which ultimately was for our, her safety? Ah, rant. Hahaha!
So yeah, we stayed for another night in the barangay proper. Some tourists who could pay for an extra day stayed in their respective resorts (I’d heard, though, that some resorts did not charge the visitors who were supposed to leave that day); those who could not afford to shell out money or had other reasons, stayed in school buildings, others in residents’ houses, while we stayed in a chapel (with the irate lady person I was telling you about). The good people of the island willingly offered us shelter, food and water, and even their electricity–medyo mahal sa kanila kasi de-gasolina pa kaya tipid din sila, tuwing gabi lang talaga may kuryente.
On the following day, the order was lifted and all vessels were permitted to sail. Ironically, it was raining that day.
I actually had mixed feelings about going back to Manila. I was grateful that we were already going home but sad that we were. I was excited to go back to Manila after being stranded on the island for a day, but since I have never mastered the art of leaving, it still left me an awful feeling. Although it wasn’t as painful as leaving Davao, still it was a hard choice thinking that the simple island living had ended in just three days. Oh well, papel.
So going back. We arrived in Mauban, Quezon town proper at around 8am, then we rode a van going to Lucena grand terminal to catch a bus going to Manila. We arrived in Cubao at 1pm.
Aside from the memories, I brought home a bag full of dirty clothes and an infected tattoo with some skin allergies caused by the sea grass. Noon ko lang nalaman, maarte pala ang aking balat. HAHAHA! And yeah, sunburn, too! At saka pala nag-uwi ako ng mas maitim na ako! Hahaha! Maitim na nga ako, lalo pang pinaitim! 😀
So… I started writing this entry in April 2015, a few days after we got back in Manila, and I only finished it today, January 2016–kung kailang malapit na ang susunod na summer. Haha! Ang tamad-tamad ko!