Off the coast of Mauban in the province of Quezon, there is a perfect getaway from the hassles of Manila – the Cagbalete Island.

Cagbalete Island is located in Lamon Bay facing the Pacific Ocean. It is another precious treasure of Quezon province that is perfect for kids, kids-at-heart, adults, wanderers and adventurous souls.

White sand beach
White sand beach

My high school best friends and I visited Cagbalete Island last June 18, 2016. It was our first out of town trip ever and I’m hoping that this won’t be our last *cross fingers*. Upon arrival at Mauban Port, we didn’t let the chance went by without trying Quezon’s famous native delicacy – Pancit Habhab or Pancit Lucban.

A local store near the port selling snacks and “Pancit Habhab”
A local store near the port selling snacks and “Pancit Habhab”

Pancit habhab is a native noodle delicacy that is served over a piece of banana leaf and is eaten without using any utensils. It is eaten using only your mouth like eating a sandwich and is best paired with their native vinegar.

Pancit Habhab
Pancit Habhab

After waiting for about almost 3 hours, the first passenger boat going to Cagbalete Island has arrived. We rode aboard the boat that is scheduled to leave at 10am. Fare is 70php per person.

Passenger Boat
Passenger Boat
The squad inside the passenger boat
The squad inside the passenger boat
High school buddies
High school buddies

The passenger boat left Mauban Port at around 9:30am and we arrived at Cagbalete Island at around 10:30am. The usual travel time is about 45 minutes but since we had a not-so-good weather, travel time took longer than expected.

Upon arrival at Sabang beach (fisher folk area), one of the local tour guides from our resort- Villa Cleofas – fetched us to give some instructions on how to get to the resort. If you’re a first timer, I advise you to ride a habal-habal (motorbike) for 50php per person going to your resort. We saw some tourists walked going to their resorts and I’m telling you that it won’t be easy since resorts are very far from Sabang beach and walking will be a real hassle if you’ll be bringing heavy bags and other stuffs because it may take you an hour or so.

Sabang beach
Sabang beach

We stayed at Villa Cleofas resort. The place is nice but a bit pricey considering its not-so-good amenities. Since there are no local restaurants near the area, we have to bring our own foods (we bought fresh sea foods at the market near the port) and cooked it in the common kitchen of the resort. The only thing I hated about this resort is you need to pay for everything that you need to use in the kitchen. Even the knives, ladle, utensils etc. and the stove. Use of stove costs 50php per burner per 30 minutes. *Sigh*

Lunch at our cottage.
Lunch at our cottage.
The squad’s ready for a swim
The squad’s ready for a swim

After having our lunch, we went to see the beautiful sandbar near the resort. We were glad because the weather was perfect, not too hot nor rainy.

Sandbar
Sandbar
Squad on the sand
Squad on the sand
Jump shot. Yayy!
Jump shot. Yayy!
Hi best friends!
Hi best friends!
Hey Marv! What happened to you? Lol
Hey Marv! What happened to you? Lol

The night wasn’t too boring at all because the resort arranged a fire dancing performance for their guests. The fire dancers were mostly homosexual teens from the nearby province and they were pretty good.

Fire dancing
Fire dancing
Local teenagers perform fire dancing
Local teenagers perform fire dancing

The next morning, we rose up early to prepare our breakfast and of course, to watch the sunrise. I’ve read some blogs saying that sunrise-watching in Cagbalete is a must. Cagbalete didn’t disappoint. I must admit, the sunrise was glorious.

Sunrise photo by one of my high school best friends: Aiza🙂
Sunrise photo by one of my high school best friends: Aiza🙂

Here’s my time lapse video of the sunrise:

After having our breakfast, we went directly to our scheduled island hopping/snorkeling activity. Island hopping/snorkeling is usually scheduled in the morning during high tide and while the sun is not on its peak.

Our boat for the island hopping
Our boat for the island hopping
Snorkeling!
Snorkeling!
Hello corals!
Hello corals!
Hello sea urchins!
Hello sea urchins!

One thing that was very noticeable was that sea urchins are very common in the waters so better watch out for them.

Sea urchins
Sea urchins
Swimming!
Swimming!

After 3 hours of swimming and snorkeling, we went to Bonsai Island – an island with Bonsai Trees that only appear during low tide.

Rocky shore going to Bonsai Island
Rocky shore going to Bonsai Island
Bonsai Island
Bonsai Island
A closer look at the bonsai trees. Sorry for the blurred shot.
A closer look at the bonsai trees. Sorry for the blurred shot.

*Feelingera sa Bonsai Island* :)) Photos are from my friend, Aiza, using her iPhone. Lol

*Feelingera sa Bonsai Island* :)) Photos are from my friend, Aiza, using her iPhone. Lol

*Feelingera sa Bonsai Island* :)) Photos are from my friend, Aiza, using her iPhone. Lol

Overall, our Cagbalete Island escapade was awesome. The weather was good and we really enjoyed our bonding at the beach. It was really a great place for relaxation and even kids will enjoy.

Here’s our itinerary for the 2D1N Cagbalete experience:

DAY 1:
12:00 AM Bus bound for Lucena through JAC Liner (Kamias – Cubao)
3:30 AM Arrived at Lucena Grand Terminal
4:30 AM Ordinary bus bound for Mauban
6:00 AM Arrived Mauban Bus Terminal
Walk or ride a tricycle going to Mauban Port.
Breakfast/ pay environmental fee at the Tourism office/ buy fresh foods and other cooking stuffs from the market since 10AM is the first passenger boat trip to Cagbalete
9:30 AM Boat trip to Cagbalete Island
10:30 AM Arrived Cagbalete Island (fisher folk area / Sabang beach)
11:00 AM Ride a habal-habal or motorbike going to the resort
11:30 AM Check-in at resort
12:30 PM Lunch & beach bumming
6:00 PM Freshen-up, dinner, socials
10:30 PM Lights off
DAY 2:
5:00 AM Sunrise watching
6:00 AM Breakfast
6:30 AM Island Hopping/Snorkeling
9:30 AM Walk to the Bonsai Island
10:00 AM Head back to resort
Freshen up
11:00 AM Lunch
12:00 NN Check-out at resort
1:00 PM Passenger boat ride to Mauban
1:45 PM Arrived Mauban Port
2:30 PM Bus bound to Cubao via Jac Liner Mauban Terminal
7:30 PM Cubao/Kamias Terminal

Other tips:

  • Bring cooked food that will last for 2 days or better yet, buy foods from the market since there are no restaurants near the resort.
  • Swim early morning and later afternoon during high tide.
  • Electricity runs only from 06:00PM until 06:00AM.
  • Entrance fee to Cagbalete beach is 50php per head.
  • Environmental fee is 50php per head to be paid at the Tourism office in Mauban Port.

 

Please watch the short travel video of our Cagbalete Island Escapade 🙂

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