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Monday, January 21, 2013

Discovering Calaguas Island

It was summer of year 2011 when our group was invited for a vacation by one of my  bestfriend, Rhems in the town of Daet, province of Camarines Norte. Daet is said to be the “gateway to Bicolandia” as it is under the first province that you will pass by once you have entered Bicol Region.

We traveled 10 hours by a service jeepney that includes traffic all the way to Daet. We stayed in Rhems’ Aunt’s house just walking distance the famous Bagasbas beach where surfers really enjoy big waves. While in Bicol, we really enjoyed our stay there as we’ve got bonded with the Madrazo clan, played with dogs, meeting new friends, breathed fresh air, enjoyed the sun & beach, and ate delicious home-made Bicolano dishes especially fresh fish and “sinantol” (ground santol with coconut cream).  It's been quite a while since I've been home to Bicol, my Nanay’s province. I’ve visited Barcelona Sorsogon when I was 18 years old and Nanay go there at least once a year for summer vacation and to visit our farm. I so miss “baylehan”(sayawan) and the bicolano dishes, the province I will not getting tired of coming back.

Bagasbas Beach

During our 2nd day at Daet, we have decided to visit the famous Calaguas Island. We’ve been hearing about Calaguas Islands long time ago which boasts off white sand and azure waters. From then on, we promised ourselves that whenever had an opportunity to visit Bicol province we will drop by Calaguas Island. Our original plan was to go there on Black Saturday but the patrol boat which is managed by Rhems’ Uncle who worked at the Municipal hall was only available on Good Friday. We have no choice but to proceed with the plan. We dauntlessly conquered the 3 hours bumpy boat ride from Bagasbas beach to Calaguas Island. Honestly it was not an easy ride as we need to be in the middle of the sea for 3 hours while dancing with the big waves once in a while but the beautiful side of it was the breathtaking views of mountains and sea that you will pass by on your way to Calaguas Island. 

On our way to Calaguas

How to get to Calaguas Islands;

Getting there you need to travel 6 to 7 hours by by bus from Manila to Daet and an additional 2 hours boat ride from Paracale or Vinzon Route.  Philtranco or Superlines offers travel from Manila to Daet, they also have direct way to Paracale trips with non air conditioned buses. Alternatively, you can ride Daet bound buses and get off at Talobatib junction then ride another bus for less than an hour to get to Paracale town and then proceed to Paracale fishport by trike. Then ask some local fisherman if they can get you Mahabang Buhangin aka Calaguas Island. They usually charged from 1500 to 3000 pesos depending on the number of person. 

For Vinzon route:

From Daet proper you can catch jeeney to Vinzons and get off at the fishport and look for a boat to Mahabang Buhangin aka Calaguas.

After conquering the 3 hours bumpy boat ride, all our efforts paid off as we finally see the beautiful paradise of Calaguas Island. It was a very peaceful place with oh-so-white sand that shines with the reflection of sun rays. Beach lover will surely enjoy this place as this island is so pure with pristine waters and it’s not that commercialized unlike other beaches in the Philippines.

Beautiful Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Calaguas is a group of islands clustering in the Pacific Ocean off the shores of Camarines Norte.  Among locals, Calaguas is most commonly known as “Mahabang Buhangin” which has one of the finest sand beaches in the country.  Calaguas is definitely a must-visit paradise and because it’s not that commercialized you will not find any hotel or room accommodation but there are cottages in the island that you can rent for day or night stay. However, if you want to spend a night in the island it is required to bring your own tent, water and food.  You will enjoy the serenity of the place with just the white sand, azure waters, calm waves and nature at its best. It's so unwinding hearing the beach waves while walking by the sea shore from end to end and let the fine white sand touches your feet. A very relaxing experience you shouldn't miss.

Pristine white sand of Calaguas Island
Picturesque Calaguas Island 

Calaguas Island

B4LIFE invades Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Locals go fishing at Calaguas Island

Calaguas Island

Shell fossils on rocks Calaguas Island

We really enjoyed our day trip in Calaguas Island, witness to that is our overexposed skin resulting to sunburn hahaha. But it’s all worth it; we’ve got to enjoy the scorching hot sun rays, the beautiful white sand and the clear waters. Calaguas is truly a paradise; one of Philippine’s treasure that needs preservation so next generation will have a chance to embrace this paradise as well.

Paradise Island of Calaguas

Alluring beach and pristine white sand of Calaguas Island

Relaxing view of Calaguas Island

Azure waters of Calaguas Island

A Paradise of Camarines Norte - Calaguas Island

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