Monday, May 30, 2011

Viaje Mauban | Cagbalete Island Camping Day 1

As I've said in my previous post, Mauban Town can offer you both relaxation and adventure. This post consist entirely the chillax part of my Viaje Mauban at the Island of Cagbalete.

Day 1 - May 20, 2011 | The Island of Cagbalete

We were dropped by the mini-bus somewhere near the town's Municipal building and from there we walked several meters until we reached the town's seawall, the jumping-off point to the Island of Cagbalete.

Boat trips to the island are scheduled at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm daily. We boarded by 9:20 am and we were with a lot of passengers that time. Among them was the owner of MVT Sto. Niño (where we opted to set up our camp), none other than Ms. Fely, herself.

going to Cagbalete
lifevests = safety
leaving the port of Mauban
At exactly 10:00 am, we left the port of Mauban. The men (boatmen, sailors? hindi ko alam kung ano tawag sa kanila) charged us P40.00 each.
    MVT Sto. Niño
     Fely: +639277774828 / +639217275398

 other resorts in the island are:

    Ed: +63919 220-5000
Tonet/Tess: +63917-8140496 / +63917-8143475
     Pansacola Beach Resort
     Romel: +639285058633 / +639228861491

"The sea is very peaceful, we can reach the island fast,"  Ms. Fely told us.

Indeed, it took us only 40 minutes to reach the island paradise, that's 5 minutes earlier than the usual 45 minutes boat trip, haha.

we're getting closer to Cagbalete
the Sabang port
Upon our arrival at the Sabang Port of Cagbalete Island, young boys (12-15 years of age) came into our boat to carry everyone's baggage for some tips. They're acting so much like the cargadors of the pier at very young age. Some of them are still small kids (mas malaki pa yung mga bag namin sa kanila) but they sure are great swimmers.

the boys of Sabang Port
young swimmers
The island's resorts are situated on the other side of the island
| Sabang Port is at the western part of the island, the resorts are at the east facing the Pacific Ocean
Some of the boat's passengers traveled by another smaller boat (they paid P400-200) to their resort of choice. But most, including us, decided to walk the 1.5 km trail to the resorts (believe me, 1.5 km isn't that far really). A kid still followed us, been wanting to serve as a guide to the resort, even if there's a clear trail to follow naman.

Cagabelete Island Landing
My company for this trip: Vincent, Yaga, and Jonas
We walked for 20 minutes, passed through a local community, then through a grassy and bushy trail, then along the white sand beach. We crossed first a shallow river before we finally found ourselves in front of the MVT Sto. Niño at around 11:50 am (actually naunahan pa namin yung mga nagbangka).

the trail to MVT Sto. Niño and the persistent kid, Arnold
the beach of Cagbalete, towards the MVT Sto. Niño
My company tired of walking
the river, few more steps to MVT Sto. Niño
the author with Arnold, we paid him na lang P70 for his persitence
MVT Sto. Niño only had 3 guests that time, so we totally own the beach.
| MVT Sto. Niño is the farthest of the island's three resorts, it has less people which means it has more island vibe than the other two.
Camping at Isla Cagbalete

If not couch surfing, checking into a cheap inn is always my last resort. I am totally not the camper type of traveler. I never got the chance to experience pitching a tent or eating delata all day, though I've always been wanting to try this out. Our camping at Isla Cagbalete is my very first camping experience.

So by 12 noon, our first agenda was to find a perfect location to pitch our tent. One of the resort's staff directed us to a place near the pine trees where there is a flat ground, a beach front view and a lot of shade from the towering trees. So perfect that we pitched our tents right away.

Our backpacks
our tent
The last food we ate was the siopao from the terminal, it was lunch time already when we realized we have not eaten a true meal yet. And so we brought out our baon na delata and uncooked rice, I stayed behind and watched our tents as they kept themselves busy preparing our meal at the resort's public kitchen (tamad talaga ako when it comes to meal preparation).

After eating the different varieties of canned tuna, a lady who's selling her freshly caught fish approached us. There was a sudden feeling that we need something fresh for dinner. So for P100.00, we bought her two fresh fish.

our lunch for the day, variety of canned tuna
the lady volunteered to clean the fish for us
We can no longer hold back our urge to experience the island's pristine white beach. The time was 3:00 pm, and the tide was still very low, exposing the uber wide fine white sand beach. We were told that the tide will rise any minute after 3:00 pm. We're beating the time, we saw the waters slowly rising. So before the sea completely swallowed the sandy soccer field, I clicked the shutter tirelessly.

running for the white sand beach
jumpshot is a must in Cagbalete

the super duper fine sand of the beach
the rocky part of the beach, rich in marine fauna
the grey sand part of the beach, still very fine

Swimming was impossible during the low tide, the waters are lower than your knees. So we proceeded first on a spot where the river and the sea meet. There, we waited until the the water level increased. We played the "when-you-throw-the-stones-in-the-water-it-will-bounce" game.

where the river and sea meet
pine trees are plenty
the river

Around 5:30 pm, the water rose to waist-level which was actually fine with me since I really don't know how to swim. We swam until we realized that the water was still rising (our slippers on shore were at stake). Just like what we suspected, no more slippers on shore, just my sandals, too bad for them, woohoo for me. We searched for their footwear and found only 2 (Jonas' left slipper and Yag's right slipper).

So down and tired of searching, we decided to just go back to our camp and prepare our dinner.

So what's up for dinner? Aside from meatloaf and the fish we grilled, two friendly fellow guest gave us liempo and paksiw na isda. These benevolent beings were sent by the heavens above (great thanks to doctors Cristy and Fe), they even invited us to join them in their breakfast and lunch the following day. Hindi na rin masamang mawalan ng tsinelas kung makakakilala ka naman ng ganito kabait na mga tao.

During the night there are a lot frogs (of the species Bufo marinus) everywhere in the island. I want to bring and dissect them at home.

After the extremely gratifying meal, we washed up ourselves in their public shower.

"La Luna"
Clean and fresh, we headed back to our camp to get some rest. The ambiance was perfect, fireflies do play around the surrounding pine trees, "La Luna", our only light source, looks perfect too, and the sound of the waves are the lullabies that made us fall into sleep.

End of Day 1.


Five-part series of my Mauban, Quezon Trip with college friends (May 20-22, 2011).
Viaje Mauban | The Town of Mauban - Part 5

Itinerary | Mauban and Cagbalete



  1. nice ivan... love it... now puerto galera has a competitor for my june trip =)

  2. love the pics! now i know bakit gustong gusto dyan ng mga photographers. daming subject! :)

  3. Nice pics of Cagbalete Island. I like being in here there is no busy bars and restaurants and high end resorts but its simple and natural beauty may just be its main attraction.

  4. tanong ko lang much po ang budget dito?

  5. hi anonymous, believe it or not.. less than P1k ang budget namin sa Cagbalete island :)

  6. May maganda po na beach/camp area sa Tambobong, Pangasinan. Hindi pa siya commercialized kaya sobra ganda ng beach at mababait ang mga tao. There is a new resort there, just starting. Its called PANTALAN BEACH RESORT in Tambobong. Bawal ang maingay na karaoke, cemented parking for 10 cars(50/night), kubo rental at only 1.5k per night and maintenance fees at only 50/head for use of cr and bath kung gusto niyo mag tent lang sa beach!!! Pero very very basic facilities lang. They even offer set meals for groups. Or if you want them to cook merong minimal fees lang. The kubos are built right on the pantalan (port) so GREAT view of the ocean talaga. Maganda yung kubo and can fit 8 to 10 yata. Meron din built in tables made of bamboo lang. Rustic. Its owned by the Bobises so just call nanay Precy bobis or Deo Bobis at SUN#09227154685 or SUN#09236685401 or SMART#09075183062 for reservations and arrangements. I understand they can even arrange transpo to/from manila na rin now. Pls call or text for rates nalang. Thanks.






  7. Beautiful, indeed! The pictures are vivid.



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