08 September 2011

Reminiscing Calaguas

 

For those who are interested to know, here's a summary of our camping trip (c/o Mr. Melvic Brinas) to Calaguas:
  • caught the 2100 (Friday night) bus ride from Manila to Daet via Amihan Bus Lines
  • arrived in Daet at around 0700-0800 (Saturday); the entire group met with Mr. Brinas in Jollibee (I think there's only one in Daet)
  • 30-minute van ride to the port
  • 2-hour boat ride to Calaguas (with a quick side trip to Makulabo Island)
  • 1030--arrival at Calaguas campsite
  • 1200--buffet lunch for all (this is included in the camping package)
  • once done eating, go and enjoy the island!
  • 1900--buffet dinner for all (included in the camping package); also, we were lucky enough to be provided by Mr. Brinas bottles of The Bar Apple Vodka during our trip--whee!
  • 1000 (Sunday)--left the island for some surfing fun at Bagasbas
  • 2100--departure from Bagasbas back to Manila

 

Here's a little disclaimer, though. Calaguas is not for everyone. Don't get me wrong, it's not because this island is exclusive, or anything--it's just that certain types of tourists who have a set of "standards" might not enjoy the island as others do. As a piece of advice from one traveler to another, do not go to Calaguas if you:
  1. are faint of heart (or in Tagalognerbyoso/nerbyosa) -- The 2-hour boat ride to and from the mainland can get really bumpy; if you still wish to go, avoid the summer months and postpone your trip until around July when the waves are calmer.
  2. can't survive one night of sleeping without air conditioning -- camping = no bedrooms = sleeping in tents
  3. can't survive one night of sleeping without a comfortable bed -- same as #2
  4. can't survive at least 2 days of no mobile phone signal
  5. are not willing to try bathing from a makeshift pump (in Tagalog,poso) outdoors, potentially with strangers -- since it's a remote island, there's no running power there to light the (ruins of a former decent) bathroom
Bottom line is, Calaguas is an adventure in the most natural sense. It doesn't offer the thrill that mainstream water sports/activities do; instead, it challenges travelers to let go of their tired old notions of what a weekend beach getaway should be, and to just suck in the experiences that nature has to offer--both the beautiful and the not-so-convenient.


 

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I left Manila that Friday evening March of last year not knowing what to expect from that trip to Camarines Norte. Today, I remember myself sitting in that bus going home just overflowing with awe of what I have seen and experienced there. Actually, until now (as I type) I get chills recalling the most pleasantly surprising place I have ever been my entire life! Calaguas is by far the most exquisite of all the beautiful beaches I have visited here in the PhilippinesForget Boracay--it's already way past its prime. Hee :p
Behind an excellent camping trip is an excellent organizer/host. Melvic Brinas can be found in Facebook, where his contact numbers are posted: http://www.facebook.com/calaguas4ever
He has other websites, too!


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