Late last year when I’ve first heard about a story of a paradise in Quezon province. The beauty of the place unveils when the water is low. This April, I went there to see it for myself.
A little background
Cagbalete Island is part of Mauban, a first class municipality of Quezon. It can be reached 6 hours from Manila (four-hour bus and two-hour boat ride on ideal situation). The team met at JAC Liner Kamias station by 11pm, we could not wait for a direct trip to Mauban (2am) so we immediately boarded a bus to Lucena Grand Terminal. We left Cubao around 11pm and after 4 hours we transferred to a mini bus from Lucena Grand Terminal to Mauban.
From Mauban to Cagbalete
We bought some foods before going to the port. Too early for the public boat, we went to tourism office to hire a private boat instead. Boat rentals for four persons is 2000 so we joined a a group of six to minimize the cost- now it is 3500 for 10 persons. But it will take and fetch you to the resort of your choice.
Best view of Cagbalete is seen on the afternoon. A wide array of sand ripples.
The waters become lower and lower as the time pass by.
Swimming. We need to walk farther to swim, still not deep enough though.
Island hopping. Didn’t try this, but according to the boatman the island is like Boracay.
Trekking. Explore the island and go to other resorts. You can also go to Bonsai island in front of (Villa Cleofas) which can be reached during low tide.
We stayed at MVT Sto. Nin̄o resort, because Villa Cleofas (our first option) have no available rooms, it is peak season after all. If you’re on a budget or just love the feel of being outdoors you can bring or rent a tent. In our case, we wanted a room to secure all our belongings and for convenience. Room rentals for an overnight stay is 1500 good for two and 2000 for four persons.
Entrance fee at the resort is 150 pesos but because we rent a room we are free of charge. Cooking is also allowed in the resort, but they dont have ready made meals.
Tips and tricks
Water proof your belongings and wear something you’re okay getting wet because the boat ride going to the island may be rough.
There are vendors selling fresh catch on the island but at no particular day or time. Better secure your supplies at Mauban market just before riding the boat.
Do not close a deal to a boatman without going to tourism office. Better safe than sorry.
Electricity is available in the island from 6pm to 6am.
Here’s a sample itinerary to guide you on your trip.
10:30 pm – assembly at JAC Liner Kamias 9286140
12:00 am – ETD Cubao (direct to Mauban 5am), (Lucena 12MN, 2AM)
04:00 am – ETA Lucena Grand Terminal, breakfast
05:00 am – mini-bus to Mauban
06:30 am – ETA Mauban, off to market
07:30 am – boat to cagbalete
08:30 am – arrive at cagbalete island
09:00 am – trek to MVT Sto. Nino
11:30 am – cook lunch or eat packed lunch
01:00 pm – explore island/rest
06:00 pm – cook dinner
08:00 pm – socials
09:00 pm – lights out
05:30 am – wake up call
06:00 am – swim
09:00 am – cook breakfast
10:30 am – wash up
11:00 am – trek back to port
01:00 pm – boat to Mauban
02:00 pm – bus to Lucena Grand Terminal
03:00 pm – late lunch
04:00 pm – ETD Lucena Grand Terminal
09:00 pm – ETA Manila