Travel 2014: Valentine's Weekend at Cagbalete Island


Lem and I enjoy travelling together. We read various backpacking and travel blogs to help us on our trips. For our Valentine's date, we decided to spend a weekend away from the city and explore a place we found as one of the nearest island escapes from Manila --  Cagbalete Island.

Getting There...

We rode a jeepney from UPLB to Calamba terminal at around 5AM (we attended the annual UPLB fair that's why we did not come from Manila). We then hailed a tricycle from the terminal to Turbina. From there, we rode a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal. It was a 2-3 hour ride so we took it as a chance to take a nap since we did not have enough sleep from last night's event. When I woke up, the bus is already parking at the Lucena terminal. It was around 8AM. There were few people around and the establishments are still closed.

Early morning at Grand Lucena Bus Terminal.

Good thing, fast food chains like Jollibee and Chowking opens at 7AM. We dined in at Jollibee for our breakfast and took out meals at Chowking for our lunch. Then, we hurriedly went to the terminal of buses going to Mauban, Quezon.

Inside the bus going to Mauban. It is an old type bus, smaller compared to city buses.

The bus left the terminal at past 9AM. We have read that the travel time from Lucena to Mauban is around 45 minutes. We were positive that we can reach the port at 10AM to catch the first trip of the passenger boat. However, we noticed that the bus is moving slowly and it is loading and unloading passengers from time to time. This made our ride longer than expected. We reached the unloading point at Mauban after two hours. Then, we transferred to a tricycle that took us to the port. The woman from the tourism office welcomed us and told us that the first trip of the passenger boat already left. Lem and I felt a little upset because we needed to wait for the next and last trip (there are only two trips -- one morning and one afternoon) which is at 3PM. There were private boats that we can hire but it would be costly (PHP750 per person, one way fare) so we just decided to wait.

Fees that you need to settle at the terminal is the Environmental and Terminal fee.
The woman at the terminal was nice and hospitable. She invited us at the tourism office and gave us chairs so we can have our bags settled while waiting. Lem was still a bit upset of the misfortune we had. I was constantly cheering him up and telling him that everything will be okay.

After some minutes of waiting, a group of tourists arrived at the port. They inquired about the boats and fees at the tourism office. When the woman told them that they were already late for the passenger boat, they decided to hire a private boat. When I heard this, I thought that it would be great if Lem and I can join their group so we do not have to wait anymore. It will be cheaper than hiring a private boat for just the two of us because they were 16 in the group. Using my friendliness and kapal-ng-mukha skills, I approached the lady who seemed to be the leader of the group. I told her our story and asked if we can join their group on the private boat. Luckily, they will be staying on the same resort we booked. She said 'sure' instantly. Yehey!! We paid her PHP230 per person for a two-way boat ride. (Indeed, their group are our angels in disguise! Hihi.) While waiting for the boat that will take us to the island, Lem went to the wet market and bought some fish we can grill for dinner.

It was 12:30PM when the two private boats arrived at the port. Each boat can accommodate 10 persons so we had to split the group in two.

That's me standing at the back of the boat, enjoying the view of the sky and the sea.

After almost one and a half hour of boat ride, we can now see the island! Hello, Cagbalete!!

If we reached the island via passenger boat we would have to walk a 45-minute trail going to the resort. But since we hired a private boat, it already took us to the side of the island near resort. The water was too shallow and the boat cannot continue any more nearer so we had to walk from the docking area to the island.

Lem, my porter, carrying all our baggages. Hahaha.

Finally, it's "Touchdown, Cagbalete Island!"...

Lem and I stayed at Villa Cleofas Resort. We wanted a different experience so we rented a tent for our whole stay in the island. It is cheaper (PHP500, tent rental and entrace fee for two) compared to the rooms being offered by the resort.

Villa Cleofas Resort is one of the most famous accommodations in the island. Aside from their affordable rooms, the staffs were friendly and accommodating.
Lem inside our cute blue tent.

After transacting with the receptionist, Lem and I rested on the dining area of the resort and immediately munched on the food we took out for lunch. We were so hungry that it took us only a few minutes to finish our meal. Hahaha.

Now it's siesta time!

It was a long travel going to the island. It's now time to rest and gain energy!

Exploring the island...

Cagbalete is a privately owned island off the coast of Mauban, Quezon. Its white beach is surrounded by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. The beach is not crowded and there are no commercial establishments around. If you want peace and relaxation, Cagbalete Island is the place to be...

The whole island is surrounded by white sand.
Say hello to the Pacific Ocean!!
Couple pic. Kilig!
Cagbalete Island is a perfect getaway for people who wants to find serenity.

The night we will never forget... 

After strolling the island and swimming in the beach, Lem and I prepared our dinner.

Lem cooking the fish he bought from the market.
Our version of dinner by the beach.
We were very happy with the meal we prepared.

Eating by the beach while sharing the picturesque view with the man I love made me want freeze the moment. It was so sweet and romantic. After dinner, we sat by the tent and enjoyed the sky with its full moon. It was like those stories you just want to keep and tell your kids when you grow old. I'm getting mushy here. Hahaha.

We decided to sleep early because we were planning to wake up for the sunrise. It was a quiet night. Well, that's what we thought...

At the middle of our sleep, we were woken up by the sound of the strong wind blowing our tent. Lem lend me his jacket to help me sleep and fight the cold. After some time, we noticed that it is already raining outside. It became colder but we still tried to continue our sleep.

However, the rain became stronger. The wind got freezing cold. The water was already dripping inside our tent. We got worried that our things might get wet so we immediately evacuated and transferred our things to the covered dining area. It was too cold. I thought I was going to die with hypothermia at any time.

We returned to the tent when we felt that the rain already subsided. Yet, a few minutes later, the rain poured again. I was already chilling. Lem tried to check if there were resort staffs already awake. Luckily, there was someone who accommodated him. We were then transferred to the standard room. And yes, we survived the night!!

A rainbow after the rain...

Waking up on the next morning made me feel like we won a survival challenge. Wohooo! We were not able to see the sunrise because Mr. Sunshine was hiding in the clouds. But, at least, the rain already stopped. After eating our breakfast, Lem and I explored the Bonsai Island which is just a  walking distance from the resort.

The Bonsai Island is an islet that can only be seen during low tides.
These are the little mangroves in the islands. I think this is the reason why the island is called as such.
Rippled sand at the island.
Trying out one-legged bridge pose. Hihi.
Lem's successful jumpshot! Wee!
Goodbye, Cagbalete...

We were fetched by the boat after lunch. Even if we had a very challenging night, I could say that I enjoyed Cagbalete Island. We will try to visit again during the summer season so we can experience the sunrise and stay longer in this paradise. :)

Couple pic before leaving the island.
Thank you, Cagbalete. Goodbye... for now. :)

Villa Cleofas
Tonet - +639178395852/ +639178143475

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  1. Do you have a breakdown of all the expenses you had? - Nad

    1. haha. i am not a budget traveller so i dont keep track of the expenses. hihi. but if you will go camping, prepare 2.5-3K budget :)


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