I hit my “beach quota” well and above this month. 2nd week of May, I and my high school friends (plus our significant others) boarded a bus (well Ranie and I took a bus a little later than the others – we overslept bec. of a Mad Max screening) to Quezon to get to know Cagbalete, a camping site that was 2 hours away from Lucban.
We traveled 6 hours – 4 hours by bus to Lucban, 1 hour on a 2nd bus to Mauban, and a 1-hour boat ride from the Pantalan to Cagbalete. Skip the government-assigned big boat because the queue runs pretty long and the locals-in-charge are still figuring out how to make the system organized. Hire a private bangka for round trip service instead (pay during the return trip). It will be worth it and you can also ask for island hopping for additional fees.
Camping was fun. Fortunate to have a boyfriend and friends who actually enjoy chopping things and making a fire, so we were well-fed thanks to freshly-caught fish we bought from the locals. Unfortunately, the water was really, really low during the fortnight that we stayed there. The beach looked more like a desert, with the water was at least a kilometer away from its sunset mark; and even then, it barely grazed our knees. Still, there were mangroves, lots of little creatures, and I was with people I’ve known for 10 years now. I had a blast and I could not complain really.
Cagbalete is one long island that has several beaches on it. We happened to stay on the one farthest from Mauban Port – this was probably a factor as to why the water was so low. Come to this island for a laid-back, affordable getaway. Camping is comfortable, the island is raring to be explored on foot. During our boat rides, we spotted one beach where there was actually lights and some loud blaring music (although that is not my thing). Watching the sun fall from the sky, right in the water, beside mangroves is a pretty memorable moment.
I did manage to break my Mama’s camera during the trip :(. I hope to replace it soon as soon as I get to road test the best model.
Since I haven’t seen much posts about Cagbalete, I thought I’d throw in a break down of individual expenses for an overnight trip (approximate figures only):
- P400: Cubao bus to Lucban. JAC Liner has trips 24/7. There’s also a direct bus from Cubao to Mauban, but this leaves at exactly 5AM on the dot. The line can get pretty long as early as 2AM. If the bus is full by 3AM, it leaves the station (which explains why Ranie and I took the Lucban bus).
- P55: Lucban bus to Mauban port
- P300: Miscellaneous fees including tourist taxes, environmental fee, tricycle rides
- P300: Roundtrip boat to Cagbalete if you’ll be with 10 people
- P500: Food. Approximate budget for food/head is good for 3 meals, snacks, drinks, stove and coal (we chipped and we are all more than full).
TOTAL: P1555. Not bad right?