What was supposedly a 3d2n trip became a 2d1n trip. Why? Around the period that we went, there were earthquakes happening and obviously, people were scared. Since this was a joiner tour, many of the people who were supposed to come with us cancelled at the last minute. It sucked obviously because I had an extra day of doing nothing at home, but I can’t blame them for cancelling. Safety first – always. Sooo…. Instead of leaving on a Thursday, we ended up leaving on Friday night and arrived in Calaguas on Saturday morning. See, this is why 2D1N is too short. The travel time takes so long. It takes about 8 hours of land travel from Manila and 2 more hours by the boat. If you’re only staying overnight, it just felt like you spent the same amount of time for travel and actually being on the island.
So our tour met up at KFC MOA at 10pm on Friday – which is kind of the norm if you are travelling south, this is always the meetup place because it is close to the parking lot. We were lucky to have been seated at the back of the van and we had it all to ourselves. I was with Kring and her boyfriend on the same tour, Gelai went with another tour agency all by herself. (Which is not advisable if you are going to Calaguas – more on that later.) I was able to sleep quite well actually. I woke up at around 5am because I really wanted to pee but I think we were like still more than an hour away from the port. Apparently, there are two ports where you can take a boat going to Calaguas, one is via Vinzons (where Gelai took her boat from) and Paracale (where we took ours). We rested a bit before taking the boat so the coordinators can prepare everything. We had time for breakfast and to pee. LOL. We also changed into our swimming outfits (plus cover up, of course) since the waves can become too strong and people can get wet. You also have to place all of your stuff in a huge plastic bag, make sure it’s super sealed so that water doesn’t go inside. They place all the bags in the bottom part of the boat, so it’s just an extra protection in case water seeps in.
The boat ride took forever because it was very hot (it was summer duh haha) and I was super excited to see the island. It was really worth it when the island is already within our view. My first impression is that it reminded me of Corregidor Island in Siargao. Seeing the green mountains close to the island is breathtaking! This is definitely added to my most beautiful beaches list.
The sunset here was amazing, too. I’m in love. We were just right on time after washing up from an entire afternoon of swimming.
Our tour coordinator had a bunch of activities prepared but we opted not to go. Kring and her boyfriend has been here before and they’ve done that, so they weren’t really up for it. I was also not really that crazy to do that because I really just wanted to relax, and spend time in the water and do siesta at the beach. I really just wanted to chill.
So we spent so much time looking for Gelai. It is definitely a bad idea to book a separate tour when in Calaguas. Why? Because there is no signal on this island! We had no way of communicating with Gelai so we could find her. We didn’t even know what the name of her tour agency so we could ask around. We were just basing it on random bits of info we remembered she told us. Kring and I tried looking for her many times, but we only found her during sunset. We literally have gone to the other end of the island and we only saw her on the way back and she was going the opposite direction. HAHA. That was crazy! So yes, if you are going in a group, do yourselves a favor and book the same tour package. I think we only spent a few hours with Gelai since she has to go back during dinner and breakfast, and it’s just hard to coordinate because there are different schedules. We definitely had a lot of “Where’s Gelai?” moments HAHAHA
Our tour package also includes all our three meals and I was very satisfied with everything we ate. The coordinators were so nice and we had fun hanging out and talking to them. Luckily, I got my own tent as well because Kring and her bf knew the owner of this tour agency and got some freebies or something. But I think normally, when you want a solo tent, you’d have to pay extra. Since we were up so early that morning, I fell asleep right after dinner. LOL. Not even sorry.
Since I slept early, I also woke up early. Well, a lot of people woke up early. We were already in the water even before the sunrise and having breakfast. We had to leave at around 10am I think because if we go even later, the waves would be stronger. Travelling at that hour on the boat was already super stressful, so I can’t imagine how it was like for those that left later. At some point, I just covered my head, closed my eyes and hoped for the best. LOL.
The land travel going back was terrible. Let’s just say I never knew how much I could endure until this trip. After that stopover and dinner, I was able to sleep peacefully till we arrived back in MOA at around 10pm.
It was a really short trip to a beautiful island. This part of the Philippines really has a lot of beautiful beaches. It was albeit short and I wanted to stay at least 2 days. We also met some wonderful new friends in our tour group . Everyone was so cool (except for these 3 girls who just rubbed other people the wrong way) and I think we spent more time with them than Gelai, hahahaha.