Aboard the motorized banca from Vinzons port, my friends Suzzie, Kuya Ariel, and boyfriend Wowoo were ecstatic for Mang Litoy, our boatman to start our 2 hour journey to Calaguas. With our full-sized bags, sun block and sun glasses we considered ourselves ready to face the blasting sun.
The boat started to sail on a river with nipa palm and some other mangrove plants along the watershed. In five minutes the vast wavy ocean seemed to be only 50 meters away. Just when our boat was about to go straight to it, a giant wave approached us like saying “Welcome to the Philippine Sea! Woohoo!” We continued to navigate through the dark blue, rough and unfriendly ocean, diverting our attention to the vista of islets, rolling hills and luscious green mountains. The sound of the motorized banca became a rhythm that has nearly put us to sleep when a spotless stretch of sand slowly came into a view.
The waves aggressively splashed on the shore. Mang Litoy jumped first on to the water to bring our bags to the bamboo table.
As soon as I set my feet on Calaguas Island’s talcum fine white sand and felt its ticklish sensation underneath my feet while the fresh friendly breeze gently blew my hair, I knew I fell in love with Calaguas.
The long stretch of Calaguas is a virgin beach and probably what Boracay looks like before it was developed. Different kinds of seashells were scattered. The water was clear, turquoise and blue as it goes farther from the shore. There were little nipa huts. You want a hot shower? Or ice cold soda? Or log on to facebook and check in? Forget it! There are no hotels in the island. No electricity and no cellphone signal. Comfort rooms can be found on the small bungalow but you have to fetch water from the water pump outside.
You may pitch your tent under the trees. Be careful of centipedes. Wowoo was cleaning one morning and saw this big ass centipede crawling from our tent. The caretaker said if you get bitten by this, the bitten part will get swollen for weeks due to its poison.
If you ran out of anything like drinking water or food, you may take a 10-15 minute walk to the small barrio at the back of the island. They have sari-sari stores (vernacular which means a small convenience store). Buy fresh fish from the barrio and cook it at the beach. You may also want to trek to the hills to watch the sunset in the afternoon.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CALAGUAS
· The island is facing the Philippine Sea. Morning boat ride is advisable as the waves get bigger in the afternoon.
· NO cellphone signal
· NO electricity
· 2 hours away from the town, so first aid kit and basic medicines for pain, allergies and diarrhea are a necessity
· No source of drinking water. Make sure to bring enough drinking water.
HOW TO GET TO CALAGUAS / EXPENSES / CONTACTS
Calaguas Island is in Camarines Norte – the northernmost part of Bicolandia. You have an option to take a bus or plane from Manila to Naga City. Please note that all amount are in peso.
Some shots in the island: