Calaguas: A Trip Worth Taking in the South of Luzon

20160511_081853

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

With an area of 109,964.9 square kilometres (42,457.7 sq mi), Luzon is the Philippines’ largest island and ranks as the 15th largest in the world, too.

This region houses the country’s eight regions. It is of no wonder that it also carries different Filipino traits, culture and food including that of Metro Manila, the country’s capital and center of commerce.

When I get the chance, I go on a road trip. Having already captured the North loop of Luzon, I have tried heading South for a change. This is so we can discover new and untapped places in this side of the country.

Recently, we braved an eight-hour road trip plus an hour and1/2 hour boat ride to the Island of Calaguas in Camarines Norte. Although we are used to road tripping, preparing for a trip over a short period of time can be challenging while exciting, especially since we travel with kids and an infant.

This means we will have to deal with frequent stop overs and side trips. While it is a blessing to travel using one’s own car because you can go anywhere, it is also important to have a big, spacious, comfortable and reliable SUV or van to be able to seat at least 5 passengers.

Related Articles About Calaguas:

CalaguasBest Way to Get There

Calaguas – Waling waling Eco-Village

There are two jump off point by boat going to the Island of Calaguas. These are the 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours travel from the town of Paracale and  2 to -2 and ½ hours travel from Vinzons. If you are on a road trip from Manila, Paracale will be the best jump off point but if want a plane travel to Naga, Vinzon will be near you. Some people who come from other towns in Bicol also travel by boat from Daet, although it will be a long, wavy boat ride.

A friendly reminder: Be sure to contact your travel tour guide for the weather forecast. There are websites that can provide you detailed weather forecasting of Calaguas.  Be sure also that the boat that will take you to the island is registered and inspected by MARINA. It’s a good thing that Waling waling Eco Village where we stayed has its owned big and reliable pump boat that can carry 30 persons, such that big waves won’t pose problems. In addition, we were fetched by the experienced Captain Roy and his crew who always follow MARINA’s requirements and protocols. They even provided us with life vest for kids.

Waling Waling Eco Village’s Boat

Most tourists prefer to travel at night, leaving Metro Manila at around 10pm to 12 MN to avoid traffic. They usually arrive in Paracale before seven in the morning where usually at 7:30-8:00am, the boat leaves for Calaguas. While waiting for the boat, you still have time to munch on pancit and pandesal which we have discovered and loved in Paracale. If you have the luxury of time you can leave Metro Manila a day before so that you will have more time for stop overs and discover places on the way to Paracale.

Our initial plan was to drive first to Gumaca Quezon for 3-5 hours to see some old historical attractions there like “Kutang San Diego” or Fort San Diego, old churches and lighthouse. We wanted to leave Gumaca early in the morning since it’s just two to three hour drive going to Paracale.

You can also drive directly to Paracale and spend the night there or alternatively, to Daet where there are  lots of hotels and inns to choose from. It is an hour away to Paracale. We spent a day in Daet where we stayed in Bagasbas Light House Resort before going  back to Manila.

Possible Stop Overs:

.  Expressway Gasoline Station

.  Dahp’s in Gumaca

. Lolo Ompo

. Bagasbas Light House Daet

.  Paliza del Rio

Friendly Reminders:

  • Bring lots of power banks since electricity is available only from 5pm to 5am.
  • Don’t bring your laptop or tablets minimize extra baggage weight
  • Wear shorts or swimming gear as your feet may likely get wet during boat travel.
  • It can be a challenge to find a good cellphone signal in Calaguas. Even on some areas with signal, it can be a challenge to send SMS messages. Be sure to have no pending cellphone transactions.
  • Pack light and use plastic once on board to protect your stuff from wave splashes.
  • Wear sun blocks/sun screens
  • Bring spare change to buy affordable chichiria in the nearb stores
  • Bring a good camera. Preferably, a DSLR or Action Camera because there are lots of beautiful things to capture in Calaguas island. In my next article I will be writing about some activities that you can do in Calaguas.
  • Ice is gold so use sparingly (although Waling Waling always have it for their guests).
  • Choose a nice play to stay in Calagaus; one that can provide you comfort and safety at the same time.
  • Don’t forget to show your appreciation to resort staff through tipping.
  • Enjoy your stay.

Waling Waling Eco Village Calaguas –  A Detox in Paradise

More Photos here

Related Articles about Calaguas:

Calaguas – Waling Waling Eco Village

Things to do in Calaguas

Waze was our constant companion during all of our road trips and it helped us a lot especially in avoiding the traffic bottlenecks.

 

3276 Total Views 1 Views Today

About the author /


Kit is a self-taught photographer who possesses an insatiable desire to capture and freeze through his lens remarkable moments that revolve around travel, food, sports and special events. A registered nurse by profession, Kit traces back his passion for visual media when his camera has become his constant companion to his various medical missions and travels. His photographic works can be viewed at the TheSideTripper.com and Imahe.net, website he established that feature collections of photographs and blogs about the many travel and food tripping adventures of his family and friends. He also undertakes freelance assignments for online and print publications, most recently at Motorcycle Magazine where he is a contributor. He may be reached at admin@thesidetripper.com.

Related Articles

Flickr

    The Side Tripper

    “Make sure you don’t take any side trips,” warns Schumler, from a phrase in the 1993 American film Swing Kids. If you are someone who does not have time to lose, then it is better for you to stick to your main agenda, because there is something about side tripping that submerges the soul in experiences that sometimes make you hope that time would stand still, as the experiences they bring can be more impactful than the main trip itself. It is that free flowing agenda, an unexpected sleepover or a detour that has unintentionally brought pleasant surprises. You can live without it, like you can eat a cake without its icing, but your journey may not be as meaningful. If travel is the ‘best medicine for the heart’,* then for me, side trips are secret ingredients to the most memorable travels and other events that can happen in between or off the main route of one’s itineraries. Welcome to Side Tripper, a collection of photographs and blogs about the many side trip adventures of our family and friends. *Source: The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with the U.S. Travel Association (Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2013 by Chris Erskine)

    Follow us on Facebook!