Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cagbalete Island: How to go there

I teased you with pictures of Cagbalete Island, then you excitedly packed your bag with your swimsuits and sunblock, your shades and that book that takes you forever to finish, you already planned what you'll do on the island, that you'll swim to your heart's content, that you'll do this pose, that you'll shoot this and take picture of that, BUT, do you know how to go there?

The internet is laden with all the informations you need, but you don't have to go far as you can get them from here, and for me, getting to Cagbalete Island is not rocket science, it's as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Go to Lucena. Ideally at 3:30 am, take the Jac Liner or Lucena Liner bus in the corner of Buendia and Taft Avenue, very near the LRT Buendia station. There is also Jam Liner but the first two are better as they go inside the Grand Central Terminal in Lucena while Jam do not. Ask the bus conductor to drop you off in the Grand Terminal. Fare is P187.00 (air-conditioned) and travel time from Manila is only three hours.

2. In Lucena terminal, take the Mauban mini-bus that can be found on the left side of the terminal, which is just a few steps from where the bus will drop you. If you leave Manila by 3:30 am, you will be in Lucena by 6:30 am, you can have your breakfast at the terminal and board on the bus that leave for Mauban either at 7:30 am or 8:00 am (there's a trip every 30 minutes, earliest at 5:00 am). This is an ordinary bus but the morning breeze is refreshing as you will be travelling on a mountainous area. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes to one hour, fare is P50.00.

For those who prefer air-conditioned buses, sorry, there's none. But there are air-conditioned FX/Vans in SM City Lucena that can take you to Mauban. Fare is P60.00 and travel time is faster at 30 minutes, but the waiting period (both for passengers and available vans coming from Mauban) is both longer and crucial. From the Grand terminal, just wait for a jeep with SM Lucena as sign board.

3. By 9:00 am, you're already in the small town of Mauban. You can walk (around 7 minutes) or you can take a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Pantalan (small port) and tell him to bring you near the passenger boat going to Cagbalete, tricyle fare is P7.00 per head.

The passenger boat has two trips everyday, 10:30 am and 4:00 pm. Fare is only P30.00 and you will be sharing the boat with everyone and everything from hundreds of kilo of rice, flour, breads, vegetables and other necessities. You can observe that everyone in the boat knows everybody, except for you, of course. And can you take note of tagalog words that you did not understand? That would be quite a lot hehe.

At 9:00 am, you also have the option to pass by the public market and get your provisions from there. I assure you that you can get there the freshest catch and vegetables, you can also buy your drinking water and some more chichirya.

The water can be rough as the boat will go against the wave, so better secure your belongings and yourselves (don't worry, there's a vest).

There. Before noon, you'll be in Sabang, you'll be in Cagbalete island. Though the "welcoming sight" may not be very ideal (there are informal settlers in the area), you can already sense in the water that the fun and enjoyment and relaxation is about to start.

Whether you'll stay in Pensacola resort (0427840158) - which we did - or in Villa Cleofas (our next destination), you'll be walking for about 10-15 minutes. You can ask around if you're going the right way. The island occupants may appear to be a bit intimated by your presence and all of them will look and/or stare at you, but they are friendly and you have to understand and expect such reaction because it is only know that tourists (like you and i) are starting to flock to their once secret place.

Being the guests, we have to be humble and friendly, and not the loud type that's usually associated with Manila people (which is bad). In other words, once there, we are the ones who will make the adjustment and not the other way around. I should know, as I grow up in the province. :)

But, is the almost five hours of travel by land and sea worth all the trouble?
to be continued...

25 comments:

atticus said...

grabe. ang ganda. teka, paano pag magmamaneho? ayokong iwan si jiminy da cricket ko. may puwede bang pag-iwanan sa kanya sa mainland?

tama ka. huwag makulit pag bisita sa ibang lugar. akala tuloy, pag galing maynila, sosyal. huwag ding mag-display ng kung anu-anong gadget. sus.

turo mo sa akin papunta riyan, ha? kasi mahilig akong maligaw. at wala pa akong "first time island" this year.

zherwin said...

atticus, sa pagkakaalam ko pwedeng magpark sa malapit sa munisipyo, di ko lang alam kung magkano. sa villa cleofas, nagpo-provide sila ng parking space para sa mga nagpa-book sa kanila. :)

madali lang syang puntahan kahit kasama mo si jiminy da cricket, pagdating mo ng lucena, sa diversion road, kaliwa ka sa papuntang tayabas at lucban, pero pagdating mo ng tayabas diretso ka lang papuntang bayan, wag kang kakaliwa papuntang lucban, diretso lang ulit tapos kanan sa dulo, palabas ka na nun ng tayabas, at rolling na yun ala-sound of music. me mga signage naman papuntang mauban kaya madaling hanapin kapag naligaw hehehe.

sa website na cagbalete.com, meron doon na how to get there, meron pang mapa. pasyalan mo, mas magaling silang mag-describe. :)

Abaniko said...

Salamat for sharing this. I now have two new destinations in mind: Anawangin and Cagbalete. Thanks to you.

bugsybee said...

Five hours! Kakayanin ko kaya 'to?

That place is a real discovery, Zherwin- ang ganda talaga!

And your pictures are really, really good, too. I love that one taken thru the broken balustrade.

Toe said...

Naku, tama ka... we do get a bit noisy especially when we're in a group forgetting that we're the visitors.

Great... it's only an hour from Lucena? I'm afraid of the boat trip though. I don't like riding boats with everything including rice and chicken and... are there carabaos? ;)

How are those two resorts and how much? Demanding ba yung mga tanong? ;)

Mauban looks like a really quaint town... one of my former bosses is from there.

Rudy said...

Kaktakot naman yung mga life vests, parang namantsahan ng dugo. Di kaya kinain ng mga pating yung mga gumamit niyan dati? :-D

Punta tayo! Punta tayo! Teka, kumusta naman pala ang plumbing sa isla na yon? :-D

rhodora said...

Your photos are getting more and more beautiful, Zherwin! :)

kulas said...

Zherwin, binitin mo ako. Hinde mo pa tinapos sa isang pasada. Anyways, okay ang kuwento mo, at totoo ang sinabi mo: kelangan yung bisita ang unang makisama, and not the kabaliktaran.

May mga tsiks ba dun o kelangan bring your own, hehehe, biro lang, pero oka na rin kung meron. Hehehe.

carlotta1924 said...

from the looks of it, the trip is so worth it. tulad ni abaniko, may 2 na kong bagong destinations thanks to you :D

zherwin said...

abaniko, the question is, alin ang mauuna? :)

zherwin said...

bugsybee, thanks. :) by the way, the five hours travelling time has an interval naman, hindi sya tuloy-tuloy, and you'll enjoy the scenery.

i also like that shot, it tells us something that poverty and the need to survive is a way of life. (okay, i just made that up hehe, but really, that's how i see it)

zherwin said...

toe, and don't start with the younger generation, suskopo! sabi nga nung caretaker sa resort "mga walang pakialam ang mga kabataan ngayon!"

you won't believe what or who was with us on the boat when we go back to the town proper, yes, a carabao!!!

i'll post some more...

zherwin said...

rudy, nung nasa bangka nga kami, tinititigan ko ang mga vests kung pano sila tatanggalin AT kung mase-save ba kami nito if ever hehehe.

babalik kami dun sa May 1, hmmm...magpa-open invitations kaya ako? :)

zherwin said...

thanks rhodora :)

zherwin said...

kulas, pinutol ko na muna kasi mahaba na masyado hehehe.

at sa mga tsiks, ang mga turista dun ay level din ng mga turista sa boracay at galera, gets? hehehe

zherwin said...

carlotta, for sure, madagdagan pa ang listahan na yan. byahe na! :)

atticus said...

hmmmm...diyan na lang siguro kami mag-staff outing. puro debate ang staff kung saan kasi. this post settles it.

diktador ako, ano? haha!

Sidney said...

That is very clear... I can't miss it! Looks quite unspoiled... but for how long... now that you spoiled the beans! ;-)

Abaniko said...

Di ko pa alam kung alin ang mauuna eh. Tingnan ko sa makakasama ko. For now, My weekend schedule is full till June 2008! Yay.

zherwin said...

atticus, di naman masyadong halata hehehe. pero okay yan, ang cottage good for 25 pax ay 3500-4000 lang per day, tapos pwede pang magluto!

zherwin said...

sidney, that's one side of sharing a story/place, a lot of people will eventually know it. but it's okay, as long as guests will be responsible.

zherwin said...

abaniko, ay, for both anawangin and cagbalete, don't go there during rainy season, maalon na!

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Brenna said...

Hi,

maalon na ba talaga sa cagbalete during september? :(

ianisme said...

i went there january... ok naman ang alon kasi malaki naman bangka.

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