Friday, April 18, 2008

Is it okay if I call you mine?

"Just for the time
And I will be just fine..."

Yeah, just like the lyrics above, I want to call Cagbalete Island my own, my private island, mine. But, I am just a guest who enjoyed the sand and can only shout to the world that it's mine no more than the hours that i walked, sit, swam and shoot on its creamy fine white sand and clear water. My shout maybe loud but it will only be eaten by the wind, my footprints maybe deep but it will be buried by the waves. I can never make it mine, but i can have it forever etched in my mind.
After a very hot 10 minute walk on a pathway that penetrates the small community of the island, after the curious stares thrown our way, after the friendly exchanges of "magandang araw po" to the locals (and they returned it with a smile), after the little confusion with the right way and finding ourselves walking on the shore, we arrived sweating in Pensacola Resort (042-7840158, look for Fe) just in time for lunch. After the initial introductions with Mang Rommel (the owner), we were lead to the tree house that I reserved the previous day. And whoa! aside from it being too big for two persons, the tree house - the only one in Cagbalete, by the way - is open, save for pieces of woods hammered together, it has no walls! Later on, we find it a unique experience, and the air can freely come and pass by from all sides.

Since we availed of the meal package, P700.00 per head that covers lunch, dinner and breakfast plus two snacks, our lunch was served in no time. And man, the serving was huuuge! And i love the crispy pata and leche flan!

Lyn rested on the hammock under our tree house while I take a few steps towards the beach, low tide!!! The low tide in Cagbalete starts at around 9 in the morning and continue until 2 in the afternoon. During those times, if you are brave enough to challenge the scourging heat of the sun, you need to walk around 400 meters from the shore for you to reach a waist-deep water and maybe a few more if you want chest-deep. The water is very warm and clear but the walking is just not fair hehehe.
We observed that there's a group of yuppies doing a team building on the other cottage and it's fun watching them, we even complimented that they're behaved compared to other people of their age (not that we're that old). We just let the time pass by talking about sensible things like "kung isa kang ulam, ano ka?" hehehe. And the two of us were just laughing, unmindful of the other group that's now starting to get noisy.

The water started to return at around 2, and before we can change into our swimming gears, turon with langka and buko juice were served as our snacks. yay!

Since it's still very hot to go swimming, we just explored the area, and walk further on the other side, challenging ourselves if we can get into the other resort, we almost made it but we returned after we saw a cemetery by the shore. natakot?! hehe.

The resort is not very ideal if you're looking for a nice sunset shot, you need to walk to Sabang for a perfect view of it. I did not walk towards Sabang, but a nice opportunity with a docking boat gave me a shot of the sun that's starting to hide.

Dinner time. The generator is now running, lights are now flooding the cottages like there's electricity. The noise of the yuppies are now starting to accelerate to the level that later on will reach the annoying part. I really did not enjoy the fish as it tastes so...fishy, malansa! Yeah, it's fresh but I am not really a fan of fish, except when fried.

We slept early, but the yuppie groups are now alcohol-glazed and were laughing like they're the only one there. It's really annoying, the noise that they are making, plus the music from their gadgets does not actually blend with the surrounding, the owner should have banned loud music! but maybe they won't as they're also discreetly singing in the videoke! hehehe. I don't know, maybe we're just tired, but we dooze off and woke up the next day with some birds chirping on the tree.
After having breakfast, we had another round of photo-ops that we enjoyed so much, it took almost the entire morning and the moment we decided to swim the water is already running away from us hehehe.

Walking very far and swimming on knee-deep water is not really my idea of fun so we give up and just had pancit habhab and cake for snacks. yum!

By the way, the resort (and all island occupants) is relying on deep well, so the water you'll be using for taking a bath, to rinse off the salt water, is clean but has the deep well quality we all know, from the smell to the taste, but who are we to complain? A lot of people are using that everyday and they're still alive, besides it is logical that we already prepared ourselves for that di ba? So, if someone is sensitive to these kind of set-up, well, just don't go there and just check in to a 5-star hotel. :)
We boarded the 12:30 pm trip of the passenger boat, and the people we saw the other day were the same people we're with in the boat. And after the exchange of pleasantries, we talked like they already know us (I've learned from them that majority of Mauban folks haven't been to Cagbalete). We thought that our boat ride going here with everyone and everything was already a learning experience, going back to the town proper offered an even more surprising twist: the passenger boat has just boarded a fully grown carabao!

If Cagbalete was not an awesome experience, I don't know what is.

"It sets off something I can't explain
And I can't wait to see you again."

We'll be going back on May 1-3. :)


backpacking philippines said...

only heard of this place here in your blog...i love places like this. thanks

kulas said...

Zherwin, ang galeng, 'tol. I only hope to remember to go to this place when I come home for a visit.

Many thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. Terrific shots ,by the way, and Lyn is a beautiful woman, if you don't mind my saying.

Patok na patok, Zherwin!

carlotta1924 said...

so is this an open invitation? hehehe.

grabe binabasa ko pa lang feel ko nasa cagbalete na rin ako. =)

Belle said...

the tree house is cute but did you feel safe to sleep in there being that there are no walls?

beautiful and secluded beach! i like it better than overly commercialized beaches like Boracay. ohhh, i love that picture of your girlfriend with her red sarong---beautifully taken!

Rudy said...

Hmm, sa May 1 ba? ;-)

BTW, ngayon ko lang napansin, kape't gatas pala kayo ni Lyn, mwahahaha. :-D

Imbita ka na ng bloggers. :-D

atticus said...

zherwin, ang galing mo nang kumuha ng litrato.

o kasi si Lyn ang subject mo? haha.

Panaderos said...

Great pics, Zherwin. It's truly a very beautiful place. Nakaka-inggit. I wish I'll have the chance to see it.

Thanks for sharing your pics from such a beautiful place. :)

Abaniko said...

Nice shot of Lyn there before the pansit pic.

Oh heck, you can call Cagbalete yours. I call Mt. Batulao MY mountain! Hehe.

Sidney said...

That is another great looking place... all this for only 700 pesos?
That is a great deal.

Funny... a carabao in your boat !

No wonder you return next month...
be careful all your blog visitors might show up there on May 1 ! ;-)

zherwin said...

backpacking philippines, it's really great going to places not popular to a regular tourist and yet surprised us with its beauty.

zherwin said...

kulas, salamat, medyo nakukuha pa rin sa tsamba. :)

zherwin said...

carlotta, do you want to join us? invite ka ng friends, sabay kayo sa amin (seven na kami sa group). May 1 is a holiday, tapos i-leave ang May 2 hehe. :)

zherwin said...

thanks belle, nakaplano talaga yung shot na yun hehehe.

and yes, it's safe, although i cannot say the same if it's raining hard.

zherwin said...

Rudy, uuy, napapasama rin sya! :)

oo, kape't gatas talaga kami and i like it hehehe.

zherwin said...

atticus, dahil maganda ang subject :)

tuloy na tuloy na tuloy na ba ang outing dito?

zherwin said...

panaderos, thank you. i just wish that it will stay that beautiful. :)

zherwin said...

abaniko, kanya-kanyang angkinan na lang hahaha.

zherwin said...

sidney, the P700 is for food, the accomodation is P900 (good for 6) and the transportation is no more than P600. so around P1750 per head, but if you will cook your own food and will sleep on a tent, you can slash the budget by more than 50%!

manilenya said...

I used to like that song and I am kind of hating you dahil ang ganda ganda ng mga shots mo, ang ganda ganda ng mga place na napupuntahan mo at ..ang swerte ni Lyn kasi modelong model sya sa beach na yan lol!

zherwin said...

manilenya, di ba masyadong obvious na kinareer naming dalawa ang pictorial? hehehe. mararating mo rin yan! :)

atticus said...

yep. tuloy kami. date na lang at ilang detalye ang inaasikaso namin.

nga pala, pag ikinasal kayo ni lyn, apply akong photog, ha? libre.

zherwin said...

atticus, wow! bibihirang dumating ang mga ganitong offer, libre pa! yes, sure, sure, yes! :)

atticus said...

great! just tell me when, ha?

watson said...

Zherwin, dahil sa sobrang gandang description mo ng Cagbalete Island ay pupunta kami dito this coming weekend! Friday ang alis namin, Sunday ang uwi. Marketing team ang pupunta (apat kami). May isang problema na lang... hindi pa kami nagpapaalam sa boss namin. hehehe! I was supposed to ask for directions pero very detailed na pala sa previous post mo. At ang mga tips mo, very helpful! Lalo na sa tubig. Baka magdala na lang kami ng mineral water. Pakiramdam ko mahina ang tyan ng mga kasama ko sa tubig poso. Better safe than have upset stomach the whole time. Thanks again!

Ferdz said...

Hapet! Thanks for sharing this island. Another vacation destination na medyo off-beat for now which makes it very good. Gusto ko yung 6th photo, ganda ng pagkakuha and also the 4th to the last pic.

Hehe. Pati baka pasahero sa huli.

zherwin said...

atticus, yes. :)

zherwin said...

watson, did you call the resort for reservation? mas prefer nila ang ganun para makahanda sila sa inyo hehe.

you can buy your provisions (food, water) sa public market ng mauban, and don't forget that the passenger boat going to Cagbalete has only two trips everyday, 10:30 am and 4:00 pm.

sayang, kung next week magkakasabay sana tayo.

zherwin said...

ferdz, salamat. and hopefully the island will stay off-beat despite the arrival of tourists (and will not go the anawangin way).

Toe said...

Ahahaha... nagj-joke lang ako asa kalabaw... totoo pala. :)

Hey, you should join that photo competition. Your photos are really fantastic! Serious!

zherwin said...

toe, nung marinig ko na me isasakay daw na kalabaw akala ko rin joke, pero nung makita ko na nagmamartsa na yung kalabaw papuntang bangka, natanong ko na lang, pano sya isasakay? hehehe pero naisakay nga at naibaba (i mean, pinatalon sa dagat). so, mahirap maging kalabaw sa cagbalete hehe. :)

Cathy said...

Great post! I will for sure visit this place the next time I go back to the Philippines! And it is so near Manila! I had been to Alabat (the next island) previously but I was not informed that a gorgeous island is just nearby (only of polilio).

I think I will feature your post in my blog ( if you have no objections.

Thanks and keep it up!

Best regards,

zherwin said...

Cathy, thanks. go ahead, you can feature my cagbalete post, i have no objections whatsoever, a little credit will do hehehe. :)

Ness said...

BEAUTIFUL place. BEAUTIFUL pictures. grabe.

zherwin said...

ness, go there to experience it. thanks for the visit. :)

cathy said...

Hi Zherwin,

I featured your post on Cagbalete on my blog with links to you of course. I also borrowed one of your photos (of course, you are properly cited). Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!


cathy said...


I linked you! =)

Cathy said...

Hi Zherwin,

I am preparing for our annual trip to the Philippines and I thought of going to Cagbalete island (thanks to your posts of course). Just one question: Is it better to stay in Pensacola or Villa Cleofas? I want to be very near the nice beach...beach front...good food...not too many people... Thanks in advance for your reply!


Xever said...

massive u still how much we can spend on some rooms? meron ba mura dun? or makikitira na lang ako... :D


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