by Febbie Alacapa |
It’s that time of the year again when beachgoers are in search for the perfect beach spot away from the hustle and bustle of the metro. Batangas, Pampanga, and Zambales usually top the list as summer destinations since they offer white sand beaches and are all within a 2 to 4-hour drive away from Manila.
But if you’re interested in a more affordable, more private, less-crowded, and underrated island getaway, the Province of Quezon might be the paradise you’ve been looking for.
The province of Quezon is known for its spacious mountain ranges, vast forest lands, coconut production, and lively festivities. The Sierra Madre, Mt. Banahaw, and its cultural churches are some of its well-known tourist spots. But not known by many, the province also offers wide stretch of beaches enveloping its mountainous ranges, just waiting to be discovered.
Cagbalete Island: A secluded paradise.
In a small town of Mauban lies the 1,640 hectare paradise of Cagbalete Island. Situated east of Quezon province, resting along the waters of Lamon Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the island offers a wide vastness of creamy white sand beach and crystal clear water.
It might sound like Cagbalete is just like any other beach, but the actual experience of setting your foot on the island and witnessing its scenic surroundings will make you realize that it’s different from any other island near the metro.
The island is also known for its diverse ecosystem and rich marine life. Beautiful corals, schools of fish and countless starfish are waiting for you when you enter its waters. Just 45 minutes by boat is another island perfect for bird watching activities.
When it’s low tide, its shoreline will make your jaw drop as it creates a picturesque landscape while the sunrays flatteringly reflect on its wet and moist sand. Cagbalete is a perfect island for the beachgoers tired of bumming on the same beach every summer. You’ll feel refreshed after experiencing its rawness.
How to Get There
From Manila, there’s a JAC Liner bus that transports passengers directly to Mauban, Quezon Province with two trips scheduled at 5 AM and 12 NN. Take the 5 AM trip to arrive 10 AM in Mauban. Fare is ₱270. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at the Mauban Public Market.
If you miss the 5 AM trip, ride a bus going to Lucena Grand terminal. There are daily and regular trips going to Lucena Grand Terminal that leave every 30 minutes starting at 2 AM. Travel time is about 3-4 hours and fare is ₱210. If you are taking this route, from Lucena Grand Terminal, ride another bus bound to Mauban. Travel time is one hour and fare is ₱50. Get off at Mauban Public Market.
From Mauban Public Market, walk a few meters towards the Mauban port and ride an outrigger boat going to Cagbalate Island. Tourists are required to register at the tourism office and pay for a ₱50 environment fee. The tourism office also facilitates boat rentals going to the island. A small boat costs ₱1,500 for 2-3 passengers and big boats good for 8-10 passengers cost ₱4,000. These boats will bring you directly to your resort.
If you are on a budget, there are also regular public boats leaving Mauban Port at 10 AM. This boat will drop you off at Cagbalete Sabang Port. From the port, you will walk 10-30 minutes before reaching your resort. When it’s low tide, passengers will be transferred on a raft to bring them near the port. Small boats are also available for rent to bring you to your resort from the port.
Where to Stay
Cagbalete Island is slowly becoming the beachgoers’ favorite. With the sudden increase of travelers heading to the island in the past years, a number of privately-owned resorts have opened. Three main resorts which are operating for a long time already are Pansacola Beach Resort, Villa Cleofas and theMVT Sto. Nino Resort.