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Friday, February 22, 2013

CALAGUAS ISLAND: Paradise lost,Paradise found

I guess this is what they mean when they say success is measured by what you had to give up in order to get it.The struggle to get to Calaguas Island was such an ordeal....

10hours on the bus to Naga
1.5hours via FX to Daet
20minutes on tricycle to Vinzons
4hours boat to Calaguas Island.

Not to mention the time spend going back to Naga again + the scary boat ride pabalik.All in all,we spent 23 hours to and from Calaguas via Naga.

Was it all worth it?If I have written this post a few days after the trip,I would have said NO!Yes,me tandang padamdam.But thinking about it now,I somewhat miss Calaguas,its beauty that is unspoiled and its unique charm.The trip might have been not as smooth as we hoped it would be but thinking that we survived it all made it such a memorable place.It's true that victory is sweeter if it's hard earned.

Will I be coming back,I guess not soon.But given the right timing (and season),I would like to experience it again.For now,I keep and reminisce the rough,yet memorable adventure.

And the beauty that is Calaguas,Paradise lost,Paradise gained.......

 Mahabang Buhangin CALAGUAS
   Paradise lost,Paradise found in CALAGUAS ISLAND

Given the horrific boat ride we experienced on our way to Calaguas,we almost didn't appreciate the island.Other than the waves,it was dark and raining hard during our final approach.Parang "end of the world" lang.So tell me,who cares if the powdery sand of Calaguas is beautiful?We didn't see that.We were too busy thinking of how to stay alive given the circumstances.


But all's well that ends well.Not an hour after we settled,the sun reappeared for a couple of minutes before it finally set.We immediately went to the beach and took a second look to at least appreciate it.It was still a bit gloomy but our hearts were alight.Took advantage of the chance to snap photos here and there.Even managed a group jump shot.Almost paradise lost.


It was relatively quiet the whole night except some quick episodes of rain.We had a peaceful sleep.


Boat rental costs 2,500-5,000php depending on where you are coming from (Vinzons or Paracale). Try to haggle,it's the name of the game. We were originally offered 5,000php from Vizons which I was able to negotiate for 4,000php.Thinking about the hard work that these boat owners have to put up just to bring adventurous lads to the island, kulang pa ang 4,000php.Be generous. Kung me extra,give tips,especially to the boat assistant.Extra lang sila and the bulk of the pay will go to the boat owner.

Think of it,at least you don't have to pay for your accommodation.So pwede na.

Toilets and Potable Water

There is a deep well pump near our camp site.No shower rooms though so you have to shower in the open.This is kinda fun actually.I remember doing the same when I go home in Pangasinan.Though cleaning yourself thoroughly might be challenge,it could be fun.A complete contrast to your usual shower at the comfort of your own home.

There is also a concrete toilet nearby.No electricity in the island so you have to bring your lamp or flashlight when you have to do it at night.Quite a challenge.I remember holding a candle while doing my thing.hahaha 

Other than the tents we took with us,we rented a cottage for 200php.Having one is very helpful especially if you have a lot of stuff with you,and also during meals.Nice place to hang out,do drinking and kwentuhan too.


YOUR BOATMAN is your Life Support

Your boat man is your life support when in an island like Calaguas.I think I also said that when we went to Anawangin Cove.In our case,our assistant boatman was most helpful.Not only the he helped balance the boat against the giant waves,he helped us all throughout the trip especially during the night.He helped us borrow cooking materials and lutuan from the caretakers of the section where we camped who maintains a hut nearby,he helped us cook our meal,helped us secure our stuff,helped us buy some of the things we failed to purchase at the grocery in the mainland (yes,me kulang pa despite 1,600php worth of groceries,shayks!),and he even helped us pump water from the poso when we cleaned ourselves.

Kuya Jovy also has his own boat but on that particular day,he said he was just an extra to another boat owner.They also go in two because of the strong waves.Makes sense,di talaga kaya ng isang tao lang.

in Vinzons,you can CONTACT:
Kuya Jovy --- 09092263870
Kuya Putong --09205666985
boatmen gathered by the beach in the morning

AT KAYA PALA ANG LALAKI NG BAGAHE NG MGA GIRLS,me dress rehersal sa beach! :)


Good Weather the next day revelaed the unspoiled beauty of Calaguas and it's unique charm.

We were camped near the Western end of Mahabang Buhangin.It is close to a hill which serve's as the beach's dead end.From there,you can see the long streach of white sand very similar to the landscape of Boracay (less the hotels and shops).Now I see why they always compare it to Boracay.The sand could rival that of the most famous island in the Philippines although nothing still beats the powdery sand of Station1.Mas pinu ang sa station 1.Imagine Boracay 30 years ago and you have Calaguas.Will this place turn into another Boracay?Many people certainly hope not.I personally think it wouldn't.The location of the island (exposed to the rough waves of the Pacific Ocean,and Bicol being at the path of typhoons) means it's not commercially practical to put up hotels here.Perhaps in the western side facing mainland Camarines Norte---me chance pa.Although the sands there are not as fine as that of Mahabang Buhangin,the coves in the area are at least more secure against the battering of the waves.
 Mahabang Buhangin CALAGUAS


Somebody raised the question to me on twitter.
paul.eeyan ‏@eeyandgreat asked:
"@pusangkalye22 is Calaguas island really worth it? It's often compared to Boracay."

I replied: 
"@eeyandgreat depende s hanap mo.Calaguas=beauty +beauty. Boracay= beauty +convenience.Convenience is important to me.Di pwedeng beauty lang :)"

Then again,is it worth the push?YES!Once in your life,you have to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.Especially if you have a boring life,try Calaguas,it might add color to that dull existence.Seriously! :)
The rugged rocks in the Western end ads accent to the place. We stayed here for a few minutes to take countless photos.Profile pic overload.Part of our souvenir of this place so difficult to reach.A trophy for all the effort.It was in these few hours in the morning when we finally appreciated the place.Paradise found!



1.bus or plane---- to Naga
2.Fx or bus----- to Daet
3.Tricycle -----to Vinzons or bus to Paracale.
4.Boat---- to Calaguas Island. (Mahabang Buhangin)

It helps to be with bubbly people.There were 5 of us in Calaguas.Everything became lighter because our friends were cool.If not,baka nag-laslas pulso nako sa bangka palang.lols.Sure,we felt all the horrific emotions I narrated but we knew how to make fun of it afterwards.We keep talking and laughing about the trip when we got to Legaspi,at the airport,and even at the taxi back in Manila.Suspense-Horror-Drama-Comedy ang trip na to.lol

My CALAGUAS SERIES is not over yet.
updated: CALAGUAS CHRONICLES: from "Survivor" to Temptation Island mode.

going to Calguas?
NAGA is a good set-off point
Airphilexpress flies to Naga twice daily
Book your tickets at   


  1. Nice post! How many days kayo sir?

  2. haha, i agree naman. syempre ibang level pag convenient, specially sa ating nearing to old age na. LOL

    but still, calaguas still ranks 1st in my list.

  3. ganda talaga ni ate naka blue two piece,
    ahaha natatandaan ko tuloy ung swimming namin sa battangas sa shore din kami ng sleep

  4. Ohh Pilipinas tunay ka nga kay ganda,, salamat sa pag post...

  5. Hi! How much should I prepare if I want to go to Calaguas? Thanks and great blog post :)

  6. We're going there 1st week of march. hanap pa kami mas mura na boat kasi 2 lang kami ng wife ko. great post! :)

  7. Great post. =)

    Si Mang Putong din po yung nagbabangka sa amin 'pag sa Calaguas.

  8. How true na madumi na daw ngayon sa Calaguas? :(

  9. siguro nagkataon lang na malakas ang alon ng pag punta mo..
    we were wet due to the rough boat ride, but the waves wasnt hellish...
    For my top 10, Calaguas Group of Islands would rank 4.
    Caramoan ranks higher for me.
    though going for adventure like this, I prefer..
    I could get away without convenience.

  10. Thank you for this blog. It helps a lot. My friends and I will be going there this coming Wednesday. Lalo akong naexcite after reading this post! :)

  11. meron naraw resort, bar and videoke dyan...ingay
    dapat talaga secret na lang yan di na dapat i-blog :(

  12. oo nga dapat secret island hehe baka maexploit at dumumi and island

  13. Just wanted to share our experience during our Calaguas trip this Febuary 2015, this is after heavy rain in so waves are really rough and my heart is about to jump. Good thing our tour guide Noly is really helpful to us and comfort us during that time.
    When we reach the island, it was majestic and pristine as it could be. We had 4 meals a day (heavy meals) and when we go back to Vinzons, Noly asked us to eat at their house (no additional charge) before we head out to Manila. It was an experience for a lifetime, not just because of the beautiful beach. But our tour guide is really helpful and hostpitable.
    You can contact him Noly – 09179595985 / 09206611018 or http://www.calaguasislands.com/ (not affiliated in any way, just a happy traveler)

  14. Thank you for your posts. I'd like to share my personal experience: Calaguas was so wonderful for me kasi we went there during the early part of May. The weather was wonderful. No buwis buhay feelings. Natural pools, white sand and swimming with the fish in the clear water. Behind the beach there's a little house on the prairie scenario where we played with baby goats. Honestly. I love it. But next time I don't want to use a tent anymore. I want to get a Cabana. I saw a few covered with curtains. Can you share what numbers to contact about that?


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