More than the fine sand and the beautiful views of sunsets, the reason why I love the beach so much is because it is the place where I feel most calm. It is my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the metro and the very stressful demands of being a nurse in one of the busiest hospitals in the Philippines. So for my birthday, I’ve decided to treat myself to a vacation package that takes care of my every needs. I booked a tour to Calaguas Island from Bakasyonista. They offered a stress-free, super-sulit (worth it) vacation package to Calaguas for only 2, 849 pesos (57 dollars).
Calaguas Island, also known as Mahabang Buhangin (long stretch of sand), is a group of islands located in the province of Camarines Norte in Bicol Philippines. It is composed of minor and major islands which makes it a perfect destination for island hopping. The largest and most popular among these islands is Tinaga because of its proximity and pristine white beaches.
I have heard great things from my friends who’ve been to the islands. One of the reasons I chose it as my birthday get-away is because despite its beauty, which rivals popular beach destinations like Boracay, it remains free from overwhelming amounts of tourists. Not to mention it is very affordable.
Now one thing to be aware of, they do not have network connection on Calaguas Island. This might be a deal breaker for some but honestly, despite being initially worried about being cut-off from the world, it actually added to the experience for me. I think once in a while, we need to put down our phones and just sit down, look around, and serenely breath in the beauty of nature best enjoyed in silence.
The powdery white sand that will make you beach bum all day, the crystal clear ocean with different hues of blue, the beautiful rock formations at the sides and in between islands, the wonderful coral formations , the fresh unlimited seafood, and the overall serenity of the place. Its unspoiled beauty will make you feel that everything is perfect and will make you let go of all the bad vibes you have at the moment. I assure that you’ll definitely have a world class island experience!
What To Do When You Get To Calaguas Island?
- Beach bumming & swimming
Upon arriving on Calaguas Island, I placed my bag at a cottage and walked back to the shore. Breathe in, breathe out the view just literally took my breath away! The serenity and tranquility of the place is my utopia. It’s the kind of paradise I’ve been longing for.
Who could resist sitting in a very fine white sand in front of a very picturesque view of the sea while eating your favorite local halo-halo? Well, I ate 5 halo-halo in just 2 days! Like what?! It’s very yummy especially when the weather is hot, you should try it when you visit the Philippines!
- Island Hopping
Just 20 minutes boat ride from our camp another island is waiting for us to explore. This island have a lot of beautiful rock formations, lucky for us the weather is good so we managed to climb the formations to take a good shot.
- Diving and Snorkeling
After the Island hopping, we proceeded to dive and snorkel at the middle of the sea. Yup you heard it right, it was very deep that I was actually afraid to remove my life vest while snorkeling. Boohoo for me, I didn’t get a close shot of the underwater world but my eyes did saw how beautiful it was down there. The corals and fishes comes in different colors and sizes which makes the area perfect for the activity.
It’s actually my first time to experience camping which made my trip more exciting. First thing do upon arrival in the island is to pinch your own tent so that you can place your things inside. Lucky for us, our travel agency already prepared everything for us. The tent is big enough for the two of us, it was very clean and was placed facing the shore line.
This is the perfect time to bond with your friends and also meet new friends over a cup of coffee or a bottle of beer under a canopy of stars. Staying in the city made us used to stare at a blank dark sky every night, it’s good to have a glimpse of these magical sight once in a while. I do believe that everyone is designated to a certain star, when I was younger I had my own star and I named it ‘Hope’. Every time I feel sad, I just stare at it and somehow the burden goes away.
On our 2nd day, we trekked at the hill nearby to have a stunning view of Calaguas Island. We started trekking at 5:30 AM, it just took us 20 minutes to reach the summit and I can rate it as 2/10 in difficulty. It’s a chill traverse trek but the view is beautiful from the start until the end.
- Instagram Gaming On!
I swear!!!!Every area is IG worthy!!!!!
If you’re a beach person but not as thin as you want to be, don’t worry because the sea will love you no matter what your size is. Remember that in the end the only thing that matters is you, this is your life and no one has the right to dictate otherwise. So come on babe get your swimsuits ready!!!!!!!! Love yourself and be happy!!!!!
- Surfing ( Side trip at Bagasbas Beach)
It’s not my first time to surf but I really enjoyed the waves here in Bicol. To be safe I still paid for an instructor which is 400 pesos an hour. You might think it’s expensive but honestly, it’s not because they are really hands on in teaching us. They even provided rash guards for us to use, like how amazing is that right?! After the class, we were given a certificate of completion and freebies!
If I will be asked to describe Calaguas Island in one word, it’s going to be UTOPIA. In this island I just wish to stop time so I can stay a longer. My 2 days disconnection from the usual busy routine in the city refreshed my soul, truly by being one with nature we tend to reconnect ourselves a little bit more. I was absolutely right in choosing Calaguas as my birthday adventure. It’s one of the best places I had been and I will definitely go back to this paradise!
“Life has more to offer after duty hours”
So pack your bags and wander, nothing can stop you from doing what your heart desires.
You only live once, might as well live it the way you want it to be.
Thanks for reading my blog post on Calaguas Island!
Hope it will help you in making your own adventure!
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Watch my VLOG about this adventure : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd3HMGx4YGk
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Til’ next time!
Joan Tapiz Maniago
THE NURSE OFF DUTY