CAGBALETE - Your Island Escape In Quezon Province

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Unspoiled beach with white sand and pristine blue waters - Cagbalete Island is your next getaway in the Philippines.
It was mid-May when we visited this beautiful island in Mauban, Quezon Province. We visited Lucban for Pahiyas Festival prior to traveling to the island. (See our Pahiyas experience in video HERE.)

It was late in the afternoon when we were able to get to the tourism office and booked a boat ride to the island. You have two options in crossing to the island: you can wait for the public commuter boat to be full or if you are 8 or more, you can just take a private boat. In our case, we took a boat and it was less hassle.

PRE-TRAVEL TIPS

  • Have enough sleep prior to the day of the trip.
  • Ready you backpack with your travel essentials.
  • Bring a bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Full charge your gadgets (phone, camera, GoPro, powerbank, etc.)
  • Don't forget to bring enough money for the whole trip and pasalubong.
  • Cagbalete is an island. Although some of the locals sell groceries, it still better to buy them at least at Mauban Public Market before going there. Budgetwise, the price is cheaper.
  • If you are a group of 8-10 or more, you can just book a private boat for faster and convenient travel to the island.

WHERE TO STAY IN CAGBALETE ISLAND?

There are a lot of resorts in Cagbalete Island. Once you are already in the Local Tourism Office, you can select from the resorts that can accommodate you. Or if you have your own tents, no need to reserve for rooms or cottages. Almost all resorts offer villas, huts and camping grounds, catering to different group sizes and types of tourists.



Our choice was MVT Sto. Nino Beach Resort. See full details of this resort HERE. Instead of staying for a night, we decided to have it at least 2 nights here. :)


That first night, we just took some rest, prep for dinner and relax by the beach.

The next day? MVT Sto. Nino Beach Resort is facing the Pacific, so we were able to witness a golden sunrise that morning.


Cagbalete Island 2015

Next thing to do is to eat breakfast and took some photo ops to the beach.
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The weather was perfect! The sea was at very low tide (or no tide at all haha).


You can see these beautiful sand riffles.
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Photo-ops pa more! :D
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Lunch time!


Afternoon chill time. Then dinner.

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That second night, we sat down around bonfire, chit chat and jam with some acoustic songs we sang and play.


Third day, we ate breakfast and leave the island at noon.

HOW TO GET TO CAGBALETE

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Via Private Transportation
  1. Take Calamba Exit in SLEX and go straight to Los Banos.
  2. From Los Banos, follow the National Highway passing through the towns of Pila, Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan and Luisiana.
  3. Just before Lucban is a fork, one leading to Lucban Town Proper, and another leading to Mauban Port. Take the latter.
  4. Mauban Port is around 20-30 minutes away from the fork.
  5. Taking private transportation to Mauban, Quezon means faster travel time, flexibility in schedule and quick food trip stop-over in the quaint town of Lucban or other neighboring towns in Laguna. Groups of more than 6-8 people can save more compared to public transportation due to Mauban’s proximity to Manila.


Via Public Transportation
  1. Ride the JAC Liner bus straight to Mauban Port for P270. Note, however, that there are only limited trips every day so we advise that you book beforehand. Travel time is 4-5 hours. Another option is to ride a bus from Cubao or Buendia to Lucena. Manila to Lucena via bus takes around 3-4 hours. Bus fare is P200.
  2. From Lucena Bus Terminal, ride a mini-bus to Mauban Port for P60-70. Travel time from Lucena to Mauban Port is around 1-2 hours.
  3. Upon arriving in Mauban Port, register in the tourism office, pay for the environmental fee of P50/person, and ride a passenger boat to Cagbalete Island for P50. There’s a regular schedule of public boats to Cagbalete Island; however, waiting time varies depending on the number of tourists. On low season, they can limit the trips to two/day. On peak season, waiting time for boat can reach up to 3 hours. Alternatively, you may rent a private boat directly to your resort for P3,500, good for 8-10 people.

THINGS TO DO

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  • Wake up in the early morning to gaze at the sunrise or don’t go on too much beer drinking just yet just so you could gaze at the beautiful sunset.
  • Go on an island hopping to see the infinite bar of white powdery sands.
  • Explore the secluded mangrove forest
  • Paddle your way through a canoe or kayak
  • Snorkel and see the surviving ecosystem of the world underwater.
  • Chill with a bottle of beer with friends over some overdue catch up conversation or jam session.

SAMPLE BUDGET

Here are some tips to keep your budget under P1,000:
  • Transportation: P250 for a group of 10. This includes gas, toll fees along SLEX and parking in Mauban. Aside from being inconvenient, public transportation is more expensive in total.
  • Boat to Cagbalete Island: P100 round-trip + P50 environmental fee. Though we hired a private boat, roughing it out for the public boat will help you save around P200.
  • Accommodation: P250/head for tent pitching fee. This already includes the entrance fee. By bringing your own tent, you can cut accommodation expenses by half.
  • Food: P300 each for pre-cooked food and food supplies and drinks bought in Mauban Port. Bringing meals and cooking your own food will help you save even more.
  • Extra: P50 each for grilling fee and rental of cooking utensils.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Cagbalete Island 2015Day 1
2400 Meet Up Jac Liner Kamias Station
0100 ETD Lucena Grand Terminal
0500 ETA Lucena Grand Terminal
0600 ETA Mauban. Register. Breakfast
0700 ETD Sabang Port
0800 ETA Sabang Port
0900 Resort. Check In
1000 Prep/Cook Lunch
1200 LUNCH
1300 Freet Time. Swim. Snorkel
1800 Sunset Viewing
1900 Dinner. Drinks. Socials
Image may contain: one or more people, shoes, water and outdoor2200 Lights Out

Day 2
0500 Wake Up. Sunrise Viewing
0600 Breakfast
0700 Free Time. Swim. Stroll by the beach. Photo Ops
1000 Pack up
1200 Sabang Port
1300 Mauban Port
1400 Grand Terminal
1800 Home

TRAVEL TIPS

  • You can buy raw food (fish, chicken, pork for grilling) in Mauban before you go to the island. There’s no market in the island just few sari-sari stores. Water and cooked rice are both expensive.
  • Avoid peak season if you can. The port, boats, beach and resorts get easily full. Otherwise, book your accommodations beforehand and prepare to wait in Mauban Port for the public ferry.
  • Come prepared. Bring your own tent and meals to save on costs. Do your grocery in Manila or in Mauban if you can.
  • 3G signal is weak for all networks.
Here's a video clip I made for our Cagbalete experience:

Have fun, Juan!


No automatic alt text available.IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without IMFWJ's notice. Should you know the updated information, please message us on Facebook.

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