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Calaguas

The Mess That Is Calaguas Island

Camarines Norte, Travel By May 2, 2012 Tags: , , , , , 49 Comments

My blog title may be misleading but two days ago, my Facebook news feed had some really interesting things going on. It started with a blog that appeared on Tramping Philippines:

Nasa Calaguas Parin Ba Ako? had a video of the Calaguas we knew and the Calaguas that the traveler and concerned citizen found on that Saturday night in the beach of Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach).

The Calaguas is a group of islands in the Philippine province of Camarines Norte. It includes the islands of Tinaga, Guintinua and Maculabo and several other minor islands.

Most of the islands are under the administrative jurisdiction of Vinzons, Camarines Norte while the minor island of Maculabo is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Paracale, Camarines Norte. The island of Tinaga where the famous long beach called Mahabang Buhangin is located is experiencing influx of tourists in the area despite the absence of accommodation. Campers and backpackers are coming and going daily to experience its powdery white sands. (Source: Wiki)

I have been to Calaguas myself and blogged about it here and here. I can understand the sentiment and know exactly what is going on. Unlike my friends, I opted not to say anything about the issue. Two days later though, I found myself being plagued by it because of the number of posts appearing on my Facebook feed. It turns out, except for concerned citizen on Tramping Philippines and the person who wrote on the Calaguas Island Facebook page, I knew all the people involved here. Now I think would be a good time to share what I know and what I think. I am sorry for all those who will be affected by this.

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Wishing You Were Here With Me

Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, MOMents By April 17, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Right now I would be (or at least I hope so) in the island of Calaguas in Camarines Norte, having fun with friends and doing grown-up things, I suppose. No, I am not bloggin’ all the way from some remote island – this is a scheduled post.

I set this trip a few months ago thinking I would be able to bring Lia with me and not miss her a lot. I mean, not bring her with me to the island where we will be sleeping in tents, but I thought, maybe I could fly to Naga, leave Pili in the early morning of Saturday and get at the Vinzons port just in time for the arrival of the other beach bummers from Travel Factor and from then on, hook up with them to the island. The going back plan was leave Daet for Naga after lunch and be back to Pili in two to three hours. All things considered, I would only miss Lia for one night. But I had not factored in the event that I would have an actual job that has responsibilities and would not be able to fly out of the city whenever I wanted to.

Thus, the flying plan was scrapped and the bus plan came in. To be brutally truthful, I hate taking the bus. I cannot remember the last time I took a bus going to Bicol. I will not elaborate now as to why, but this much I will say, I never look forward to travelling overnight by bus. Just the thought of traveling by bus makes me think of not going..

.. but I guess (or at least I hope) I am now in the island and survived the bus trip. I am (probably) laughing and having so much fun with friends frolicking in the beach…

Only trouble is, I miss you, Lia love…

Lia love

My dear little one,

I wish you are laughing here with us just like we did in Matukad Island in Caramoan.

Sharing a light moment together, Matukad Island, Caramoan

And you are enjoying the sun on your face, the breeze blowing your hair, and the sand on your feet..

Sun and smiles at Matukad Island, Caramoan

We will play in the sand and splash water all around us, and over our legs and even at our faces..

Mother and child playing in the sand; Manlawi, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Manlawi sand bar, Caramoan

I promise to put as much sunscreen on you and all over you so that you do not get burned like you did here:

The true beach babe; Manlawi, Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Manlawi sand bar, Caramoan

We can be castaways. You can stay naked all the time (isn’t that what you always want to be anyway?) and I will take care of you.

Mother and child in the island; Caramoan, Camarines Sur

I miss you Lia and I wish you were here with us.

Love,
Mama

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Travel Factor’s UBBE Calaguas

Camarines Norte, Travel Factor By February 4, 2010 Tags: , , , , No Comments

UBBE Calaguas + SURFVIVOR Bagasbas (Apr 17-18, 2010)
Camarines Norte, Philippines

BEACH BUMMING + Surfing + Skimboarding in ONE WEEKEND

PACKAGE RATE
P3,900 per pax (ALL IN) – if the group fills 1 bus

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS
– Roundtrip air-con bus: Manila to Daet – Daet to Manila
– Overnight accommodation at Calaguas Island (1 Nipa hut with CR and fresh water + Camping Tents)
– Chartered boat service from port of Daet to Calaguas Island
– Camp meals at Calaguas Island (Day 1:lunch, dinner, Day 2 breakfast)
– Other meals: Day 1: Breakfast, Day 2: Lunch and Dinner
– Guide fees and Environmental fees at Calaguas Island
– Use of skimboards at Calaguas Island
– Half-day room accommodation at Bagasbas tourist inn (for rest & shower)
– Travel Insurance
– Travel Factor Souvenir: ID, Lanyard

Not included:
– Surf Lesson at Bagasbas Beach with surfboard rental and instructor (P400 per pax)

ITINERARY
Day 0, Apr 16 Friday
10:00 PM Assembly at McDo Quezon Ave
11:00 PM Departure to Makati
11:45 PM Pick Up participants at Shell McKinley, Makati
12:00 MN Departure to Daet

Day 1, Apr 17 Saturday
07:00 AM ETA Daet;
09:00 AM ETA Calaguas Island
Set Camp, BEACH BUMMING, Explore the Island
12:00 NN Lunch
more BEACH BUMMING and skimboarding
07:00 PM Dinner and Bonfire Night

Day 2, Apr 18 Sunday
08:00 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Break camp
10:00 AM Depart camp
12:00 NN ETA Bagasbas, Daet. check-in at Tourist Inn. Lunch. Rest. Explore Bagasbas Beach.
02:00 – 4:00 PM Option to Surf or Skim c/o CamNorte Surfing Association
07:00 PM Check out. Dinner
09:30 PM ETD Daet to Manila via bus (travel time: 7 hours)

Day 3, Apr 19 Monday
3:30 AM ETA Cubao

BOOKING AND RESERVATION GUIDELINES
* Deadline of Registration: Mar 15, 2010 (or earlier)
* Book & Buy Policy. First come, first serve basis.
* No regform, No reservation. To reserve, please fill-out registration form then send to tours@travelfactor.org

Subject: Calaguas – Registration (Apr 17-18, 2010)
* Then you will receive thru email account details where to deposit payment (BPI). For group reservations, please send your registration forms in one file & email.
* Everyone is required to download and submit registration form
* Please register only if you are 100% sure you are joining. And if after registering you need to back-out, please have the courtesy to notify us properly thru email.
* Full payment must be settled within the agreed timeframe. Should you need extension, please coordinate with Travel Factor
* Non-refundable but transferable to other person. Travel Factor must be notified asap or at least 5 days before the trip. In this case, the “proxy” must fill-out and submit registration form.
* The payments made to us are only refundable if we cancel due to weather issues or fortuitous events.
* Upon payment, you will receive a copy of complete guidelines, including things to bring, itinerary, reminders, etc…

FOR INQUIRIES/COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS
email your concerns to tours@travelfactor.org with your name and contact number
Subject: Calaguas – Inquiries (Apr 17-18, 2010)

or contact Travel Factor at 02-359-2434 / 0917-8475341

DISCLAIMER
Recommended for fun-loving & adventurous people who would like to meet new friends while travelling. Be prepared of the long travel time and the ‘wiwi’ moments on public restrooms.

For more information, click on the image or visit the Travel Factor page at Multiply.

***

A visit to the island of Calaguas is long overdue. It seems to me that I (and Ryan) are the only ones who have not been to the island among all our Travel Factor friends. I know a lot of people in this area and a visit to the island for a day should not be too difficult. I go to Daet often enough. I have a lot of high school friends who have been there and whom I could go with.  I could even organize a trip for the entire family if so desired. My mom keeps saying we should go.

I wasn’t really friends with TF people in 2008, having joined my first trip in March (Ilocos) and met Leia, Rex and Cha there among a good number of others there for the first time. I met Ced for the first time in May 2008 in Bagasbas Beach, after they had just come back from an overnight at the island. I didn’t make it to the legendary Calaguas trip slash Ced’s birthday party in 2009. My baby was barely two weeks old then.

This year I hope to be able to finally step foot on Calaguas Island, dubbed by TF friends as the “Happy Beach”. I don’t mind spending extra (because I have been told by my high school friends that it only cost them P1,000 all-in for two days and one night in the island when they went there on their own, though this cost is coming from Naga City instead of Manila) because I will be with the happy friends that is the Travel Factor. The fun should be worth it. I could always come back..

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