A fellow blogger told me that sometimes, it’s good to be in the photos too… So, here’s your eclectic eccentric beach bum enjoying a nice private island adventure. And since I rarely post photos of myself on this blog, I guess I should consider this as a sort of adventure as well. lol The water was so cool and clean and the beaches were so white… totally worth all the hours spent on the boat. xo ❤
Panglao, Bohol, Philippines
See more of the sea ^^
Cold weather is a bitch and a few days ago, the bitch has kicked my ass and given me the finger. >< So here I am cooped up in my room, trying to recover from the flu; there’s really nothing to do except watch Audrey Hepburn movies (that I’ve watched a million times already but I somehow never get tired of) and old Hollywood black and white movies and musicals which my boyfie absolutely hates. As I listen to the heavy downpour from outside my window, I turn my thoughts to happy days… like summertime with my family. 🙂 One of the most underrated destinations for adventure-seekers is the Daruanak Island in Pasacao. Didn’t I tell you there are plenty of amazing tourist destinations in Cam Sur? ^^ It’s an amazing spot for swimming and snorkeling specially for those who want a little privacy. You can also hike up the mountain. Having said that, Ive never been to the Daruanak Island but only admired it from afar… Well, not that far. You’ll see why..
How to get there? Take a bus or a plane from Manila to Naga City. At Naga City Bus Terminal, take a van that will bring you to Pasacao. When you reach town, rent a pump boat that will take you to the Daruanak Island.
*there’s no white sand in Daruanak, mostly just rocks.
These pictures may have been taken two years ago but I thought I’d post these since they’re in connection with my first ever post, Longing for Summer: the Caramoan Getaway. I mentioned in that entry that If you don’t have
the guts the time, the energy or maybe the money to visit the Caramoan islands, then perhaps you might wanna consider seeing the Aguirangan Island instead. This 1.5 hectares of fine white sand can be seen on your way to Guijalo port/ Caramoan. You can go there in the morning then head home in the late afternoon. You follow pretty much the same directions when going to Caramoan except at Sabang port, you board a small boat that will take you to Aguirangan Island. Boats going to Aguirangan Island are a lot smaller than boats to Caramoan and there’s a reason behind that; travel time is pretty short compared to the two hour boat ride to Caramoan. On a clear day, expect to reach Aguirangan Island in 45 minutes. Gas for car/ van fare to Sabang port, back and forth boat fare, and cottage rent — a pretty small price to pay for paradise don’t you think?
Aguirangan Island is a beauty in the summer… white sand, blue skies, crystal clear waters.. no less than a small piece of heaven along the Lagonoy Gulf. I am so proud of Cam Sur; many may not realize it but there are hundreds of wonderful tourist treasures here waiting to be discovered. On a sunny day, one can be blessed with the majestic view of Mt. Mayon proudly standing with its perfect cone shape. This location is also one of the best diving spots here in Cam Sur. Even when I was
swimming standing around (told ya i can’t swim ^^)in very shallow water, a tiny fish swam by my feet! Boyfie put on his goggles and not very far from us was a school of fishes. I got all excited like a little kid. 🙂 I got all sunburned coz it’s just impossible to stay away from the water; it was either that or the cottage.
A few reminders:
1) Be sure to bring your own food; don’t expect to find any stores on the island.
2) There are most certainly no hotels/accommodations on Aguirangan island! The best you can hope for is a nice little cottage/hut with a table and bamboos to sit on, so if you’re not up for it, don’t even bother. 🙂 I wouldn’t recommend overnight stays on the island either unless you’re absolutely cray cray then by all means, do whatever…. :p
3) If you live outside Bicol and plan to see only the Aguirangan Island, then I suggest you seek accommodation in Naga City specially if it’s comfort and convenience that you’re after.
4) Please do your part in maintaining the cleanliness of the island. Let’s provide the future generations with the equal opportunity of enjoying these wonderful gifts of nature.
P.S. If you think the Aguirangan Island is amazing, then consider it as
foreplay a teaser coz the Caramoan islands are di-vine! If you’re not a Bicolano, then you might wanna consider going all the way to Caramoan coz come on, seriously, you’ve come such a long way to simply let your adventure end here.
This summer, my family and I went to Boracay. The trip was a pain in the ass mostly due to the fact that both of our planes (from Naga to Manila and from Manila to Boracay) have been delayed for what feels like ages. There was so much drama at the airport; people swearing, yelling like crazy and demanding their refund. That’s exactly the reason why I stay away from planes whenever I go to Manila. The weather’s just unpredictable! Besides, I’ve been taking the bus for as long as I can remember; thank God some buses nowadays have comfy La-Z Boy seats and a comfort room. I wouldn’t travel any other way. Aaanyway, we arrived at Boracay late at night, so that’s minus 1 day already, damnit. So off to bed we went.
The Boracay Regency Hotel
We stayed at the Boracay Regency which offered us the most strategic location in Boracay which helped us maximize our vacation. Although it’s a bit pricey, it isn’t such a bad idea to splurge on your vacay, right? The luxurious surroundings, the comfy beds and the awesome pool bar made our stay in Boracay a splendid experience. My favorite part, of course, was the eat-all-you-can breakfast buffet.. It’s an amazing experience to gobble up our eat-all-you-can breakfast buffet while chillin’ just by the beachfront. The staff attended to our every need and there’s a good variety of food. I wish the glasses for the juice were a bit taller though since i hated having to refill my glass after every gulp of oj.. it’s like a shot glass.. okay, maybe bigger, but still…….Anyway, we checked in at Boracay Regency so indulging our gastronomic cravings at the Sea Breeze Cafe breakfast buffet is a great way to make sure we get what we paid for. 🙂 Also, if you have breakfast a little early, like 6:30 am, there are bound to be fewer people there so it’s perfect if you wanna enjoy a nice quiet breakfast free from the busy crowd. Since the resto is just by the beach front , you can immediately hit the beach after indulging in a sumptuous meal. I love the fact that it’s located in station 2 and right in the middle of all the action. My brothers and I totally enjoyed jamming with the live band which was playing at a tent just in front of the hotel. A few negative points:
1) so after a night of drinking, all we wanted to do was to grab a cup of coffee then we remembered that we have complementary sachets of coffee in our room.. unfortunately, the water heater wasn’t working. with their rates, you’d think they’d provide each room with a decent water heater, right? 2) internet connection: not free. (except in the lobby but still.. it would take forever before you can actually connect) 3) they almost charged us for a “missing face towel” which was actually just in the shower (i mean , come on, they didn’t see it? really? ) anyway, the matter was straightened out easily with just one call to the housekeeping dept. Just know that no hotel is perfect. Boracay is amazing with its pristine waters, fine beaches and breathtaking sunsets. the crazy nightlife is just a plus.. but our stay in Boracay regency certainly made our vacation extremely pleasant.
Things to do in Boracay
Seriously? There’s the sun, the immaculately white beach and the clear, welcoming waters, go figure! Plus, there are like a hundred blogs dedicated to telling folks what to do when they visit Boracay. I’m not gonna go tell you to do anything; just know that in Boracay, the activities never end. So be sure to stay there for a minimum of at least 3-4 days… a week sounds divine, actually, if you have the time. So go, participate in some watersports, swim, take pictures, get a massage or maybe some braids, shop ‘til you drop, get wasted, get some ink done, drink some ridiculously expensive coconuts… but while you’re there, make it a point to eat some seafood as you would be crazy stupid not to 🙂 My fave restaurant isn’t some expensive 5 star resto but small restaurants by the seafood market. These are called “Paluto” (luto meaning cook”. You purchase the raw ingredients like fresh fish, shellfish, meat, etc at the market and have the restaurant cook it for you in any which way you like.
Sunsets in Boracay
Sunsets in Boracay are a sight to behold. When you know it’s time for the sun to set, you have got to just stop whatever it is that you’re doing and grab a seat by the beachfront. Or you can take out your camera and start snappin’ some shots coz you’d wanna remember how divinely beautiful it looks like. Boracay, unlike places like Caramoan, is filled with large-scale developments. I’d say it looks pretty raped and crowded these days. But whatever it lacks in privacy and um virginity, it makes up for with its wicked nightlife and luxurious comforts.
you know what’d really be awesome when you do decide to visit Boracay? You have fun, write your name on the sand, and keep the trash off it. 🙂
Woke up this morning and I knew just what I wanna blog about. Damn I miss summer! I can’t wait to squeeze in on a bikini and just lay on the beach…I wanna feel sand between my toes…salt on my lips. Last summer, me and my boyfie went to Caramoan. It’s located just in our province, Camarines Sur. I’m really proud of Cam Sur and the white beaches of Caramoan is just one of the reasons why I feel perfectly content living here. Anytime you wanna escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, you can get yourself a little piece of heaven in just 1.5 hours drive.
Our trip started out as a spur-of-the-moment decision which later turned into a vacation which involves rigorous planning, intensive inquiries of potential guest homes and a foolproof itinerary. Did I mention I have OCD?
I can’t swim either. 😀 but being cray cray, I just looove the sea. So days before out trip, boyfie and I went hunting for a good life vest. Not that it’s really necessary; there are life vests provided in every boat in Caramoan. Standard really. So why did I need to buy one? Yep, you’ve guessed it. I’m very paranoid and not comfortable with the idea of sharing life vests. 🙂 Boyfie isn’t comfortable with the idea of me dying on sea and ruining our trip either. Besides, who says you can’t bring your own life vest? Other things I packed:
1) sunscreen (one for face and one for the body)–i use Coppertone, the one from Japan. for some reason it works better on me than the Coppertone here (?) oh well, guess that requires another blog entry.
2) glare-foil sunnies — bcoz what’s the point in wearing sunglasses if they can’t really protect you from the glare 🙂
4) colorful monokinis
5) plenty of sarong— during summer, sarongs are as indispensable to me as sunscreen. they’re very versatile — you can turn ’em into a dress, a cover-up, even use it as a mat if you just wanna lie down on the beach ..or a picnic blanket ^^ lol plus, they’re light, easy to pack.. you don’t have to worry about bringing lotsa clothes or having wrinkles on your clothes.
6) wide-brimmed hat — don’t want your face to get burned do ya?
7) insect repellent (just in case)
8) first aid kit (just in case)
11) wet wipes
13) flash light
14) camera with spare batteries
15) Ziploc — why? aside from the fact that it’s a convenient way to store your toothbrush/ accessories/ sandwiches, etc. , you kinda need them to protect your camera/ cellphone and any other gadgets just in case they fall into the water. — not saying your stuff will get easily retrieved though so just keep your celly in your bag during the boat ride ok? 🙂
so how to get there?
I’m from Naga City so it’s kinda easy. We just drove to Sabang Port. Got up hella early — you kinda have to coz you don’t wanna miss the passenger boat which will bring you to Guijalo Port. The boat leaves every 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the number of passengers. The first trip is at 5:30 am, then there’s the 7: 30 which we took…. last trip is at 1:00 pm. Fare was P120/pax. Ahhh boat ride, the most grueling part of our trip– for me at least. 🙂 Boat time is 2 freaking hours by the way 🙂 Trust me though, it’s well worth it.
Thank goodness most of the guest houses in Caramoan provide their guests with packages that include everything you need from a comfy bed, bathroom, hot water (not all of them have this so you better make it a point to ask), planned meals (some provide packed lunches) and a comprehensive itinerary. You can get involved in the menu planning as we were and we even modified our itinerary.
Ok so once we got to Guijalo port, there was a tricycle driver waiting for us. All land and water transpo from Guijalo port were covered by our package. Road was
a little bumpy but we got to the guesthouse in one piece. There were meals waiting for us there then we immediately prepared the stuff we were gonna bring to the island coz we just can’t wait to hit the beach! Our first stop: Matukad island. A couple of skilled boatmen were assigned to take us island hopping (included in the package). Here’s the thing though, expect the boat rides to be like hell rather lengthy! Fine powdery sand that can rival that of Boracay’s station one (if not better!) Ok, I seriously think it’s better (I compared my pics) …. I wish I could’ve spent the entire afternoon there instead of hopping to another less pretty island… Yes, the boat ride’s pretty long but it’s all worth it. 🙂
We then spent the rest of the day exploring the other islands. Matukad beach, Lahos Island, Honongan beach, Basud beach…each one is different from the other. We were pretty exhausted by the end of the day. We headed back to the guest house in the late aftie, took a bath, had dinner then curled up in bed with some chips and DVD’s that we brought with us. We went to bed early coz ummmmmm we knew we gotta wake up really early the next morning if we were to maximize our stay in Caramoan. We were there for 3 days and 2 nights. Most guest houses offer packages that range from 2 days – 1 night to 4 days-3, nights. I think 3 days and 2 nights is the best option since it provides you with sufficient time to see all the islands. 2 days- 1 night simply isn’t enough! If you don’t have the time for an overnight excursion, then perhaps you can check out the Island of Aguirangan.
On Day 2, we were scheduled to see the Manlawi Sandbar, Cotivas Island, Bag-ing beach, Sabitang Laya, and Gota beach. Some vacationers aren’t reach all of them due to either lack of time or the weather. We were lucky the weather was fine… just perfect. Well it’s got to be! I practically planned this trip to perfection.lol That includes frequent checks on http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Caramoan/forecasts/latest
Apart from the fine powdery sand and the pristine waters, one thing I adore about Caramoan islands are the rock formations. The privacy is also a huge plus factor. I’ve been to Boracay on the same year and as fun as it was, I prefer the Caramoan islands for romantic getaways. Even though we went there during the peak season, we hardly ever bumped into the people that we shared the Sabang to Guijalo boat ride with. The two places have very different things to offer. If you’re looking for water sports, nightlife and shopping, then visit Boracay. However, if you just want adventure or maybe some peace and quiet, then Caramoan is the place to be. Theres really no point in comparing the two places since they are both equally beautiful so I suggest you go visit both.
Day 3 in Caramoan is really mostly spent on preparations for going home. We took a tricycle ride again from the guesthouse to Guijalo port and took the 10 am boat to Sabang Port. We shouldered our fare from outside of Guijalo Port. I went home with tan lines and a big smile on my face. 🙂
Caramoan is a beauty! If you’re a Bikolano and haven’t been here yet,
shame on you! you have got to check it out.
If you’re a foreigner/balikbayan or an adventure-seeker, then you can’t miss out on the breathtaking islands of Caramoan. The island has hosted several seasons of Survivor and more and more tourists are visiting the place.
For people coming from Manila through plane, you can just hire a taxi from Pili airport to Naga City Terminal. From there, you can ride a van to Caramoan. If you travelled to Naga City through bus, well that oughta be easy since you’ll already get off at the bus terminal. As for us, we brought a car which we left at the care of one of the many residences at Sabang port that offer parking services at a per night fee. I think we paid somewhere around 200. Don’t be afraid to haggle. 🙂
These islands can pretty much be considered as untouched and the locals wish to keep it as such. Hence, it is void of large-scale developments. So don’t be expecting 5 star hotels or bars or shopping centers. I think it’s best to opt for guesthouses. These are actual homes that rent out their spare rooms for vacationers. The good thing about these types of accommodations is that you get all the comforts of home plus delicious home-cooked meals. Fresh seafood galore!
Well, there you have it. I apologize for the photos, not very good quality plus I only shared the ones that don’t show my silly all-excited face. lol That means i wasn’t even able to upload the ones that have nice backgrounds like rock formations, the clear blue sky and the water. sigh. but what the hell, you can easily search em up on the net anyway 🙂 Ta-ta for now, I gotta make lunch; I’m having this really healthy salad with a wicked creamy garlic dressing that I’m probably gonna blog about one of these days.
PS i love this island so please leave your footprints and none of your garbage 🙂