The rainy season is on its heydays and definitely far from over but no idiots like us love the beach, sand, and salt water (no sun) on stormy days. We simply can’t wait for the sun to be up and smiling back on us. No more introductions needed. We’ve been here before and back. This is our third time on the island, the second under bad weather conditions, and my first time on the eastern side. This is Cagbalete Island.
Taking on the open ocean with rain pouring all morning may be idiotic but we’ve learned our lesson from our first attempt to the island. The group’s safety was the primary concern so we took precautions to avoid accidents. After checking the weather forecast, we also consulted the local coast guard advise if it’s safe to travel.
Tricycles rule the roads of Tayabas.
Cloudy morning in Mauban Port.
Thick clouds towered over the Mauban Port, and occasional drizzles made us think of alternatives on these trip. But since everyone agreed and with the go signal of the coast guard, we decided to push through anyway. The wind started to pick up and waves slightly rose, fortunately we made it to the eastern beach of Cagbalete Island safely after a little less than an hour on a splashy journey in open sea.
Enjoying the trip amidst the splashy boat ride.
Skilled boatman maneuvers the vessel on shallow waters.
The low tide forced us to walk about 200 meters to the beach carrying our packs, supplies, and equipment, and another 100 meters to MVT Sto. Nino Resort. Mangrove forest covered the beach in front of the resort so docking was quite impossible for big boats (I’m not sure if docking on high tide is possible) – one has to walk one way or another. Fan and air conditioned rooms are installed in several rooms at the 2-storey main building which sat at the center of the resort grounds. A common hall on the first floor can be used as dining area by guests. If you’re on a tight budget, there are small huts surrounding the main building. Tent pitching is also allowed at the resort grounds. Guest can use a common kitchen to cook food and wash dishes. In addition, resort personnel are approachable and hospitable to assist on guest needs.
Resort’s electricity relied on diesel-powered generators though its activated when the sun is down since its quite dark at night. Makeshift street lamps guide guests from the beach to back to their respective rooms and huts. The quiet atmosphere adds serenity and soul to the place, but the poly-toned videoke machine doesn’t really suit the nice ambiance.
A mangrove tree sits isolated on a high tide.
Rocks scattered all over the beach some few steps from the resort.
A kid wanders around the rocky coastline late in the afternoon.
Hungry stomachs began rumbling after the long boat ride so after everybody settled in, each one grabbed their plates and dug in. Thanks to precooked hefty lunch prepared by the Mailwas family, every body’s tummy are once again happy.
Later that afternoon, the sun was still blocked by thick dark clouds but it didn’t stopped us from getting our feet wet on that salty sea water and lie our backs on the sand. However, scattered around the beach are small branches, twigs, leaves, and even an uprooted mangrove tree caused by recent storms.
Newly purchased floating house.
Small puka shells hung inside the floating house to give it a tropical feel.
On the farther side of the beach is an estuary connecting a small river to the open sea. Along the beach are huts with tables and benches where guest can have lunch and snacks while enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Fresh off the box was the newly installed floating house feature of the resort. The house has benches, a bamboo bed, and even a toilet seat (but it’s probably better left alone).
The beach on low tide under the cloudy sky.
Boat can be used by guest to transport their packs, supplies, etc from the boat to the shore when the water is shallow.
Not far from the resort is a small sari-sari store (Filipino style grocery) selling goods but limited to chips, alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, etc. Most supplies can be found in town with seaside fish market, lots of sari-sari stores, and even a bakery. However, getting there requires stretching your legs, and lots of sweat dripping, in short, it’s a long 1.5 kilometer hike to town on a trail surrounded by tall grasses, through open fields, and under tall trees. One and a half kilometer doesn’t sound too far but try carrying a cooler filled with fresh seafood, another cooler packed with ice, and 5 gallons of mineral water, under the rain, through muddy terrain – it seems forever. There are options, though, (1) you can hire a boat to take you to MVT Sto. Nino, (2) carry loads on horse for P100.00/horse, (3) bring enough supplies so you don’t have to hike your way to town.
Hiking to town with other travelers.
Stranded passengers eager to ride the public boat to Mauban which was previously halt due to the huge waves.
I’ve been to Cagbalete Island three times on two different resorts, Pansacola Resort, and MVT Sto. Nino. Both have their own features and amenities, but they share the same serenity and good beach vibes a weekend warrior is looking for. My previous Cagbalete Island trip blog already has the public boat schedule, and how to get there. Before I end this blog, I just want to share how I enjoyed the place even though it’s raining (what more if it’s a fair sunny day), “I enjoyed the place even though it’s raining”. There.
Tired on the way home
Now here are some fast facts which may be of help on your trip:
1. Getting to Cagbalete Island (just click the link which leads to the previous Cagbalete Island trip)
2. MVT Sto. Nino rates and charges:
(a) Fan room for 4 persons cost P1,500.00/night
(b) Air-conditioned room for 2 persons cost P2,000.00/night
(c) Air-conditioned room for 4 persons cost P2,500.00/night
(d) Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) good for 2-4 persons cost P1,000.00/night
(e) Day trip cost P100.00/head
3. Renting a small boat from Sabang Port (if you’re taking the public vehicle) cost around P300.00
4. Renting a horse to carry your packs for you from Sabang Port (if you’re going to and from town or Sabang Port) cost P100/horse.
5. There are kids who can guide you to MVT Sto Nino, you can just give them money for helping you out.
6. See their website http://mvtstoninoresort.net/
7. Make sure you review weather forecast and listen to the coast guard’s advise before setting off.Be safe always
8. Check Biyaherong Barat Multiply for more pictures.
9. Like BIYAHERONG BARAT on Facebook.
10. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter
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