New Busuanga, Palawan: Off The Grid in Ocamocam
Ever heard of Ocamocam? Neither have I.
That was until vague rumors reached my ears and it involves camping on a remote beach, two hours north of Coron town. I don’t have any idea where this Ocamocam exactly was or how the place even looked like. The rumors felt as obscure and absurd as putting together a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle but all I had was a single tile – a name that bears a prolific ring to it, Ocamocam. The intense desire to associate an image behind the name just burns in frenzy the more I imagined how things would turn out. Without any expectations, I hopped on an old creaky bus for an indefinite adventure to New Busuanga, Palawan.
In terms of distance and location, Ocamocam is certainly as remote as the gossip told. The loosely-packed dirt road from New Busuanga to Ocamocam alone immediately gave heavy emphasis to the phrase “off the beaten track.” Only a handful of houses dot the 5-kilometer stretch that runs along a vast domain of jagged hills and wilderness. It was the only way in, the only way out. Walking from the main highway took an hour until I finally set foot on Ocamocam. It was sundown – and Ocamocam rewarded the exhausting journey with a vibrant sunset that painted the skies in a vivid spectrum of colors. I made it.
Ocamocam is not as bare as I earlier thought it was but a small village, fringed by white sand shores on one side and flanked by rolling hills on the other. The tides are as placid as the simple life in this quiet fishing community. Ocamocam thrives from the abundance of marine life its waters are endowed with. A local told me that Ocamocam is blessed with life’s basic necessities – most, they get for free, if not, it’s shared. Here, everybody knows everybody and everybody lives in harmony on a place as idyllic as paradise.
The modest rural lifestyle in Ocamocam was an absolute far cry from Calamian’s economic center, Coron. While in Coron, I was struggling to save my budget from dwindling towards disaster. I have 10 days ahead of me and if I don’t get out of town, my daily expenses will cost me an arm and leg, perhaps, my kidney as well. Aside from seeking a sense of adventure, this is one of the reasons that drove me to Ocamocam.. Camping here for three days and three nights showed me Ocamocam’s prudent ways, genuine hospitality, and the goodness that binds this community together. Here I found my comfort zone and I’m glad I heard the rumors
As for a destination, its beaches may not be as picturesque in relative to Malcapuya‘s yet Ocamocam has a quaint charm none would find in Coron‘s most sought after attractions. Oh , and you might want to check what lies beyond the hill on Ocamocam’s southern end.
1.Directions to Ocamocam:
Two bus lines head for New Busuanga everyday – K’Jad and Rapal. K’Jad leaves around 6:00 AM and costs P100.00 Travel time is approximately 2 hours. Rapal, on the other hand, has an indefinite schedule. Its supposed departure should be around 1130 but sometimes it leaves Coron around 1:00 PM, this is what I rode and it took me 4 hours to get to New Busuanga. Rapal transports cargos from Coron and drops it off in New Busuanga which makes the travel time a bit longer.
From New Busuanga, there are single motorcycles that can take you to Ocamocam, or you could walk 5 kilometers which takes about an hour to reach Ocamocam. I think the motorcycle ride costs P100.00 or P150.00
2. There are cottages for rent in Ocamocam. But I preferred to camp instead because it’s cheaper. I was introduced to Jim by some friends I met in Coron. And I paid P150.00 per night. You could contact Jim via mobile if you want to stay on the lot beside their house (see photo above) 0936 561 81 09.
3. There are stores in Ocamocam where you could buy supplies such as canned goods, bread, drinks, etc. Water source is from a well. If you smoke or drink, you may not find a store that sells cigarettes or alcohol.
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8. Always be safe and happy travels.