A Very Awesome Trip

Cagbalete Travel Blog

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On this trip, I was with office mates Belle, Patrick, Mary, Billy, Carla, and Alex. We were planning to go somewhere else but since I've always wanted to go to Cagbalete Island (since I saw an article about it in a travel magazine 2 years ago), I convinced them to go there instead. Such power I have over people. Amazing.

Anyway, I had a couple of days to "plan" the trip, so I searched through the internet and contacted all 3 resorts operating in the island, and guess what, all of them were fully-booked (even the tents, dammit). Still, we decided to take our chances that there would be at least a clear ground for us to set up our own tents.
But on the day of the trip, we all found out that none of us brought any (save Patrick and Belle with one tent, and Alex with a small one). Not a problem! We can always sleep al fresco.

So, as soon as shift ended at 10AM, we all rushed to buy last-minute stuff (like canned food and a flashlight), we rushed to the bus terminal to catch the 11AM trip to Lucena City. Apparently, traffic wouldn't let us. So we ended up taking the 12 noon trip. We still had 6 hours to go before we reach the town of Mauban where boats to the island sail from, and the last trip was supposed to be at 4PM. Good luck to us.

At 4.30PM, we finally reached our first destination, Lucena City. We took a tricycle to SM Lucena (a mall), and after buying more provisions, we took an air-con van (with a non-working aircon, nice) to Mauban, the coastal town closest to Cagbalete.
The van left at 5PM, and sunset was fast approaching as the van raced its way out of the city and through the winding, mountainside road. It was almost dark when we reached Mauban's pier (feeling nauseated, of course), but we're still hopeful because we met a guy in the van who's also going to the island who said we might be able to charter a smaller boat to the island.

At the pier, we saw something that made us jump for joy (aside from a very cute dog called Don Don who was dyed mint green by his owners) - a big boat coming to fetch us! Awh, such sweet people. They shouldn't have, really. But as it turned out, it was chartered by a clan of vacationers to take them back to Mauban, and since they had to go back to the island, might as well take some passengers with them.
And not just passengers, but cargoes too, lots of cargoes. Like, we literally waited for almost an hour to load all the stuff on to the boat. Island life, y'all.

I fell asleep as the boat smoothly made its way across the sea, and by the time I woke up, we were approaching island's small fishing town. Next, our guide and new-found friend, Jackson, took us to his place to get more flashlights (and a companion), then we made our way through a dark, grassy path leading to the resort on the east side of the island (we were on the west side) as fast as we could manage given the poor visibility (I was using my cellphone's light ffs). It was an easy but itchy walk with all the annoying grasses and bushes and trees and what-not's. We're still lucky, though, because if it were raining, the would have been flooded.
I was half-hoping a snake or two would pop up and say hi, and stir some chaos amongst us. Too bad.

At last, after 20 something minutes, we heard the familiar sound of a Filipino singing his heart out, which meant we're already in the resort (called Villa Cleofas). Next thing we know, we were greeted by the caretaker of the resort, a sweet lady who welcomed us and showed us where we can set camp. Next to us were other campers who's already set up and enjoying the island atmosphere. Our camp is right at the beach front (eat your hear out), and since it's facing the east, we were treated to a breathtaking view of the moon steadily rising out of the horizon. It was beautiful beyond words. I've never been to a beach facing the east, so you can imagine my excitement as I tried to find the correct setting on my camera to capture every scene.

After a quick dinner, cowboy-style, we settled for the night while staring at the starry sky. Jeez, I even saw my very first shooting star (so awesome!). Naturally, I made a wish. I'm not a cheesy person, but hey, it was a night of firsts, so why not? As if I'd tell anyone what I wished for anyway, because if I did, my reputation would be ruined. So don't ask what I wished for (you know you wanna), unless you're willing to pay me with a year-long supply of ice-cold Coke. I'm not hard to please. Anyway, around midnight, when the moon was really riding high in the sky, the wind suddenly dropped, and when Billy and I looked, the sea was gone. Like, literally, it's gone! We excitedly walked for probably a kilometer from the beach and still, no water.
I've never seen anything quite like it. I've read about this phenomenon in the magazine 2 years ago, but I never thought the low tide would be that, well, low. Super-awesome!

Before I fell asleep (and after my phone's battery died while I was Facebook-ing), it dawned on me - I'm in effin Cagbalete. In spite of the lack of proper planning, lack of time, lack of tent, and lack of food, we made it. Only goes to show that super-planned trips do not push through most of the time, but the not-so-planned ones do. Of course, it wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for our inborn awesomeness. So effin awesome!

jegs76 says:
somebody's blogging again! :)
reputations would be ruined? it's already happaned - long time ago! It could be only better;)
Posted on: May 05, 2010
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photo by: broomstick123