February 18, 2017

Cagbalete: No, we weren't ready

Ever had a well-planned outing with your friends? You've had countless meetings and chats on what to do, what to bring, what to eat, you know the drill. But whatever the preparations we did, we never expected what Cagbalete Island had for us.

We arrived at the island very optimistic, excited for the clear water and the fresh air. It was past 10 in the morning if I remember correctly, the Sun was already up. The island's port had the weirdest port system - Actually, it didn't have a port system! After arriving on the island, our boat was surrounded by several smaller boats trying to get customers ride their boat for a short trip to reach our resort. It was chaotic as the men from the smaller boats swarm our vessel which is by the way a little overloaded already. That was a scare.

Cagbalete Island, as beautiful as it may seem, hides a torturous nature. At around lunchtime, the water retreats at least a kilometer from the shore and we did not expect that, it was not mentioned in any of the previous blogs I've read before going to the island. That was a shocker to us, I was already hoping for an after-lunch dipping.

What the island had in abundance were giant Squids, locally called "Aswang" which they sell pretty cheap, and they'll even cook lunch for you. I actually forgot her name, but if you use this photo as reference, she's a really nice woman to have your meals prepared. 

We were prepared with a heavy lunch of fish and squid, and rice of course, who can have a delicious lunch without rice by the beach, right? And after lunch, the beach had fully retreated from the shore and there was no way of swimming around.

And because there wasn't anything to do out in the beach, we caught some crabs and literally observed them up close, quite entertaining actually.

But what really killed our 3D2N stay in Cagbalete was the damn heat. Cagbalete is by far the hottest island I've been into anywhere in the Philippines. Not to mention the shitty toilets in our resort, it was absolutely disappointing. The resorts also overcrowded the beach, accepting too much people and cramped up the tents all over the shoreline.

The island is beautiful no doubt, but people handling business here should do better.

The highlight of the trip was our island hopping where we went to the mangroves.

Cagbalete is a beautiful island but you have to be ready for the extreme heat it brings. And it's best to bring things to pass the time, a perfect thing to bring would be a book.

Till my next journey, cheers!

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