Cagbalete Island can be located 30-45mins away from the town of Mauban in Quezon. The island is accessible via boats, may it be private or a public passenger one. Since this is an island, the primary source of living is fishing. There also are people who are using their tourism to make a living out of the island life.
What to expect on Cagbalete Island?
This island boasts of fine white sands and turquoise-blue waters. Not as fine and as white as Boracay but definitely is comparable to the other islands with white sand beaches in the Philippines. Water is defined as crystal-clear especially when out in the sun, and when the very fine white sands on the shore are exposed to the ray of sunlight. Turquoise-blue on the shallow waters and navy blue to the deepest sea.
You will notice that most of the corals and coral reefs are a distance away from its shore. That’s because Cagbalete Island has 1-2km range when low-tide and still only up until toe to neck deep. Further, its deep blue waters will come your way while corals and marine life will start to show. During high tide, it’s already neck deep on the first 6-10 meters away from the shore.
Can I spend quiet time here?
Since not all people know about the island yet, you surely will have your most quiet staycation in its resorts. Resorts are starting to show up. The island started to open itself to visitors in 2013. Since then, a few articles, photos of visits, few people who have been there, have used social media to promote the place. Why should we not? The place boasts a great opportunity for tourism and since it’s also a quiet place to go in, you would want to spend your quiet time here, reflect on yourself, sing a song with just all by yourself, stare at a distant far away from the shore, cry like there’s no one to see, hear just the waves of the ocean, or just simply have fun with yourself and friends.
Are accommodations already available?
Few resorts are already on the record as of writing. Pansacola Beach Resort, Doña Choleng Beach Resort, Villa Noe Beach Resort, Aguho Playa, Joven’s Blue Water Resort, Villa Cleofas, MVT Sto. Niño Beach Resort, and Nilandingan Cove. Recently, there’s a newly established resort nearby Sabang Port that can only be booked via prior reservation. Yes, it has its own pool too. I think it has the name Aquazul.
From Nipa Huts to Air-conditioned rooms, they have that. You may also opt to pitch a tent if you have one for a little price of using the land. Tents are my option, for me, it’s more fun when camping especially with friends or if you are alone and you get to use up the limited space you have. Camping also is known to be the billion-star accommodation as you will be sleeping under the roof of the sky with brightly-shining billions of stars above you. It’s just a very wonderful view. Additional is, tents are cheap.
How to get there from Manila?
First, you have to know how to get to Mauban, Quezon.
Option 1: There is a terminal available that directly caters passengers to Mauban. Located in JAC Liner, Cubao Terminal. There only are 2 buses for the day. First trip departs at 4 am and the last trip is at 1 pm. The bus will leave if the bus is full even though it’s not yet time for departure, so be early. It’s a 5-hour journey from Cubao so ready your kidneys and stomach. The cost is 277 per person and minus 20% for students, senior citizens and people with challenged capabilities.
Option 2: If your schedule could not cater the 4 am and 1 pm bus schedule. Do not worry, there are other ways to go to Mauban. Go to terminals with buses bound for Lucena. This will cost about 240 Php. They will drop you off at Lucena Grand Terminal. Walk further away from the dining hall (across the pasalubong center) and you will see NCR Lines buses bound for Mauban and Unisan. Obviously, line up for the bus bound to Mauban. This is the cheaper option. Only costs about 20-40 Php (I am not quite sure about the price but is definitely cheaper than the van).
If you happen to miss the NCR Lines bus for Mauban, do not worry. You still have the van service for that. This will cost you about 70 Php per person.
Now, you may want to know how to get to the Island.
After being dropped off by the bus, take a tricycle to the registration office. This will cost you 10 Php per person.
At the registration office, prepare 50 Php for the environmental fee. They will also tell the schedule of the next passenger boat’s departure and private boatmen are also available there for service.
You will also need another 10 Php for the tricycle from Registration Office to Mauban Port.
Cheaper Option to the Island:
Passenger boats are available and are definitely cheaper than hiring private ones but they aren’t available 24 hours a day. These boats are also known as cargo vessels, but definitely, are not used for fishing activities. As of writing, there are 3 available boats going to the island.
From Mauban Port to Cagbalete Island, Sabang Port:
The first boat departs at 9am. The second boat departs at 11am. The third boat departs at 1pm. The first and second boats are only 50 Php per passenger whilst the third one is 100 Php per passenger.
Upon arrival at the port, there will be guides who will accompany you to the resort of your choice. Of course, they are not for free, just give them 20 or 50 Php and they are happy.
If you happen to miss the passenger boats, you have the option to hire a private boat going directly to your resort of choice for a fixed price. You could either hire a one-way or a round trip ride. Do not forget to get their contact information or ask if they have contact cards. They could cater you from morning up until 6 or 7pm only if permitted by the coast guard.
How can we go back from Cagbalete Island to Manila?
Alright, calm down.
From Cagbalete Island, Sabang Port to Mauban Port:
The first boat departs at 7am. The second boat departs at 1pm. The third boat departs at 4pm. The first and second boats are only 50 Php per passenger whilst the third one is 100 Php per passenger.
Upon arrival to Mauban Port, hire a tricycle to van terminals bound for Lucena, 10 Php.
Van to Lucena from Mauban will cost you about 60 or 70 (depende sa kapal ng mukha ng driver). They will mostly incur 70 Php but there are some 60 Php ones.
Arrival at the Lucena Grand Terminal:
There are lots of options to choose from. Buses either bound for Pasay or Cubao or Buendia. Also, van service to other provinces are available and they are located beside the dining hall.
Expenses for the cheaper option coming from Manila/Makati to Cagbalete Island (per person):
Bus from Cubao Terminal to Mauban: 277 (Student/PWD/Senior minus 20%)
Tricycle from Mauban bus drops off to Registration office: 10
Registration Fee: 50
Tricycle from Registration Office to Mauban Port: 10
Passenger boat from Mauban Port to Cagbalete Island Sabang Port: 50 (Remember: 50 Php for the first two boats)
Total Cost: 397 Php
For the other expenses, you would want to compute it yourself. If you happen to get the cheaper option, congratulations! You had your island getaway for less than 1,000 Php!
If you have questions, feel free to comment below or send me a message!
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