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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top 10: What Is, What's Not in Calaguas

Travel Date: April 29 - May 1, 2011

Here's a little guide to help you manage your expectations on the island. Knowing what to expect, and not, will help you make the most of your trip to this paradise!

What's in Calaguas?

1. BEAUTIFUL SEASCAPE - Emerald green water, pristine ocean, fine white sand...sounds like paradise!  And it sure looks like one.

2. ADVENTURE - Create your own adventure -- walk from end to end in the morning, trek to the top of the hill, go island hopping, or play frisbee, beach volleyball or even Brazilian Jiujitsu (you have to bring your own stuff, though).

Rent a boat to get to the nearby islands
trek on top of the hill on Cumalasan island to marvel at this view
The trek was like this, by the way :) Thank you Ms. Roselle Lazaro for this photo!

Do a photo shoot on the rocks, by the beach, anywhere -- come on, I know you love that! :)
 3. GOOD PEOPLE - Talk to the locals! They may be shy at first, but once you get to know them, they'll start pouring their hearts out. Okay, maybe not, but it's interesting to know how they live their life on the island.

4. PLAYFUL DOGS - Don't underestimate their running speed! They'll leave you behind, but they are great walking companions along the beach. And they beg for a good pat on the head!


5. UNSPOILED NATURE - Because the island has not been massively exploited yet (there are a bit of trash here and there, left by drunk guests the night before, but the travel organizers and the caretakers clean up after them), you get to enjoy the beauty and quietness of nature.

     Day 1 (daytime) - cloudy, sunny
     Day 1 (nighttime) - SCARY thunderstorm (which drenched our tents and things wet)
     Day 2 (daytime) - sunny
     Day 2 (nighttime) - starry skies
     Day 3 (daytime) - VERY sunny!


7. ROLLERCOASTER WAVES - On our way to Tinaga Island, we were confronted with 9-foot waves. NINE FEET! It was really like riding a rollercoaster, complete with the screams of the boat passengers!


8. WATER PUMP - This is THE source of holy grail fresh water -- unless you want to use seawater for brushing your teeth!


9. NEW FRIENDS - We made friends with a few good people who were all set to enjoy the island.

Thank you Sir Eduardo Castellano for this photo!
Thank you Sir Eduardo Castellano for this photo!

10. NEW FACEBOOK FRIENDS - It follows after a great time with great people, right? As soon as we got a phone signal, everyone started adding everyone up in Facebook!

What's NOT in Calaguas?

1. ELECTRICITY - You don't expect to have air-conditioning and water heater while staying in a tent, right? Electricity is not available, although some travel organizers provide generators for their guests -- you get to charge your phone, camera and what-have-yous until 10:00 pm.

2. PHONE SIGNAL - No, you can't check into your Facebook or Foursquare accounts, nor can you update your Instagram friends (IGers) where you are. Smart is available intermittently, and the signal can only be found in the last hut.


3. FLUSHING TOILET - What you have is a small toilet bowl and a bucket -- for manual flushing. They were clean, though, in the several times that I had been there.

No fancy toilet bowl! Image SOURCE
No, this kitty won't like it there! Image SOURCE

4. FANCY RESORT - No Discovery Shores, no Aman Resorts -- just pure, virginal, exotic beauty of nature. No one will bring you a glass of margarita at sunset, either. But it's all worth it.

?-star accommodation

5. 7-11 - Make sure you don't forget anything (shampoo, conditioner, sanitary pads), because they don't have a convenience store. What they have is a small sari-sari (variety) store that sells sodas and liquor -- too many The Bar bottles, in fact.
6. CAB, JEEPNEY, TRAIN - If you want to go to the other end, you have to walk. If you want to get to the top of the hill, you have to hike. If you want order McDonalds, you have to wait till you get to the mainland.


7. FASTFOOD - No fastfood industry here. Just plain, home-cooked (camp-cooked) meal for the starved stomach.


8. CATS - I'm actually surprised that I didn't encounter any kitty soul on the island. My cats Qish and Rue do not approve!

QISH: Where are my minions on the island?!
RUE: Whaaaat?! NO CATS?!

9. INTERNET - Don't expect to be connected with your online social networks to brag about how beautiful Calaguas is. It. Just. Won't. Work.


10. SOFT, PLUSH BED - Don't worry, the sand is soft enough to be your bed. And who needs a bed if you're all too intoxicated from drinking, or too impressed by the beauty around you?


See Also:


    nice take on Calaguas! i miss this island. 9-foot wave!? but yes it's worth the trip.

    nice meeting you at the garage sale!

    Thanks for visiting, @809101746657ec2fe71973e4d10a9293 ! And nice meeting you at the garage sale as well :) We went out pa after, just had dinner and a few drinks :)

     Very clean and precise comparison..

    First, I was a fan of your PAWsome cats, Qish & Rue. Finished reading your blogs in one seating. Now, I'm hooked with your thebratpacker. Love your posts.

    Thanks so much, @Jas ! I wish I can update this as often as the PAWsome Cats blog :)

    I hope I can visit Calaguas next summer (before it becomes the next Boracay).

    Sad but true. Once they start organizing packaged tours and what-nots, it will become just another tourist destination, not a paradise anymore. It's slowly happening to Sagada :(

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