Monday, April 6, 2015

Travel: Calaguas | Bagasbas

Mahabang Buhangin beach
It's summer time! After going to some beaches on the North, it's time for me to explore the South. After tons of research we come up and decided to go to the Bicol region. Calaguas, a group of islands found in Camarines Norte was our destination.

There are a lot of packages that are being offered for the Calaguas tour. These packages includes an overnight stay in Mahabang Buhangin beach and then going to Bagasbas beach on the next day. Packages ranges from 2.5k - 3.5k depends if you will shoulder your own transportation or not. We preferred to do it on our own.

To go to Mahabang Buhangin you need to go to either Paracale or Vinzons in Camarines Norte then ride a boat to Calaguas Island. We decided to take the Paracale route since it is nearer to Calaguas than Vinzons. To go there, you can ride a bus going to Daet or some say that there is a bus that goes directly to Paracale. You have two options in going to Paracale, you may go directly to Daet and wait for buses or FX going to Paracale or you may drop off at Talobatib Junction and ride a tricycle. For us, we hired a van going to Paracale.

Before we went to Paracale I have already contacted a person that offers boat rides to Calaguas. If you are familiar with Kuya Ernie then he is your man. Upon contacting him I found out that he already got a job in the Middle East and the boat rides are now being managed by Ate Baby (his sister-in-law).

We are now bound to Paracale and that time there was a Tropical Depression in the region. And upon arriving Ate Baby told me that the coast guard does not allow any boats to sail due to bad weather. She told me that she will contact me once the coast guard allows the sailing of the boats. It is fortunate for us that we hired a van and was flexible on going anywhere at that moment. We decided to go to Bagasbas instead, It is still raining when we got to Bagasbas.
Bagasbas beach
Surfing Lessons
The Kubo
Bagasbas beach is a known surfing spot due to its waves. Since it seems that the weather won't be cooperative that day we opted to rent an overnight stay. There are several inns in the vicinity, we looked for a transient house but there was none. We then stay at White Wave hotel. They offered us there Kubo that is good for two persons with fan. We got the Kubo because we just need a place to stay and to cook since we have our own food to cook. In the afternoon the rain has stopped and we went to the beach. The beach is comparable to that of in Baler. Black sand and wide shore. They then decided to go surfing.
Paracale port
During dinner, Ate baby contacted me and said that the coast guard will allow the sailing of the boat the next day starting at 5am. We then get our things ready for an early trip to Paracale. We found out that the boats from Vinzons (where normally the drop off point for those who have tour packges) were allowed to sail yesterday afternoon. It is fine by us that we did not take chances because we know that it will be a heart stopping ride to the island. The boat that we rode is a simple motor bangka unlike the luxurious motor bangka of those tour operators. It took us nearly two hours to reach Mahabang Buhangin beach where we saw several tents and people on the shore.
We set our tents

Mahabang Buhangin beach


The beach is unlike any others I have gone to. Clear waters, fine white sand, and less people. We then set our tents (though we will not have an overnight stay). We paid an entrance fee and the care taker said that since we will just have a day tour the cottage is for free and also we have unlimited water from their poso. There are CRs and sari-sari stores in the island (better to have your own food and drinks as the price is doubled). It is a beautiful day, the sun is high and the water is calm. Perfect for the summer. Around 3pm we then got back to boat and go back to Paracle. There was some hiccups during our return. The waves are bigger and the motor of the boat was not functioning properly but we still made it to the port. Ate Baby said we can take a bath on their bathroom since we got wet during the boat ride. After freshening up, we then got back to the van and went home.

Note: If you are going there using a private car and is not yet familiar with to Paracale, Google Maps can only go as far as the highways (i think the map is not yet updated) once you are near Paracale use Waze instead.

What to bring:
- swim wear
- sunblock
- mosquito repellent
- water
- drybag
- towel
Below are the additional things we brought:
- tent
- sleeping bag or bedding
- portable stove
- kitchen utensils (pans and pots)
- paper plates, cups and disposable spoon and fork (though I prefer to use washable materials)
- food (rice, canned goods, eggs, etc.)
- trash bag
- tissue
- additional water

Fees:
- roundtrip bus ride to Daet: Php1300
- tricycle rider from Talobatib junction per pax: Php100
- roundtrip boat ride for 8pax: Php4000
- coast guard fee???: Php50 (given before going to Calaguas Island)
- entrance fee on the beach: Php100
- environmental fee: Php20 (there will be an officer that will give you a receipt)
- kubo rental for 2pax: Php600
- surfing lesson per hour: Php450

Ate Baby's mobile number: 09471109451

5 comments:

  1. Hi great post! Question, will there be some boats that would let a passenger join a group? Im travelling alone and so im hoping maybe ate baby would allow me to join a group. (Cant afford to charter a whole bangka). Also Wen was ur trip in calaguas? Thank u cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our trip was last march 21, and yes she can try to add you to another group, hopefully there will be a group during your trip. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. CHEAP BOAT RENTAL VIA PARACALE TO CALAGUAS ISLAND. KINDLY TEXT US 09486793920, 09471109451, or 09303829656. Contact KUYA JACK, JES, and ATE BEBE. TNX MUCH AND GODBLESS
    MARINA ACCREDITED WITH INSURANCE
    AND CPC.
    THE FIRST ONE AND GOOD SERVICES TOUR OPERATOR IN PARACALE SINCE 2008

    ReplyDelete
  4. Permission to post po!

    We’re offering tour packages for Calaguas Islands! With great foods, very accomodating and nice staffs, & most especially safe boats with MARINA accredited! Kindly contact us at 09473411084/09369799543 or you may reach us also at https://www.facebook.com/calaguastour01/

    Boat rental for DIY and safe pay parking space just infront of Paracale port are also available.
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good day!

    Looking for an affordable but great CALAGUAS TOUR experience? Just contact us at
    09392858198
    09473411081

    you may reach us also at https://www.facebook.com/calaguastour01/

    Boat rental for DIY are also available

    ReplyDelete