#25AdventuresTo25Years Calaguas Island: Are We There Yet?

“This beach better be worth it,” we keep on muttering to ourselves, cramped in a 40-seater banca along with other strangers on our way to Mahabang Buhangin in Calaguas. Calaguas is a group of Islands located within the jurisdiction of Vinzons Town in Camarines Norte. Over the years, it has gained popularity for its long-island beaches. 

For this trip, I was with my college friend and roommate, Ela, her sister, Ate Tin, and some of Ate Tin’s colleagues. 

You cannot blame our bickering. We just spent sixteen freaking hours on the road going to Camarines Norte.

And that was only the beginning.

After the grueling land travel, we embarked on a two-hour boat ride going to Calaguas. The journey was taking forever. I’d easily survive this but my impatience was growing by the minute. I slept it off and dreamed  of lush terrains, perfectly-carved coves, and a stretch of white, pristine sand. When I woke up, we were still in the middle of the sea! I wanted to scream so badly but of course, there were other people in the boat so I contained the nega vibes to myself and just prayed that we get to the island soon. 
So, was Calaguas worth it? The trip was a disaster—in the most epic kind of way!

Epic Disaster #1: Just when we thought we could finally relax and laze under the sun after that hell of a boat ride, we were welcomed by the sight of hoards of campers by the shore. It was a long weekend and we knew that there would be a LOT of tourists in Calaguas. Well, that was fine until we learned that our tour organizer was not able to “reserve” a spot where we can pitch our tents! Apparently, or so we were told, the caretaker inadvertently gave the spot to the ones who came first. So there was our group, hampered under a short Talisay tree, comforting ourselves with bread and pansit as our tour organizer struggled to find our rightful places. To top it all off, there were loads of ants in the tree!!! Le sigh.  

Epic Disaster #2:  And because we arrived late and were not able to set our camp immediately, lunch was served late at around 3:00 PM. And for me, any late meal is a disaster in itself! Good thing, the food was delicioso (or gutom lang talaga kami?!) and abundant! Pass me that extra rice please! 

Epic Disaster #3: Of all the days it could have been, my monthly period coincided with our Calaguas trip (too much information!). It always falls on the most wrong of timings. So yes, I went to Calaguas Island but I never got the chance to swim.

Epic Disaster #4: I’m no high-maintenance girl. I have endured the most basic of accommodations and the simplest of restrooms but nothing prepared me for the shower and comfort room conditions in Calaguas! The makeshift restrooms were crowded, dingy, and filthy—must be the crowd that long weekend but it was more than we could take. Water has to be fetched in a pump meters away from the rooms and in some extreme cases, you would be the one to carry it! Binayaran mo na, nagbuhat ka pa! 

Epic Disaster #5: A commotion woke us up the next morning. Two of the ladies in our tour group were robbed. The girls were up all night drinking and dancing with some men. Their tent was slashed and all their important belongings—money, laptop, mobile phones, and cameras—were taken. They were accusing one of the tour organizers (which he strongly denied) as the suspect which ensued to the loud fuss we heard that morning. They searched everywhere in the island to no avail. 

Epic Disaster #6: On our way home, we had a stopover at Bagasbas in Daet, Camarines Norte. It was getting late and all of the people in our tour van wanted to go home already. But no, we were not able to do that because we had to wait for our other tour groupmates (who were in other vans and have other tour coordinators) to finish surfing in Bagasbas. Waiting is such a sorrowful waste of time. Amen. 

Despite all these epic failures, I still had a great time thanks to the saving grace of this trip to Calaguas Island.

First was the company I had. Ela, Ate Tin, and Ate Tin’s officemates were hilarious; we spent almost every moment laughing about inside jokes! 

Second was the time I spent lounging outside our tent, sprawled in my floral blanket while reading Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho. Every page or so, I would pause and just revel in the view of the vast shore and the sparkling ocean in front of me. 

Those were the times I said, “’buti na lang, masaya pa din!” 

When did you take this trip? I traveled to Calaguas Island one long weekend of March 2014. It was another one of my, “what-the-heck-tara-let’s-go” last minute trips. 

What brought you to Calaguas Island? I’ve been meaning to cross off this island in my travel list for quite a while. It was a long weekend, I was itching to go to the beach and someone dear to me (Hi, Ela!) shared the same sentiments so why not? And so off we went to Calaguas Island!  

What’s your most memorable moment in Calaguas Island? The boat ride going back to the mainland from Calaguas Island was hellish but it was epic! We were bumping huge waves after waves after waves that seem never-ending! At the end of that trip, our souls were all soaking wet! 

Another one would be the quiet moments I spent reading by the seashore. Just myself, a good book, the sand, the sun, and the sea! 

What lessons did you learn from your Calaguas Island adventure?

  1. Patience pays. Admittedly, I still need some serious work in this area but patience can get you to places. It can unlock doors of amazing opportunities and astounding chances. Yes, patience can do these wonders but remember to set a limitation. Life is too short to be wasted in lost time, you know. 
  2. Travel is not always rays of sunshine. Somehow, I can liken it to roses—bright and beautiful but with a lot of thorns along the way. Travel can bring you to the worst of situations. Disasters can and will happen. When it does and you become frustrated, angry, hungry, depressed, and irritated, slowly count to 10, take a deep breath, and give yourself a little space to figure out how to handle the situation. Find some way to get off the negative vibes and look into the brighter side of things. Take time to cool off. 
  3. Related to Item #2: Learn to forget the plans. Again, anything can happen and you must be prepared to adapt. 
  4. Waterproof your things else you’ll regret it. Please, I can’t stress this enough!   
  5. Lastly, the waves will sometimes be bigger but remember that you are stronger. As always, enjoy the moment!  

Your turn! What are some of the most epic disasters you've experienced while on the road?  

8 komento

  1. Oh man, you really had one thing after another! Don't worry, many of our bad experiences become our best travel stories!

  2. I like how despite everything you went through( could have been a disater) you managed to find positive things in your journey. I am sorry about the bad start but I am glad you still had fun. Beaches during holidays can get really stressful :) I also love your lists of lesson learned. Always good to have a "take home" after such experiences.

  3. Man, just one thing after another to add to this trip! At least Calaguas looks beautiful! Glad you could find the good in some of the bad things and enjoy yourself a bit. I am assuming that Calaguas is in the Philippines, yes? You never mention where it is!

  4. Naalis ng may-ari ang komentong ito.

  5. Wow what a trip! I'm actually planning a trip there in October. This place has been on my list for such a long time now and I'm patiently waiting for the monsoon season to be over. Hopefully, it isn't as stressful as how yours went. I am prepared for the bathroom situation since it is a virgin island to begin with. It would suck and it's the most dreadful part though!

  6. the beach pictures look absolutely fantastic.

  7. I am glad that despite all your trials and tribulations, you managed to find something positive out of the experience. That is a wonderful trait to possess. ;)

  8. Your blog has inspired me to embrace vulnerability and authenticity – thank you for showing me the power of embracing my true self! Get ready for an epic football adventure with Retro Bowl Unblocked Games - are you up for the challenge?