Days are slow and hot, the nights short and cold. Shortly after five in the morning – when elsewhere it’s probably still pitch dark – Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach) is already a pale turquoise, the sky a faint hue of pink and blue. It’s difficult to stay asleep once sunlight streams through your tent. Besides, daybreak in this island is, like a child awaiting a candy treat, something you’ll look forward to day after day. Ah, mornings in Calaguas.
Getting to the Calaguas Group of Islands in the frequently storm-ravaged region of Bicol is no mean feat, at roughly 12 hours by land and sea from Manila. But this relatively quiet beach off the northeastern coast of Camarines Norte province makes all the travel through winding roads and open seas worth it.
Here are five reasons why you should spare a weekend (or maybe more) in this quiet, happy beach before the rainy season comes.
Please read the full story on GMA News Online.
Travel tips and directions:
1. Bring a tent, mosquito repellent, cooking and dining utensils; candles, lamps, or flashlights; and a first-aid kit.
2. Wrap your belongings in drysacks or sealed plastic bags as waves can get a bit rough.
3. If you don’t want to lug around everything during the trip from Manila to Bicol, source your food and drinking water from Daet. Plan your supplies well ahead to make sure these are sufficient for your needs.
4. Bus trips need prior reservation. Manila-Daet buses of Superlines and Philtranco are mostly regular airconditioned buses starting at 500 pesos and are found at the Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao. Alternatively, you may take a sleeper bus bound for Naga at P1,000 (lower bunk) or P1,200 (upper bunk) just like we did and get off at the intersection in Calauag town (Isarog has daily 9 PM trips from Cubao). This way, you can sleep throughout the trip in time for the remainder of your land and sea transfers.
5. If you wish to take the train, call the PNR for reservations at (02) 319-0044 & 48 and visit www.pnr.gov.ph for trip schedules. However, note that the Bicol Express train can only drop you off at the Naga station, which means another two-hour van ride back to Daet.
6. Similarly, you can hop on a flight to Naga and head to Daet on a van.
7. To take the Vinzons route, take a 15-minute tricycle ride from the Daet bus terminal to the Vinzons fishport and get a boat from there.
8. For the Paracale route, get off at Brgy. Talobatib in Labo town (for Manila-Daet buses) or Calauag intersection (for Manila-Naga buses) and take another bus for Paracale. Proceed to the fishport (5 minutes by tricycle) and get a boat. Our boatman there was Mang Roberto (09108460639)