Two2Travel: Calintaan Island, Cebu

Matnog, Sorsogon: The Surprises of Subic Beach

After a while, the excitement for traveling wanes a little bit, just like anything else.

Feeling too lazy to wake up earlier than usual.
Choosing to be on Instagram rather than be out there (oh but there’s free WiFi!).
Not going on certain legs of the trip for no apparent reason.

But Calintaan Island in Matnog, Sorsogon changed all that.

TWO2TRAVEL.com | Subic Beach, Matnog, Sorsogon




style=”display:inline-block;width:468px;height:15px”
data-ad-client=”ca-pub-9863223324681828″
data-ad-slot=”3809290886″>

Waking up before 5 AM for the sunrise three hours after turning in, check.
Actually swimming on the beach, twice (we don’t get to do that often), check.

Perhaps it helped that we went to Calintaan with hardly any expectations. And so the surprises began, starting with the water.

Travel with Airbnb

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

The boat ride to Calintaan Island from the humble port of Matnog, Sorsogon took just about 40 minutes—pretty quick, but enough to send us feeling both amazed and afraid.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

Mt. Bulusan is visible from the waters off the Matnog mainland

See, the waters off mainland Matnog en route to Calintaan have whirlpools.

But because it was summer, the flat seas made our journey smooth, the feelings of foreboding never expressed in words. BUT we did see lots of tiny holes where the currents from all directions somehow converged and, well, formed whirlpools. In bad weather—and we say this to warn and not to dissuade you from visiting—the seas could get rough, and, well, you know what happens to things that get caught in whirlpools.

But boy were the waters so clear.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

At one point, along a channel between two small islands before Calintaan, the waters were clear as glass and the sand so white we could see the seabed drop so drastically from our boat. It was fascinating and terrifying at the same time, like seeing a giant, wide slide underneath that was—fortunately—not attempting to swallow our little boat whole. Soon after I found myself silently praying that the ride would be over quick. So much for a first impression, but yeah, note taken!

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

Subic Beach turns out to be just like any other Philippine beach (whut a problem, right?): white coral sand, swaying palms, and clear waters (oops, there goes that word again!). It’s so beautiful I could feel the cliches against my bare feet as I walked the length of the beach half-looking for algae or any of that shiz that usually turns off beach-goers. None.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

Oh well, maybe we can save the disappointment for somewhere else. For the next 24 hours, our beach would just keep being its perfect self.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach
Say hello to my friend L, who goes by the name @robuyah on Instagram. 

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

And did I mention we had a bahay kubo (thatched hut, a traditional spartan Filipino home) for the night? It was a nice little surprise, a notch higher (literally) than the tent we had intended to rent earlier. My only complaints were that the ‘room’ was set off too high from the ground that it was difficult to go up and down the steps every now and then; and that there were—I think—lots of sandflies that feasted on me the entire night. My companions didn’t suffer the same way I did though, so maybe you just have to slather yourself crazy with insect repellant.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach
Breakfast with college friends B, J, and L

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach


Moonrise, sunrise

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

In between rum coke & roasted marshmallows (coz we’re conyo like that), while the three of us who were still awake chatted with our caretaker Manong B, my friend L started pointing to the direction of the beach at what looked like—at least to me—a big orange blur. My friend L thought it was a fire in one of the islands in front of us, but the longer we visually impaired folks squinted, we realized it was the moon. At past 9 in the evening, the moon—that huge ball of orange—slowly rose from the inky-black space we knew was the beach, until it grew smaller the higher it rose.

It was so creepy we were half-expecting some sort of tsunami afterward, but obviously it didn’t happen.

Three hours after turning in (and the sandflies making a feast of my skin), we woke up to an orange slit on the horizon. The sunrise bathed the beach in faint orange, and that’s when we realized why Subic Beach was said to have pink sand—the white sand mixed with weathered red corals appear to glow pink at this time of the day.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach
 

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

We spent the good part of that morning beaching ourselves out in its cold clear waters. The sandy bottom had a smattering of coral stones so we had to wear our slippers while swimming. But not even that, nor the lone jellyfish that Owen spotted bobbing on the water surface, marred our sweet little time with the beach. If any, the water was so clear you could spot the jellyfish from five meters away.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach


Pink sand or not, sandflies and all, Calintaan Island redeemed something we thought was slowly getting out of our system. It brought back that sense of wonder, and it was a gift that just kept on giving.

TWO2TRAVEL | Subic Beach

Two2Travel

Owen Ballesteros & Nikka Corsino are trigger-happy travelers from the Philippines. They both swear by the sharpness of Nikon and almost always carry a packet of instant coffee when traveling. Photography is their bread and butter, their passion, and sometimes the only thing that prevents them from killing each other. If you have offers of work, collaborations, or an endless supply of instant coffee, please drop them a message here.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12261887962766280372 Kat

    Must add this to the 2313312 beaches I have to visit before I die lol

    You know you’re in for a treat when it involves a ‘buwis-buhay’ boat ride. ;)

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Ang dami naman! haha! Yeah that boat ride was a bit scary. Buti nalang maganda panahon!

  • Anonymous

    mahusay. :D

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Salamat! ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03905619129637060459 Lea Marte

    How much was the cost of the boat to the island? Are there any public transportation going to the island?

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Hi Lea, we rented a boat for P2,000 which includes island hopping (Calintaan Cave + Juag Fish Sanctuary). As far as we know the rates are lower if it’s just a daytrip. The P2000 rate was split among the group btw. We’ll update this post or write a travel guide for more detailed info. Thanks! :)

      • Alester Paladin

        hi po. itatanong ko lang po kung yung P2,000 eh kasabay na dun yung back and forth sa island? or one way lang po siya kay po may kasabay pang island hopping? thanks po

        • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

          Hi Alester. The P2000-rate covers both roundtrip transfers and island hopping. So our group of 5 paid P400 per person for the boat. Thanks for dropping by!

  • http://wanderingmole.wordpress.com/ Rubi

    Hello there! Can I use your photos to serve as reference of my group? Our group is climbing Mt Bulusan and we will be having Subic Beach as a side trip. I’d just like to ask permission for the photos :) Great captures, btw. :D

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00779572056259030202 Two2Travel

      Hi Rubi, sure you can. Hope you can tell your friends about the blog too! Thanks and happy trip! :) ~Nikka

  • Anonymous

    hi,

    i’d like to know how much that it cost for a night to stay cause im planning to
    travel with my gf and any recommendations where to go?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01224148683652094206 dj ala

    thank you for visiting our family resort my dear..we are going to make necessary improvements as soon as we are able to comply with the requirements needed by the government agencies such as denr etc..salamatunon po dios mabalos!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01385552061543083895 edzdeline

    Hi! I can’t help but notice your amazing underwater shots. What camera do you use? :)

  • Pingback: Tips for your trips: Subic Beach, Calintaan Island, Matnog, Sorsogon | Two2Travel()

  • Deuna Michael

    galing! i am from sorsogon pero di ko pa yan na puntahan. i will be home soon and planning to visit that beautiful and serene place of subic matnog. thanks for the info.

    • http://www.two2travel.com/ Two2Travel

      Welcome! Subic Beach was awesome, and Calintaan Cave on the other side of the island was just wow.

  • Vic Quileste

    How nice Sir and Ma’am, nakaka-inspired ang mga photos and travels nyo. Apir!!

%d bloggers like this: