To kick-off summer, and to celebrate Labor Day weekend, we decided to go somewhere more “hipster” – as in limited electricity, isolated and more DIY-themed. This is Cagbalete:
An hour away via boat ride from Mauban, Quezon, which is around four to five hours away from Manila. To tell you now, yes the trip was well worth it. Compared to other beaches where there are package tours offered, a trip to Cagbalete didn’t have any based on our research. There is an option to take a bus from Buendia, then hop on a public boat, but since there were five of us, mathematically speaking, the cost would just slightly be higher if we brought a car then hired a private boat, which is what we did.
To help you plan your budget, above is the cost for the public and private boats. I think taking the bus (JAC Liner http://www.biyaheroes.com for reservation) would be fine, but knowing the schedule for the public boat is crucial if you really want to travel on a shoestring. As for our trip budget, here is the breakdown:
- 2 Airconditioned Rooms for 5 pax (we are not hardcore campers, but electricity is only from 6pm-6am): PHP 5000
- Groceries (including snacks, disposable utensils, 1.5kg meat, toiletries, basically everything we needed to survive for 2 days): PHP 2300
- Private Parking at Mauban (overnight): PHP 200
- Private Boat (2-way): PHP 2000
- Burner/LPG Rental (PHP 50/burner/30mins): PHP 200
- Charcoal: PHP 20
- Ice: PHP 50
- Gas: PHP 2000
Total: PHP 11770 or PHP 2354 per person
As a tip, cost could actually be much lower if we went for camping, that would only be a little over a thousand per person, considering the food we bought was actually too much for us. We had give out some. So don’t be overwhelmed by the 2k budget per head just for an overnight stay. Come to think of it, it is still quite cheap considering the beauty of this island and the fun we had. 🙂
As for the actual experience itself, our key takeaway is to enjoy swimming between 8 am to 3 pm since after that it was already low tide. Usually since it’s too hot in the morning, we would avoid swimming, but that is a no-no in Cagbalete.
“Hey a sand bar!” We enjoyed taking a lot of pictures here, but we then realized seeing this was actually a sign that we can’t go swimming anymore after photo ops. This was around 2pm, and by 3-4 pm we can’t go swimming anymore. Regardless, we continued to enjoy the rest of the day by chilling at the beach, cooking our own sumptuous meals and marveling at the beautiful sight.
We woke up early the next day to enjoy the water.
The view at 5am was fantastic!
Oh hello Labor Day!
Our Labor Day weekend getaway was quick, we would have wanted to stay longer. I actually prefer this kind of beach since it is more peaceful, and doing everything by ourselves was kind of more exciting since the hands-on activity gave us all a chance to bond, to learn.
Let’s go again!