CARAMOAN ISLAND; Navigation Lifestyle

December 1, 2014

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CARAMOAN ISLAND

Municipality of Caramoan, Province of Camarines Sur

Bicol Region, Island Luzon, Philippines

NAVIGATION LIFESTYLE

“Interaction and  Engagement with Nature”

 

“When my plane ticket was booked sometimes May 2014… I was yearning for out of downtown and a change to a less urban type of scenery after a busy city’s work, Madayaw!”

No reservation, my #1 agenda for my trip adventure would be the to Bicol region, to visit the “Survivor” Islands of Caramoan! An island became known internationally as the setting of several foreign “Survivor” TV series franchises in Italy, Israel, France, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Sweden. Idle talk, I heard that the islands have risen as one of the hot ticket destinations in the Philippines……….of course; I wanted to get my load of this tropical paradise.

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Traveling solo, I stayed in Caramoan for two days. I had to go island hopping all by my lonesome though accompanied by two boatmen. The night before, I felt a bit scared. Would I still enjoy it without any crowd? What could I possibly do the whole day alone? What if something happens to me while I’m in some remote island? Everything’s put-in my imaginations………Navigation Lifestyle!

 

Stop and Smell in ONE of OUR Beautiful Island in Luzon!

 

The Philippines is composed of more than 7,100 islands. All of them are extraordinary tropical. Some of them are simply pure and beautiful while most of these islands are awesomely attractive.

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One of them is known as a jewel of an islet located offshore, the Caramoan Peninsula in the Municipality of Caramoan in Province of Camarines Sur, Bicol Region, Island Luzon, Philippines. Lush, green coastal mountains with rock formations stretching all the way from Sabang pier to Guijalo port in Caramoan, amidst deep blue, aquamarine pacific waters, rich in marine and aquatic life, define it.

The municipality comprises of approximately 277.41 square kilometers miles an about 71 kilometers or 44 miles of its irregular coastline is surrounded by vast swamps, bay, ocean and seas. It is about 500 kilometers or 310 miles from Metro Manila and 95 kilometers or 59 miles from Pili Municipality. It is where the office of the provincial government as wells as the Naga Domestic Airport located. Caramoan is located 110 kilometers or 68 miles east from Naga City, which is called the heart of Bicol. (wikipedia.org)

All in all, I’m glad I pushed through with the trip even on my own. It was a personally revealing experience … again and again; possibly do something like this ALL the time, hehehehehe! Seriously … it was, in a way, fulfilling to cross an item off my travel bucket list to share the experience I got with.

How to get there!

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From Bicol Central Station in Naga City, visiting Caramoan would mean taking two-hours by van going to Sabang pier and from Sabang pier to Guijalo port would take more that two hours. Then you take the more than ten-minutes via tricycle ride from Guijalo port to the town proper of Caramoan.

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After which you take another fifteen-minutes road trip from the town proper to Paniman beach. The road can be muddy during the rainy season but this should be endured, as this is one of the jump-off sites for island hopping.

If you opt to take the land trip by bus from Bicol Central Station in Naga City to Caramoan, you have to endure the bump and neckline numbering road trip for almost six hours.

 

The Caramoan Island!

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Caramoan is an almost untouched wild type of paradise and was once an unknown to commercial tourism because of its remote location. However, because of consistent promotions from local and international media, it has now become a well-known and well-visited travel attraction.

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The French edition of the reality TV show “Survivor” had paved way to Caramoan Islands to its international recognition and through that it has been a favorite site for international franchises of Survivor but never did I imagine that I would live like one of the participants in the reality show “Survivors” in my very own Caramoan escape.

Until now, the said place constantly draws a high percentage of visitors every year, as mentioned by Kuya Anthony, my tour guide.

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The pictures I took are not enough to explain how really beautiful Caramoan is. It’s wow, amazing, overwhelming nature creations! The water, the rocks, the sands, and the environment; they are all stunning beyond words. Everything was created perfectly, and the islands were like delicately placed far south, so it can somehow escape the abusive changes that modernization and civilization could bring. I felt like reliving, it’s just that I am in my very own Island Philippines.

The Islands visited!

I went to four islands Matukad, Lahus, Sabitang Laya, and Tayak and I am more than satisfied with what I saw. According to Kuya Anthony (the boatman), it will take 3 days to visit all the islands in Caramoan Peninsula. He also said that the other islands are more beautiful than those we visited. Survivor outfit rents some islands of Caramoan for 20 years and that will end in 2029. That means if there’s a Survivor taping the islands are close to public. I was saddened by the fact that we Filipinos are being treated as foreigners in our own land.

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MATUKAD – is one of the smaller islands off the coast of the Caramoan peninsula.

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Its shores are covered with super fine and powdery off-white sand and walled with spectacular jigsaw-puzzle-like limestone cliffs.

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It has a lush tropical forest where you can have the chance to see the so-called enchanted lagoon at the center of the lake. It is where you will see a big milkfish swimming around. It seems to guard its mystical abode.

Tour guide tells us that there is a small lagoon on the island where a big, lone fish lives. There used to be two of them, he says, but someone killed the other and it brought that person some kind of misfortune. While he was sharing this tale, I can’t help but imagine an epic love story worthy of being adapted into the big screen hehehehehe!

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Even if climbing the sharp rocks going to the peak of Matukad Island is quite challenging, you will certainly be rewarded with the breathtaking and refreshing view of the surrounding seascapes at the top.

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This is truly an unblemished paradise away from the crowded commercialized type of tourism. It is where you can see, feel and be with nature at its best.

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Ended, this unexplored paradise is one the country’s secret Eden. Certainly, it is a place where Nature casts its spells.

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LAHUS – just several meters away across and opposite from Matukad Island is an island that consists of two white beaches called Lahus Island. The white sand in-between two identical jagged limestone rock formations is what made it attractive.

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The white sand is situated between the two huge and rugged limestone formations is what made it eye-catching.

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I liked the jagged rocks and the pristine blue waters, so “cool” for the first 20 minutes but beyond that, it felt kinda lonely not having anyone to share the experience with.

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To keep me occupied, I explored as much of the beach as I could … going from one corner of the island to the other, climbing up the rocks to get a better view of the islands, taking souvenir self-portraits, what a breathtaking scenery “fun”.

The Visayan word “lahus” means you can pass through and through. This is exactly the description of the island.

As mentioned by my tour-guide, the Survivor contestants hold their tribal councils in Matukad while their so-called challenges are performed in Lahus.

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SABITANG LAYA – this is a triangular island defined by a long fine white shoreline. The 2 kilometer long stretch of the beach is ideal for swimmers, beachcombers and snorkelers. It is also has tall and large cliffs perfect for rock climbing adventures.

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With its long stretch of powdery  sand beach, Sabitang Laya Island is one of the popular islands in Caramoan. Its interesting rock formations are one of the best features of the island. Island composed of twin beaches.

The entire island has a triangular shape. One side is occupied by Sabitang Laya beach while the other side is known as Bag-ing Beach.

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TAYAK – has a light brown colored beach is bordered by forest overgrowth and a tall, imposing limestone formation on one side. My guide led us to a lake surrounded by sharp, sea cliffs. It was a striking scene. Unfortunately, the water is a bit muddy due to the rains a few days past.

The island is characterized by a magnificent expanse of white sand contained on both sides by partly vegetated limestone cliffs. These high walls stretch out into the sea shaping an inlet, which creates an excellent spot for swimming.

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In general featured!

Caramoan is indeed, what most people would call, a paradise. Without question. Hands down. It is a beautiful place possesses an array of majestic natural wonders, where you can get up close and feel the tranquility of nature; it’s the perfect place for your dream vacation getaway.

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In actuality, as what I experienced and saw during my navigation lifestyle island hopping traveling solo, I could say that Caramoan is a hidden tourism nature and hub. It is filled with marine life, exotic islets, diving spots of diversified corals, pristine beaches, underground cave and rivers, lagoons, freshwater pools and architectural rock formations so amazing!

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So next time you feel stressed out and in need of a breather, look at your vacation schedule and put in your agenda that you must visit one of our beautiful islands for a proper holiday instead of just the routine trip to see friends, family and kamag-anaks.

Because there’s so much to explore, discover, experience, see and do in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

Where to stay:

At Caramoan Bed and Dine offers affordable rooms and tour packages and where I stayed. Contact Ms. Armi F. Lejarde – Incharge of booking and reservations/Email add: lejardearmif@yahoo.com / Cell phone numbers (SMART) 09204768577 and (GLOBE) 09158268563

 

Thanks to:

Evelyn Banal – accommodation caretaker (09203587838); Jerry Diamas – the tricycle driver; Anthony and Padon Rosales – tour guide/boatman

 

My Itinerary:

November 14 to 17, 2014

1st Day
3:30am            Tagum City to Davao City (bus – P90)
6:05am             Davao City to Manila (by plane – P800)
11:30am             Manila to Legazpi (plane – P1,400)
1:30pm             Legazpi to Naga (land – P140)
3:45pm             Naga City (stayed at CBD Hotel – P500)

2nd Day
6:15m             Naga to Sabang port (van – P100)
8:05am             Sabang port to Guijalo port (boat – P130)
10:30am             Guijalo port to Caramoan bed and dine (by tricycle – P150 and home accommodation P600)

11:20am             Caramoan to Island Hopping area (tricycle – P150)
4:20pm             End of the Island Hopping Tour (tour fees – P1,500)
5:00pm             Back to Caramoan proper and Visit Municipal of Caramoan & Church of Michael Angelo Archangel (tricycle – P150)
6pm on             Accommodation, Dinner!

3rd Day
7:00am             Guijalo port to Sabang port (boat – P130)
9:30am             Sabang port to Naga City (van – P100)
1:20am             Naga City to Mayon Volcano in Mun of Daraga, Province of Albay (van – P140)
4:10pm             Daraga to Legazpi City (jeep – P 18)
4:30pm             Legazpi City proper (stayed at Bicol Travellers – P350)

4th Day
12:25pm             Legazpi to Manila (plane – P1400)
2:35pm             Manila Airport
6:30pm             Manila to Davao (plane -P800)