It was 02-03 April 2016, and the world smelled of ocean breeze and salty air. I was, once again, at my happiest!
A few months before I went home to the Philippines for my vacation last April, my forever friends in college (Algend, CJ, & Liz) had informed me that they will be visiting Camarines Sur (CamSur) for the group’s yearly reunion. In addition to that, they’d be joining I and Ms. Wonderwall’s planned summer getaway to Calaguas Island. I haven’t really given much thought about it, to be honest, considering that they said the same to us—a lot of times—when we were still based in Manila. The fact that we’re now extra farther from their respective places in the metropolis, put my expectations in a quiet corner. Guys, I have a free pass for saying things like that to you here, right?
Until I received a text message from my younger brother from another mother, Algend, that they were already aboard a bus bound for CamSur. I lied when I said I wasn’t expecting much from them. One of the many preparations I and Ms. Wonderwall did was we bought special bottles and finger food. We also cooked plenty of their favorite desserts not to mention stuffed the fridge with something edible. They’re not special. They just have big sacs that don’t get filled up—easily.
Receiving visitors like them is no pressure even though their confirmation only came a few hours before their arrival. Until they also signified their intention to join us in the getaway. No. The right words were “confirmed their attendance”. Thank heavens we had such a flexible travel and tour agent, Liza Concordia, of Calaguas Island Tours and Packages by Anthony’s Travel and Island Tours. The last-minute changes were quickly settled, with a mild headache.
The next thing we knew was we (Algend, CJ, Rosh, Liz, Harry and Tayshaun) were setting out to the getaway in the early morning of Saturday, 2nd of April. That was just a couple of hours after their arrival. We needed to catch the first van going to Daet, Camarines Norte otherwise we wouldn’t be able to make it to the agreed pick-up time and place (i.e., 8:00 AM at Jollibee).
It’s suffice to say the agreements fell into place so we had a very smooth travel via the jeepney in Daet, where we met Liza’s husband (Anthony) son (Melo) and right hand (Jiero). They’re the commendable team behind Calaguas Island Tours and Packages by Anthony’s Travel and Island Tours). From there, we were transported to the penultimate destination, Vinzons’ Port Logpond, which impressed me with its amazing panoramas. The smooth cruise transformed into a challenging one—at least for some of us—during the two-hour boat ride to the ultimate destination, Calaguas Island. CJ and the son described their experience as one hell of a ride. She couldn’t stop screaming whenever the boat resists the violent moves of the sea. We were literally riding the waves. The Cyclopean slaps of the waves made the boat succumb to the moving ridge’s course. For someone like me who already had countless, for lack of a better word to describe it, waves’ experience, I was just like watching a pair of dancers gracefully moving to a pelagic tune.
A few minutes later, I started seeing a strip of white beaches nearby. I wanted to plunge into the water and swim my way through right then and there.
I was that excited! For a year of being confined in a desert scenery, this kind of reaction is expected of me, a beach lover since birth.
You could just imagine how my feet itched when we were finally approaching Calaguas Island.
The sight of Mahabang Buhangin beach on Tinaga Island, which is now the one being promoted by the provincial government of Camarines Norte as Calaguas Island, made my heart skip a bit.
The beautiful scenery during the stopover at Port Logpond proved that it was a just a prelude (“A Sneak Peek At The Astounding Landscape Of Vinzons’ Port Logpond In Camarines Norte“) to this perfect microcosm of paradise. The port reminded me of the Amazon River while the island reminded me of the movie, “The Beach”, and one of my favorite songs: “Pure Shores”. I, Ms. Wonderwall, and the rest of our forever friends couldn’t stop exclaiming beautiful adjectives to describe what our optical organs were feasting on.
The sun was directly overhead by time we reached Calaguas Island. The paradisaical scapes were overpowering that we didn’t mind being toasted.
How cool it is to watch the water mimicking the color of the sky, to hear the hypnotic murmuring waves of the pulsing turquoise sea, and to gaze out at the offing that seemed to have been stitched with a silver line. The picture was a far cry from the scene described earlier on our way to this place.
And when we started walking on the island’s long strip of white powdery sand—the finest of its kind—we were completely swept away. The beach looks like a well-scythed sward one would die to play on. Our toes were happily sand kissed.
We became all the more invited to immediately settle in our spot upon hearing the laughs of children and adults frolicking in the crystal clear water simultaneous with seeing fellow weekend sightseers wearing tanned but joyful faces passing by.
When Anthony and Liza were cooking for lunch, they prompted us to go lollygag in the sun or swimming.
We chose dawdling the hours away as the sun was already too unforgiving by that time.
An hour passed and we were eating three authentic mount-watering Bicol viands. Great local food and an atmosphere of humming waves accentuated the scene. By time we finished lunch, our accommodations were already pitched, waiting for us right under the trees in front of a lush vegetation. What a perfect hive.
We let the kids roam around a little bit later so we could finally catch up. The countrified environment may have been too persuasive to make us sleep but our conversation was far engaging then that of nature’s force. We didn’t notice that we had consumed almost three hours talking about everything under the sun. Time flies faster when you’re having a good conversation I must say.
When the sun’s rage began frittering away, the sea began casting it’s spell. It was about time to give in to the serenading calm, azure water. This is one of those extremely rare moments when the least that I could think of is holding my phone let alone pressing the shutter.
I took that very moment to look at the ineffable natural wonder that is Calaguas Island. It’s now all clear to me why most of the blog posts I saw on the net used this word to describe it: paradise. I say, indeed!
For the nth time, I noticed the tides ebb and flow languorously. I got fascinated by the way the waves gently crashed against the rocks and sands of the beach, their curling fingers painting the big and tiny stones with a gentle caress as the wind ushered them softly towards the shore.
When I looked at Ms. Wonderwall with our great friends merrily swimming, it gave me a sense of satisfaction with life in the moment.
Then I found myself floating in the turquoise ocean with them like there’s no tomorrow—free of gravity.
I realized that my affinity with the water element is intrinsic. No wonder I’ve always turned to water for sense of calm, clarity, and rebirth.
Our swimming chortles got stirred when Melo came over. He was yelling, “Kuya, ate, dudes, magha-hiking na daw po tayo para sa sunset” while cheerfully telling us to get out of the water as soon as possible. I wouldn’t mind being interrupted from my woolgathering if the reason is the same as Melo’s.
The next activity on the list is something I wouldn’t want to miss for the world. It’s been ages since I last hiked. My feet itched earlier because it wanted to get soaked and tickled by the fine sand. Now, it is itching to hike the nearby hill where visitors can witness the most supernal nature feat in my book: sunset! (Stay tuned for the sequel.)
#storiesofthewanderingfeeandmind #travel #nature #wtnadventures #bicolbloggers #travelph #daet #camarinesnorte #itsmorefuninbicol #traversephilippines #thewanderingstenographer #iphoneography
Calaguas Island Paradise (pattytriestoblog.com)
Calaguas Island- The Way to a Paradise (jontotheworld.com)
Calaguas Island – Paradise of the Pacific (camarinesnorte.net)
Experiencing Paradise through Calaguas Atbp (s1expeditions.com)
CALAGUAS ISLAND: Paradise lost,Paradise found (pusangkalye.net)