Last June 23-24, Haksonero Mountaineering Group (HAMOG) held their second anniversary in Cagbalete island, Quezon. Jordan and I had a chance to join the said event despite of the hectic schedule at work. Right after my shift that Friday night, we headed to the meeting place without any sleep or bath. Haha! There, we saw familiar faces like Shan and Dhez from Daraitan hiking, DJ, Jec, and Tem (the ones we used to rub elbows with in Talahib gigs), also Jevi and Sara from Cristobal climb. We got to know the rest of the group at the event proper.
After 3-4 hours of travel by bus, we waited for the public boat going to Cagbalete island. There’s a public market nearby so we could buy everything we need for an overnight stay.
We headed to Villa Cleofas which is 1.5 kilometer walk from Sabang (where the public boat unloaded us). And to our delight, this welcomed us– LOW TIDE! Hello, Cagbalete! Villa Cleofas is one of the resorts in the island and we were lucky to own it even just for a night because there were no other guests.
After having lunch and setting camp, we had a short program about HAMOG’s second year anniversary. It started with introducing ourselves to each other since some (like Jordan and I) were newbies in the group. The crowd was cheerful and warm. You will always laugh at funny gestures and jokes. Haksonero Mountaineering group promotes enjoyable and responsible mountaineering as well as valuing safety, camaraderie, and respect for the environment. They even had outreach programs for some communities living at the foot of the mountains they have climbed up on. Get to know more about them through their facebook fanpage.
At first, I thought there was no luck to swim because of low tide but then after few hours the water gradually filled up the sea bed. Notice the sky was painted yellow orange which made it magical and romantic.
We spend the night enjoying savory meals such as pork sinigang, grilled pork chop, and an octopus dish (for realz) cooked by amazing youngsters in the group, never-ending rhum and iced tea, drum jam, guitar app by Shan, and fun fun fun stories. The island was quiet and cozy. I had a good night sleep in our tent.
Though many stayed up late, some were still able to have a glimpse of the sunrise. Not me because I’m a sleepyhead yet I had to get up and lavish the glittering water. It’s so inviting. You MUST hop in before it subsides again. Morning swim!
We had quick lunch then break camp to be able to catch the 1pm boat ride, however, we missed it. We had to arrange a chartered boat and another misfortune was the tide became low again so the boat couldn’t sail. We waited for a couple of hours or more (I guess) at the barangay outpost. At least we had time to take a nap and chat more with each other. Just before the sunset, we found ourselves boarding the chartered boat heading back to Mauban port.
Wait! Misfortune didn’t end there. We also missed the public buses going back to Lucena Grand Terminal where we could take buses back to Manila. The night already unfolded and we had to arrange another chartered vehicle again, this time two vans for all us. Despite of being restless, we still managed to keep our heads up. Sometimes, it’s just hard to follow the itinerary. Haha!
On top of everything, I’m delightful to be part of this event as well as having the chance to set my own feet in Cagbalete– a mystical island for me. Breathtaking views, magical beach, great buddies, fun times. We’d definitely come back!
How to get there:
- Take Lucena bound bus either in Cubao, Buendia, or Alabang. Jac Liner or Jam Transit have regular rides going to Lucena Grand Terminal. Fare is 210php from Buendia (3 hours ride).
- From Lucena Grand Terminal, catch a mini bus (ordinary) going to Mauban, Quezon (almost 2 hours ride). Fare is around 50-60php. The last trip is at 6 pm.
- Arriving Mauban town proper, the port where the boats are stationed is just nearby public market. Trips are scheduled at 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM daily, for P40-50 per person. They usually drop off passengers at “Sabang” although they sometimes drop off their passengers directly to the south eastern part of the island where the resorts Villa Cleofas and MVT Sto. Nino are located. Chartered boats are also available. Rate is P4,000 two-way ( Mauban-Cagbalete-Mauban) and can ferry up to 25 people.
Where to stay: http://www.lakwatsero.com/destinations/cagbalete-island/
You may want to check out this:
- Daraitan (joischan.wordpress.com)