- accommodation: Tawhay Boracay Resort Condominiums
- package includes round trip air fares and transfers for two (Manila-Kalibo-Manila)
- vouchers are valid for 12 months
Deal Dozen has done it again! Today, it offers beachcombers a very tempting deal: a 3days/2nights stay for 4 at the luxurious Alta Vista de Boracay’s Loft Suite. The cost? Php 11,990!
According to its own website, a 3days/2nights stay for 4 in the Loft Suite costs a whopping Php 17,598.00. The deal costs Php 11,990. Do the math.
Need I say more? GRAB IT NOW or miss out on the chance of experiencing paradise within paradise for less!
If you’re the type of tourist who “looks before s/he books,” (like me) log on to Trip Advisor for customer reviews on Alta Vista de Boracay.
Daplac Cove is about a 30-minute bangka ride from Capari Resort (where we stayed in San Vicente) per way. The bangka ride is a service provided by the resort itself, which cost our group of 8 about Php 3,500.00 ($80.42) for the entire day. Guests availing of this service may just arrange with the bangkero (boatman) the best way to maximize the day island-hopping.
Meals were not a problem for us because the friendly boatmen were nice enough to do the cooking for us. All we had to do was wake up early in the morning to buy some fresh catch of fish, order rice from the resort, and of course, eat!
We were lucky enough to meet two kind residents from the island, Philippe (a Frenchman) and Ditchay (a Filipina), whose beautiful eco-friendly cottage is nested right in front of the beach. (Ay, kainggit!)
During the afternoon the couple invited us to their porch for a cup of coffee. There we learned that their cottage has been around for 20 years already (and it still looks new!). Over coffee Philippe talked (or, according to Ditchay, lectured us) to us about the pressing problem of commercialization of the island as well as their cause in letting as many people know about the bad side of putting up resorts in tiny islands such as Boayan. According to them, the presence of a luxury resort would harm the island’s ecosystem, and would render the island inaccessible to local tourists who aren’t able to afford the high rates these resorts ask for. Aside from that, Philippe also gave us the 411 on the environmental benefits of using solar energy at home. The conversation may have seemed like a lecture, but it was definitely eye-opening for us city girls who know very little about such matters.
I’m in on the cause of the San Vicente residents to save Boayan from “commercialization.” Word is out that Discovery Shores is planning to build a luxury resort in the area — something that will greatly affect local travelers, as the cost of entering the island will be very expensive. Ditchay and Philippe were right in saying that it just doesn’t make sense if it happens that such a place in the Philippines would become inaccessible to most of its citizens. More importantly, the building of such a resort would greatly harm the rich wildlife that Boayan has.
Here’s a little disclaimer, though. Calaguas is not for everyone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because this island is exclusive, or anything–it’s just that certain types of tourists who have a set of “standards” might not enjoy the island as others do. As a piece of advice from one traveler to another, do not go to Calaguas if you:
Bottom line is, Calaguas is an adventure in the most natural sense. It doesn’t offer the thrill that mainstream water sports/activities do; instead, it challenges travelers to let go of their tired old notions of what a weekend beach getaway should be, and to just suck in the experiences that nature has to offer–both the beautiful and the not-so-convenient.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I left Manila that Friday evening March of last year not knowing what to expect from that trip to Camarines Norte. Today, I remember myself sitting in that bus going home just overflowing with awe of what I have seen and experienced there. Actually, until now (as I type) I get chills recalling the most pleasantly surprising place I have ever been my entire life! Calaguas is by far the most exquisite of all the beautiful beaches I have visited here in the Philippines. Forget Boracay–it’s already way past its prime. Hee :p
He has other websites, too!
I learned about Calaguas only by chance. Around March last year, my friends and I were already itching to kick-start our summer by going to a beach that we all haven’t been to. After hours of Google-ing beach destinations that are pretty close to the Metro, we came across a blog about a place called “Mahabang Buhangin” (that’s long beach in English) somewhere off Batangas. The blog included a photo of the beach and we couldn’t believe that there can be an island near Batangas that has sand as white as Panglao‘s or Boracay‘s, and so we searched some more and found another blog praising the same beach. Still a bit skeptical as to the real location of this island (no, it just can’t be near Batangas), we searched for more blogs until one of us found the contact number of one Melvic Brinas, a guy who arranges camping packages to these group of islands off Camarines Norte (we were right all along!) called the Calaguas (or Calagua Islands). And so we called him up, reserved our slots for the coming weekend, and come Friday evening we were on a bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte, not knowing what to expect from this little adventure.
Must I state the obvious? I almost died seeing how beautiful this island is. Aside from the sand being clean and white, the water was also free from any pesky things as sea weed, sea grass, or algae, which made swimming even much more fun. Also, note the lush green hills–perfect view! One can go hiking up those hills in the morning for an excellent view of the sea and sand. 🙂
As you can see in the photos, the stretch of sand from the water up to the campsite (where the vegetation starts) is really wide so a large beach umbrella is a must, as well as tons of sunscreen and other beach essentials.
This is another never-miss spot in Camiguin Island. White Island isn’t really an island–it’s actually a sandbar. That means there’s no vegetation–once you reach the “island”, you will see no spot of green around, which is nice to the eyes, but definitely not the skin. We stayed there from around 8:30 am until 1:00 pm (the worst time to be on a beach) and need I state the obvious? I got burned really bad. If you’re thinking that yeah, naturally, I got baked because I was out there sunbathing, you’re wrong. Upon learning that there will be no trees there, I made sure to sit under a beach umbrella as the afternoon sun rose as an attempt to spare myself of the traumatizing pain caused by sun burn. Well, let’s just say that the noon sun is just too powerful and that no umbrella thick and wide enough could ever protect one from harsh UV rays. On the boat ride back to the main island I thought, well, hell isn’t the only place where people burn; one can burn in paradise, too. Ouch! (But it was a good kind of burning, in hindsight.) 🙂
Since the island has become a major tourist spot in Camiguin, vendors of food and drinks can be found there. Can be convenient for some who won’t bring their own food and drinks, but it kinda sucks if you’re looking to take pictures of the beautiful landscape. I suggest that their local government pay more attention to the cleanliness of the island as well as the water surrounding it in order to keep the beauty and pureness of the place.