Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kwentong Kaladkarin #29: Come South, Cam Sur! – Islands, Islands and more Islands in Caramoan!

Da Where: Caramoan Islands, Camarines Sur, Philippines
Da When: October 20-23, 2011
Da Who: Me and my partner in crusade and crime, Vin! It's his birthday! :)
Da Trivia: Sea travel and a hangover do not really mix well. #triedandtestedfact

They say the Philippines is an archipelago of about 7, 107 islands. In the past, its hard to imagine how one small country can have that many islands. After the island-hopping activities we had for the day, I'm a non-believer no more.

We were here! And no, we're not that tanned. Had to adjust exposure so the sand writing pops out. :)

Nursing a hangover from last night's inuman session, Vin and I woke up to a breakfast of longganisa, fried daing and fried rice. I could use something solid in my tummy after being filled by about .5L of Emperador Light the night before. ;D

Breakfast burp!

There was a little hitch as to which boat we'd be taking for the island-hopping (ended up having Kuya Henry and Kuya Jessie both ready to pick us up) but we got it settled before my headache could get any worse.

Kuya Jessie, our bankero for the day.

Clambering aboard, the gentle sea breeze was a welcome relief but when Kuya Jessie revved the boat up and we started getting to deeper waters, I could feel the remnants of my breakfast creep up to my throat. Holy guacamole. I've never been seasick before and now is not a good time to have it. I ended up closing my eyes and taking deep breaths. Darn alchohol! No more drinks until the end of this trip. Or so I thought.

All aboard! On to the islands!

Heaving a sigh of relief, we docked into sandy shore on the first island in our itinerary.

Matukad Island is one of the more known islands in the Caramoan, about 30 minutes away from Lingating. It has a lagoon which houses a very large milkfish. This milkfish is said to be enchanted and likes to live alone on the lagoon. It is said to be elusive and only chooses to show itself from time to time to the adventurous few who dares visit its turf.

Matukad Island

We didn't get to climb over and see the lagoon from the top; instead, we found a shortcut from the beach and saw the pool up close. But then, we were too far from where the milkfish was lazily swimming. Vin only saw a flicker of its fin.

Magical bangus, show yourself!

Lajos Island was our next stop. It's one of my favorite Caramoan islets. The white sandbar between two rocks is a perfect spot for photo-taking and getting a good tan.

Lajos Island

Lajos Island

Maputi Island was also another instant fave. Of all the Caramoan islands we visited, I think this one had the finest, powdery-white sand. It also offered a picture-perfect beach.

Maputi Island

It was almost noon so we decided to stop for lunch, which Kuya Ranel, the owner/caretaker of Lingating Resort, prepared for us. We stopped at Kadlagan Island's beach, which is right across Gota Village resort, owned by the CamSur governor, L-Ray Villafuerte. Gota Village is often closed off during Survivor location shooting, its where they billet the cast and crew of other countries doing their own version of the famous reality TV series. Some of the countries on the list include France, Serbia, India and Bulgaria, to name a few.

Kadlagan Island, with the Villafuerte-owned Gota Village resort right across

We enjoyed our fried chicken and guinataang alimango under the shade while resting up on the cool sand. Lunch couldn't be any more perfect. :)

Lunch on the beach, anyone? :)

After cooling down, we hopped back in to the boat and visited Sabitang Laya, where a lot of the Survivor location shooting happens. We even saw one of the structures used, a wooden stage attached to a large rock a few meters off the beach. I guess it was used for the water challenges.

Sabitang Laya Island is a couple kilometers stretch of untouched shores. Imagine the White Beach in Puerto Galera (if you've been there), minus the buildings, structures, and noisy crowd of people. Only one long stretch of untouched sandy shores and clear waters, all yours for the taking. You can actually camp on this island, if you prefer.

Sabitang Laya Island

Just before heading back to Lingating, we dropped by Katanhawan Island. Just like Sabitang Laya, this was also one of the islands where Survivor location shooting happens. We were fortunate these islands were open to visitors as they are closed several months in a year, usually from February-June. I guess they try and avoid the tropical storms the CamSur province usually experience during typhoon season.

This was when my camera's memory card started to conk out so I had no photos of Katanhawan Island. The beach is not as powdery-fine as the others but the remoteness of the island felt very calming. You could only hear the crash of waves and the wind surround you.

We finally docked back at Lingating around 1500. We could have explored a couple more islands but I didn't want to do sea travel at night again like yesteday. We just set up our tent, dug our toes into the sand while enjoying fresh buko until the sun set.

This is what personal time-off's should be. :)

Check out the rest of our CamSur adventure:

Kwentong Kaladkarin #27: Come South, Cam Sur! – Long Journey To Lingating
Kwentong Kaladkarin #30: Come South, Cam Sur! – Wakeboarding Woes
Kwentong Kaladkarin #31: Come South, Cam Sur! – The Trip's Travel Tips

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