March 24, 2014

Caramoan, Bicol: Island Hopping with Clingy Castaways

Backpacking? There are many reasons why I love the Philippines. We are blessed with beautiful beaches, hidden coves, alluring landscapes, delectable dishes, and wonderful people. Last September of 2013, my college friends and I decided to become cast aways at the secluded islands of Caramoan.

We were eleven. My friend, Glaiza, whom we haven't seen since we graduated from college, decided to visit us and asked me to choose a place where we can get away from our busy lives. From Coron, to Anawangin, I chose where the popular reality series, 'Survivor', played. 

We survived the 12-hour trip. (For more details on how to get to the island, click here) As soon as our guide showed our rest house, my friends and I were all smiling, knowing that this vacation is going to be fun.After having our first amazing lunch, our guide, Kuya Ismael, told us to get ready for our island adventure. We rode the boat and took us an hour to get to our first destination: Lahos island.

Lahos Island

Some things never change :)
This beach reminded me of Malcapuya Island's fine sand. We ran, swam, and laugh that brought us back to how we were during our college years. Time was up, and we went back to the boat. 

Matukad Island
Our next stop was at this beach called Matukad Island. We stayed here longer than Lahos so we can chill more and enjoy each other's company. Aina, Glaiza, Ging, Reybert, Monique, Mikhail, Bjan, and Ryan decided to take a little hike to see the huge Catfish, swimming in the small lake on top of the hill. I stayed, no thanks to my fear of heights. My friends, Anton and his girlfriend, Divine, stayed with me. I borrowed their gears and went snorkeling. In all honesty, I may not have seen the big fish, but these colorful schools made my stay worth it. Our time was up so we head on to our last island for the day, Minalahos, an islet not too far from Lahos. 

Minalahos Island
We were welcomed by this huge rock formation so my daredevil friends went for the climb. After some series of photographs, we headed home.

Shortcut through the mangroves
It was a 2-hour ride and I fell asleep on the boat in the middle of the ocean. My body suddenly twitched and I was able to view Caramoan's beautiful sunset, smiling down on us with the mangroves on silhouette.

Caramoan's sunset. No filters needed. :)

As soon as we got back to our lovely house, we bathed, washed the sands off our bodies, and prepared for our delicious supper. (I swear to God that their meal packages are super worth it!) After feasting like royals, we went to our room's balcony, brought out the playing cards, and drank local, hardcore rum. The rest is history.