Every year, the entire family goes somewhere for a few days of fun, rest, and relaxation. This summer, we traveled to a quaint island off the coast of Mauban, Quezon: Cagbalete.
A few years ago, the island of Cagbalete was known only to the locals of Mauban and a few adventurous backpackers who camped on its beaches. Today, more and more tourists are discovering the place, while resorts have sprung up along different parts of the island.
Coming from Lumban in the nearby Laguna province, we took a 2-hour drive to the municipality of Mauban, then boarded a boat towards Cagbalete Island. The boat was chartered by Aquazul Resort & Hotel, where we had made reservations for a 3-day, 2-night stay.
After a 40-minute boat ride, we arrived on the shores of sunny Cagbalete. We had to wait for a few minutes before checking in, as the resort was full, obviously on its peak season. We settled down for a hearty lunch on a set of four long tables — as there were about 25 of us!
We spent the rest of the day (and night) on the resort’s spade-shaped pool, basking and having fun in the water. I especially enjoyed the Jacuzzi, which immersed us in relaxing, hot water. Our group included seven kids so you can imagine how hard it was to get them out of the pool!
The following day, we took advantage of the “low tide” to take a walk along the beach. Within just a few minutes, we reached a mangrove “forest” — one of many that surround the island. Of course, we couldn’t resist taking lots of pictures amid the gorgeous mangrove trees!
In the afternoon, we each had our own “activities” to indulge in swimming, kayaking, enjoying a tall glass of halo-halo. One of my aunts even rode a local boat to the other side of the island, where she bought fresh fish that resort staff prepared for our lunch and dinner.
That evening, a group of fire dancers arrived to present a “fiery” performance for resort guests. Everyone enjoyed the show, especially the kids, who had pictures taken with the dancers. Up to this day, my little niece tries to imitate their dance moves — without the fire, of course!
During our third and final day, we decided to check out early as we wanted to be the first to board the boat back to Mauban. Prior to this, we bought a few trinkets (e.g. key chains, ref magnets) as souvenirs and “pasalubong.” Chalk up another “destination unlocked”!
Just a few hours from Manila, Cagbalete Island is easily accessible. While it may not have as much “modern” trappings as other destinations, it has a natural and rustic beauty all it’s own. I definitely wouldn’t mind going back and exploring other parts of this charming island!