I can say that our DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Cagbalete Island Trip was one of the most unforgettable trips that I had. Why? Hmmm… Here’s the full story:

We just learned about Cagbalete Island when we were playing with Google Earth, we were actually looking for Balesin Island (which we saw in a travel magazine). Unlike Balesin, Cagbalete Island had not yet been published in any travel mag; the beauty has not yet been touched. With that on mind, we had been immediately captivated by this undiscovered paradise, and decided to pack for a 2 Day-1 Night Stay in Cagbalete.

How To Get There:
suggested departure from Manila is 3 am.

1. From Buendia, you can take JAM or JAC Liner to go to Lucena (around 3-4 hr trip). Fare is P209.00/pax.
2. Once you reach Lucena Grand Terminal, take the ordinary bus to Mauban via Mainit. It is a 1 1/2 hr trip, fare is P50.00 each.
3. From Mauban Bus Station, take a tricycle to bring you to Pantalan Port (there are 2 ports in Mauban, so better to be specific). To make sure, tell the tricycle driver to bring you to the port to Cagbalete Island. Standard rate of tricycle fare is P9.00/person.
4. At the Pantalan Port, look for the ferry boats to Cagbalete. I highly recommend for you to take the big ferry boats Anthony or Neneng. It will be approximately 45mins-1 hr boatride depending on the weather. Fare is P40.00 each.
5. Once you arrived at Cagbalete (Sabang Port), to reach the resorts, you need to trek for about 10-20 mins.

Summary of Fare Expenses: P658.00 only Manila-Cagbalete-Manila

Since I was too excited to see Cagbalete Island, I had flooded my facebook wall with my countdown statuses for this trip; a colleague of mine, who was a local of Mauban (the town across Cagbalete), learned about my trip to this virgin island and immediately sent me a text message. She told me to be extra careful in Cagbalete Island since the island is known for Pitik-Pitik. She told me not to just drink or eat anything that will be offered by the locals. She told me to make sure that I will be bringing my own food, own water, and my own utensils. I kept on asking what Pitik-Pitik is, and she just uttered “basta mag-ingat ka”. With those words said, promise, it scared the s*%T out of me, that I almost backed out. Yes, I almost backed out, that my overflowing excitement went down and was replaced by nervousness as the trip draws closer. I even try to search the web for any definition or description of Pitik-Pitik but I failed to get any. (In a country where Shake, Rattle and Roll is considered to be the best horror film of all time, there is nothing wrong on listening and believing the stories of the locals.)

And the trip went on…

We passed by Mauban Church before boarding for Cagbalete Island

Where To Stay:
There are only 3 resorts in Cagbalete Island. Do not expect some five-star hotel accommodations.

We chose Villa Cleofas and decided to pitch a tent there for an overnight stay. It is P300 for 2-3 pax. πŸ™‚

While setting up the tent

While we were enjoying the beach around 3pm, strong wind blew and rain poured heavily. It destroyed the tent that we just set up. There were no typhoon reports or whatever so we were shocked. We stayed inside our tent from that time on until 8am the next day. How lucky right?

Flashback: It felt like it was the longest night I ever had in my life. I was so scared since it was just my first time to really sleep in a tent. I got crazy that I was thinking that a bull or any wild animal can just easily attack me. Thinking that we were the only people in that part of the island, every minute felt like forever. By the way, I haven’t told you that the island does not have electricity yet. So define DARK NIGHT. It was also my first time to sleep in the dark, yeah, pitch black night.

Where To Eat:

Originally, we were planning to avail the Meal package in Pansacola Resort, however, they only cater for a group minimum of 10. So we ended up doing our own cooking. πŸ™‚

We cooked everything before it got dark. We spent 3 hrs cooking all these using the “paypay method”

Our susyal burger πŸ™‚


What To Do’s:
There’s a lot of things that you can do in the island… … if the weather is good…

I felt like crying because the rain did not stop yet until we woke up. We have not enjoyed the island yet and that also means that we will be stranded in the island since the boats wont be allowed to go on board.

But as the song goes, “there’s a rainbow always after the rain…”

Haaaist… Happiness!

Waaaaah! I can see the light now. :))

With all the the nervousness I felt, I think I have the right to celebrate right?After all, I almost got insane.

Celebrate good times, C’mon! Let’s celebrate!

Isn’t it obvious that I am so happy? Hihihihi!

Now, I am loving the fact that we’re the only people in the island


What To See:
There’s a lot that you must see in this virgin island.

You can find in Cagbalete Island the largest sand ripples

Go straight and see a bunch of pine trees. Nice!
Cagbalete after the stormy night

See the Bonsai Island…

The islet full of cutie little bonsais πŸ™‚

Enjoy the low tide in the morning…
Sarap dito!

Going Home:
Important! Since there are only 2 trips from Cagbalete back to Mauban (7:30 am and/or 1:00 pm only), make sure to be there at least 30 mins before. Or else, you need to wait for the next day’s trip.

Lalalala! Thank you Cagbalete!

Make sure to bring a drysack or at least some ziplock plastic bags; for you to board the Neneng Ferry Boat, you need to ride this small flat banca

Let’s go and chase Cagbalete!

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72 Comments

  1. I have read in some blogs na maganda daw sa pansacola, but i wanna try ung nilandingan cove, ung customer service nila accomodating pag may mga questions ka

  2. Hi Try niyo sa villa Noe maganda siya saka malinis πŸ™‚ Mababait din sila.. magdala na lang kayo ng maraming food kasi mahirap maglakad papuntang baryo para sa food.

  3. Hi All, I went to Cagbalete last May 3, Villa Cleofas was fully booked, we ended up staying in MVT on our first night. Then on our 2nd day we transferred to Nilandingan Cove. We made the right choice, we had an AWESOME experience there. The owners were there and they are so nice. Accomodating sila and maganda ung amenities. Just sharing =)

  4. Hi! Papunta din kami ng Cagbalete this coming summer kaya nakita ko itong page na ito. Regarding sa pitikpitik, I've been working here on Quezon, and base sa mga narinig ko dito, nag-eexist nga ang pitikpitik.Based on the local stories I've heard, pitikpitik is cyanide poisoning. Kaya sya pitikpitik, inilalagay ng manglalason ang cyanide sa mahabang kuko, at kapag ilalagay sa pagkain ng lalasunin, pipitikin nila ung daliri nila para malaglag ung cyanide. Cyanides or other chemicals that fishermen use. by Kurapikta

  5. Hi Kurapita,Thanks for that detailed update. It's been a while since I heard any updates on Pitik-Pitik. My friend and her daughter just went to Cagbalete last week and they enjoyed the whole place. It was pretty safe. If ever that Pitik-Pitik is really true up until now, hopefully, they're going to stop it soon.

  6. Hi everyone!Does anybody here have Nilandingan Cove's number? I really wanna go there but whenever I call their posted number: 09173900027 I keep getting “the number you dialed is incorrect”. Please help :c

  7. Hello po! May phone number po ba yung Villa Cleofas? Saka saan po kami mag-cocoordinate kapag pupunta kami dyan? Salamat po ng marami!

  8. Meron po bang bangka kahit early morning ng Sunday kasi need namin sumamba sa INC Chapel na malapit at Mauban lang yata

  9. Thanks for sharing bout pitik-pitik stories. My bf and his family went to cagbalete last sat. 8 of them suffered diarrhea after the trip. 2 yung dinala sa ospital..ang as of this moment nakaconfine pa yung isa. Hindi pa din nila alam kng anong nging cause. At first akala nila dhil sa pusit..pero yung iba sa nagkadiarrhea nde naman kumain nun. Another thing na tinitignan nilang reason is yung water sa island. For those who are planning to go there.. magingat nalang po.

  10. Thanks for sharing bout pitik-pitik stories. My bf and his family went to cagbalete last sat. 8 of them suffered diarrhea after the trip. 2 yung dinala sa ospital..ang as of this moment nakaconfine pa yung isa. Hindi pa din nila alam kng anong nging cause. At first akala nila dhil sa pusit..pero yung iba sa nagkadiarrhea nde naman kumain nun. Another thing na tinitignan nilang reason is yung water sa island. For those who are planning to go there.. magingat nalang po.

  11. Thanks for sharing. Baka nga sa water or sa panahon na din? Pero siguro kahit saan naman tayo mapadpad, kailangan talaga mag-ingat lalo na sa water intake para lang sure.

  12. Hi there. We are planning to visit the place this coming week. We are from Manila. Kung magdadala ng sariling sasakyan hanggang port, may mapaparkingan ba na safe? thanks

  13. Hi,We're planning to visit Cagbalete on September w/ my two kids. I just want to ask, during this month, is it safe to travel on boat from Mauban to Cagbalete? Thanks…

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