Calaguas: DIY Style

If you still want to go to Boracay Calaguas even after reading my post here, okay, fine. Here’s my take on going there DIY style. 

When’s the best time to go
Unless you’re on a suicide mission, obviously, not during the rainy season. The waves this side of Luzon is notoriously choppy even on dry months.
If you want to experience peace and quiet, better head there during weekdays.
How to go there
If you want to save yourself about 6 hours of land travel, you can fly to Naga which has the closest airport to Daet. Take note, though, that Daet is still 2 hours away.
By land, you can take Philtranco, DLTB or Superlines from either Cubao or Pasay. We took Philtranco’s 9:30 PM trip from Pasay and arrived at Talobatib Junction at around 5:00 am. Based from our research, Philtranco’s air conditioned bus trips from Pasay are 8:00 am, 8:00 pm, and 9:30 pm.
Depending on the driver, travel time can take anywhere between 7-8 hours.
There are actually two jumpoff points to get to Mahabang Buhangin: Vinzons and Paracale. Our jumpoff point was the latter since we already have a boatman.
As I mentioned, we got off Talobatib Junction and tricycle drivers quickly approached us. I don’t know whether we had a miscommunication or we got totally ripped off when we paid Php500.00 for two tricycles to take us to the market. I thought they said Php250.00 for two tricycles. Anyway, I’ll just charge it to experience.
NOTE: We took the 5:00 pm trip of Superlines from Daet to Cubao and we arrived at 2:45 am. While it was cheaper, the trip was an hour or more longer since there were lots of stopovers. 

What to bring

  • Buy your food, freshwater for drinking and cooking, ice, charcoal and other supplies from the market before heading to Mahabang Buhangin. There are small stores on the island, but they might not have what you need or items cost significantly higher.
  • There are no accommodations on the island so bring your own tent to save on the cost of renting a cottage or tent there. You can actually sleep on the beach, like we did, but just to be safe in case it rains, we rented a tent for Php350.00 which can fit 4 pax.
  • Rain poncho
  • Bring your own cooking utensils and mess kits. Although our boatman was kind enough to lend us a grill, pot and even an ice container, we found that we should have brought our own chopping board, bigger knife/cleaver, food keeper (for the cooked food/leftover) and what have you.
  • Garbage bags – not only for your trash, but also to waterproof your things. And remember, practice the Leave No Trace principle.
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Insect repellent
  • Loose change to buy a bucket of pump water (Php10.00/bucket).
  • Goggles or snorkeling gear
NOTES:
  • You can have your meals cooked by one of the locals, but it can be expensive. e.g. Php100.00 for cooking rice.
  • There are different rates for ‘entrance’ and environmental fees depending on where you plan to stay. At the far left of Mahabang Buhangin (if you’re on the boat approaching the island) which they refer to as Giovanni’s, the fee is Php170.00 per head with unlimited use of pump water. On the far right where we camped, we only paid Php75.00 per head.

Who to contact

We highly recommend Mang Boy Camano: 0908-546-0683. He even lets his guests shower in their bathroom. You can also buy a 5 gallon freshwater and ice from their store at Php100.00 and Php3.00 per piece, respectively.

Photo credit: Endette Mendoza with our boatman, Mang Boy

 

Breakdown of expenses

Breakdown is based on an overnight stay with 7 pax splitting the expenses for the groceries, paluto and tent rental.
 

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