A Family Escapade in Cagbalete Island

A Family Escapade in Cagbalete Island
by Danny Tariman

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The vast powdery sands of Cagbalete near Pilarosa Resort

It was a trip we had planned many months back. We planned and retracted twice because of stormy weather. After the 2 postponements, my family finally made it in the third attempt to the island the weekend of December 5th.

It was quite a long drive – but not really, as I enjoy long drives – from the south of Metro to Mauban town, in Quezon Province. Leaving the city at about 4:45 in the morning, we arrived the town of Mauban just as we planned it – at exactly 8am. We had a short stop-over in Pagsanjan, for some prayers at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine Parish church.

My son took the wheels of our SUV for the entire stretch of the expressway, and later my daughter got to drive the car up to Pagsanjan. It was raining when we arrived in far-end of Laguna.

After the church visit, I took over the drive passing through zigzags of the Cavinti-Sampaloc road en-route to Mauban. The weather was not cooperating very well; there was a scattered rain showers throughout the route. To put more challenge to the zigzag roads, the long stretch of road leading to Sampaloc was foggy, putting the visibility at just about 30 meters.

All these experiences are part of the adventure. We arrived Mauban town promptly as planned. We parked our car in the garage of the resort owner.

We had a few minutes of rest at the ancestral, antique house of the resort owner. This is also an experience: old house with authentic antique furnishings. We were told that the house is 100 years old!

The 100-years old ancestral house of the resort owner, in Mauban, Quezon
The 100-years old ancestral house of the resort owner, in Mauban, Quezon

From the ancestral house, we took a ride to Mauban port. We arrived just on time! At 9:30, the boat, with about 70 passengers, dis-engaged its anchor and started the trip to Cagbalete Island. We passed by a huge industrial plant at the left side.

The trip was quite fast. We arrived Sabang beach, in Cagbalete Island after 45 minutes sea travel. Upon arrival, many boatmen went up the boat offering tourist-passengers a ride to any destination in the island. Good for us, our resort owner had arranged for us our connecting boat to Pilarosa Resort.

We arrived at the resort about 11 o’clock in the morning. Just the right time to have a sumptous lunch, after our long trip from the city. We got ourselves settled in our air-conditioned accommodation, and then we had truly generous serving of home-made, eat-all-you-can lunch.

The family enjoying the early morning sunrise at the beach.
The family enjoying the early morning sunrise at the beach.

The weather condition was not so sunny. There was a cloud cover in the entire afternoon. We enjoyed swimming at the beach just the same, without the usual sun block lotion! Haha!

The beach had very, very fine white-grayish sand which extends very far from the shore. The place is truly child-friendly! We went as far as we could, and still the water at high tide was just up to chest level. My family enjoyed swimming/playing with the on-coming waves.

A view of the beach showing the famous ripples of sand.
A view of the beach showing the famous ripples of sand.

My son, who owns a marine aquarium at home, did not loose time scouring the area for some sea creatures he can take home. I accompanied him in his exploration of the place. Wow, it was a good place for explore. Mangrooves on fine sands – without the muddy stuff. While he was looking for living creatures, I took some photos of the place and its surroundings.

Oh, we had a truly resful night in the room! I hit the bed early and had the entire evening for a peaceful and restful sleep. I was surprised that I slept for almost 10 hours! Maybe I was tired.

The following morning was glorious! Sun rising on blue skies! I had a wonderful prayer time while at the beach, just enjoying God’s beautiful creation.

The glorious sun rising above the trees at the resort
The glorious sun rising above the trees at the resort

My family later joined and we went to explore other places. Near the Pilarosa is a sandbar – just a few minutes of walk! Yes, by walking!

Me and my wife while walking towards the sandbar, had a surprise! A baby octopus passed our way; I almost stepped on it. But it swam so fast, it went out of sight in split seconds! We tried to scout the area but it’s gone!

The sandbar was an experience too: long stretch of powdery white-grayish sand. We noticed a number of boats taking beach-bummers to the place. The good this is that our resort is just around the corner!

The iconic sands of Cagbalete Island. Note the ripples of sand.
The iconic sands of Cagbalete Island. Note the ripples of sand.

Oh, we had a “cheat weekend” for meals! We called it “cheat” because my family is on ‘healthy diet’, and we disregarded the diet for this weekend. The resort served us 4 full meals during the entire stay. We all had bloated tummy – or almost – because of the delicious and generous serving of meals: grilled pork, fresh veggies, chicken barbeque, sauteed shrimps, kare-kare (pork stew peanut sauce), squid adobo (squid stew in vinegar and soy sauce), Lucban longganisa (a local spicy sausage), many more!

We had a truly memorable weekend in Cagbalete! Wonderful sights, nice place, and exciting food!

Thanks to Cynthia, the owner-operator of Pilarosa Resort. You may get in touch with her through her mobile phone at 0999-366-3884.

Thank You LORD, for blessing my family with this wonderful weekend!

My family soaking in the beach: still knee-deep dozens of meters from the shore.
My family soaking in the beach: still knee-deep dozens of meters from the shore.
The mangroves of Cagbalete on sandy beach.
The mangroves of Cagbalete on sandy beach.
An early morning shot of the beach
An early morning shot of the beach
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