Wednesday, April 2, 2014


After 2 months of waiting, the fated day to visit Caramoan and CWC has finally arrived.

With fellow friends Maycon, Ramil, Jaymie, Kashogi and Kim, we ventured the islands of Caramoan.
I organized the itinerary. We all met at Cubao Bus Terminal and rode the Raymond Bus bound to Sabang. As usual, the schedule isn’t always followed so the bus departed around 8pm. As I read from other blog, the bus takes more than 12 hours but luckily in our case it wasn’t. I was expecting to arrive around 9 but we got there around 6:30 which is early. One porter by the name of Ian accompanied us without being asked. I guess that’s how the way it goes there. We had around 10-minute walk from where the bus dropped us until we reach the port. Registration is a must. Age included! Turns out I’m the oldest in the group.

The 120 fare is paid in the boat while sailing. We had time to eat breakfast at a local eatery in front of the passengers’ waiting shed. While waiting, Ian carried our bags into the boat and had our seats reserved. Come 7:30, we boarded and gave Ian 150 tip since there were 2 of them who helped us. We’re pretty generous I guess. The 2 hour boat ride made me sleep. The sea was calm and not too long, we reached Guijalo Port. Right on the area, the pick-up van by West Peninsula was waiting for us. Mark Anthony Breis also known as MacMac welcomed us. After loading our baggage, we head out to the Villa. Kim was dizzy because of the boat ride. We arrived after 20 minutes. The place is near the Church.

There were 2 rooms booked to us. That wasn’t the accommodation we expected so we requested to change to Family Room where we can all be together for the same price. Ordered our lunch and they were freshly cooked. Bicol express, Chopsuey and Sinigang na Baboy. Rested for a while and began our first Island Hopping at 1:00pm. The van took us to Bikal Port where the boat of West Pen is docked. Bought mineral waters and we’re off. First was Lajos Island. The weather was hot that we had a great view of the surrounding. The sky was blue and it felt like summer. After a few swim and group picture, we went to the next island, Matukad.

Arriving at Matukad, we bought coconuts for 25 each. After a bit of resting, we had to climb the rocks to see the Magical Bangus and I had a chance to get a video of it. Went back down and had a swim. The sand there is very fine. We played there like children. We left the island around 3:30pm. The next we did was snorkeling. Though we do not have snorkelers, we borrowed the clear goggles of the boatman and we’re able to see the beautiful corals under. There were schools of fish too. That time, I wished I had waterproof camera so I can capture the moment. The next destination was Cagbalinad Island which is near the area from where we’re swimming so we decided not to go anymore because it’s late already.

We head out to Paniman beach where the Breeze and Waves Inn is located and some other famous lodgings are. We chilled out and ate barbecues. After stuffing ourselves, we head back to the Villa. Took a dip in the pool and washed up. Ordered our dinner; Laing, Adobong Pusit and Lechon Kawali. Laing is one to be mentioned as it was delicious! Though we had some leftover, we asked to serve it for tomorrow’s breakfast. Walter and Kim still did some work. I left them around 11pm as I was too sleepy. We had our breakfast prepared at 6:30am. Ordered 1 each of Tapsilog, Longsilog, CornedBeefsilog and the leftover Laing, 3 extra rice and 5 coffees. Our lunch has already been cooked which MacMac brought in the boat.

First destination was the grotto. The boat could not dock near the platform as it was low tide so we had to walk on our barefoot because the mud under the water is very soft and slippery. A guide is required. Before we reached the beginning of the 565 steps, we walked for about 15 minutes. At about 250 steps, we were already catching our breaths. The view from the top is magnificent. We’re able to see most the islands. At the top, stands a church and a large statue of the Virgin Mary. We descended after an hour of resting and reached the port around 30 minutes. It is necessary to give a tip to the guide so we gave him 120php. I hope that was a fair price.

The next island we visited is the farthest which is Manlawi that took 40 minutes to reach. The attraction on this island is the sand bar and the floating nippa huts where we had our lunch. The sand bar is more or less 8 meters away from the hut and only appears when it is low tide so it is advisable to go there before noon to take some pictures. Fresh coconuts were sold by the fishermen. Not too long our guide forced us to pack up to go to Bugtong, a much cleaner version of Manlawi. After a few swim, we decided not to prolong our stay there as we want to spend more time snorkeling.

Off to Cotivas Island. The view is spectacular. There were huts around the grass area. We took some funny videos in there and had a really great time. The weather is still hot so we decided to go to the next island, Sabitang-laya. The rock formation on that island is beautiful. After a couple of pictures we hurriedly went snorkeling which is the most anticipated moment we’ve been waiting. We stationed on a part where there’s a fishing spot. I was satisfied a little with the corals and the fishes but the place was never close to the spot where we had our first snorkeling activity. Some of the corals were damaged and the water wasn’t very clear. I’ve heard there was also a sea snake that was trying to chase Maycon. We spent a lot of time there and just gotten tired. We head back to Bikal port and to West Pen. After tidying up, we went out and bought some barbecues a few meters from West Pen. We ate the barbecues in West Pen and just ordered one Tinola and 8 cups of rice for dinner. It was a tiring day but fun.

Next day, we had to wake up early as we had to get off the 8:00am boat to Sabang Port. However, we were late and caught the 9:00am departure instead. Before leaving Caramoan, we visited the Church and bought T-shirt from the souvenir shop. We bid our farewell to MacMac as he has to go to work at UPCB as a messenger. We’ll surely miss Caramoan and will definitely go back someday but not too soon.

Another 2 hour travel time on the boat to Sabang Port. I spent most of the time sleeping and woke up 10 minutes away from the destination. There, we met Ian once again. I had him took my bag, went straight to the van bound to Naga and reserved 6 seats. I gave him 60php as tip and bid goodbye. Travel took around 1 and a half hour. We dropped off at the highway and rode a tricycle to CWC. We had a shower blessing on the way. Our bags got a little wet. Upon arrival, we decided to eat first at their restaurant. The price of their meal is expensive for the likes of us. What’s more is that they do not have service water. We had to buy bottled mineral water for 30php each.

The hourly rate of wakeboarding is 125 plus rental fee of 40 and a deposit of 500 which is refundable. There were 2 parks for wakeboarding. For beginners, it is suggested to spend the learning stage at the Winch Park. The round park is for Pros or at least those who have succeeded in the beginner’s park. Good thing I decided to go to Winch park with them because I found out that learning was hard. After a lot of falling and hitting the water with my face, I was able to cross the water. So little time to learn, leaving CWC unsatisfied. Rode a tricycle and a jeepney to Reach SM Naga which took around 30 minutes. Ate at the food court and headed to Moraville via tricycle for 8php each. I was already very tired and sleepy after stuffing my tummy too much. Our room is located at the 4th floor and they don’t have elevators. We had to climb the stairs which added more tiresome. I slept very early that night. The room was creepy and had some unusual feeling. I was casually waking up but was still skeptical.

Being the first to sleep, I was the first to wake up around 6:00am. Went down on the lobby and remembered that we have free breakfast (eat all you can). We finished at 8am. I talked to the guys that I wanted to go back to CWC because we still have some time to try out the Pro park. At 9am, we left the hotel and arrived at 9:30. We started our 2 hour wakeboard at 10:10. 1 hour at each park. I was playing good at the Winch already before 1 hour passed out. I was able turn rounds that made me confident to try out the Pro park. So I headed first and was shocked and did a lot of failure because the speed is at a higher level. But somehow, my hardships paid and I was able to complete 1 lap. I’m proud to say that I was the only one who made it. LOL

At 1:30pm we were back at the hotel and packed our things because we have a free transportation service to Naga Airport. We arrived at the airport around 3:00pm, boarded the plane at 5:00, touchdown in Manila at 6:00. Worked like zombie in the office.

I’d rate my vacation experience as 10 out of 10. Perfect score for the great weather! I love blue sky!


January 26, 2013. Araw ng pinlanong akyat at ang napili… bundok ng Manalmon. Ako ang nag-suggest nito dahil matagal ko narin syang gustong akyatin. Sa orihinal na plano ni Ugi, aabot kami ng sampu pero naging lima nalang.

Ang mga dumalo… Ako, Kashogi, AJ, Paddex at Allan.
Nagaalangan pako sumama sa akyat nung malaman kong may photoshoot ang Litratistas sa SM CCP. Sayang naman kasi at ipapakilala daw kami sa mga models. Aba, pribelehiyo ata yun. Kaya pinabago ko ang IT namin na agahan ang paguwi. Okay na sana kaya lang napatingin ako sa PAGASA website. May bagyong papalapit sa Metro Manila. Sa sariling tantya ko, aabutin ang Bulacan ng Sabado. Ayoko na naman tuloy umalis. Ako ang taong gusto ng asul na kalangitan pag umaalis. Di baleng mainit basta wag lang umuulan. Subali’t napilitan parin ako na tumuloy sa Baliwag Transit. Alas diyes ng ako’y makarating. Nadatnan si Kashogi at AJ na kanina pa ata naghihintay. Sinusubukan ko silang kumbinsihin na hindi nako sasama dahil hindi ko gusto ang panahon sa dilim ng mga ulap. Balak kong ipahiram ang tent at bumatsi na. Sinubukan ko rin ang ‘the maycon moves’ na baka magkabadtripan lang kami duon. Pero bigo ako. Dumating si Paddex at Allan. Onting kamustahan at kami’y sumakay narin. Tenterti nilisan ang Cubao. Wanhandredsebentin ang pamasahe hanggang San Miguel, Bulacan. Kwentuhan… gumanda ang panahon… at ako’y nakatulog.
Pagkatapos ng higit dalawang oras, bumaba kami sa Barangay Kamias. Pagbaba namin, may dalawang traysikel agad ang lumapit. Hindi ko nakita kung galing ba sila sa pila. Kontrata agad. 240 ang isang byahe. Hindi pede kaming lima sa iisang traysikel lang kaya sabi ko kakain muna kami upang makapagisip. Nagtingin tingin at may nakitang gotohan. May mga ulam kaya lang… walang kanin. Nakasunod parin ang dalawang traysikel. Wala na kaming makakainan kundi ang sinabi nilang madadaanan na karinderya. Sinubukan kong lumapit sa isang traysikel na nagbaba sa aming tapat. Pwede raw sa kanya 200 at kaming lima pero nagsilapitan yung mga traysikel drayber. Hindi pala pwede ang ganon dahil may pila. Tama nga naman sila. Sinubukan ko paring tumawad at binigay samin ng 220. Basta makamenos sige payag na.
Ilang minuto byahe, nakarating kami sa karinderyang may sikat na papaitan. Sinalubong kami ng ngiti ng mga dalagitang tindera. Nakita si Paddex at nakita ang buhok na parang afro. “Koya pede pahipo?” Tawanan kami at pinahipo naman nya. Natuwa din sa atey.
Umorder nako ng papaitan. Masarap naman sya hindi nga lang kasinsarap ng luto ni Olivia. Hindi sya mapait. Parang papaitan lang ng Aysis sa Pasig. portipayb ang isa at sampu para kanin. Nag-extra rice pako dahil sa gutom. Masarap kumain dun dahil kwela ang mga tindera.
Balik byahe sa traysikel. Diretso tapos kumaliwa hanggang sa marating ang dulo. Bayad ng noventa singko dahil daw may entrance fee ang traysikel. Parang lahat nalang ata may bayad!
Unting lakad lang ay ilog na. May dalawang paraan para tumawid, ang balsa na limampiso isang tao at ang Monkey Bridge na libre pero tutulay ka sa kawad na bakal. Dahil kami’y may mga bitbit, pinili namin ang balsa.
Jump off point. Sitio Madlum, Barangay Sibul, San Miguel
Diretso kami sa tahanan at tindahan ni Aling Cecil. Nagparehistro ng aming mga pangalan. Kumuha ng guide para sa Madlum Cave. Wampipti ang bayad para sa lima. Si Tatay Tonying o Antonio Conderas ang aming guide. Iniwan namin ang gamit sa tindahan. Umarkila ng tatlong headlamps dahil wala kami dala kahit planado naman ang akyat. Ewan ko ba. Trenta ang isang headllamp.
Balik kami sa balsa at tumawid. Wala na raw bayad pag pupunta naman ng cave. Lakad sa matarik na daan paakyat hanggang marating ang bukana ng kuweba ni Madlum.
Tuyo ang kuweba ng aming pinasok. Pabor sa amin. Marami kinukwento si tatay kaya lang hindi ko maintindihan ang karamihan. Panay “aaaaahhh” nalang ang nababanggit ko kay tatay Tonying. Magaling na guide si tatay. Itinuturo nya ang mga dapat mong gawin para mas ligtas ka makababa o makaakyat sa mga obstacles ng kuweba. Unang pagsubok ay mini rappel. Sisiw lang sakin. Hindi ako takot
dumepende sa tali kaya madali ako nakababa tulad ni AJ.
Malamig sa loob. Sumuong, yumuko, tumagilid, dumapa, gumapang at umupo. Narating namin ang musicroom. Nagpapatugtog si Paddex gamit ang mga rock formations. Masarap sa pandinig. Narating namin ang pinakamahirap na challenge. Naabutan pa namin ang kasunurang grupo na puro babae pero olats. Pahinga muna at syempre picture taking. Pakiramdam ko ako si Lara Croft. Kulang nalang baril at mga kalabang hayop. Dalawang oras kami sa aming cave adventure.
Eto ang pinakamahirap na parte ng kweba dahil kailangan mo yumakap sa bato at itulak ang sarili papasok.
Balik kami sa ilog pero hindi na kami nag balsa. Dumiretso kami sa Monkey Bridge. Nanguna agad si tatay sa pagtawid. Kami naman ay excited kahit ang iba ay kinakabahan. Sisiw lang samin ni AJ pero yung tatlo ang natatakot. Nalaman kong may fear of heights pla tong si Kashogi. Buti di sya nalulula sa tangkad nya. Ladies first. Tinawid ni AJ ang tulay ng mga tatlong minuto. Sumunod si Paddex… si Kashogi, pinadala pa sakin ang camera nya sakaling mahulog daw sya pero si Allan din ang nagtawid. Di naman sobrang delikado ang pagtawid sa Monkey Bridge. Natural ang pag-ugoy ng inaapakan. Ang mahalaga ay nakakapit sa tali. Unti unti lang makakarating din. Masarap sya subukan. Nakaka-excite at maganda rin ang view pag nasa gitna ka na.
Nagpahinga unti. Bumili ng long neck matador at lumakad na rin para umabot sa sunset. May dadaanang kweba pero saglit lang. Tatawiring ilog na hanggang binti lang ang lalim. Walang isang oras at nakarating kami sa campsite.
Maluwag ang campsite at sa bilang ko, tatlong grupo lang ang aming nadatnan. Si tatay diretso nagpitch ng duyan nya. Kami nama’y naglapag ng gamit at diretso sa summit upang magpictorial.
Ang tuktok ng bundok
Bumaba, nagpitch ng tent, naglatag ng ground sheet, naghanda ng mga makakain, nagsaing ng kanin, nagkwentuhan. Muli ay umakyat ako sa summit upang kumuha ulet ng litrato.
Makaraan ang mahigit kalahating oras… bumaba na ako. Sumakit ang aking mata dahil hirap ako makakita sa dilim kapag walang salamin. Maya maya’y nakatulog ako. Ginigising ako para kumain pero mas gusto ko pa matulog. Naalimpungatan habang sila’y nagiinuman. Nagising ako ng alas kwatro at di na makatulog. Naghanap ng tirang ulam. May tatlong piraso pa ng manok. Kumain ako ng dalawa at onting kanin. Busog. Nagliwaliw magisa. Nag e-cig. Kumain pa ulet ng dalang tinapay. Dahil di nako makatulog at malakas rin ang hilik ni Ugi. Nagpasya akong tumambay sa summit. Kinuha ko ang camera ko at ni Ugi. Masarap ang hangin sa taas. Hindi nanunuot sa laman ang lamig. Katamtaman lang s’aking pakiramdam. Napakaganda ng kalangitan. Walang mga ulap. Puro bituin lang ang makikita. Nakatingin lang ako sa kawalan at sa buwan. Hindi ako makapagisip. Natural na tulala lang. Ilang kuha pa ng litrato gamit ang camera ni Ugi nang biglang… empty battery. Patay!
Ang palubog na buwan sa madaling araw
Nagising narin si AJ at umakyat sa summit. Siya ang gumising at nagpadala ng masamang balita kay Ugi. May galit at tampo si titser. Nagmoments nalang sya habang nakatingin sa papalapit na umaga. Nagsidatingan narin ang ibang mountaineers para kumuha ng litrato. Nagkape na kami sa taas at nagkwentuhan tungkol sa Happiness ni Paddex. Palowbat narin ang camera ko. Bumaba kami at nag-break camp. Muling umakyat sa summit ang grupo kasama si tatay para sa group shot pero bigo dahil bumigay narin ang baterya ni Lumia.
Bumaba kami sa ibang daanan. Parang traverse. Dire-diretso lang pero parang matagal kumpara sa dinaanan namin kahapon. May nadaanan kaming pwesto ng ilog na may maraming naliligo. Sayang at hindi nakuhanan ng litrato kaya tumambay muna kami at nagpahinga saglit. Matapos kumain ng baong cheesebread, yan yan at Alpine evaporada… nagpatuloy na kami. Halos tatlumpong minutong paglalakad, nakabalik kami sa barangay.
Pumwesto sa malilim at malapit sa ilog. Hindi na kami nagluto ng makakain dahil merong nagtitinda ng pagkain. Umorder ako ng kalderetang baboy na kakapiranggot, sila nama’y tilapiang gata, mountain dew, kape at may kumakalabit na aso bukod kay Wendy.
Matapos kumain at magpahinga, naligo na kami. Nagsimula ang pictorial, kalokohan at photoshoot ni AJ.
Inggit siguro ang ibang grupo dahil tanging si AJ lang ang may dating. ^_^
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Pareho parin ang pamasahe pabalik. Diretso kaming binaba sa istasyon ng bus. Tulog ulet at pagdating sa farmers, kumain ng hapunan at naglaro ng DOTA. Umuwi akong masaya. Bukod sa magandang adventure ay panalo sa dota.