Remote, peaceful, away from suburban life, the tourist scene here is generally laid-back. Visitors of the island are mostly local tourists who happen to find it.
Cagbalete Island, for some reason (or for no reason at all), is never mentioned in well-known guide books, but thanks to veteran bloggers ( demeter of www.libot.blogspot.com , et al) Lakwatsera and I found out about this place.
Catch the bus going to Lucena City. JAC/JAM Liner have regular routes. Go to Cubao/Kamias Station and take the first trip which is at 3:00 a.m to Lucena Grand Terminal. Travel time is approximately 4 hours (including traffic and passenger pick-up along the way since the bus leaves at exactly 3:00 a.m at the terminal regardless of the number of passengers who boarded). Fare Cost is around Php214.
At the Lucena Grand Terminal Station, take the bus bound to Mauban. It's a non-aircon bus, more like a mini-bus. Travel time is one(1) hour. Fare is P50.00. The bus is located very close to where JAC/JAM Bus will drop you off.
A few meter's away from Cagbalete Island, from the main boat, you disembark onto a smaller boat that will bring you to Sabang Port.
At Sabang Port, locals will approach you and offer their services to take you to the resorts in Cagbalete. There are only three resorts on this island, Villa Cleofas, Pansacola Resort, and MVT Sto. Nino. Boat fare going straight from Sabang Port to Villa Cleofas (which is on the opposite side on Sabang port) is P300.
The photo below shows visitors who chose to take a boat ride from Sabang Port to their chosen
We do not have any reviews on Pansacola Resort and Villa Cleofas. Lakwatsera inquired a week before our trip on both resorts but they were fully-booked. It was a good thing that MVT Sto Nino (the lesser known resort) still had an available room.
Pansacola Beach Resort - 0928 505-8633
MVT Sto. Nino - 0921 727-5398
MVT Sto. Nino:
Bring your own food since MVT Sto. Nino does not have a restaurant, but you can ask them to cook food for you for a fee. You provide the food and other ingredients, and you pay for the charcoal which the resort will provide. In our case, we just brought canned goods like tuna and sardines and asked the resort to cook the rice we brought with us. We paid P20.
Amenities are pretty basic. The local people are friendly and helpful. The water is really shallow even on hightide. The view of the beach during lowtide is spectacular.