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Mauban, Quezon-- Cagbalete Island may, at first glance, look like just another tropical island beach here in the Philippines. The island's fitting but stereotypical descriptions-- fine white sand, pristine turquoise waters, lush greenery-- may seem no different from our country's  other beautiful islands that boast endless strips of awe-inspiring beaches. The descriptions  sound  familiar, yes, but the only way to really discover how unique and truly different the island is is by actually being there.



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.


It's really hard for me to come up with adjectives and paint a perfect picture of the island's true qualities. But one thing Lakwatsera and I both felt during our stay was the island's mysterious vibe. On our first day, while walking on time-worn footpaths that sliced through thick shrubberies; en route to the only resort that would accommodate us, I had this paranoia  that anyone not in his right mind can snatch both of us, stab us to death, bury us, and no one will ever know. I also found the eerie silence  a little disconcerting . I can't even remember how may times I chanted " tabi-tabi po!"  at every  strange-looking tree or plant that we encountered.
 

Of course, my paranoia was completely  unfounded. Yes, I maintain that Cagbalete Island is mysterious and strangely beautiful, but underneath all the enigma, it  really is just a beautiful quiet island inhabited by peaceful and friendly people.
My to-do list when in the island is plain and simple: when the sun is up, go bask in the golden sunshine on the island's terrific beach; on high tide,  swim or dive on its amazing clear blue waters; on low tide, walk barefooted on sandbars that seem endless and unrelenting; or, when you are tired, just sit back, relax,  feel the island's cool summer breeze  and just stare at the amazing landscape.

HOW TO GET THERE:
Travel Directions


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.


The 1-hour-long drive will take you  through a long stretch of Quezon's scenic views of  lush-green environment.


Upon reaching the Mauban Terminal,  take a tricycle (P14.00) to  "bayan" or the wet market where you can  buy  provisions for you island trip, before heading to the next stop.


From the wet market, walk your way to "pantalan" (around 5 minutes). It's hard to miss. The picture of the statue below is your landmark. When you see this statue, just walk towards the direction the statue is facing. That's "pantalan" or Mauban port.


Make sure to be at the "pantalan" before 10:00 a.m. Public boat only travels twice a day. 10:00 a.m and 4:00 p.m. Boat fare is P40.00 and travel time is less than an hour. The boat capacity is 60pax.



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.
If you find the boat fare too expensive, just walk. Simply ask the local kids to guide you. It's a 1.4km hike (around 20 minutes of leisurely walk under scorching heat). Walking, believe it or not is faster than taking the boat from Sabang Port to your chosen resort.



The photo below shows visitors who chose to take a boat ride from Sabang Port to their chosen 
resort.

Where To Stay:
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.

All 3 resorts reply to inquiries quickly:
Villa Cleofas -   0919 220-5000
Pansacola Beach Resort -   0928 505-8633
MVT Sto. Nino -   0921 727-5398 





MVT Sto. Nino:

The room we got at MVT Sto Nino is a bahay-kubo room. It costs P1000 a night, good for 4 pax. No aircon, no fan. Pretty basic accommodation. Electricity runs from 6:00p.m - 6:00 a.m. Bathrooms and comfort rooms are communal.



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.


Going out of the island
Only two trips of public boats are available going out of the island of Cagbalete. 8:00a.m and 1:00 p.m. Take the 1:00 p.m boat ride and make sure to be there before 12:30noon as the boat can fill out quickly.

Post a Comment

  1. hi, your blog and pictures are really informative.we're planning to go to cagbalete after holy week. I think this resort is better kasi it looks more quiet.nice review.:)

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  2. @anonymous--thanks. I hope your plan pushes through.

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  3. hi, ask ko lang kung alin ang pinakamairerecommend mo among dasol, magalawa and cagbalete, im torn between these places.. hope you can help me :)

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  4. @nayumi06-- tough question. If given the chance to revisit all three places,I guess, I'd go back to Magalawa Island first.

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    1. villa cleofas maganda dun kc sa isa laging nagkalat yung mga dahon ng puno dun sa sand. di magandang tingnan. nakapunata na ako dun 3 times kakilala ko lang bayad lang namin eh 50pesos.

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    2. Sa villa clofas kayo pumunta the best dun nka punta na ako dun maganda talaga. Yung isa resort kc(PC) laging nagkalat yung mga tuyong dahon dun sa beach, hindi magandang tingnan nakakasira ng view.

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  5. hi! can you camp there instead of renting a room?

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  6. @jam, yes, you can bring your own tent instead of renting a room.

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  7. There's a JAC bus that goes directly to Mauban. Leaves the terminal around 5am or earlier kung mapuno sya agad. Less hassle and aabot pa din for the boat :)

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  8. hi, i love your entries about magalawa and the other beaches.saan ba may finest sand kasi mahilig ako maglakadlakad sa beach?

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  9. @virgo Itinerary, thanks for dropping by. Despite having been corrupted by tourists for so many years, I still think the Boracay sand is Queen when it comes to quality. I have not walked on any beach whose sand is as powdery and as fine as the one in Boracay. At par with the Boracay sand would probably be the sand on the beach of Calaguas Island. I have not blogged about my Boracay and Calaguas trips yet, but I will, one of these days.

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  10. thanx for all the info,hindi kasi ako marunong lumangoy so when i go to a beach maglalakad lang ako sa dalampasigan at mag emote hehehe...kaya i'm particular with the quality of the sand.the problem lang talaga with bora is that its so crowded.may napuntahan nga ako sa thailand sabi ng kasama ko kasing fine ng sa bora ang sands pero sayang kasi umulan when we went there

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  11. Two thumbs up for this blog :)

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  12. HI thanks for the blog my GF and I planning to celebrate our 4th yr anniversary hoping we choose cagbalete budget wise it is cheaper than the rest

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  13. Beautiful! I wanna have my travel blog soon :) This inspires. Thanks for sharing this beautiful paradise

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  14. Hey, thanks for this detailed entry. I'm planning to have a solo trip to Cagbalete next month. I like the last pic! :-)

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  15. Impressive images.

    You made me smile, reminding me of the ritual of saying, "tabi, tabi po" to pay respect to the unknown.

    It's something my children here born in Europe will have a hard time grasping.

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  16. Very lovely and refreshing-to-look-at photos!!! :D I want to visit Cagbalete too. It seems like an ideal place for some unwinding and nature tripping. Though I don't think I'd explore yung areas na mapapa-"tabi-tabi po" din ako.. XD

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  17. Cagbalete Island looks very scenic =)

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  18. wow great place! i want to go there soon!

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  19. i wish i could go there..i'll take you as my travel guide, oh, i mean, your blog..hehe..not you personally..lol

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  20. This a very detailed article! But also informative, galing sana meron din ako time and money para pumunta sa mga paces na Ito.

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  21. cagbalete island, yup, I don't think I've read it in any guidebook... it seems like a good place and thanks to travel bloggers people learn about places such as this...

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  22. You're funny, having such morbid thoughts like that while walking through paradise with your beloved. :)) But I guess all that overwhelming beauty can be scary at some point. Nice article to go with the lovely photos!

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  23. wow! I am from Quezon but never knew about this place.

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  24. Haven't been beyond Lucena, so I'm really astonished to see the pics.

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  25. wish I could travel like you. The Philippine is so beautiful and has so much to offer to the world. Thanks for this post. Looking forward to your another adventure. Keep them coming :)

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  26. Wow, the place looks great! This makes me miss my own hometown. Either way, will keep a note for this,

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  27. I am so excited to see a part of Quezon next weekend. I jus thope will be able to visit Cagbalete after Sariaya.. :P

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  28. Wish I could visit this place soon :) Thanks sa info!

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  29. Ganda ng 5th picture.. the blue sky and the sand. Gandang landscape.

    Parang Guimaras-Iloilo din pala. You have to ride on a ferryboat to get the island. Obviously, island nga. LOL.. At ang cute ng bahay kubo. The sand looks great na din. But I don't think it comes close to Boracay's sand. hihi..

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  30. His is really informative, I've book mark it so that I can use it to my reference for my next travel. Great Job. I can't seem to find you in the pictures.

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  31. there are a lot of places to see in Quezon. Been there too but not in Mauban :) Beaches are so gorgeous!

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  32. Thank you for your efforts as being a traveler that you've rediscovered the mystical Cagbalete island of Mauban, Quezon. Others have already gone there. This needs to be promoted and be included in one of the tourist destination here in the PH.

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  33. Very comprehensive. I like the place the way you describe it. I maybe a crowd person but I too like the idea of just being alone in a beach like this contemplating while enjoying the fantastic scenery.

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  34. It is great to know, at least by the photos that you posted that this particular area in Quezon province looks like still in its pristine purity. I want to visit that place and enjoy nature.

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  35. Would love to go to Quezon!! :D Never been there pa. Nice shots :)

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  36. wow! very informative..and the photo is just great...na parang you really want to go there talaga..happy Sunday!

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  37. Cagbalete Island is soo beautiful :)

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  38. quezon beaches are really nice. i had a chance to go to one when i was still a kid and i loved it. i hope it's still as beautiful. i just can't remember the place.

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  39. the place look okay... kung ako rin magta "tabi po" rin ako... hahaha... me kamahalan ung room, considering walang kahit fan... nice info. Yahweh bless.

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  40. Hi! It doesn't look like Quezon. Ganda. When I go in Quezon kasi madalas mga church un napuntahan. Didn't know meron palang magandang beach...

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  41. I agree with Ralph too, I believe 1000 is a bit outrageous for a bahay-kubo and without the fan plus wala pang sariling banyo pero kung ganito kagandang tanawin naman ang makikita mo, tingin ko di na ako magrereklamo :)

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  42. That rocky photo reminds me the place where we used to live. It's beautiful. Are there also shells in that place?

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  43. I really love your photos! They're beautiful and very beckoning. :-)

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  44. SUPERB. I can't ask for more. So beautiful and informative blog. Well done mate!

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  45. there are really more reasons to travel within the Phils...buti nlng andyan kaung travel bloggers kc most of us would just go for popoular destinations...

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  46. cagba island is nice, i keep coming back to the island again and again, i just hope that you try to go to the back of the island, marami mga pawikan at whale sharks.

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  47. more fun in philippines!!! love it!!

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  48. looking forward to go there tnx for the very good info..

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  49. taga rito ako sa mauban quezon pero hindi ko pa napupuntahan ang cagbalete island...hanggang picture lang ako. hehe..

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  50. Nice photos and very informative entry! I'm just worried about the boat ride though. I looked at your photos and the life vest are just hanging there and looks like it is securely tied, shouldn't they be passing it around to the passengers instead? I've heard a lot about boats capsizing here in the Philippines and passenges drowning because the lifevest were tied to the boat.

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  51. hi your blog is sooo helpful. me and my friends are planning to go there this june 16-17. and we're on a tight budget! like 2k per person since its over night, we'll bring our onw car. do you know were we can park? and do you think 2k is enough?? we need some information. haha thank you!!

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  52. hi! ask ko lng sana kung magtetent kami may bayad ba sa resort? at me makokotak ba sa cagbalite? ung camping area ba ay nasa vicinity ng mga resort o me particular n area na pra sa camping? plano naming pumunta dis hoy week thnx po

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  53. Hi Thank you for your very informative blog. We are travelling there this Sunday night. We are planning to leave Manila around 12 Midnight and catch the JACliner bus going to lucena. Im just wondering if we will be able to ride a boat early in the morning rather than 10AM. thank You.

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