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Archive for May 2013

Calaguas, Philippines: Roughing it!

Tagged as the new "Boracay", Calaguas Beach in Camarines Norte is the ideal definition of roughing it. With no resorts, no running water, no mobile phone signal and no electricity on the island, why would you possibly want to go there?

Simply put, the simple living lifestyle and the gorgeous, fine, and pure white sand beach that surrounds the area. Two hours by boat from the Paracale Port, this magical island is definitely something of an unexpected hidden wonder for me. So, what is there to do within the island? You could choose to island hop and be dropped off at deserted beaches (if you're lucky enough!) and bum and swim your day away in turquoise blue waters that are so clear you could see the sand at your feet. If you opt to choose within the island, you could opt to walk the stretch of sand, on to the rocky patches where photo ops are ideal, and discover hidden beaches on the other part of the island.
Then again, these beaches are not as fine as the campsite.

Aside from the feeling of remoteness and the roughing it, it is an ideal place to stare at the stars - something you don't see everyday in Manila.

To get to Calaguas Island, you could take a packaged tour (which most people tend to opt for to avoid bringing loads and loads of stuff in the island) or to do it yourself, you could charter a boat from Paracale, which is an hour away from Daet.

Note that the island doesn't have electricity nor resorts, so you'll have to bring your own provisions (ie water, food, flashlights) and tents. If you choose to do the package tour route, you could get an all-in package. I took the travel factor tour instead of DIY as I travelled alone to the island. :)

However, if you are used to the finer things in life, be really prepared to expect only the basic of amenities, there are no airconditioned tents, and if there is no wind then the tent could be stifling if you choose to zip it up, the fresh water is 10 pesos per bucket - so if you need to take a bucket shower be prepared to pay for it. The toilets need to be flushed manually (you'll need to pay P10 if you plan to poo to flush it down) and they are not exactly that clean. Also prepare to brush your teeth using mineral water and just spit anywhere - there are no sinks located in the island.

So if you were going there, bring:
- Loads of wet wipes (you're going to need it)
- Toilet Paper/Tissues
- Food/snacks
- Lots and lots of water
- Your swimsuit
- A book to read
- A sarong to lie on
- A change of clothes

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