My friend and I have been into a lot of discussions about where should we go next just not too far away from the City and that accessible enough to stay for a couple of days. Until I came across with several blog sites featuring Cagbalete Island.
Cagbalete is a secluded Island with a long stretch of beach and a mile long sand bar. It has recently been popular as a perfect backpacking destination because of its astonishing beauty. The sunrise will surely take your breathe away as it dramatically unveil its flaming radiance from the horizon.
It’s already Friday afternoon when We arrived from the Island itself. The rain drizzles as we approach the place, too bad we did not have something to cover up our heads. So we were slightly soaked and immediately preceded to the reception area of the care taker’s house. We rented a cottage so we had a place for our stuffs and rest while it still rains. There were no other visitors but only us so it seemed like we exclusively rented the entire island. The moment the rain stopped, we immediately set-up our tent which also had a fee. We had it set-up under the tree so it could also have shed the next day morning. Luckily, the tree had a hammock on it so it’s an added amenity during our stay.
Since we were not able to buy food at the Market because it was already late when we arrive at the Port where the last passengers boat is located. Perhaps, the God almighty had sympathy on us that day because the boat was already leaving not too far away from the dock area. Thanks god to the people there, they were able to convince the boatman to return and let us embark since the boat was not that fully loaded yet. Otherwise, we’ll have to rent a private boat that will take us directly to Cagbalete Island which I assume will cost us much.
So, someone offered us that he’s willing to go around and look for something we could eat. There’s no market in Cagbalete, it’s a remote area and a typical Island where in basically, visitors may only depend on what selling houses has to offer. I was craving for “Pusit” that time so I asked to buy for it if it’s available. I was not surprised at all when he came back with it, he lives here and I assume he already know where to go to get that. But we were so thankful with that guy, unfortunately I’m having a hard time to recall his name. He cooked the food for us, we just gave him money to buy everything he needed. Of course we rented the pans he used and paid him for his service.
The tent was all fetched up when we had our dinner, it’s not dark at all since there are light posts along the beach and as well as our cottage, plus the natural light of the moon so we never had a struggle on jumping from one place to another.
The Island was so still and quiet, the moon shines brightly and still makes objects almost visible. The noise of the cricket plays as music to my ear as they continue to stridulate. Later, slight waves started to splash towards the seashore creating a perfect rhythm as if the cricket and the ocean are singing together. I look forward to the limitless ocean, its darkness is endless and seems so mysterious. I asked myself, could there really be mermaids? Are they by any chance just spying people that get into their Island? Suddenly, I laughed and started noticing myself ridiculously over imagining. I hit the hay, I was not aware. Perhaps, the nature’s melody sang me a lullaby. I wake up every time the waves outbreak strongly to the shore.
It’s still dark but past midnight. My feet was itching and felt like rambling along the beach.So, I got up and carried on with my camera to stretch those itchy feet along the beach. While I was taking photographs, the dark clouds were mutating into a flame-like-smog, until I eventually realized that the crack of dawn arrives. I was blown and mesmerized by its beauty, its like a gigantic abstract painted above for the entire world to see. It’s nature’s astonishing way of greeting everyone’s a brand new day. I paused for a while and paid attention to as it rises above the horizon. It was the most beautiful feeling I have ever felt in my entire life so far. I have been both a sunset and sunrise seeker so it’s an overflowing contentment how I was able to witness that natural phenomenon.
Without hesitation, I rapidly went back to our tent to wake up my friend just as so she would also be able to see the sunrise in action. She, as expected got fascinated as well and became melodramatic. We had captured its beauty and decided to swim afterwards for a while though the water was intensely frigid at the start. But your body will eventually adjust to the temperature for as long as you keep it dripping. Later on, we decided to have a cup of coffee. Oh! It’s one of the best things to do every morning. What could be more beautiful than sipping your coffee in front of the calm sea and greyish-turning-blue sky in the morning? You’ll probably wish that your morning be always like that, the sun smiling back at you as you smell the freshest of the morning breeze. Looking at it buoyantly as if you’re having an eye-to-eye contact with your sweetheart. Isn’t it lovely?
The sun has stabilized and shining brightly. Someone came over and offered us if we’re willing to avail their Island Hopping service. It was not on our original plan, we just wanted to stay at the beach. But then we realized, since we’ve already travelled long hours, why didn’t we maximize our stay and explore what Cagbalete still has to offer after that remarkable sunrise view.
The boatman suggested that the best time for Island Hopping is at noon because the sky is at its radiant and the sea is calm.
The idea of Island Hopping is to travel from one island to another. So we didn’t quite understand why people of Cagbalete called it so. The first destination we went to was the Forest Mangroves. It’s green and it complements perfectly with the blue sky line above. It’s also a little creepy because the black seaweeds make the water darkened. Silence is deafening as we narrowed down the stream full of these mysterious trees.
After a few minutes of sailing into the Mangrove Forest, we headed on to one Island. It has a wide range of fantastic view and a shallow nature’s pool perfect for safe swimming. Some mangrove trees are isolated from the forest like castaways. But that does not make them less beautiful. In fact, they mostly stand out among the rest for it is solely highlighted when you take a look at it in a perfect dimension with the radiant blue sky behind it.
We had enough time spent at the Island so went on and proceeded to our last destination which is Snorkeling. According to the Boatman, the snorkeling area has been strictly monitored to avoid fishermen from illegally fishing. Well, based on what we have observed, perhaps it was already too late. I won’t consider that there were no marine life at that particular area, but to be honest you’re just like literally surveying all the destroyed corals and very small fishes rarely show up. I can imagine how truly beautiful and colorful the place when it was not yet harmed and shattered. Sea creatures were freely moving around limitless. Life for them underneath were surely abundant and unthreatened. Sadly, what’s visible this time are the traces of harms and violence caused by harsh and inconsiderate people. Nevertheless, we still managed to fulfill the happiness we longed for. The nature itself has its own way of recovering and still astound the world by the beauty it has become over a long period of time.
We ascended the sea with a great amount of significant memories. My body was dead tired but my mind wanted to keep pushing through. It’s low tide so the boat was docked a few meters away from the shoreline and we had to walk quite a distance to reach our cottage. But the walking was worthwhile only because we got to see some starfishes stuck.
We were so happily exhausted when we reached the cottage area where our tent is set-up. We took a rest for a while, had our meal enjoy the rest of the moment before we completely say goodbye to this Island the next day after.
Sun is rising, the reality is peeking but we kept on smiling because the place we’re leaving, is more than a place worth remembering.
The boatman was about to approach us. I guess this is, time to say goodbye has finally come. We did not rent the boat privately going back to the port. Luckily, the boatman was just gathering a number of people he can service with. And so we did grab the opportunity. Of course we were aware of the fare.
As we sail back to the main port, I can’t help but still fall in love with its beauty.
Thank you Mother Nature, for giving sea to keep us warm when there is sun. For giving us shelter with those greenest and plentiful trees. For the unpolluted air to keep us cool. The sun for transforming the surroundings radiantly captivating. And the moon for its light to keep us less scared.