Cagbalete Island Itinerary 2D1N for less than 2k

Cagbalete Island

It was during our extended New Year’s Day celebration when my friend Ruby said one of her 2020 goals was to experience camping by the beach – marshmallows, bonfire, tent, waves, starry skies. Cagbalete Island comes to mind when considering a not expensive weekend trip on a white sand beach somewhere near Manila.

Below is our expenses during our Cagbalete Island experience.

BUS Manila – Lucena – Manila 514
VAN Lucena – Mauban – Lucena 130
BOAT Mauban Port – Sabang Port – Mauban Port 200
AC Room Accommodation (1000 / 5 pax) 200
Pansacola Beach Day Tour 200
Environmental Fee 50
Trike around Mauban 60
Foods and Baon 500

To maximize this experience, the group should depart Manila by 2 or 3AM. Since some of us work the night shift, this is not possible. By leaving at 10AM, we could still catch up the last boat which departs at 4PM. We were at DLTB bus terminal few minutes before 10AM but the bus departed almost 12noon plus the traffic in EDSA which spelled our doom. Travel time is 3 to 4 hours and fare is 257 pesos.

We reached Lucena around 4PM and went for a quick toilet break before transferring to a van going to Mauban. We were at the tourism office few minutes past 5PM and we were told the last public boat departed at 4PM. Even private boats won’t be allowed by the Philippine Coast Guard to sail so we had no option but to stay in Mauban.

Sadly, we won’t be able to spend the night at the island. We then asked some locals for a resort where we can stay for the night. We were recommended to Lumberio’s Travelers Inn and we found a nice deal for 1000 pesos (divided by 5 = 200 each). There is a nearby barbeque-han and surprisingly, it only costs 15 pesos. I had 3 and a rice for just 55 pesos. Solved. We were up till 1AM drinking and going down the memory lane. I was awakened around 3AM by the heavy rain. It felt like there was a storm. I think it was a blessing in disguise since we planned to only have tent accommodation on the island. Thought it might be an unpleasant night with that rain.

Sunrise at Mauban, Quezon
Sunrise at Mauban, Quezon

We woke up 5AM for the sunrise and strolled around the beach. We checked out at around 7AM and then went back to Mauban town proper. We bought some groceries and lunch before heading back to the tourism office. At the tourism office, you will have to pay for the Environmental Fee of P50 as well as pay a down payment for your chosen resort. If you wish to contact specific resorts in Cagbalete Island, the numbers are posted below:

On your way to the boat, there are street vendors – don’t forget to try and eat Pancit Habhab which only costs P10.

Pancit Habhab
Pancit Habhab

TIP: Go for the public boat, it only costs 100 pesos per way. First trip is 10AM and last trip is 4PM. Be there atleast 30 minutes before departure since the boat leaves when it’s full. The fare is collected by the crew during the sail.

Cagbalete Island Itinerary

The boat departed earlier than the 10AM schedule because it has already reached the maximum passenger capacity. Travel time is around 45 minutes. We reached Sabang Port in Cagbalete Island and we were greeted by a staff from Pansacola Beach Resort and he assisted us with our belongings.

Cagbalete Island Itinerary

Below is the map for Cagbalete Island as posted at the tourism office. If we had plenty of time, I would love to walk and explore the island up to Nilandingan Cove.

Cagbalete Island Itinerary

Pansacola Beach is 10 to 15minutes walk from Sabang Port. Since we won’t be staying for the night, we only paid 200 for the day tour. They said we can stay on the cottages and we got ourselves a nice one for free. The restrooms and shower rooms are clean and they have good supply of water.

Cagbalete Island boasts white sand beach and is a perfect weekend getaway from Manila. It is also child friendly specially during the low tide.

Our boat will depart at 3PM so our call time was at 230PM. We cleaned our table and then walked back to the port. It was a smooth sail and we safely arrived back to Mauban Port.

We went to buy some raw pancit habhab for pasalubong before hopping to the van bound for Lucena. We dropped by SM Lucena for our dinner at Buddy’s.

We boarded the Jam Liner bus bound for Cubao at 8PM and arrived 1130PM at their Kamias Terminal. I was asleep the whole ride. 😀

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Borawan Island and Kuwebang Lampas in Quezon Province – Your 1300 pesos getaway

When it comes to beaches, Filipinos would say Boracay and Palawan are the best, sadly, I haven’t been there. Social media posts about a beach called Borawan spread like wildfire. People say it was named after Boracay and Palawan and is a must-go.

Back in Thanksgiving, I was invited by my officemates to join them in Borawan and I’m glad I did not let this tour pass! 🙂

Budget and distance-wise, this place has become a popular weekend getaway destination. For just 1300 pesos ($26) you can have 2D1N stay and 3-island tour in this very beautiful place.

1. The more, the merrier and the cheaper this tour could be!
2. Bring lots of snacks and foods
3. Bring Powerbank
4. Bring tent

Getting There:

1. Go to Jam Liner Terminal in Kamuning, Quezon City
2. Ride a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal. (Travel time is 4hours, fare is P218)
3. From Lucena Grand Terminal, ride a bus going to Padre Burgos (Travel time is 2hours, fare is 35 pesos)

A quick summary of expenses:

QC to Lucena: 436 pesos
Lucena to Padre Burgos : 70 pesos
Boat Ride and Island Fees: 400 pesos
Tent Fee: 100
Foods: 300
Total: 1306 pesos

There are 3 Islands namely Borawan, Kuwebang Lampas, and Dampalitan. You can get them all in a day since they are just close to each other. In our case, we only had two since my teammates were tired to get the 3rd one done.

Signal is available on most part (atleast for TNT network). We stayed in Borawan and there’s electricity in the island from 6PM until 10PM only. You can have your gadgets charged for P20 per outlet.

There are grilling areas and you can borrow cookwares from the store. You can have them cook for you for a fee. Before heading to the islands, grab all you need from the local market like we did. Our team does not have a cook so we paid for cooking fee haha.

Best time to go? Summer time should be avoided since everyone is going there. We went there in November and everything is just perfect. There’s just 2 other small groups and we owned the islands for two days 😉

Thanks to my teammates, Madam Lyn, Prof Gino and Classmate Ella for this wonderful experience.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking 😉

borawan island kuwebang lampasPadre Burgos Port

borawan island kuwebang lampasBorawan Island banner showing the rates

borawan island kuwebang lampasOn our way to the island, we were greeted by a rainbow

borawan island kuwebang lampasOur boat docked at Borawan Island

borawan island kuwebang lampasThe sands of Borawan Island

borawan island kuwebang lampasThe clouds are so close!

borawan island kuwebang lampasSome cottages for rent. If you have tent, you’ll only pay 200 pesos and just divide it by the number of people. ;)

borawan island kuwebang lampasBorawan’s sandbar

borawan island kuwebang lampasJust me posing :D

borawan island kuwebang lampasOn our way to Kuwebang Lampas

borawan island kuwebang lampasOur boat docked at Kuwebang Lampas

borawan island kuwebang lampasCoconuts! I wish they sell them.

borawan island kuwebang lampasTook a moment to be on my own

borawan island kuwebang lampasThe sands of Kuwebang Lampas

borawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasThe clear and shallow waters of Kuwebang Lampas.

borawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasInside the cave. I loved the cold water here :)

borawan island kuwebang lampasJust me posing :)

borawan island kuwebang lampasBack in Borawan Island. My teammates are tired so we opted not to go to Dampalitan Beach for sunset :(

borawan island kuwebang lampasDinner! One thing I learned in this tour is how to eat crabs haha

 borawan island kuwebang lampasMe viewing the sunset

borawan island kuwebang lampasEven the longest nights are bound to give way to the dawn right?
– Utada Hikaru.

borawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasborawan island kuwebang lampasSunrise! I woke up 4AM for this. I love how to be alone with this beauty. It’s just me, the place and music.

borawan island kuwebang lampasOur humble tents :)

borawan island kuwebang lampasOf course, photo op before packing up :D

borawan island kuwebang lampas

Last pic before leaving 🙂


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