Why it is Great to Get Stranded Sometimes

There are a lot of reasons why getting stranded pisses everyone off. For one, if you are employed, your leave credits will be deducted. It ruins your scheduled appointments or meetings and costs you more money as well. But getting stranded is also great sometimes. Interesting? Please continue reading to find out why.  

Our laag (wander) experience in Cagbalete, Quezon Province was a risky but great one. We were stranded on the island and our original overnight stay was turned to four days and three nights.

Here’s how all that began: After my Friday night shift ended at 8AM, we went to Kamuning to catch the 12NN bus trip to Mauban Port. Tickets for the trip that time were not sold until 10AM. Luckily, there were available seats for the 9AM trip to Lucena Grand Terminal. 

Instead of waiting for the 12NN trip directly to Mauban Port, we took the 9AM trip. Although this was not a direct trip to Mauban, we decided to hop on the bus for us to arrive before dawn in Cagbalete. Almost five hours after (hello, Manila traffic even on a weekend), we arrived at Lucena Grand Terminal. We had to wait for roughly 30 minutes for the bus for Mauban Port to arrive. It took us an additional 2 hours to get to the municipality of Mauban.

We rode a tricycle after alighting the bus to get to the port. We arrived at the Coast Guard and ticketing office, which is still another tricycle ride to the main port. Upon arrival, we were told that public passenger boats were no longer sailing. We were referred to private ones, starting at Php 1,500.00 to and from the island. 

We decided to book one at the said price just to get to the island before the sun sets. As we were writing our names in the sheet, the group ahead of us came back and told us that public passenger boats were still sailing. However, we still decided to take the private boat as it would take us directly to the resort and we didn’t need to stop at the Sabang Port—the drop-off point of the public passenger boats. 

The resort we chose was still another motorcycle ride from said port. It took us almost an hour towards the resort due to dangerous waves caused by heavy winds—a reason I mentioned earlier that it was a risky getaway.

We booked the tent accommodation for two for Php 600.00 at Nilandingan Cove, a secluded beachfront resort on the island. The resort boasts lines of mangroves and has a chill ambience. It is only powered by generators; there is no electricity in the day time. Although we wanted to still have a few bottles of beer, we called it a night too early because we were dead tired. Think about the almost 9 hours of travel time. 

As we were snoring, the rain poured at around 2AM, so we had to transfer to the owner’s house. Because of this misadventure, we woke up late and were welcomed by a news that no sailing was allowed owing to the strong winds. We were supposed to leave in the afternoon. Yes, we were stranded!

Strong and heavy winds were everywhere, but we didn’t mind this weather system and explored the island. We walked from the resort to Sabang Port. Mr. sun was not up that time so I took the best images I could. I had to get the great perspective of each spot.

What Cagbalete Has to Offer

If you are looking for a beach near Manila for your next getaway, Cagbalete is a must-visit. The island boasts sandbars, unique beach sceneries, and mangroves. It is not yet a commercialized beach island. 

It is perfect for solo or couple travelers who prefer quiet and nice beach as there are no bars and restaurants on the island. So if you are looking for a nightlife on a beach, this one is not for you. While this has been known to many people for years now, there are still fewer tourists on the island.

Cagbalete is famous for its widest deserted sandbars during low tide, some stretch for more than 1 km from the shore where you can even play a small sided football game. We also spotted birds hunting for fish. A dog also guided us just until the cemetery. Creepy! :D

There are other things to do in Cagbalete. We were not able to explore much of the island because the weather was not cooperating.

We stayed at the resort for three nights as the weather did not improve. Our accommodation was upgraded to a cabin-type one; we were only charged Php 1,200.00/night instead of the normal rate of Php 2,500.00.

The weather somehow improved on the 4th day and boats were allowed to sail. Winds were still a little bit heavy that time, but we were assured that the boat operators were experts on rough sea conditions. Luckily, we safely docked at the port after encountering some rough waves along the way.  Our getaway ended after an almost 9-hour bus ride back to Manila.  

So there you are. Isn’t it great to get stranded at this relaxing and secluded beach? We felt safe during our stay even if the resort has no security guards. Locals were very accommodating, too.

If you are considering Cagbalete as your next beach destination, book the earliest direct bus trip to Mauban port so you can still enjoy the beach before the sun sets. Some bus companies leave from Manila at 6AM. If you are driving and don’t know the driving directions, Waze is always there to help. 

Bring an extra amount of money if you are visiting this island, especially during the rainy season. You never know, you may experience being stranded—a great stranded experience.   

Disconnect from all the hustle and bustle in Manila and visit the island now. Enjoy and have yourself ready in getting stranded.

For more images of this laag (wander) story, please check my Instagram feed

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