Calaguas: Escape to Paradise

This is the second part of my article for Calaguas. In case you missed the first part, you can read it here -- Calaguas: A Paradise Waiting to Unfold.

Calaguas is a group of islands in the Pacific in the province of Camarines Norte. There are two ways to go here. The first one is via Vinzons that has administrative jurisdiction over Tinaga Island where the Mahabang Buhangin Beach is located. The second way is via Paracale, which has jurisdiction over Malacubo Island and other minor islands.

Calaguas Crystal Waters

Vinzons is 330km away from Manila and around 5 to 6 hours drive by private car while Paracale is approximately 30 kilometers before Vinzons. Travel time is around 8 to 9 hours if you take the public transportation and if so, it is advised to take the night trip and arrive early morning. The boat ride from the port takes around 2 hours depending on the weather.

We were the only tourists that went to Tinaga Island and had Mahabang Buhangin Beach all to ourselves. The long stretch of fine white sand was really beautiful. Add to that the crystal clear water and turquoise sea. Who would not fall in love with this paradise? The island is unspoiled and serene, I just hope it stays this way and would not become commercialized just like Boracay.

Coleman Tents at Calaguas

The organizers provided everything we needed for the trip, from tents to generator. Each tent can accommodate as many as 4 to 5 people. We can even dance inside our tents! Me and my travel buddy Ritsi (aka Hampaslupang Lagalag) also brought our own hammocks.

Practice for Poi Dance

After everyone has settled in their own tents, some opted to rest while others explored the beauty of the island. Nas, one of the coordinators, invited guests who would like to join her to practice for the poi dance presentation.

Chef Janjie and Chef Dundee were part of the organizing team. It was like watching a culinary demo as they discussed and prepared the food for the whole group for the entire duration of our stay. As a bonus, they even gave us personal cooking tips!

Grilling the Mahi-mahi

Since Ritsi and I were not doing anything yet when we arrived at Calaguas, we offered to help with the grilling of the Mahi-mahi or dolphinfish. It was the first time I saw a mahi-mahi, which until now I don't have the slightest idea why it was called such when it doesn't even look like a dolphin. "Mahi-mahi" is a Hawaiian term that means very strong. Mahi-mahi is also called dorado in Spain. Apparently the term "mahi" mean fish in Persian.

Pork Schnitzel
Pasta Verduras con Pesto Grilled Mahi-mahi

When lunch was served, we felt like we were in a buffet in one of the hotels in Manila as our food was prepared gourmet style. For meat lovers, we had Pork Schnitzel (upper), which is a breaded boneless porkloin. For pasta lovers, who don't want the extra pounds, there is the Pasta Verduras con Pesto (lower left), which is vegetable pasta with pesto sauce and for those like to eat fish like me, there is Grilled Mahi-mahi (lower right) or dolphinfish.

Chicken ala King
Eggplant and Tofu Schezuan Steamed Pechay with Garlic Oyster Sauce

They also prepared the classic Chicken ala King (upper) and for vegetables we had Eggplant and Tofu Schezuan (lower left) and Steamed Pechay with Garlic Oyster Sauce (lower right).

Mike Face Paint Maila Face Paint
Mohit Face Paint Lovers Face Paint

After a hearty lunch, I had a short nap as I barely had slept during the trip from Manila. When I woke up, Ms. Zoila, one of the guests has started face painting on the other guests.

The Philippine Colors on my Face

When it was my turn, I requested for the Philippine flag to be drawn in my face (upper left). Maila had fire drawn in her face to go along with her dreadlocks (upper right). Yin yang was painted on Mohit's face to complement his dark complexion (lower left). Even the lovely couple who joined us had their faces painted with the guy resembling a "Joker" look (lower right).



Everybody enjoyed the afternoon in their own ways. What a way to escape from the hustle and tussle of the urban jungle. We did not notice the time as the sun prepared to set. David, one of the coordinators was enjoying the sunset with the Shisha brought by one of the guests.

Crispy Fried Noodles

When dinner time came, everybody was already tired and hungry, the only food I was able to take a picture was this Crispy Noodles Chow Mien Style. After dinner, Chef Janjie gave a demo on bartending and mixing of alcoholic drinks.

Poi Dance

After everybody was full already, we all sat as the organizers showcased their dance talents using a fire poi.

Calaguas at Night

We finished the night with the socials as we sat in a circle and had everyone introduce themselves. The group before me and Ritsi were five (5) doctors and when it was Ritsi's turn to introduce himself, he said and I quote, "I am Ritsi Bulda, I am not a doctor." And everybody burst into laughter. The night ended with a lot of fun as we had new friends as well.

We called it a night after a few drinks and retired to our tents. Ritsi and I slept on our hammocks and just left our things in our designated tents. My next post will include our activities the following day.


Calaguas: A Paradise Waiting to Unfold

Calaguas: Paradise Unleashed

Calaguas: Travel Guide

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  1. tsktsk you had your things stay inside your tent, while I stayed outside to sleep on one of the benches! :P

    1. you slept on the bench because you stayed all night with Maila who was really drunk, hehehe...

    2. that was because you accompanied maila from the predators, hehehe...