Monday, October 21, 2013

The Best Islands in Caramoan

1. Matukad

The name Matukad in the local dialect means to climb. And this is precisely what visitors to the island must do, if they want to catch a glimpse of the enchanted bangus (milk fish) that resides in a lagoon at the back.

 Legend has it that there used to be a pair if bangus that called the lagoon home. But one day, a fisherman caught one of them and brought it back to his house The poor guy and his family all died when they ate that bangus, and no one has dared disturb the remaining one.

This pretty, pretty island with fine white sand and looming limestone cliffs. The popular reality show, Survivor has shot several of its episodes here. 

2. Lahus

This wide strip of white sand is hugged on both sides by the ocean, creating two shorelines. Lahus Island also has two towering rock formations that flank both ends of its sandy strip. And when the waters surrounding the island become too strong,  the waves from either side meet in the middle for a momentary kiss. 

3. Pitogo

Pitogo is a strange island, mostly because it is entirely made up of rocks -- rocks that are  supposedly "alive," and keep multiplying year by year. Kuya Naro says that this is where the famous Battle of Caramoan took place, between the Bikolanos and the Moros led by Prince Nunye.  

4. Guinahoan

Windswept cliffs and rolling green hills -- when you walk around Guinahoan Island, it feels as if you've been transported to Batanes or even Ireland. Facing the Pacific Ocean, Guinahoan is so wonderfully isolated and incredibly surreal. 

5. Manlawi Sandbar

Manlawi is one of the best sandbars in the world. This circular sandbar, which appears during low-tide is made of fine white sand. Its diameter is as wide as ten football fields, and stepping on its gorgeous expanse prompts a bout of running crazily around, and proclamations of never wanting to leave. 

How to get to Caramoan via bus:
1. Board a bus bound for Naga city at the Cubao bus terminal. The trip takes 8 hours, so it's best to take an evening ride so that you can sleep throughout the trip.
2.  Alight at the Naga's Central Bus Terminal, and head towards the East Bound terminal, which is sandwiched in between SM City Naga, and Naga City Central Bus Terminal
3. Take an aircon van at the East Bound terminal that will bring you to Sabang port. This van ride takes an hour and a half.
4. Board a boat that will ferry you to Caramoan Guijalo port. The boat ride takes an hour and 45 minutes.
If you're taking a plane from Manila, just head towards the East Bound terminal after you arrive at the airport. 

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