Daet

Calaguas Islands, Camarines Norte

This year is probably the most pivotal time of my life. Having been born and raised in the Philippines for more than 25 years, I’ve only seen very little of my own country. I didn’t get to travel much until Chad, my soon-to-be-hubby who likes to call himself my dreamboy (hahaha!), came along. I used to be very stingy when it comes to spending, especially since I only had enough for my daily expenses. Traveling is a privilege many people, particularly in the Philippines, do not often get the pleasure of doing.

So before leaving the country, I decided to check out two places, one of which I already blogged about early this month. I’ve been meaning to visit Calaguas for a long time, even before it got really popular. It’s only 4 hours away from my hometown and pretty accessible.

I wanted to have the best experience since it’s going to be the last trip I’m going to make before finally leaving the country (more about that in a separate post), so I enlisted the help of an old friend from college who is now managing Beach Bliss Travel and Tours, a tour company that provides all the services you need to enjoy Bicol gems like Calaguas and Subic Beach in Sorsogon. You can contact them on Facebook for booking details.

The Beach Bliss Team with Kuya Eking (rightmost), the head bangkero

The standard rate per person for an overnight stay is Php 2,500 but always check their Facebook page for promos. Sometimes, the full package only costs Php 2,000! The amount covers transportation from Naga City to Calaguas Island and vice versa, three meals, tent rental, island hopping, and entrance fees to the nearby islands. To put it simply, you only have to bring your essentials, and some cash for tips to the boatmen (we gave a hundred pesos each). They offer personalized services and throw in some corny jokes for good measure (haha!)  so I can assure you that you will have an awesome experience with them–my friends and I did.

Look how clear the water is! My best friend Mav took this while on the boat.

As soon as we docked, Beach Bliss started pitching the tents and preparing lunch. All we had to do was wait and explore the island.

The famous white sand of Calaguas. Reminds me of polvoron! 🙂

Afterwards, we went island hopping and hiked the hills around Calaguas that greeted us with a magnificent view.



This trip is probably the most memorable one I’ve made so far. It’s my first out-of-town trip with my besties after being friends for almost 15 years. I don’t know where I’d be without these two. They’ve been my constant companions in good times and bad. Even though we don’t see each other as often as we used to, they always make time for me when I come home. When we’re together, it’s like high school all over again. 🙂

Anyway, I still have more photos to show so scroll away!

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Ocean Child

I grew up traveling to and fro Tinambac, a small town in Camarines Sur where my mom was born. I always made sure I visit the place at least once a week when I was in high school and college, despite it being relatively underdeveloped. I dunno, there’s just something about the place that draws me to it, or perhaps because it’s situated in a coastal area. The ocean has been my place of refuge–its beach is the only place in the world where I can just practically sit all day and never get bored; its waters calm and give me the peace of mind I lack when I’m in the city. Yes, maybe you can call me an ocean child.

 

Kawaii, the surfer dog, toying with my hand

We live in a world where acquisition of material things is a priority. I also used to spend lots of my time thinking how I can get this and that; I never felt contented with my life afterwards. Not feeling any contentment is very exhausting quite honestly. However, my latest travels helped me find my old self. I’m quite thankful my boyfriend loves the ocean and other simple things in life as much as I do, and I can’t be more grateful that he brought me to the beaches of Zambales and Daet.

With Ate Mocha, Daet's best wahine surfer

While we were in Zambales, it felt like as if a huge baggage was lifted off my back. I didn’t have to worry if I look ghastly or trendy. I never wore make-up throughout my stay; I traded my heels and ballet flats for sneakers, even if the former ones were the more appropriate or, shall I say, more fashown. When you’re in one with nature, everything seems and feels normal and beautiful.

With Jong. He taught Chad how to surf; now he's teaching me. 🙂

We arrived n Zambales in time for the Big Z surfing and skimboarding competition. It’s amazing how surfers are able to ride waves. Being able to float in water is pretty difficult (for me at least) already, but the participants in the competition were still able to do aerials and stunts.

Well, here’s a video of the Big Z event by Marvin Conanan if you weren’t able to come! Find me, Chad, and the rest of the Daet surf team! 🙂

Big Z – Surf, Skate and Skim from Astron on Vimeo.

P.S.

All photos were taken by Chad (except the last one) using a Canon film camera. Visit his online journals to view his work (here and here)! He might not approve of me promoting his sites (hehe); I dunno if he’s being humble  or he’s just oblivious of how good he is. 😛 I always admired his photography skills even before we started dating (we’ve known each other for almost a decade <sorry, I just felt the need to say that. HOHOHO>). He prefers film cameras more than the digital ones and I perfectly understand why. Film cameras capture the natural beauty of things. Plus, he does not have to worry about corrupted memory cards. 🙂

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