The white expanse of fine sand stretches a good hundreds of meters from the water’s edge. No exaggeration when it comes to the beaches of Cagbalete. At low tide, it stretches too far out that swimming in the clear blue waters of the Pacific will be fruitless. It makes for a lovely lounging spot though.
Still, Cagbalete Island is a great weekend getaway for a quick sun and sand date.
Easily accessible via public commute, buses ply the Mauban route via Lucena or directly from Metro Manila. Our group did the latter going to Mauban since the small buses from Lucena can drop off passengers at the marketplace near the pier. For the trip back to the metro, Manila-bound buses have a terminal right by the entrance to the town proper.
The boat ride to Cagbalete Island lasts between 45 minutes to an hour. The public boats are big enough to ferry around 40 to 50 passengers per way. Two public boats serve each scheduled time:
first trip 10:00 AM
next trip 03:00 PM
first trip 07:30 AM
next trip 01:00 PM
There are only three resorts on the island. Pansacola Beach Resort is the nearest one from the port. Villa Cleofas is the most popular and biggest resort. Our group booked at MVT Sto Niño Resort, which is located at the farthermost and most secluded part of the island (Php1,650.00 for an aircon room per night).
The resort is composed of a 2-storey resthouse and a couple of stand-alone cottages by the beachfront. The resthouse is a lovely fusion of bamboo and concrete with all rooms located at the upper floor. Shared toilets and bathrooms and a sitting area are located in each wing. There is also a common cooking and dining area at the ground floor. For a barbeque cookout, they have an outdoor kitchen with grill and charcoal stoves at the back of the resort.
04:00 Depart Manila via JAC Liner (Php218.00)
07:15 ETA Lucena
07:30 Depart Grand Central Terminal via NCR Lines (Php54.00)
09:00 ETA Mauban; buy supplies
10:30 ETD Mauban via public boat (Php40.00)
11:30 ETA Cagbalete Island; ride small boat to MVT Sto Niño Resort (Php400.00 per boat)
12:30 ETA resort; lunch
11:30 Depart resort; walk to bayan
12:10 ETA port; ride public boat
13:00 ETD Cagbalete Island
13:45 Arrive at Mauban; take tricycle to JAC Liner terminal (Php10.00)
14:15 Depart for Manila via JAC Liner (Php269.00)
18:00 ETA Megamall