Rising 1,875 MASL in the small town of Lucban, Mt. Banahaw de Lucban (BDL) sits within the Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape. Visible while at any point in Lucban, the rounded peak of BDL is known for not showing itself and is mostly crowned by clouds. The only allowed entry point for a BDL climb is the Ayuti Campus of Southern Luzon State University (SLSU). From there, climbers walk over wide open trails for about an hour to reach the mountain’s ranger station.
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:
We celebrate festivals in every region and province: to give honor to patron saints, to thank the heavens for a bountiful harvest, and to celebrate legends and folklore. One of the Philippines’ famous and most colorful celebrations is the Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Quezon. Staged every 15th of May, this year’s festivities fell on a weekend.
A huge tourist crowd was expected to attend the Pahiyas. Every year, the local government changes the route to give the houses their chance to decorate with fruits, vegetables, palay and kiping. The kiping is a leaf-shaped wafer made of rice paste and dyed in bright colors. On the eve of May 15, most houses have already been decorated. It is a good time to see the beautifully lighted decors and to stroll along the night markets. In the morning, the image of their patron, San Isidro, will pass along this route in a procession along with the judges who survey the annual entries onboard SUVs.
To get to Lucban, you can either take the route via Lucena or via Sta. Cruz and Luisiana in Laguna. We took the latter route as it is faster and at the same time to avoid the weekend crowd.