Tag Archives: Caramoan

Caramoan: A Visit in a 17th Century Church

Visiting Churches in the Philippines is a must. Not only that most of the Churches has a long-entrenched history surrounding its walls and every pillars that holds it..Churches in the Philippines also differs in architectural style and materials used… that is why every Church in the Philippines is unique; and no two churches are alike.

My colleagues and I amid the beautiful mix of red and blue

If you are a Filipino, and you think that visiting this place is just another Church (the same old Church that you see everywhere) then I tell you that this place has its own charm; an old rustic feeling surrounds it.. And it somehow makes you go back in time and think about how many people have worshiped God in this place and how it stayed strong and intact throughout centuries.

Inside the Church

visiting this Church is indeed another experience. Not only that it is a lot older than me and you, it has a beautiful facade that will surely fascinate you.

And for architecture buffs, this place is something you wanna visit especially for old-style architecture. The Church was made using red bricks.

There is also a wide courtyard where a lot of Church activities may be done– like processions and other prayer-related matters 🙂

The old rustic charm of this place will surely captivate you!

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC. 

Caramoan: Hiking the 527 steps towards a beautiful view

Other things to do in Caramoan is to climb this 300-400 steps towards the Mama Mary statue… If Brazil does have the Jesus’ statue which seems to welcome you when you arrive, Caramoan have this Mama Mary statue with her open arms seemingly welcoming visitors with all her heart.

The Beautiful Mama Mary amid the blue skies

The “grotto” as I call it can be seen when you are in the ‘high seas’ of Caramoan. It’s big and visible to the naked eye! 🙂

Climbing to get to this place is challenging because of the 300-400 steps, but the lush greenery is just gorgeous! Every single step you do makes you wanna pause and take a picture of the beautiful blend of green amid the blue skies

Steep Stairs that you need to climb! but just look at the lush greenery!

After climbing up this steps you will be shocked on what awaits your arrival…

All the climbing and sweating.. you will arrive to witness this beautiful scenery

This place gives you a birds eye view of the islands of Caramoan.

Look at the flowers! They are all blooming makes you wonder that they really welcomes you to their humble town of Caramoan!

And of course, Mama Mary!

Well, climbing this stairs is worth the visit! Having to see this scenery amid the beautiful green and blue landscape is simply amazing!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC. 

Sabitang-Laya, Caramoan: Philippines’ Hidden Gem

This place is a hidden gem unknown to most individuals and has a beauty that will surely captivate you.

This island will also be found in Caramoan, Philippines south of Manila.

This island has a twin beach.. the Sabitang-Laya and Bag-ing beach, both beach has long stretch of fine sand. Although the sand here is not as white as the one in Matukad  but the sand texture rivals that of Boracay and Matukad. The sand is really soft to touch and it’s like baby powder! You will love rolling in the sand– just like what I did!

There’s also no lodging houses, hotels or any sign of development near the area.. you will notice that the only litters that you can see are from nature itself… seaweeds and seaweeds alone! Nothing else.. This is nature in its finest!

Sabitang Laya

What makes this a lot more different than the others? It is because of how long the beach is.. Moreover, there are 2 beaches, one in the left and the other from the right. Here is a picture for your reference (take note: I didn’t take this photo below:)

Sabitang Laya ang Bag-ing Beach: the twin beaches

Again, as you can notice in my previous posts, you can always see beautiful limestone formation while you traverses the sea to go to your island of destination.

While going to Sabitang-Laya we saw this beautiful limestone formation
Limestones
Limestones once again

Another characteristic of this island is on how wonderful the limestone and other rock formations found in this place. You will surely be captivated!

Limestones in the island itself

It may not be the whitest sand you can see, but it also has its own fair share of beauty--its sand is powdery as milk!

the Beach

Again, I have no words to describe the place, and I will let the photos speak for itself. All I can say is Sabitang Laya is definitely a feast for the eyes when you witness its rugged beauty.

That’s all I can say.. No words can tell how much beautiful this place and how lovely the whole Caramoan is! Everything is simply captivating!

HAPPY WANDERING! 🙂

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS ETC. 

Tips and Things to do in Caramoan, Philippines

Caramoan is a peninsula, it consists of a lot of islands which you can visit and explore.

Here are the lists of things you can do while you are in this paradise

  1. Island Hopping–  anyone in Caramoan should do this! you should not miss the wonderful islands in this peninsula… Staying in your hotel is a no-no! Get out and have a tan! and choose the island/s that you wanna visit!
  • Most of the accommodations offered in Caramoan are located in their “bayan” or the municipality proper. Take note that staying in Caramoan proper, or the baranggay only means that you won’t be staying in a beachfront hotel, you need to travel 5-10 minutes by vehicle to have a glimpse of sparkling sand and water.  The wonderful islands here doesn’t have on-site accommodation or any hotels.. only sand, water and nature… but I learned that you can pitch your tent in Matukad Island.
  • There are beachfront hotels available such as Gota Beach Resort and Hunungan Cove, however, it is quite expensive. And these hotels are not located in the captivating islands themselves… They are located in another island (near the center of Caramoan). The beach in those hotels are nothing compared to those you’ll see during your island-hopping adventure.
  • Islands not to miss: 1.) Matukad 2.) Lahos—love the strong waves! 3.) Cotivas Island 4.) Manlawi Sandbar 5.) Sabitang Laya--here you can see a lot of gorgeous limestone formations

2. Gear up your feet while you climb  527 steps of stairs to see the wonderful Grotto and the captivating view of some islands in Caramoan… However, this is not for the easily tired people like me since you really need to walk in steep stairs.

3. Eat Kinalas. This is Bicol’s specialty and Caramoan has its own take n making Kinalas.

4. Visit St. Michael’s parish. a 17th Century old Church… it’s made of red bricks, which made it a lot more interesting! It’s a wonderful sight!

5. Visit the underground river! It’s small but after heaving to soak in salt-water, it’s time to rinse in fresh water…. Underground river is the best with its clean, cold yet refreshing water

6. Buy some souvenirs! And try their pilinut candies!!

Tips while you are in Caramoan:

  1. Book your vacation in advance, especially if during peak seasons (March-May), you should book 2 months before your travel, so that you can make sure that you have a place to stay.
  2. Bring sunblock to protect your skin (You will be outside most of the time, so tanning is inevitable). Using sun block will protect you from sunburn)
  3. Bring a lot of water. After swimming in salty water you might need some fresh drinking water to revitalize yourself to swim again… in short, to quench your thirst. It’s better if its cold. 🙂
  4. If there’s no food included in your travel package, I advise you to bring food (pack lunch) since the city center is far from the beautiful islands of Caramoan. You really need to take a boat to come and go. Moreover, there are no vendors or any establishment in the islands I mentioned. It’s only you and nature. Nothing else.
  5. Bring your camera.. The places you’ll be visiting are really photogenic!
  6. No bar, no nightlife, just karaoke and some beers… If you want all-night partying, go to Boracay and have fun there! Caramoan is nature at its finest.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS/TIPS/PLACES TO VISIT/HOW TO GET THERE ETC. 

Matukad Island: Heaven on Earth

Well, to be honest, I’m not a beach goer since I don’t like getting a tan (I’m Asian, so being fair-skinned is considered beautiful). But going to Caramoan hooked me up to beaches. I’m so amazed how beautiful the sea is and how cuddly the sand can be

In my whole life, I’ve never seen a white sand beach, so this will be my first time.

So, now, I’m reviewing one of the islands we visited during our 3 day stay. Matukad Island (in bikolano or the local dialect in caramoan, it is called Going-Up or climb-up) it is called that way since you need to climb up to see the lake and the beautiful scenery there. Unfortunately, we spent our time swimming in this island and did not even try to go up to see the lake since we are scared to get bruises if ever we accidentally fell in the pointy limestone rocks —Sorry, we are so preoccupied in swimming and rolling to its beautiful fine white sand! It’s a pity though, since I also wanna see the lake 😦 Anyway, I’ll promise to myself that I should go back to Caramoan! 

The Matukad Island is the 1st island in our 3 day itinerary… But before getting into the island itself, the things to see while traveling to this marvelous Island is a sight to behold!

Limestone formations are lining up bit by bit while we are nearing Matukad Island… The turquoise water makes me wanna jump and swim!!! — fortunately, our tour guide prevented me to do so 🙂 or else I’m not here writing this blog 🙂 I know how to swim but swimming in a very deep water like that??? I might just be tired after paddling my feet for survival–I might just give up! hehe…  crazy right???

Upon arriving in the Island, I was just like “So, this is white sand” actually, I’m quite disappointed since I wanna see a literally white sand…. I mean the sand with the same color of a bond paper/coupon bond…  But my friends told me that this is what is called as a white sand and that the color of the sand here is whiter than the one in Boracay… so I was like “Oooohhh!” 

Although I’m quite disappointed (because I expected to see a coupon-bond white—white sand– Although I keep on telling myself that it’s already a white sand! as seen in the photos! I was really amazed on how fine the sand is… It’s really fine.. It’s like baby powder… actually, I wanna roll and roll there but I was so afraid of crabs or any kind of alien seafood and getting my skin pricked, so I just dipped my feet into the fine white sand and went swimming in the turquoise water…

The place is really beautiful, even though it isn’t a long beach, but the sand, it has the most powdery white sand I’ve ever touch and seen. And as our tour guide said, the sand here is the most powdery of all the islands in Caramoan.

The place was really clean, really out of touch to the messy world of technological advancement, big cities and noise, it is really a rural place where you can relax. And here, you can actually build a tent and stay there for a night (though we haven’t tried it), you just need to ask permission to the baranggay captain (or the official in charge of the town).

There’s no hotel in this island, just a few town people, and you won’t see houses or any establishments near the shore… you can only see the water, the white sand, the trees and the limestones… such a beautiful sight!

Please… I’m telling you now, if you are going to Caramoan, and this island isn’t part of your itinerary, better that you find another tour guide or tour package since missing this in your island-hopping adventure is not a good idea, since this island has the most fine sand and most beautiful beach. It was said to be even finer and beautiful than Boracay itself. 🙂

HAPPY WANDERING!

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS/TIPS/PLACES TO VISIT/HOW TO GET THERE ETC. 

Caramoan, Philippines: Why Hire A Travel Agent?

Although I’m the “travel” agent of my family, friends and colleagues; which means I’m the one who arranges our trip without having to use local travel agencies— or sometimes I’ll be the tour guide myself…. For this trip, I opted to get a travel package for my Caramoan Adventure.

I made this kind of arrangement so that I can get rid of being stressed and looking haggard throughout the trip, even though I know that it is easy to come-and-around in Caramoan; however, the planning especially of the things like place to stay, a boat and a boatman, food, tour guide will make you crazy especially if you do this by yourself.

Having a travel agency to arrange for you your most awaited vacation is a totally good idea! Especially if you are like me, who is always the travel planner in your group or family —You know what, sometimes I get tired and angry too…although I enjoy booking and researching for the trip..sometimes I say, ‘I just want a vacation which I won’t think about anything else… just have fun and relax’

Getting a travel package is a little-bit expensive than DIY, since of course, you need to pay for their service for prearranging your vacation–from booking hotels, food, ‘bangka‘ boat, and others… But, since you are in a vacation and a paradise like this… why not spend some more in order to fully enjoy and relax! Don’t let yourself or your friend be stressed, just hire a travel agent— This will be my message for my friends who are looking at this at this very moment 🙂 Peace!

Below is a list of some travel agencies in Caramoan (click the link to go to their websites)

I’ll add more as soon as I can see other travel agencies 🙂 I’ll keep you updated!

What to look at when hiring a Good Travel Agency for your trip:

  1. Department of Trade and Industry Registered.
  2. With Bank Account named after the tour company (if none, then reviews from their previous customers in Facebook or other networking sites—this will prevent collusion and false advertisement
  3. Check the prices (If it is too low compared to other travel agencies, it’s questionable)
  4. The smaller the reservation fee the better it is, since if you cancel the trip it won’t be that ‘Ouch!’ or it won’t hurt too much; and your wallet will stay healthy 🙂

Happy Wandering! 🙂

Caramoan, Philippines: West Peninsula Villas– A Nice Place to Stay in this Lovely Paradise

The villa is inside a baranggay in Caramoan, it will take you 10-15minutes to jump start your Island Hopping adventure. Although it may not be near the beach, our stay is worthwhile since hailing a tricycle was never a problem, especially if you stay in this place! The place is located near the red church which was built by the Spaniards during the 17th Century, and it is within the center of caramoan.

The villas are beautiful, roomy, has a cabled television, an airconditioning unit and an electric fan, and has its own bathroom which has a water heater. The place is also a wifi-zone (though I haven’t tried it). The decoration is simple yet relaxing. What we had are two single beds which we merged in to one in order to accommodate the three of us.

What is good about this place is the FOOD! they have big servings and all are delicious. It was always a sumptuous meal (Now, I remember how yummy they are! Yum!) You won’t get hungry when you go here!–trust me, this is true, that’s why I gained a couple of pounds when I stayed here! 🙂

Although we are 3 women traveling together, the food served is good for 5 persons or for 3 men….The food served is really is sumptuous, it is really like a festival or a fiesta!! Seafood (giant shrimps “sugpo” and crabs), pork and fish were served during our stay there. These sumptuous meals were only served during lunch and dinner time. Breakfast were the usual Filipino breakfast such as egg, fried rice, tocino, tapa or ham with free hot chocolate or coffee.

This place has its own karaoke and beer place where you can hang out during the night. And also this place was the one being used by the staff of Survivor TV shows. And actually each of the cabanas are named to each of the contestant of the said TV show. And there are also things used by Survivor contestants displayed there (e.g. ball, ladder etc).

As for the staff, they are very friendly and accommodating, you can tell them what you want and they will do it for you, for example, telling them to pack the left-overs (which were left untouched during the dinner) and reheat and pack them for tomorrow’s island hopping adventure. They also give you extra towel if you need one although they already provided you enough towels for your stay. They also cooked us french fries even though it wasn’t in their menu! Moreover, water is also provided; there is a big water dispenser there where you can get your cold or hot water for drinking.

As for the rates, i learned about their rates through my sister who asked how much was the rent there, and they said that one cabana/villa cost at around P1500 room rate only without the meals. Although I’m not so sure about the rates since I did not ask them personally, it is better to contact them directly or hire a travel organizer or buy a travel package. We bought our travel package to a travel operator there, and they put us in this hotel. We paid 4,300 for each persons for 3 days 2 nights stay all were included such as food, hotel accommodation, island hopping adventure tour etc.

I really had a nice stay here in West Peninsula Villas.

Tips:
1. Book early, especially during the peak seasons (march-May) as this is one of the best in Caramoan and tends to sold out immediately. For my trip, I actually did not expect that this will be the place where we will stay since I booked it through a travel operator in caramoan (Caramoan Haven). The tour operator said that this place is the priority hotel;  when there are available rooms they put their guests here.
2. Bring bottles for refilling water. Drinking water is needed for your Island Hopping adventure, you can refill them in the water dispenser found in the restaurant in west peninsula
3. Bring a Lot of Sunblock or tanning lotion (depends on what you prefer)
4. ENJOY!

Hope this helps!!

Room Tip: Contact and reserve to them early as possible (if during peak seasons, at least 1-2 months before your arrival in Caramoan)

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS ABOUT CARAMOAN/ ITINERARY/ HOTEL REVIEWS/TIPS/PLACES TO VISIT/HOW TO GET THERE ETC.