The TF Trip to Calaguas, Camarines Norte

Another one of those late travel posts that I am trying to catch up on. This was a trip made in April 2010, made possible by the Travel Factor.

My Nikon D80 died at the Gijalo Port in Caramoan, Camarines Sur in the trip I made in February. My trip to Malapascua, Cebu was thereafter documented using a point-and-shoot Canon SX120. I used the 18-135mm kit lens from my D80 and borrowed my sister’s Nikon D40 for this trip to Calaguas.

Boatmen & Porters waiting, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

I did not notice that the body had molds in it until after all my trips were done. I also used this camera on my trip to El Nido a few days alter. I actually have hundreds of ruined photos.

Sari-sari store, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

I wanted to document local life. This girl tends a little sari-sari store perhaps a few meters away from their house. This little store makes a little money off the travelers/tourists that take the boat in the port of Vinzons to Calaguas Islands.

Boat to Calaguas Island, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

The water spray from our own boat was captured as I tried to take a photo of one in four boats of my group that are Calaguas Island-bound on this sunny Saturday morning. I was sitting on the roof.

Sunblock by Mhef, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

Mhef said, “I’m going to put my sunblock on,” and she put a hat on her head. Ingenue!

TF's Cedric Valera, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

Caught birthday boy, Cedric Valera of Travel Factor, in a good-enough pose slash position, which wasn’t as easy to take as one might think, considering that he was on other end of the boat and I was on the other.

The river, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

I had wanted to take a photo that would show how the river twisted this way and that way amongst nipa palm trees but I was not quick enough. Here, the boatman hangs out on the boat’s big outrigger and holds on to nylon ropes. I love how a trip down the river was how we began our journey to the beautiful islands of Calaguas.

Local river travel, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

This is how the locals travel.. down the river. I love the umbrella. It’s not Venice but who cares? A hot sun is still a hot sun.
Arrival at Calaguas Island, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

We arrived on the island while the sun and tide were high. What I first noticed was the lush greenery, even before the crystal turquoise water and the pure white sand. It was nice to know that rain had been abundant on this part of the country. That much was a blessing.

Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island, Vinzons, Camarines Norte

A group of friends trudged down the long beach that is Calaguas Island as the sun begun its descent into the horizon making the white sand appear orangey-brown.

The hills, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

As it was too hot to be gazing out into the blindingly white sand and turquoise waters, we spent a better part of the day hanging out in the shade of the trees that faced not the waters but the hills…

TF banners, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

One of the many cute little banners on sticks that Travel Factor (TF) stuck in the sand.

Walking on the edge, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

This is not me and I don’t know this girl. It was just nice to see her walking down the beach, close to the water’s edge, with her hair blowing gently in the wind.

And she touched the water, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Right as I was enjoying the view of this girl walking down the beach with her back turned to me, she suddenly turns around to let the tip of her fingers glaze the water.

South tip of Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

I am just guessing this is the southern tip as the sun was setting on my right as I was taking this photo. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

North tip of Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

.. and this is the northern tip, as the sun was setting on my left as I was taking this photo.

The rocky tip of Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

We started moving, and out of our resting places under the shady little trees, at about 2pm. We went down the beach, all the way past this rocky tip, snorkel gears in hand.

Snorkeling area, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

We asked if there was snorkeling in the island as we had brought our snorkels, masks and fins. We were told there was. We started on the other side of the island, beyond the rocky part and ended on this side. There wasn’t much to see, or maybe it was the wrong time of the day. Or maybe our expectations were too high – as in Palawan-level high.

Mahabang Buhangin in the light of the setting sun, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

This was a view of the Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach) from the rocky tip. Our group was camped on the other end.

Mahabang Buhangin viewed from the hill, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Here is a view of the beach from the rocky hill we found ourselves sitting on, waiting for the sunset.

Sunset, Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

It is considered a-must to take photos of the sunset wherever you are. ;)

Click here to view the entire set on Flickr.

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