I normally get involve in a pre-planned, open-invite group travels. Not because I have no one to go and travel with but because it allowed me to meet new people and make new friends. It allowed me to listen to new life stories and struggles. It gave me a sense of belongingness. Being with a group of people who doesn’t know who I am, gave me that strong feeling of starting a fresh. Like I can be a different person, a better version of myself.
During my most recent travel, my wandering feet and my curious self led me to Carnaza Island, honestly I did not put any attention when I was invited by my friend – Dilon about this Island, in fact it was the first time I heard about it. Only when I started researching and reading blogs about it did I know that Carnaza Island is part of Daan Bantayan in the north. My curiosity grew even bigger when I saw how picturesque the island was with its beautiful landscape and turquoise clear water.
ITINERARY for CARNAZA ISLAND
October 29, 2017
* 3am – meeting place (Hi way Jollibee Mandaue)
* 4am – depart Van going to Tapilon Port
* 7am – Tapilon port, depart to going to Carnaza
* 9am – Carnaza Island, tour around the island
* 10am- Camp Site, Kang Elena Beach Carnaza
* 12nn – Lunch
* 1pm – Travel with a Purpose Activity: Repainting
* Afternoon: Enjoy the beach
* You can walk and tour the island for your photoshoots!
* Evening: Catch the Beautiful Sunset of the Island
* Socials at night time
October 30, 2017
* 6am – Catch the Amazing Sunrise of the Island
* 7am – Breakfast/Better cook your lunch before we leave, lunch will be at Lamanok Island
* 9am- depart going to Lamanok Island
* 10am – enjoy the sandbar and the island
* 12nn lunch
* 1pm – depart going to Gato Island then head back to Tapilon
* 3pm – Tapilon Port
* 4pm – Head Back to the City
How To Get There (Alternate)
>> Take a bus from North Bus Terminal via Maya port
>> Get off at Tapilon port
>> Ride a boat to Carnaza Island,
Oct 29, 2017 – right after my night shift, I went straight to our meeting place. And there my fellow dream chasers awaits. We were strangers but we had a common purpose and that was enough to for us to be comfortable with each other. In that 3-hour road trip to the north of Cebu, no one started any conversation, we hardly even look at each other. But the silence was perfect only because it was still dawn. The the morning came and we finally arrived to our first stop, Tapilon port where we embarked into a boat to our final destination – Carnaza Island .
So there we were, 15 people oozing with excitement. At this point we were already feeling a little bit more at ease with each, made some small talks, took some photos, all excited to talk about our expectations about the journey in hand. Hours past and we can finally see the white sand from afar, the island did not disappoint it surely have an amazing landscape.
First Destination – Twin beach Carnaza Island
As soon as the boat dropped its anchor, I thought to myself, I had to get this place dissected. I wasn’t able to contain myself, I had to explore the place. The view was breath taking, the clear blue water seemed so inviting, but dipping in the water was not part of the plan for this quick stop. With much eagerness I quickly disembarked from the boat and looked for a perfect spots to take photos of the landscape. It was amazing, the cliffs and the stone formation near the shore added more magic to the place, it was pure heaven.
I was able to find a small cave opening in one side of the mountain in the island and it was a perfect spot to take photos. I indulged myself for a bit to appreciate the beauty in front me and then moved forward to where my fellow travelers were. They were busy taking pictures of themselves, on top of the a small mountain overlooking the twin beach where a small fishing village resides. No wonder my fellow traveler hurried to this spot, it has a 360 view of the beach as well as the open water. And it was breathtaking, I took some awful lot time just exploring the mountain top. The cliffs were so jaw-dropping, as if it was enticing me to jump off to the turquoise water.
Anyhow, I had this fellow traveler whom I partnered with so someone can take pictures of me and vice versa, and we just clicked. We explored the rest of the mountain together and took some cool picture of each other, he completed my travel essentials list – Photo buddy🙂.
In the scorching heat of the sun, we finally decided to head back to the boat. We lost track of time, all the other travelers were already waiting for us when we got there. As soon as we settled in the boat, the boatmen then maneuvered the boat to our campsite, Kang Elena Cove. It took us approximately 15 minutes to get there. The cove was a perfect location for a campsite. There were no houses nearby, there were newly built boats on works for paint jobs though, but aside from that the cove was literally isolated. Its as if we owned the entire cove. As soon as I touched my feet on the sand I wasted no time, I hurriedly looked for a suitable place tie my hammock and pitch my tent.
Moments passed and each of us was already settled in our private space, and then lunch time came. My friend, who’s the leader of this little venture already contacted someone from the island to prepare seafoods for our lunch. They prepared crabs for us, back in Twin Beach, we bumped into a local fisherman with fresh caught squid. We bought all of them and our boatmen grilled them in the cove. Some of the travelers brought some food for lunch as well, and I must say it was a sumptuous lunch. At this point, we were getting more and more at ease with each other. As time passed we learned more things about each other. We discovered we had lots of stuff in common. We didn’t even care how long we were sitting there – eating, all we know is that its was fun sharing the food with these 15 strangers, and definitely fun knowing them little by little.
Afternoon came and we were all full, feeling lazy to do anything I laid in my hammock, and just enjoyed the moment. Some of my fellow traveler needed to go to the cemetery for some paint job for Dilon’s deceased friend’s wake. I opted to stay in the campsite with some other people. With nothing else to do we decided to start socializing, hence libation. So there we were (8 not so strangers anymore) in the grass squatting, sharing life stories while drinks on hand. It’s always my favorite part, learning life experiences, struggles and successes. There’s not a single moment in my life when I feel bored socializing, it’s always fun. The days still young, all 8 of us already tipsy but full of life. The time seemed too slow in this part of the world, I swear to God the time seemed three times slower not that we were complaining though.
Sunset finally came and we transferred to the beach front, all of us under influence of alcohol but all aware of the beautiful sunset. We stared blankly at the sunset as it changed the colors of the sky, it was a pure bliss. One of the most beautiful sunset I ever witnessed in my existence. And then night came and it was all darkness in the cove, but we didn’t mind, we know this was what we signed up for. The rest of the group finally came back and joined us at the beach, we then made bonfire to keep us warm while we continued sharing stories. The bigger the group, the more fun it became. We ate dinner in darkness with only a few flashlights, the dinner was uneventful.
Libation ended at 11pm, but that’s after we put our speaker on high volume and sang our hearts out along with the music. One of us even started dancing her signature crab dance😂. It was pure fun! When the rest of them settled in their tents, we opted to stay behind and enjoyed the warmth of the evening water, gazed into the star-filled sky, spent another hour there and then finally settled in my hammock.
I laid in my hammock underneath the sea of stars, it was heaven on earth. I laid there while staring at the sky contemplating of the day that has been. Spending the entire day in the island with all these random people was amazing, people with the same mindset as mine. People who, like me – just wanna have a good time. And in that one day, I felt closer to them even more than with the people I encountered on a daily basis. Its both weird and amazing how you can be so at ease with people you just met less than 24 hours ago. It must be because we shared the same passion for traveling.
Mornings are the best during camping, everybody’s busy with morning chores prepping food and stuff. And of course early morning dip. Right after we ate our breakfast, all of us started heading to the beach and enjoyed our remaining hours in the cove. There’s never a dull moment when you’re with your fellow crazies. Any moment somebody would crack a joke and even if it’s not that hilarious hearing people laugh would make you laugh out loud as well. Our final day begun just like that.
Another hour came and we finally left the cove and it was rather a rough ride to our next stop, LaManoc Island. Approximately 45 minutes boat right to this beautiful island. At this point, we were all excited for yet another paradise, as if we hadn’t spent the last 24 hours devouring Kang Elena cove. To our defense though, the island is pretty awesome it has this beautiful landscape and picturesque surroundings. It has this long white sandbar that connects two island together allowing us to explore the other adjacent island. It was perfect, the sun was on its peak, the water so clear and I can’t get enough of the of the picture-perfect white sandbar. In that island, 15 souls lost themselves. 15 wanderers was enchanted by the beauty, that was LaManoc Island. 15 strangers turned friends made and left memories nobody can take away from us.
And just like that, we ended our 2-day trip to Carnaza. At the end of that trip I can only say 2 things as conclusions; 1) We went there as 15 complete strangers, we went our separate ways as friends 2) We will definitely find our way back to Carnaza Island, it may not be together but for sure that trip won’t be the last time I’ll be seeing the island. LaManoc island is exceptional, there is something about the island that kept our wanderlust burning. It kept us thinking of more travels to come.