Kalanggaman Island : Travel Guide to Spectacular Island of Palompon, Leyte

Created a new YouTube channel for my travel videos – Girls On Global Adventures , Check it out! I post new videos weekly. I am currently traveling through Southeast Asia.
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This is Palompon’s paradise.  Kalanggaman is considered the most beautiful beach  the province of Leyte has to offer.  The postcard-perfect virgin island with its powder white sand, clear waters, and cool breeze is certainly a virtual place very close to heaven.

What makes this island unique from others is its long sandbars that are stretching on both sides of the island.   The one hour boat ride to the island may be a bit challenging bur it is all worth it when you finally set foot on this paradise. If you want to forget your troubles for a  day or if   you want to have a quick getaway with your loved ones, Kalanggaman is definitely the place to go. – www.palompon-leyte.gov.ph

Kalanggaman Island, One of the many islands in the Philippines, with the whitest sand you’ve ever seen, surrounded by crystal clear waters. You can read a good book without many people kicking sand on your face, you can take amazing photographs all day long,

April of 2015, my friends & I decided to explore Kalanggaman Island for a weekend. We started our journey at Cebu North Bus Terminal, from there we ride on a bus to Maya, Daanbantayan. by the time we arrived in Maya port, our rented boat was already waiting for us. Luckily, I was able to find a group of people who are going to the same island, on a same date. I contacted them and decided to share the boat rental fee, making it a more budget-friendly travel for us.

checkout below to know the details of our trip;
>> Itineray
>> How to get there
>> Suggested budget
>> Things to bring

When  we visited Kalanggaman Island, we were very lucky to have found a group of people who were willing to tag along with us. But that doesn’t end there. They’re a group of people who are very experienced in camping, They took care of our meals during our entire stay. Brought pre-cooked “chicken-pork adobo” & pre-marinated meat (chicken & pork) and the taste of our food was exceptional. I am very thankful for those people, a special thank is in order for my friend Alik for tagging them along.

Take note:
>> There is no energy supply in the island, so bring as many                             powerbank as you could if your planning to stay for a while.
>> They do have solar-powered light attached on the post all over              the island, it’s not totally dark when the sun’s out.
>> They do have mini store, they sell water, softdrinks, and liquor              but very expensive. Better if you bring your own.
>> There is no snorkel rentals, good thing we brought our own gears.
>> They do have standup paddleboard for rent, as well as kayaks.

Kalanggaman Island Getaway: April 18-19, 2015

Itineray – Day 01 : April 18 (Saturday)
3:30am – Meet up at Cebu North Terminal
4:00am – Departure from terminal to Daanbantayan
8:00am – Arrival in Old Maya Port, Daanbantayan
8:10am – Arrival in New Maya Port
9:30am – Departure for Maya port to Kalanggaman Island
11:30am – Arrival in Kalanggaman Island
– Put up tents, arrange things, prep for lunch
1:00pm – Beach bumming, Beach life, Beach lust, snorkeling
5:00pm – Prepare dinner(rice & bbq)
5:30pm – Dinner time
6:00pm – Chill time, music trip, inom with ze friends
2:00am – It’s a wrap! Sleep time.
Itinerary – Day 02 – April 19 (Sunday)
6:30am – wake up call (sunrise)
7:00am – Prepare breakfast/ eat breakfast
8:00am – Beach bumming (again!), beach life, snorkel
12:00nm – Prepare for departure
1:00pm – Departure from Kalanggaman Island to Maya Port
2:45pm – Arrival in New Maya Port
3:00pm – Departure to Cebu City via Ceres bus
7:30pm – Arrival in Cebu North Bus Terminal

How to get there from Cebu City;
>>Catch a bus at North Bus Terminal – there are different ways to go to Kalanggaman Island, but I chose the less risky one. You can either buy a ticket in one of the shipping lines in Cebu that travels to Palompon Leyte, from there you can rent a boat to Kalanggaman. Or land trip to northern part of Cebu via Ceres Bus to Maya Port, which I am kinda familiar.

>>Choose the bus with a signed board that says ” Maya Port” – make sure to ask for the destination of the bus you are about to take. You can choose from ordinary or air-conditioned bus.

>> Ride a motorcycle to New Maya Port – Usually, the boat thats gonna take you to Kalanggaman is docked in Maya New Port, specially when the it’s low tide. You can ride a motorcycle to the new port, approximately 5minutes ride for a cost of Php20.

>> Rent a boat to Kalanggaman Island & vice versa – you should reserve a boat that will take you to Kalanggaman Island from Maya Port  & vice versa. You can contact Kuya Randel  at 09158516135. The boat rental costs Php7000 good for 20 pax & Php150 per excess person (rate for overnight stay).

>> Boat trip to Kalanggaman Island – the trip usually takes approximately 1-2 hours  depending on the waves.

>> Bus trip & fare – the trip usually lasts 4-5hrs, depending on the traffic, I recommend you travel as early as 3am to get rid of the traffic. The earlier you will arrive in your destination, the longer you spend a relaxing day at the island. Php 180 bus fare (air-conditioned).

How much would it cost you: (Suggested budget)
Php 180/ pax : Bus fare Cebu to Old Maya Port (aircon)
Php 20/ pax : motor ride to New Maya Port
Php 360/ pax : Boat rental Maya – Kalanggaman (vice versa)
Php7000/ 20 pax,  Php 150/ pax for excess person
Php 225/ pax : Kalanggaman Island entrance fee
Php 400/ pax : Food, drinks, & meat
Php 180/ pax : Bus fare New Maya Port to Cebu Terminal
php 1400/ pax : Suggested budget (good for 22 people)

Things to bring:
* Tent                                          

* Sleeping bag
* Sweater
* Speaker
* Towel
* Powerbank
* Portable Light
* GOPRO
* Pre-marinated meat (Pork & chicken)
* Spoon & fork
* Sun block lotion
* Snorkel
* Butane Stove
* 1liter H20/ pax (personal supply)

Checkout Kalanggaman Island – facebook page for more details. or read more articles from my fellow bloggers:
tripadvisot – Philippines
www.sea-explorer.com
www.outoftownblog.com
www.mikelaagan.com – The Traveling Panda
www.pinoyadventurista.com

 Taken before we travel to Kalanggaman Island,  I believe it was safe enough to travel by boat, the sky is clear and the sea so calm
Taken before we travel to Kalanggaman Island, I believe it was safe enough to travel by boat, the sky is clear and the sea so calm. A good day to travel.
Goofing around with my bestfriend, clearly we had an awaesome time under the sun, we were not even in Kalanggaman when we took this photo
Goofing around with my bestfriend, clearly we had an awaesome time under the sun, we were not even in Kalanggaman when we took this photo. We just love to take photos as we travel.
Our excitement were doubled as we started to see the white-sand island from afar. A perfect photo moment.
Our excitement were doubled as we started to see the white-sand island from afar. A perfect photo moment. And we just can’t hide our big smiles.
A lot of people gathered by the shore to witness the amazing sunset
A lot of people gathered by the shore to witness the amazing sunset, did not get disappointed by the beautiful sunset.
 Trying to be wacky as we wait for the sun to set. Breathtaking background, and awesome friends
Trying to be wacky as we wait for the sun to set. Breathtaking background, and awesome friends. A moment worth cherishing.
Day 1 - minutes after our boat docked by the shore, we couldn't help but to capture the moment.
Day 1 – minutes after our boat docked by the shore, we couldn’t help but capture the moment. We were all excited and can’t wait for our beach living.
Taken at Old Maya port before we board to our boat, it was a very good day to travel, clear sky, calm see
Taken at Old Maya port before we board to our boat, it was a very good day to travel, clear sky, calm see.
My bestfriend and I, taking a souvenir photo together with the Kalanggaman Island landmark
My bestfriend and I, taking a souvenir photo together with the Kalanggaman Island landmark.
Of course, my trip wouldn't be complete if I won't take a selfie shot with the picture-perfect white sandbar. The most beautiful part of the island
Of course, my trip wouldn’t be complete if I won’t take a selfie shot with the picture-perfect white sandbar. The most beautiful part of the island
Underwater shots, more selfie photos, the water is just so clear and the sand - so  white.
Underwater shots, more selfie photos, the water is just so clear and the sand – so white.

I can’t help but admire the beauty of Kalanggaman Island as it slowly getting smaller. As I bid farewell to that spectacular island, I promised myself that soon again, I shall return. By then I guess, I am to stay a little bit longer. For I fell in love with the island, the white sand beach, the clear blue water, the perfect sunset, and the lovely sandbar. Indeed, Kalanggaman is a spectacular island.

Unexpected Road Trip : Grandeur Beach – Lambug, Badian

Created a new YouTube channel for my travel videos with my fiancée – Girls On Global Adventures , Check it out! I post new videos weekly. I am currently traveling through Southeast Asia.

Summer time it is! And there’s no better way to enjoy the summer than spending it under the sun by the beach. Early Sunday morning, I was awaken by a consecutive honking right outside our house. I was delighted to see my two cousins in their pick-up, Our itinerary for the day road trip and beach life. I didn’t know where exactly but I didn’t give a crap what’s important was that I am in for some awesome road trip!

Destination : Gradeur Beach Resort : a random road with friends.
We started our journey, made a lot of stop-overs to pick-up the rest of our friends, took Badian via Car-car route, did more stop-over to buy our supply, after 2 hours of road trip, we finally arrived in Badian. I must admit though it was very hard to find the beach resort, we had to make more stops to ask some locals for direction.  And found out it’s just few more minutes from Cebu International Golf & Resort (you can check out tripadvisor for details),  we trailed along narrow road for about 15 minutes and finally we arrived at our destination. And on that instant we fell in love.

One of our several stop-overs, Moalboal public market
One of our several stop-overs, Moalboal public market

Gradeur Beach Resort – You probably didn’t know this resort exists (that makes the two of us). Well lets face it, Badian is known for the  famous Kawasan Falls. Who would have thought they still have one more tourist destination to be proud of. One can say that the place still needs developing and all, but  too much commercialism can sometimes destroy the natural beauty of some places. For us the resort was good enough, perhaps we just need the beach, the cool blue water, and the view.

We then settled in the native cottage we rented, and started prepping our food. While the boys started to grill the fish and the pork we bought at the market, us girls started setting up the table.

It's a Boodle Fight kind of eating; this is how you properly set up the table when you're at the beach
It’s a Boodle Fight kind of eating; this is how you properly set up the table when you’reat the beach
Ze topless boys by the beach, and ze girly girls! We're so ready to eat!
Ze topless boys by the beach, and ze girly girls! We’re so ready to eat!
Taking advantage of the tree shade beside our cottage
Taking advantage of the tree shade beside our cottage
Few of the several native cottages along the shore
Few of the several native cottages along the shore
Families enjoying the summer sun
Families enjoying the summer sun
Shore-line of Gradeur Beach Resort with the calm sea
Shore-line of Gradeur Beach Resort with the calm sea
My two cousins and I, posing for the camera
My two cousins and I, posing for the camera
Goofing around, macho-sexy pose
Goofing around, macho-sexy pose
 Our failed attempt for a jump shot :-), super blurry
Our failed attempt for a jump shot :-), super blurry
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Picture-perfect sunset, before we bade goodbye to Gradeur Beach Resort
Picture-perfect sunset, before we bade goodbye to Gradeur Beach Resort

For those who like to spend the night at the beach, you can rent a room at Gradeur Beach Resort (info from whereiscebu.com) or at Manang Virgie’s Villa Beach Resort (info from  Philippinetraveler.com)

My abrupt beach getaway indeed was fun, it was very unplanned that I never had any expectation about the place. Surprisingly, it left me speechless. The setting was great, the beach  was lovely, and the sunset was to die for, being with a cool company was just an added bonus.

For more articles about beach houses in Lambug, Badian you can also visit mynomadichabits, theartfularchertriptabaimycebu ph.

Special Shout-out to my friends and travel buddies:
Pretty Megs
Rhizie
Ren ren Tapere
Bordie Pangz
Joshwawa Rubia
Janos Rubia
Woodru Kintanar
Jen Baguio Dysam

At The Beach Is Where I’m The Happiest

Whenever I’m at the beach like when I was in Camotes Island, I always feel at peace. I can think of three reasons why, but I guess it wouldn’t even satisfy why I love it there.

First : There is something in the way the wind touches my skin – The fresh air with a touch of saltness when it touches my lips, it reminds me of the good old days, always reminds of summertime.

Second : There is something in the sound of the waves touching the shore – Somehow, the sound of the waves as it kisses the shore brings calmness in me. It’s as if it brings me to my happy peace, back to my childhood years when everything’s simple. When all I worry about is the time when I’m forced to sleep every afternoon, and every time I have no one to play with.

Third : There is something in the way I see the horizon – Watching that line that connects the ocean and the sky, it gives me a thought of endless possibilities. Imagining how would it feel like to travel to endless destination and reach where the sky touches the sea. But who am I kidding??

Summer is already here and I couldn’t contain my excitement to the unlimited beach-life I’m going to have this time of the year! I can imagine the cheerful laughter of people and giggles of teenager while enjoying the summer sun. Indeed, for me at the beach is where I’m the happiest.

You can check out Lonely Planet (Philippines), for best suggestion on what beaches you should include in your list to visit. And then book your hotel reservations at Agoda Global for faster transaction. Enjoy your beach adventures!

Puerto Galera : Luxurious Life In A Yacht

Puerto Galera is the northwestern most municipality in the province of Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. It is located at the southwestern end of the Isla Verde Passage, about 130 kilometers (81 mi) south of Manila. This coastal town is well-known among tourists for its numerous pocket beaches and many snorkeling and Scuba diving spots. The area was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973 and has some of the most diverse coral reef diving in Asia. The marine environment has benefited in recent years from the influx of tourist dollars. This has seen a huge reduction in the number of fishermen in the area, as they gain higher revenue from tourists. – www.wikipedia.org

October of 2010, during my semestral break from school, I was invited by a friend to have a vacation in Puerto Galera  for a while. I was 20, in the peak of my youth, very eager to experience something new, who am I to refuse such offer. So I packed my things, was so excited for the said trip.

Crazy Day 1 – October 19, I booked a flight at Cebu Pacific Air to Manila, stayed for a day at my friend’s place, the day after we were all set to go to Puerto Galera where my friend’s father’s yacht was docked. We almost got lost on our way to Buendia Station. We rode a bus bound to Quiapo when we’re suppose to get the one bound to Makati. It was a very crazy day, We rode three busses and MRT just to get to Buendia Bus station, where Batangas bound busses are found. It was already noon time, when we were able to get in a bus bound to Batangas port, and get in a boat to Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. The trip to Batangas took us three hours and two hours boat ride to Puerto Galera. Got there by 6pm at Muelle Pier looked for a nearby hotel to check in at Badladz Beach Resort for the night. AT 7pm we dined out at the bar near the hotel and met new faces, had some beer with our new acquaintance and played some billiards. Our new acquaintance were all good people, they’re oldies but still very jamming. They even invited us for a bbq party at Puerto Galera yacht Club the night after. At 10pm we called it a night and went back to our room.

Day 2 – Life in a Yacht (October 21, 2010) We woke up at 9am it was a bit late. Had some american breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant. After 15 minutes or so,  my friend’s dad fetched us on a dinghy and we were off to the yacht, where we stayed for our entire stay. I was a bit surprised when I first saw the boat, it was beautiful. It looked small on the outside, but the interior was big. Her name is Cosmos,  a catamaran. I was left awed when I first stepped in the boat, it was very luxurious – a dream come true. Bes (my friend’s dad) was very accommodating and friendly. we shared a story or two, he was a great host. We spent the rest of the day resting, just stayed in our room and unpacked our stuff. The at around 6 pm we started preparing ourselves, had to go to Puerto Galera yacht Club, for the “Barbecue Friday”, eating dinner there. The reception in the restaurant was great, the people and the yacht club members were all so friendly, to the extent that the Commodore (sort of the highest rank among club members) of the Yacht Club personally welcomed us, he even mention our names. I really didn’t know that he was the commodore, he talked to us as if he was just an ordinary member of the club. Later did I found out what he was and I admired him, very hospitable host, very humble and down-to-earth. The best thing in the PGYC was that the people were all approachable and friendly. We made a lot of friends that night. We even played pool with them. Later that night, dinner was served,  I ordered Baby back ribs it was so delicious, superb taste. At some point I had some beer and gin tonic. Then we went back to the yacht, we gazed at the stars as we lay on the roof of the boat, my first day in the sea had come to an end. It was a dream came true, just laying there under the stars and the moon, enjoying the night chill.

Life in c : Oct. 23-28, 2010 – the days gone by very fast, with our daily routine and activities there were never dull moment. We always wake up around 10am, tired from our nightly movie marathon. Then we would eat bread and fruits for breakfast. We would watch different TV Series while the sun was on its peak. Then off to Puerto Galera yacht Club for Lunch, the food and drinks are pretty expensive but that’s how it was, they’re used to living that lifestyle and I had to deal with it during my entire stay. I think what made that vacation memorable are the activities we did during our stay. I pretty much made a lot of “first” in Puerto Galera, here’s a list of activities we did:

1. Early morning tennis game at nearby clubhouse – we woke up earlier than usual, prep the dinghy and went ashore just two minutes across where Cosmos was anchored. We played lawn tennis at  Elizabeth Hideaway Hotel, what’s funny about that morning was they were looking for someone who they thought went missing the night before. He lives in a yacht near the Cosmos, the night before while we were star-gazing we heard some commotion in their Yacht (two people arguing). I also thought he committed suicide or something, the yacht club member commissioned a group of divers to look for him underwater, in trying to retrieve the body thinking he drowned. It turned out, the man was just in Sabang (Red District), too drunk to go home.

2. Participated in a soccer clinic for kids – The yacht club sponsored a soccer clinic for kids, the participant was mostly children of foreigners who chose to settle in Puerto Galera and married a Filipina. It was all fun, watching the kids having a good time and making friends with other kids is such a great sight to watch.

3. Went snorkeling; my first free dive experience – we borrowed Bes’s dinghy and went to a fish sanctuary just 10 minutes ride. It was fun, my very first snorkeling experience with all the gears (Snorkel, goggles and fins). The sun was on its peak we were on our swimming attire, we loved our sun-kissed skin, The marine life was highly diverse, corals and the fished were breathtaking.

4. Boat ride to Sabang  – one afternoon we decided to find another place to eat, so we went to Muelle pier and rented a boat to Sabang. The boat ride was about 30 minutes, it was kinda scary, we were in an open water, the waves were huge to the point that it almost flip the boat. The ride was fun too, we get to see some famous resorts along the  way. I must say, the Coco Beach Island Resort was quite an impressive place to stay, I bet staying there would cost much too. Upon our arrival in Sabang, we instantly went straight to La Laguna Beach Club, the food there was great we had pasta, played some pool, and drink some beer. Then we stroll along the shore, the white sand was very fine. I noticed some famous hotel in Sabang, the likes of; Atlantis Dive Resort, Portofino Beach ResortBlue Ribbon Dive Resort, etc.. Sabang is very famous to tourists, and as expected the foods and drinks were very expensive. After sometime, we decided to rent a motorcycle and went home.

5. Watched movie outside the boat under the moonlight and the twinkling stars – One time we decided to watch a movie outside the boat, the sea breeze was very cold but still a memorable experience, shared a beer or two, and chips.

6. We would asked Bes to take us to the port and stroll around we usually eat fruits on the boat, luckily the market was just a walk away from the port. We would walk for minutes and haggle for prices in the fruit market, buy some home-made wheat bread and stack some beer, it was fun really.

All Souls Regatta (Oct. 29, 2010) – not an ordinary day in Puerto Galera, specifically at the yacht club. It marked the 1st day of the All Souls Regatta 2010″, a yacht race. Another first for me, not only that I can witness a yacht race for the first time, but I am actually part of the race. We sailed in one of the yacht  named Lenny 2. It was surreal, so unbelievable. Never did I expect I will experience such adventure in my lifetime. On the day of the regatta, we woke up earlier than the usual time, bought some snacks and drinks, had some sun screen and we were ready for the race. The sun was so hot but it didn’t bother us in any way. We started to sail at around noon as the race begun. All along I thought sailing was as easy as abc… no it wasn’t, In fact it was very difficult. You have to be one with the wind, and know when to pull down you sails. All the participating yacht, (more or less 20 yacht) had to follow one route,  a very difficult route. All in all, it was a fun, memorable, tiring experience. I loved the afternoon sea breeze, the tan, the new acquaintances I met while in the race, the new experience, the huge gigantic waves, the adrenaline, the excitement.

It was FUN spelled all caps, in bold letters! After five hours, we could have won the 3rd prize for the first day if we weren’t got stock maneuvering the sail at the last phase of the race. What’s important was we finished the race safely. Then we went back to the boat to change our damp clothes,then we’re bound to the yacht club for a dinner celebration.-for the successful day 1. The beer was on the house, the food was superb, fun-filled night. Everybody was all ecstatic and in festive mood. I almost decided to stay for the 2nd day of the race, It’s just that my flight back to Cebu was scheduled on  the 1st of November, had to go back to Manila in time for my flight.  I was kinda upset at the end of the night. 

Goodbye paradise (Oct. 30) – Woke up a little upset, turned between going back to Manila and staying for the regatta. My friend was asking me to stay, I really liked to stay, I still want to join the second day of the race. But then I thought it was a waste of resources if I’d stayed, we would have to go to Sabang to reschedule my flight (too much of a hassle). What we originally planned before we went to Puerto Galera was that we’ll be going back to Manila together, we didn’t expect the regatta and so my friend decided to stay. I borrowed the key of the condo and went back to Manila alone. For the last time we borrowed the dinghy to the port, I decided to take the fastest route (motor-ride to Sabang). When I got their I bought a ticket for a boat ride to Batangas, I still had enough time so I went to the market nearby and bought several Puerto Galera souvenir shirts. I didn’t notice the time while I was in the market, next thing I knew, I was running towards the pier! I almost got lost but I made it on time. Then there was the one and a half boat ride to Batangas port, my seatmate was kinda annoying kept on conversing with me and I didn’t want to be rude. Finally Batangas! Noticed a lot of people in queue, only then when I realized it was the last day of October, many people go to their respective provinces for the UNDAS. What a luck I had that day, my seatmate was the same person I was sitting with back in the boat, the entire trip I pretended sleeping just so I won’t feel obligated to converse with him.  I was in a bus bound to  Buendia, another three-hour bus ride, it was a long ride. Around 5 in the afternoon when finally we stopped at  Buendia station, then  decided to take a jeepney. For experience purposes I pretended to know the street of Manila. Luckily, Baclaran church is such a popular place that I didn’t have a hard time looking for it. From there, I knew my way back to the condo. I settled my things in the room and went back down to eat my early dinner. I was a bit lonely, alone in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar faces. I knew I missed a lot during the second day of the regatta. My phone wasn’t working that time, I can’t even text or call. My loneliest day ever in Manila. I decided to sleep early that night but luck wasn’t on my side, I didn’t feel sleepy at all. So I drafted a letter to my friend, to show how grateful I am for the experience and left it on the reading table. Morning came, ETD 0800HR – it was that time again to say goodbye to Manila, and prepped myself for the holidays back in my province. Such a great vacation, that was – indeed,  It was a week-long in paradise. 

Looking back to 2010, I wished I had captured those  moments in Puerto Galera, wished I was able to freeze those memories in an image, I wished Gopro cameras are already available that time. Nevertheless, I have them all saved in my mind and there they will stay forever.

For complete list of hotel you can stay in Puerto Galerayou can check out www.agoda.com. You can also check out Lonely Planet (Philippines), for details of the corresponding destination listed! Enjoy your travels!

You can also read the following article for more blogs about Puerto Galera ; 

Snapshot : A Whole New Malasimbo Festival – www.lakwatsero.com

How To Plan A Weekend Trip To White Beach Puerto Galera – www.takethetravel.com

Sun-kissed, saltwater-drenched days (The Budget-Friendly Puerto Galera Beach Getaway) – www.jennifaye.wordpress.com

The Beach That Was Puerto Galera – www.ivanlakwatsero.com

Photo Credits to : www.pgyc.org (Puerto Galera Yacht Club)
Puerto Galera Info Credits: www.wikipedia.com

Camotes With Love : White Sand Paradise in the Southern Philippines

Created a new YouTube channel for my travel videos – Girls On Global Adventures , Check it out! I post new videos weekly. I am currently traveling through Southeast Asia.

Camotes Island is a group of islands in the Camotes Sea, Philippines. The island group is located east of Cebu Island, southwest of Leyte Island, and north of Bohol Island. It is 34 nautical miles (63 km; 39 mi) from Cebu City and is part of the province of Cebu. Sometimes known as the “Lost Horizon of the south”, within recent years Camotes has seen increased visitors and tourism and a growing expatriate community. Apart from natural attractions on land, there is also a score of dive sites around the islands.
Also in the Camotes Islands you can find tourist spots such as Buho Rock, Greenlake Park, Mt. Calvary (Kalbaryo), Lake Danao and the vast mangrove swamp along the sides of the road from Pacijan (San Francisco) to Poro. There are many underground caves such as Bukilat Cave, Timubo Cave and Guadalupe Cave which has a fresh water underground lake. There are also two waterfalls, one in Poro and one in Tudela. There is diving and snorkeling opportunities at some of the resorts.  Camotes Resorts List click link for list.

You can check out Lonely Planet (Philippines) for guides and suggestion on how to go to Camotes Island.

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April of 2013 was when I had the chance to visit Camotes Island together with my two closest friends in the world ; Yami and Nikki. We took a leave from our jobs just so we can celebrate Yami’s 24th birthday and share the moment with her. Let me take you down to memory lane, and reminisce the memories in Camotes With Love : White Sand Paradise In The Southern Philippines.

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A surprise for a close friend
Midnight of the 12th of April 2013 (Friday) Nikki and I were on our way to surprise Yami after her evening shift at a hospital where she worked as a nurse. We brought her a cute little cake together with our gifts and party balloons, she was indeed surprised. I am pretty sure that was one of her most memorable birthday celebration ever. Although we just stayed at a local pizza house and just ordered pizza, it really didn’t matter that time – we were caught up with the occasion. We waited for our other friend Mariane and then we just ate pizza right after. It was around 1am when we decided to part ways with Mariane, Nikki and Yami are staying at my place we still need to travel to Camotes Island  that dawn.

The dawn of the gateway
As expected we woke up late, we were supposed to wake up 3am so we can take the first bus trip to Danao City but we woke up at 4am. We were all cramming, worried we might get left by the barge to Camotes Island . We arrived in the bus terminal around 5am, we took the first bus available even though it was the ordinary one. The bus ride was about an hour and twenty five minutes by the time we arrived in the port, the barge that we supposed to get into already left (bugger). The next trip was not until 8am, we were disappointed, famished, and very sleepy. Nice way to start our getaway – Frustrated.
Finally, at around quarter to 8, we were asked to board in the barge, two and half hour after we were to dock at Camotes port.

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It’s Camotes Island  Baby – Beach Getaway
Upon arrival we were all ecstatic and excited for our beach getaway,we completely buried our previous frustrations. Our stay was kind of limited since we only get one day to enjoy the island. We have to be back to the city a day after, Yami got to work while me and Nikki will hang out for the entire weekend. And so we hired 2 sets of motorcycle and went directly to the resort where I reserved a deluxe room at Agoda (Global) for us, at the Santiago Bay Garden & Resort
The motor ride was about twenty minutes, we couldn’t contain our excitement in the extent that we keep on talking about our plan for the entire trip. And that’s a very short trip. Upon arrival we went straight to the receptionist, they were bit busy a group of Koreans were trying to check in to their respective rooms as well and it took a lot of time due to communication struggle. But finally after 15 minutes or so we were able to get our key and was assigned to a room over-looking the sea and it was breath-taking!

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It was a view worth appreciating for. I think what’s refreshing about it was that we don’t usually get to see the blue sky, the sea and the sun all together. We were all trap in a concrete jungle around the city, used to seeing the buildings and the litters all over it. That view was truly a breath of fresh air. Then we settled in our room and decided to take some time off to rest.

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After taking our much-needed rest, we headed to the beach and savored the moment, that was a perfect getaway to get into. It was Friday, the sun was on its peak, I am with the best people, not to mention it was Yami’s birthday. I must admit though, anywhere we go as long as I’m with these people, it will always be a perfect getaway.

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After spending our entire afternoon at the beach, by the time we went back to our hotel room we were all worn out, dead tired. With our sun-kissed skin, we then get ready to go outside and look for a cheaper place to eat. We figured foods at the hotel cost more, and we were up for some barbecue by the beach. What I like most about that gate-away was that I was with the people I am most comfortable being with. With them I can be myself, no pretensions. It was 9pm when we finished eating, by then we already finished 3 bottles of beer. We were a bit drunk, but still sober. We even went to the pool right after to dip our stressed muscles into the soothing warm water.

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Our night was far from getting over, and we intended to enjoy every bit of second we spend in that island. So we open the bottle of tequila we bought at the main-land, sliced some lemon, and a grab some potato chips. We were good to go! We just talked and bonded the entire time, talked about life, experiences. It was a helluva birthday celebration we had in Camotes. The next day, the hangover was excruciating, but we had to move our asses, ate our breakfast at Santiago Bay Garden & Resort, and before noon we were already on our way back to the port. And then back to reality.

Visit Lonely Planet (Philippines) for more suggestions on where to visit for your coming vacation.

April 12, 2013 : a moment to remember!