Thursday, December 22, 2011

caramoan at last

***you can also check our island hopping adventure HERE
caramoan at last!
After my first moment with cebu pacific we finally arrived at Naga Airport, it was raining and several drivers were offering van transportation going to SM Naga or to Filcab station or directly to Sabang port, I heard one quoting P400 up to Sabang port and the other was P250 up to SM Naga. Since I booked this trip way back in February I had a lot of time to research and found that you can just walk to the airport gates and ride a pedicab for only P10 up to the highway and ride a bus or jeep going to Filcab Terminal just beside SM Naga for only P15 and that’s what we did. From Filcab Terminal there were vans en route to different towns in Camarines Sur, it was just like the van terminals in the malls in Manila there were markers where the van was heading. What worries us was that we might not arrive on time for the last boat going to Caramoan. Fare is P100 per head, we left at 9.30AM and arrived at Sabang port at 11.25AM.

sabang port in a very gloomy day
We were told that we’re just in time for the last boat trip (yes!). I was surprised to see that there was a dock and that you don’t need to be carried by porters going to the boat because from what I have researched to be able to ride the boat you have to be carried by a porter on their shoulders. The boat left Sabang port at 11.50AM and arrived at Guijalo port at P1.50PM. It was a long boat ride and the weather was gloomy, on our left side was the Caramoan island and on our right was the open sea.

view on our right side
I have texted Ate Glenda of Rex Tourist Inn the night before and offered to be picked up from Guijalo port, we were picked up by Jay from Rex Tourist Inn and another 30 minutes drive we arrived at Rex and pay P100 for the fare. We were greeted by Ate Glenda and told us that we were the only guest and offered us their aircon room for only P500/night, we accepted right away. We then had our lunch at Lutong Bahay, few steps away from Rex. It rained the whole afternoon and we just stayed in and prayed that the following day we would have a good weather for island hopping. 

Rex Tourist Inn
our room
We were waiting for the rain to stop but it did not and it was already 8PM when we decided to have dinner and we learned that Lutong Bahay closes at 7.30PM so we decided to roam the street and look for a place to eat. We asked around and we were told that we can try Anacleto’s, a block away from Lutong Bahay. We went back to Rex after eating and decided to drink to kill time, as early as 8.30PM there’s no more open stores, considering that Caramoan was slowly being known as one of the best places to visit in the Philippines and was getting popular because of the TV show Survivor, the province-aura was still there and hopefully it stays that way.

Lutong Bahay
We woke up to a still gloomy weather but it did not dampen our spirits, we travelled all the way here to enjoy Caramoan and we will not allow a gloomy weather to put us down. I texted Kuya Ramil just the day before and asked him if we could rent his boat for island hopping, he agreed and originally quote us P1500 for 3 islands and he suggested that if we want he can bring us to 5 islands for P2000. Jayjay told me that since we’re already here why not take the most out of it and we agreed with P2000. We had our breakfast at Lutong Bahay and also bought lunch for the 2 of us and for Kuya Ramil and his companion. The jump off point was still far from Sentro and we took a tricycle going to Paniman beach where Kuya Ramil also resides with his family. He said that they also offer accommodation and rents some of the rooms in their house. The sun was still hiding when we left Paniman and the water was rough it was a little scary. We had the whole afternoon Caramoan island hopping, check my next post for our adventure.

road going to Paniman
Paniman jump-off point
As we go through our island hopping adventure the sun was playing peek-a-boo with us, thankfully it did not rain hard. Kuya Ramil invited us to his home for a cup of coffee and thanked him attending to us. We want back to Sentro and rode a habal habal for P100. We asked around and about the first boat trip the following morning and we were told that it’s best to take the first trip going to Sabang port at 6.30AM.

We woke up at 5AM the following day and went to Guijalo port at 6AM and there were already a lot of people waiting for the first trip. The boat can only accommodate 30 pax but from what I’m seeing I think it was more than 30 even after the coast guard personnel checked the boat and I was surprised when we were already sailing that we stopped in the middle of the sea and there were small boats that we pass along and our boat picked up passengers (ayos parang EDSA lang me pumapara sa gitna hehe).

Guijalo port

When we arrived at Sabang it was a different area that we docked in, it was not the same place where we rode the other day, and then I saw a man-made like bridge where the passengers will use to reach the shore. Going down needs good timing with the waves so as not to get wet. The men assisting the passengers used to be the porters who carries passengers on their shoulders and they recently decided to created a bridge and asks for a minimal fee, we gave P10 each. There were already vans waiting for passengers going to Naga and we head directly to the airport.

view from Guijalo port
man-made bridge for the passengers

Caramoan was a very beautiful place, the sun was not even shining bright when we went there but it was a place worth visiting. It’s not that accessible and transportation alone was already pricey. Jayjay was not that into long travels several commutes of different kinds what I did was to set his mind of what to expect with this trip, I constantly tell him stories about stories I've read how difficult and tiring the commute will be but once you get there it will all be worth it (ginawang bata si Jayjay hehe).


From NAGA Airport - walk going to the gates and there will be pedicabs that will bring you to the highway - P10/pax
From the highway - you may ride a jeep or bus going to SM Naga – P15/pax – travel time was 15-25 minutes
Beside SM Naga is the Filcab Terminal where you will see vans going to Sabang port – P100/pax – travel time was 2-2.5 hours
From Sabang port – ride a boat going to Guilajo port – P120/pax – travel time was 2 hours
From Guijalo port – ride a tricycle going to Sentro – P100/tricycle – travel time was 30 minutes
Tricycle from Sentro going to Paniman jum off for island hopping – P100/tricycle


TRANSPORTATION:  (see above, air fare not included) – P345 one way/pax
ACCOMODATION: P1000 – aircon room at Rex Tourist Inn for 2 nights good for 2 pax
FOOD: P100/pax per meal
BOAT RENTAL: P2000 - Kuya Ramil - 09074351962


*you may opt to stay in Paniman so as to lessen transportation expenses
*you can bring food or canned goods to lessen meal expenses, there are also stores in Sentro where you can buy food

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