Long Weekend Castaways in Calaguas Island | Camarines Norte

On the northern part of Camarines Norte in Bicol, facing the wide open Pacific Ocean, a group of uninhabited islands scatters undisturbed, forming a beautifully formed dotted nature haven.

Lauren Denoga

We docked and camped for the night at "Mahabang Buhangin," a long stretch of fine white sand beach. The journey from Manila to the Calaguas Islands was strenuous, buttock-numbing, and long (10 hours from Manila), but seeing the pure, refined, glittering white sands and the crystal clear blue sea water made the long journey all worthwhile.

Our journey began around 9 p.m. on Maundy Thursday from the Superlines terminal in Cubao (on a bus bound for Daet, Camarines Norte). We arrived in Labo's Baranggay Talobatib around 4:00 a.m. We took a tricycle to the Paracale fishport, where we arrived around 4:30 a.m. We found a boatman (Joachim) who offered to take us to Mahabang Buhangin for 2,500 pesos after resting for a while.

Calaguas guide

We were able to negotiate the boat ride fee down to 2,200 pesos, and the three of us (Me, Lauren, and Sharlyn) were already on our way by 5:30 AM. We passed through the sleepy fishport town, where we saw fishermen launching their boats into the sea just as the sun was rising over the horizon.

The two-hour boat ride to Calaguas Islands can feel like an eternity with the boat engine buzzing in our ears and the open sea wind caressing my face. However, as we passed by Maculabo Island (one of Calaguas' few islands), my eyes became preoccupied with staring ahead and realizing that "Mahabang Buhangin" is just over the horizon. As we got closer, I noticed a few people camped out on the island.

Eileen Campos

From a distance, I thought the sands were ordinary, but as our boatman Joachim and Francois (our made of names for them) docked the small fishing boat and we jumped into the knee-deep water, I saw with my own eyes the island's pristine condition. As it turns out, the pure white sands that everyone has been talking about (to the point of saying it's better than Boracay) is not a myth.

Eileen Campos

We set up camp and quickly prepared our brunch of sausage, bacon, and delicious bread. After satiating our hunger from our long journey, we dashed to the water and spent a couple of hours swimming under the sun's full gleam.

Eileen Campos

The island is ideal for lazing around worrying about nothing in particular. We simply appreciated the awesome and splendor sight of the island and topped it off with a conversation over cans of beer. At night, we built a small bonfire far from the beach, ate Spam and boiled eggs (no gourmet chefs among us), and tried to get drunk on a bottle of "The Bar."

The sun also sets directly on the opposite side of the island so visitors can view the sun as it makes it way and disappear at the edge of the sea.

Sunset Photography

Aside from a few nipa huts where the caretakers live, the island is desolate. To spend the night on the island, you must bring a tent, a stove, and a large plastic bag for your trash. Make a point of leaving your campsite as clean as you found it when you arrived. The Calaguas Islands are an excellent place to spend the night.

Jomie Naynes

You can also visit the other islands surrounding "Mahabang Buhangin" to enhance your travel experience. We spent the entire Good Friday here before departing first thing on Black Saturday morning to continue our holy week journey to Bagasbas Beach in Daet, Camarines Norte.