Caramoan 2016

[December 16-18, 2016]Nikki and I are bestfriends since our nene 2nd year highschool days. Those times where we would get kilig over when we see our crushes, when “texting” was just becoming a thing (there’s even no unli yet!) and those times where one can spend the day just talking about anything (and not get crazy when there’s no Wi-Fi).

Since Nikki’s boyfriend, Andrei, permanently lives in Minnesota, USA for a good 5-6 years now and will visit the Philippines for the Christmas vacation, Nikki decided to plan for a beach get-away. According to her, it’s been a while since Andrei had been to a good beach. I’ve suggested Palawan, Boracay, Cebu, Kalanggaman Island (Leyte) and Isla Gigantes (Iloilo) but because of budget and schedule constraints we’ve decided to just travel within Luzon– hence, Caramoan, the Survivor-featured island.

After weeks of searching for tours and accommodation, we decided to go with Residencia de Salvacion. For Php 3,875 per person, we got the following in the package. We paid a downpayment of Php 3,500 for the group and paid the rest upon check-out. [Disclaimer: Rate per person was discounted due to bad weather, it was supposed to be Php 4,375/pax.]

    • 1 1/2 days island hopping tour
    • 2 rooms with beachfront view (we were given the best rooms with the best view, too bad it was rainy at that time)
    • Complete meals with in-between snacks – they are very generous with the food which always include 1 seafood, 1 meat (either chicken or pork) and 1 vegetables
    • Free use of kayak/paddle boards (but we’re not able to use due to strong waves)
    • Pick-up/drop-off at Guijalo Port/bus terminal
    • Unlimited coffee/tea + free use of their common area with karaoke, movies and board games

Unfortunately, the Bicol region was experiencing Low Pressure Area at that time which caused heavy rains. We haven’t really maximized the trip and only went to 3 beaches, not even the main places to be visited. Good thing the accommodation itself was very comfortable. They even have a common area where on the 1st night, we played cards, Scrabble and watched movies. On the 2nd night, we used the karaoke to sing while we drink.

As a guide, here’s our itinerary:

Our (very) few beach photos below- all cloudy skies or muddy water (because of the water spilling from the mountains). Still it was a good time to spend with our newly engaged couple, Andrei and Nikki, and of course my love, Raphael.

Some travel tips:

  • You can book bus reservations online at https://bicolisarog.com/. Note there will be an extra convenience fee (Php 60.46) to be paid for the cheapest ticket.
  • If you arrive earlier at Naga terminal, check if the bus to Caramoan is still there. It usually leaves on-time at 6:30AM. This will save you some more sleeping time. Best especially during bad weather (we just got sea sick from taking the boat).
  • Buy food at the terminals- either at Naga Bus terminal or van terminal. The boat ride was a pain with a hungry stomach, add the strong waves and rainy weather.
  • Medicines or first-aids will come in handy. Raphael and I brought paracetamol and meclizine (for nausea on bus/boat rides) for the trip but forgot to buy some antacids. I have a history of hyper-acidity and because of the two-night drinkfest with very few water intake, the pain surfaced night of Day 2. There was no drugstore near the area but thank God our trusty guide had his first-aid and he had Kremil-S. Total lifesaver!!!

Hopefully the next time we’re back, the weather will be more favorable. *crossing fingers*

Have you been to Caramoan? Share with me your experience!

That’s it for now. <3 always, Irene

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