Caramoan: Surrender to Paradise
Charting the Philippine map, Caramoan Peninsula is a small municipality of the Province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region. It is a rugged mass of land located on the Northeastern tip of Camsur bounded by Maqueda Channel on the East & Lagonoy Gulf on the South. It is also beautifully hemmed in by the Pacific Ocean & having said that, you would immediately imagine one of the best holiday temptations—the beach.
Our journey started in Manila via AirPhil Express’ new fleet of Bombardier aircraft. We landed in Pili Domestic Airport at around 7AM catching the early rays of sun beaming from the famous Mt. Isarog. It was an early bummer though when we learned that the airline failed to load our checked-in bag containing our toiletries. After making several arrangements on how to deliver it through the next flight in, we hailed an airport cab to bring us to Sabang in the Municipality of San Jose. It may have been a pricey ride but we sure had a fast & comfortable trip as we experience the Bicolandia for the first time. Boarding in this part of the world was a sure fun. Muscled porters carry you on their broad & strong shoulders as they walk on waist-deep water to where the boat is docked!
The waves on the Camsur sea could sometimes be unforgiving. But this was an added thrill. We chose to sit on the roof of the boat on this two & a half hour sail without sunblock cream! Who would take notice of the heat, if you have an unlimited view of the sea, the blue sky & the beautiful coastal municipalities outlined by the murmuring ripples gently crawling on its white sand?
Arriving at Guijalo Port in Caramoan was another excitement. Whenever it’s low tide, be prepared to transfer on a smaller boat by taking a calculated jump from the boat’s outriggers.
The next mission was to reach Barangay Paniman & after the short negotiation, it was again another 20-minute show time as our tricycle hurdled the unpaved & deep crater-like road. I couldn’t help but yak about it but the driver assured us that what awaits us ahead will be worth the hassle. True enough, upon reaching La Playa Camp & Picnic Grounds, my jaw dropped in so much disbelief of the unspoiled scenery that was set before our eyes.
Caramoan boasts of more than 10 rosary of small islands formed by sharp rocks & highlighted by the lush greens of the trees woven into space. Each island offers a distinct enigmatic feel created by its natural formation & captivating velvety white sand. The coves offer a sense of privacy while you enjoy the dramatic play of natural light changing the color of the placid water. There are breath-taking islands that are wide open to the Camarines sun & its long stretch of powdery white sand are such wonderful playgrounds for the beach hungry.
Come to Caramoan.
- Fly from Manila to Pili, Camarines Sur. For great fare deals, check www.cebupacific.com or www.airphilexpress.com. Buses also travel regularly to Caramoan from Pasay in Manila but this can take a day’s journey.
- From the airport, you can hail a cab to drive you to Sabang, San Jose for P1,200. For budget travelers, take the V-Hires from SM to Sabang at P90 per head but be sure you’re early so can still catch the ferry’s schedule.
- From Sabang Port, take the ferry at P120 per passenger.
- Tricycle and single motorcycles are the best means to get around the Peninsula.
- Fare is not a power huddle & drivers are very courteous.
- For island hopping, boats can be rented at P1,500. This can accommodate at most 6 pax depending on the size of the boat. Tip is encouraged.