Aguirangan Island: Perfect Indulgence
For weekend warriors, surviving a long weekend holiday without an outdoor activity is nearly impossible. It’s a compulsive itching for a new destination to explore, be it a new island experience or gorging on the latest buffet treats in town. I almost didn’t survive that one long weekend of November if not for a friend who was also looking for the same quick yet idyllic getaway.
Aguirangan Island is a small paradise along the Lagonoy Gulf in Camsur. It measures only about 1.5 hectares on cold turquoise water. It is edged by ivory sand coast on the side facing Presentacion and Lagonoy while the other side is framed by magnificent rock platforms. The surrounding 360-degree view from the Rose Islet as some calls it, is wonderful excess. Mt. Mayon from the western side can be seen in its full cone shape on a clear day. On the northern part is the imposing Mt. Isarog gently capped by clouds. The Lagonoy mountain ranges on the eastern side stretches down south until it fades out from your sight. True enough, big surprises come in small packages!
For beach bums who would just like to laze around, walking on Aguirangan’s fine sand of powdered corals, snorkeling on clear shallow water and the hammocks on trees are such sweet island delights. For those who dare to bring it to the next level of adventure, this tropical island bliss is also one of the best dive spots in Camsur. Submarine canyons, coral formations and whole lot of underwater spectacles are all yours to marvel.
Aguirangan is just be a speck of the many islands scattered around Camsur and is usually regarded as an exciting prelude to the widely advertised Caramoan Group of Islands. While it may form part of what lies ahead along the Pacific, this island has a distinct character and offers a combo retreat of cold blue water, glistening ivory sand beachline and endless panorama of geographical landmarks.
Finding Camsur’s best retreats need not to be far. Infact, some of its stellar islands are just within a quick boat ride away that offers a perfect relaxing weekend. Aguirangan is a certified wanderlusts’ paradise that saved me from near-death boredom. We went back to mainland realizing how a quick single pick can provide the whole lot we were looking for.
By Private Vehicle (From Manila or any parts of Luzon)
- Drive 8 hours to Naga City, Camarines Sur passing by Quezon Province and parts of Camarines Norte.
- From Naga City, drive to Sabang in the Municipality of San Jose, Camarines Sur. This takes about 45 minutes.
- From Sabang Port, hire a motorized outrigger boat to Aguirangan Island.
- Take the bus from Cubao in Manila to Naga City. Recommended bus lines are Penafrancia Tours, RSL Lines & Isarog Lines. The terminal is located infront of Farmer’s Market.
- Upon reaching Naga Terminal in Naga (SM Mall area), transfer to a van for hire that plies the Naga-Sabang route. This ends in the port area in Sabang.
- From the port, ask for guide/boat services around.
- Boat fees range from P1,000-P1,500 depending on the size of the boat.
- Parking fees are P75 for about 12 hours and P150 for overnight.
- Maintenance fee in the island is P20 per pax.
- Bus fare from Manila costs P800-P1,000 depending on the bus line and the type of accommodation you will avail.
- Bring food and water as there are no stores in the island.
- Not recommended to sleep overnight in the island but should you desire to camp out for the night, bring necessary camping gears & make sure you make your boatman stay with you.
- Naga City has more accommodation choices. But if you want to stay around Partido District, there are Spartan hotels in Sabang or across the island is the Aguirangan View Hotel. Personally I suggest staying in Naga because daytrip in the island is already worth it.
- Tip for the boatmen is not a requirement but would be greatly appreciated since that’s their only source of living.
- Sidetrips would be: Kinahulogan Falls in Lagonoy, Deer Farm in Ocampo and the centuries old Parish of St. Claire in Tigaon.
- If you plan to fly down south, check out the internet for promo fares (www.airphilexpress.com and www.cebupacific.com)
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Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors. I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more