Bliss is defined by Merriel-Webster as “complete happiness”. If any beach bum who visited Tinaga Island (one of the two major islands in the Calaguas Group of Islands, approximately eight kilometers long) never felt as close as this during their stay, then someone should kick me far up my … @_@
Move back a year, I showed my dad pictures, videos and my blog entry of our first stint – with a little convincing, a trip was set for 2012 without a definite date. Diana also pursuaded her family to join.
Chris also provides tour packages for Ilocos, Sagada, Baguio and more. To check his Facebook page, click here
I contacted Chris (09063052235) a few months ago to set up a trip back to Camarines Norte last November 24-25 of 2012. This time, we consists of 20 pax (family and friends) and had to rent 2 vans. We discussed the pick-up points, meal plans, boat rental, departure time et al.
If you wish to visit Calaguas, I highly recommend him! He grew up here but now he’s based in Manila. I guarantee that your stay will be enjoyable and relaxing as possible.
We left Manila around 2300H and arrived at Paracale 0700H the following morning. A light breakfast consisting of Pancit (P10 per order) and pandesal + coffee courtesy of Chris. It took a 2-hr boat ride to Tinaga Island
HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL POINTERS I PICKED-UP DURING OUR STAY
1. FOOD – This is pre-arranged with Chris and included on the package. You may advise him if you or your guests have allergies on certain foods. You can make special request on which meal or delicacy you would like to try. Food is plenty, so enjoy (burp!)
2. TENT ACCOMMODATION – Included also in the package, but if you don’t mind the extra baggage, bring your own.
3. ENTRANCE and REGISTRATION - There is no registration needed, however, you have to pay an entrance fee of P100 per pax, for staying at privately owned parts of Tinaga Island. We stayed at the barangay owned area (located at the middle part of Tinaga, for only P25 per pax – This was also included on the package. (Rates are applicable as of 2012) .
4. HYGIENE and DISPOSAL OF WASTE – There is a nearby cemented bathing facility with toilet but no shower. You have to pay P10 per pail (or P10 per person, if you took a bath at the nearby “poso”).
5. ISLAND HOPPING, TREKKING & SNORKELING – Ideal if your stay is more than 2 days (It may take at least a day to do this activities). For overnight stay only, I suggest relaxing at the shores of Tinaga Island instead. For snorkeling, instruct the boatman to set course at the outlying areas of Tinaga Island and Guintinua Island (we were able to visit this), because most of the coral in the inner areas are dead.
Bouquet made of felt fabric courtesy of Ms. Cheryl Malayon. You may contact her through Facebook by clicking here
6. IDEAL VENUE FOR PRENUP PICTORIALS
7. OTHER ACTIVITIES YOU CAN ENJOY – beach bumming, swimming, drinking, frisbee-ing (courtesy of Oneil and Eloi) and fishing.
If the Barangay Captain offered a Videoke during your stay at Tinaga Island (Yes! we had electricity for lights, courtesy of a generator arranged by Chris), DO NOT PAY FIRST! unless it has been set-up and running. In our case, we were offered but it never arrive! Make arrangements directly to the boatman instead.
Thanks again to Chris, KC (for all the laughs!), Kuya “cook” and to the other locals (sorry forgot your names!) who made our vacation memorable. We will surely return!