Saturday, August 10, 2013

Babuyan's Calayan Island - Nature At Its Best


Water is my element. I feel more alive when I'm immersed in water. Bring me to the mountains and I would die of extreme sadness. That's the mermaid side of me. Calayan, being an island town, is blessed with natural wonders that provided me my happy water fix. My gills and fins were so delighted.

The group hired a motorboat for 3,000 pesos (300 pesos/pax) for a 2-day island hopping/exploring series. Almost one hour of boat ride and we arrived at the jump-off point for the trek to the waterfalls we were eyeing for that day. And upon seeing the nice coral formations from the shore we hurriedly grabbed our snorkels and dove into the waters. The sharp rocky seabed left some of us with deep scratches on our legs and feet. Be extra careful.

chino ruining my moment
'di ba dapat may sand?

happiness
After the fun snorkeling jaunt, we started our trek to our first destination - the Bataraw Falls. It's such an easy trek considering that I detest any form of trekking. We needed to hike a rocky hill to reach the falls and when we got there, the group went on their separate ways to look for their chosen spots to capture the falls. I wanted to swim on its basin but I was too lazy didn't want to be an obstruction for the shutterbugs. So I just settled on my own spot and savor that moment.

short and easy trek. pfft
Bataraw Falls
Next stop was the Caanawan Falls. This one was a challenging trek. I remembered how I hated the trek to the Hydro Falls in Baguio last year and promised myself to not engage in any "challenging treks" ever again. But as they say, never say never. I don't wanna miss this chance to explore the island so I let myself suffer and conquer the trek for I may not be able to go back there again. 

We started to trek on a stream where the water seemed to be flowing from the falls. We just followed Aldrin (son of Tita Connie - our gracious host) and trekked for almost 40 minutes. Everything was slippery. The water, the rocks and my slippers. I almost fell in one of those slippery rocks. I just hated the trekking part just to see a waterfalls. If only there's an easier way.

The falls didn't fail us though. It was gushing hard even the water was not enough to fill its basin. We were all so excited and grabbed our cameras to capture its glory. And then I saw Chino posing for the cameras. I joined them and learn how to pose the Chino way. Instant modeling class.

me hate trekking on slippery rocks
wishing for more water for a good swim
chino posing
modeling class 101 - me failed
The next day, we were scheduled to go to other scenic spots on the island. First in order was the Malansing Cave and Falls. The 1-hour boat ride was such a feast for the eyes. It was like we were teleported in a far away place where time was of no value and all you have to do is watch nature as it passes by. Truly amazing. The rock formations, the grasslands and the crashing waves. I've never dreamt of going to Batanes anytime soon but this changed my mind about it. 

And then we reached the natural wonder of Malansing Cave and Falls. It's a waterfalls gushing on the mouth of a cave. Words just can't describe how beautiful it is. We all dove into the water and swam our way to its basin. The undercurrent was strong so we needed to tread harder and when we finally got there, we stayed there for as long as we could. I tried to get inside the cave but the water seemed to be fighting against me. I guess I am not welcome inside. 

This is a happy waterfalls for me. And I consider it as my favorite. Easy to reach. Near the sea. No trekking. Right on top of a cave. Truly one-of-a-kind.





Malansing Cave and Falls
Sibang Beach was one of the much awaited part of this trip. One can either travel by land and trek a good 30 minutes or ride a boat to get into this beach. We tried both ways and I am so recommending the boat trip. 

The Sibang Beach is very charming. The virgin beach is still uninhabited. The sand was ivory in color and no traces of rocks can be seen on the seabed. The clear blue waters with its mighty waves convinced me that this is truly a happy beach. I could stay there for the whole day and just bask in the sun. Doing nothing. Such a pleasure. 

We were set to camp on the beach the next day and the boat ride under the night sky with bright moon above was very romantic. We chose our campsite and the guys went on to set the tents. And then we boozed up 'till dawn. I slept somewhere near the shore remembering my childhood summer days in Zambales where we would dug ourselves up in the sand and sleep under the stars and the moon with nothing to worry about. 

the view of Sibang beach from a hill

buwis-buhay stunts
Sibang Beach
very Survivor
boozing up at night
Nagudungan Hill was a few kilometers away from our base camp and we were set to hike up the hill the morning after and experience the so-called jaw-dropping view from the hill. I heard from them (they researched) that this was one of the highlights of this trip. I was, as expected, falling behind the group on the hike. Arriving at the top of the hill was the climax of our Calayan trip. It was really jaw-dropping (jaw-breaking according to Chino. laglag-panga?). I just took a few shots and tucked myself in one of the trees there (I tried climbing but failed) and put on my Ipod on shuffle mode. The pleasure of doing nothing with a great view as backdrop. Just perfect. 


very sound of music
Nagudungan Hill


Chino and Harold
love our tan
i.am.small
We explored some of the scenic spots on the island for the whole duration of our stay. Our almost 5-day stay on the island was well spent. More of a vacation than a do-it-yourself trip. No ridiculous entrance fees just to see all those natural wonders. No haggling with boatmen and tour guides. Just us and nature at its best.

We planned to go to Camiguin Island but the bad weather didn't permit us to carry on. It seemed that we were destined to be stranded for a few more days on Calayan for some reason. Reason which I believe caused so much bliss in my life. This is one of my favorite trips so far. The place, the group and the experience - all intertwined. You cannot separate one from the other. One of those rare moments that everything complimented.


21 comments:

  1. I miss Chino! I miss these kind of travel too! Nice pics Blissful Teacher!

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  2. ganda ng sibang beach!! gusto ko din mapuntahan yan!

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  3. kakainggit talaga.. gustong gusto ko rin sana mapuntahan to.

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  4. napanganga ako sa sibang beach!!!! ang ganda sobra

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  5. Ganda talaga, can't help but staring at it the whole time :D Yung photo :D
    Jaw-breaking hihihiihhihi // Yuck ang laki ng tiyan ko hihihi

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    1. jaw breaking talaga eh noh. haha. ang arte. di ka nga tumataba eh! :P

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  6. Mam, We are planning to visit Calayan on April 29-May 7. Magkano po bayad nyo sa guide? Thanks.

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    1. hi jane. walang bayad ang guide at spots. yung boat lang talaga ang binayaran namin :)

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  7. were going there too and also in camiguin would you know kung may guide fees po sa camiguin? We were asked kasi na mag prep lang kami ng guide fees kaya I was hesitant..

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    1. hi abby! i dunno about camiguin eh pero sa calayan kasama na sa boat namin dati yun :)

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  8. very useful post:) Most of all I wonder about Canawan falls - in the pictures its imagine place:)) Malansing fall looks like dangerous( I think there in the caves many bats (I am so scare this kind of animals:)But in general you organized very nice rest:)

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  9. Hello there maam! I was searching the net para sa mga travel guides sa babuyan group of islands kasi napanood ko sya sa tv and gusto ko talaga puntahan ung place. Ask ko lang po sana if how much overall expenses nyo and ano po pwede nyo bigay na tips on making diy trip to babuyan? :) thank you sooo much!!!!!!!

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    1. Hi Maarg. Siguro best time to go there is during the months of March to April kasi medyo predictable ang weather. Pag may konting hangin kasi hindi na pinapayagan ng coastguard ang paglalayag eh. mag set ka din ng extra days para in case ma cancel yung boat may extra day ka pa :)

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