October here I come… This trip was supposed to be on the 1st of October unfortunately Cebu Pac need to cancel the trip due to aircraft problem.. So it was a dream for me to explore Hambil or Carabao island but it is really San Jose, Romblon, going back I used my Getgo points to get tickets for this trip ( you know, ang mahal ng roundtrip airfare Manila – Cariclan – Manila , ka price of some International airfare)… so ayun na nga, I used I think 13k points of getgo equivalent around 6k including taxes and baggage allowance. But since its October I want to do something bold again…
The Boat Ride
Carabao Island is 40 minute boat ride from Tabon Bay Caticlan. From Caticlan airport ride a tricycle going to Tabon fare is Php. 80 but to save from the airport I walked going to the highway and took a tricycle for Php 60. Scheduled boat ride is 9AM but the boat left at 10AM, fare Php 100.00.
The only means of transpo within the island is motorbike. There are options to roam around the island, rent a motorbike for Php. 500.00 half day or go for a tour for 5 hours for Php.500.00 excluding entrance fees.
From San Jose going to Lanas (where I check in motorbike cost Php.70.00 / one way).
Touring the island is one hell of an experience – AMBIVALENT. Going from one place to another is risky #buwisbuhay, the road is sloppy, rocky, muddy and there were edgy portions that caused adrenaline rush and heart pumping situations. Take note, we dont have any helmet or what so ever ( hindi daw uso sa kanila yon)… So what would I do was to trust my tour guide, pray and enjoy the scenery.
Viola! Its really good to enjoy new and exciting things again (buti na lang talaga, I had a warm up with the extreme rides last weekend, so nasa kondisyon ang katawang lupa ko).
A. Kuding-kuding point
First stop is just breath taking. Awed with the view and couldnt help but smile how wonderful life is.
You need to pay for the care taker Php. 50.00 for sight seeing and if you plan to swim its Php. 100.00
B. Ngiriton Cave
Entrance fee is Php. 100.00 with fresh buko. Home of bats and limestones.
C. Nausa Beach
Calm, clean water. I find this place peaceful. As if I own the world. There were some rocks in the shoreline but its manageable.
D. Tanagan Beach
My favorite place of all. White sand and crystal water. Coconut trees were just alligned in the shore. If I could stay here forever, I will. It is said that this place is not part of the tour, only locals will enjoy this marvelous place.
It is named Tagaytay because it is situated at the peak of the mountain. Overlooking Boracay and puka beach. Perfect to end the day tour in a peaceful and quiet place. Entrance fee Pph. 50.00.
As we go along, we stopped to several towns for some breather and learned more about the culture of Romblon. We also passed constructing roads and airport. The island is gradually developing new infrastructures but the local government doesnt want to overly exposed the island to tourism.
I stayed in Carabao Backpackers Inn located in Lanas which is around 20 minutes from San Jose via motorbike. The owner, Mike is very helpful and accommodating. The place is quiet cheap at Php. 350.00 per night. During my visit Lanas beach is not that clean unlike the Tanagan, Nausa and San Jose beach. However, Lanas is one of the tour destination in the place.
Since it is off peak season there is no restaurant in the resort. You can only find only one eatery near the place and several sari-sari store.
Tip: just bring your own baon/ foods/ snacks … You can cook in the kitchen and use their utensils.
If given a chance, I think I should check inn somewhere in San Jose at least it is at the town proper and near the pier.
Though the Inn has poor wifi connection and smart connection. Better bring globe mobile data
I must say the locals are the best. They are very friendly and accommodating. Kudos to my tour guide Jess, he is the first person I met in the island since he brought me to Lanas. He is a registered tour guide and I didn’t hesitate to agree with him for a tour. My gut feel during the 20 min motor ride is he is a good person. We talked several things about the island and asked him some personal information (well, he is originally from Cam Norte and started a family in Carabao). While having lunch, I observed on how he deals with the locals which made up my mind to go on a tour with him.
During our tour, #tiwalalang . I made up my mind that he is a good person, I mean locals are nice and Filipinos are generally good. It is very risky to go with a stranger and entrust with him my life… To be honest, on our way to our first destination, Kuding-Kuding point, I’m very nervous because in able to reach the point we need to pass woods without any house and rocky road ( my pessimistic and judgmental self said: what if he is a killer, addict, holdapper, rapist or monster but my optimistic side kept on saying #tiwalalang). We were the only person in that area that time, kung may gawin man sya sa akin, walang makakaalam. Kahit na may care taker bago kami pumasok ng gubat…do they carr?… We reached and left the area safe… Doon ko napatunayan ang #tiwalang, I became comfortable with my tour guide so when we reached our next destinations I need not to worry even though the road seems leading to nowhere. Its my first time to experience the real extreme adventure without any gadgets and all.. Yung nga #tiwalalang talaga… We finished the tour and he brought me back to the Inn safe.
I also asked him to fetch me on my way back home on the 3rd day early in the morning since I need to catch up the 6am boat. He arrived at 5:40am … Actually, kinakabahan ako baka di sya sumulpot but he arrived at sobrang saya ko…
I also encountered different locals some employee of the resort, Inn and store owner. They are kind and nice as we engaged some stories and they talked about the island. They were also worried about me that I might not enjoy my stay because of thw stay but I told them that I had tour the island.
I really treasured this trip. The important lesson I’ve learned is to trust people and take risk by listening to your gut feel. If I didn’t go out of our comfort zone, we will never know what would await us and we can never appreciate things. I really love the locals’ way of care to tourist; no wonder why foreigners love our country.
I also need to plan out my travel and check all the logistics and strategize more to avoid hassles.
Jes – 09077871337