Cagbalete Island in Mauban, Quezon (eastern side of Luzon, Pacific Ocean) is one of my most favorite destination. Ironically I have not written about it until now (a friend wrote extensively about our sojourn there in his blog libot).
Its a gem of an island off the coast of Mauban (4-5 travel hours from Manila, great directions on how to go there from this site - maintained by one of the resort owners. Some of my photos ended up in their gallery) with white sand beaches that can rival those in the popular resorts here in the Philippines.
From Mauban, its a 45 minute boat ride to the island. There are usually two trips daily, one in the morning (around 10AM) and another in the afternoon. Folks from Cagbalete constantly commute to Mauban to get supplies or to conduct trade. Cagbalete produces lambanog - a vodka like liquor fermented from sasa (a palm-like tree that usually grows on marshes and river banks).
The island is bordered by Lamon Bay in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east. It is privately owned but there is a small fishing community, called Sabang, in the southwestern part of the island.
During low tide (at around 8AM and another one at around 9PM), a huge expanse of beach in the eastern side of the island is transformed into a desert like landscape. The water recedes almost 800 meters from the shore.
Cagbalete also has a diverse wildlife ecosystem. It is home to a variety of species of birds and land animals. You'll be able to see flocks of birds feeding on crustaceans and small fishes trapped in pools of water during low tide.
For those who can wake up early, Cagbalete's east side offers a great view of Pacific sunrise.
But alas the rainy days are here! The mighty Pacific cooks up a storm on a weekly basis. I guess we all have to long for Cagbalete until the next summer.
More Cagbalete photos here.