Related post: Revisiting the paradise island of CagbaleteFrom the original Pansacol and Villa Cleofas resorts, the eastern side (facing the Pacific ocean) now has at least 7 resorts. The two ferry boats servicing Mauban to Cagbalete island route now need to make several trips during weekends to accommodate the huge number of beach goers heading to one of the usual equipment resorts. Suddenly Cagbalete is not so hidden any more.
|hidden among the mangroves|
One resort however has kept a low profile and has stayed literally hidden. Tucked behind a wall of mangroves on the north western side of the island , Villa Pilarosa is away from the crowds on eastern shore and is still quite a distance from Sabang (Cagbalete's public port). In fact a tourism staff gave me a quizzical look when I indicated "Villa Pilarosa" while registering at the town's tourism office. "There is no resort with that name in Cagbalete..", she said. I smiled and just said, "its on the other side".
But the thing that would be very hard to miss is the huge expanse of shallow water, one of the clearest I have ever seen, along the resort's beach line.
|out for a swim|
Cagbalete's best swimming area
|perfect for a midday swim|
Cagbalete's signature low tideWhen tide gets low in Cagbalete island, the water really disappears (especially on the eastern side) and you can see the pattern the waves have temporarily etched on the sand. On the eastern side the water can recede to as far as 800 meters from the usual shoreline and the dry area can stretch for kilometers.
Related post: amazing Cagbalete low tide
Starry starry nightVilla Pilarosa's magic did not end at sundown. No time for sleep here, not when the sky dazzled with a billion stars. Fireflies lingered in some of the mangroves and occasionally meteors streaked by.
Colorful sunriseBy the time you think you have enough of the stars and the fireflies and gets ready to hit the sack, its time for sunrise. There is no shortage of beautiful mangroves along Villa Pilarosa's shoreline.
Villa Pilarosa's rustic appeal
You'll have to bring your food for cooking though and the resort does not have short orders. The staff will happily buy the supplies for you at Mauban market - that's one less thing to worry about.
Update 2016/01/23: If you are a large group (16-20 pax), you can just hire a boat to take you straight from Mauban to Villa Pilarosa. [Contact Mang Tedison +63-0947-614-1261]
Travel tipsConvinced on spending a summer weekend here? Here are a few tips :)
From Manila by busIf you leave Manila by 11PM - 12 midnight, you would be the Lucena Grand terminal around 3-4AM. You can then get catch the first bus to Mauban, arriving there just before sunrise. There are regular trips from JAC and JAM bus lines in both their Kamuning and Buendia stations. Fare is 210 - 220 pesos
Environmental fee and boat ratesYou'll have to register and pay the environmental fee (50.00 pesos) at Mauban's new tourism office. It used to be by the entrance to the port but now its located near Gat Uban's statue along Mauban's "baywalk".
|Mauban port area|
Public ferryboat (M/B Neneng and M/B St. Anthony) fare is 50 pesos. but if you want to rent your own boat, here are the rates as of April 2015 (one way and round trip boat rental):
- 1-2 pax - 1000, 1500
- 3-5 pax - 1500, 2000
- 6 pax - 2000, 2500
- 7-8 pax - 2500, 3000
- 9-10 pax - 3000, 3500
- 11-15 pax - 3500, 4000
- 16-20 pax - 4000, 5000
|Sabang - Cagbalete's public port area|