And what a day Day 1 was. Got to surf, got to check out the festival, got to meet the locals, got to eat good Bicol food and got to chill at the Reggae fest. Daet’s a lot of fun.
I didn’t drink a lot during the Reggae fest – a couple of Pale Pilsen and that’s it. The promise of surf in the morning was all I can think about. So, woke up in the morning around 6:30am. That’s early right. Well apparently not that early in Bagasbas.
Around 7am Sunday morning Bagasbas beach was already packed with people from all walks of life. It’s a great sight to behold especially on top of the Bagasbas lighthouse just along the boulevard.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much swell pumping. The waves were small and the interval’s quite long. There were a few surfers out trying get whatever they can get and here were also beginners learning to surf. But I had only a few minutes to surf if ever I did go out so I decided not to surf anymore. But Bagasbas beach, I can see how good surfing here is on a better day.
So I went back to our hotel. Our tour guide Jeff was already there and everyone was packing up for our trip to Calaguas! Here we go! Our jump off point was at Paracale, a town just near Daet. From there we hopped a boat at the fish port. Calaguas is no more than 2 hours away.
Welcome to the Philippine tropics! On the way to Calaguas you can see other islands with white sand with rolling hills and tropical trees lining up. Any surfer is a beach lover and a being beach lover is part of being a Filipino. Island hopping is truly one of life’s greatest pleasure and how blessed are we to have a country full of Islands.
And in less than 2 hours, touchdown Calaguas! This long stretch of white sand is called Halabang Baybay or Mahabang Buhangin in Tagalog. The water here is so crystal clear it’s ridiculous.
Here’s the GMA Crew probably telling each other how awesome this place is.
Floating in Calaguas. Kat and Rozie relaxing and of course I had put down my camera and join them.
After swimming and getting a sunburnt it was time for lunch. What’s served? Probably the boss of Bicolano food. LAING!!!
After eating a hefty lunch we got to have a little siesta. And by siesta we meant beer.
There’s a “sari-sari” store at Calaguas. Well, the store is just a table under the shade of a tree. Here you can find the necessities. Soft drinks, beer, water and some chips can be bought. Just don’t expect to get your refreshments ice cold.
Put on some light music on the mini speakers, occasionally go dipping and go back to finish your beer. That’s vacation.
And while the afternoon burns away, our awesome tour guides/chefs were already preparing dinner. Ihaw ihaw for tonight says I!
Quite unbelievable our Manong Cook prepared SISIG for us. More beer please.
At the west end of Mahabang Buhangin you can climb a mini hill to get an overlooking view of the island. This is the way to the top. The trail looks mysterious and it is awesome.
At the top, you get an enthralling view of the beach and the nature that surrounds.
That magical hour that is the sunset.
And of course we drank that night. This local drink is made in Camarines. Its says Vodka but its not really vodka I believe its more of Tuba or Lambanog. I just drank it and it tasted good so we went on and finished the whole bottle.
Our session was primarily made of ghost stories, ancient aliens and more ghost stories. My friends I have a wonderful collection of ghost stories that will shake you to the very core and I’d gladly share them with you. Ask me the next time you see me.
Marthin and Zinnia Villarin of ONESPORT Magazine getting sandy on a fine Calaguas night.
The morning after. We slept in our tents that was provided by our tour.
Some of us did have a little more local Vodka than the others
and those who didn’t, woke up really early and did yoga at the beach
Look at the sand. Fine fine white sand. That’s Calaguas in the morning.
the water is
you gotta go
We left Mahabang Buhangin after lunch and went back to Daet and left for Manila in the afternoon. That concludes our wonderful time at the 5th Bagasbas Summer Surf Festival and our memorable trip to Calaguas. That’s probably the best weekend me and my girlfriend had this year so far. We will be back for sure.
Camarines Norte isn’t just another province of the Philippines. Camarines Norte is a treasure-filled destination for Filipinos and foreigners alike. It only takes about roughly 8 hours to go to Daet and from there, well, you can choose your own adventure. There’s lots of destinations and activities to do here and we would love nothing but to explore them all.
*Many thanks to Atty Debbee Francisco of the Provincial Tourism of Camarines Norte for giving us the warmest accommodation and tour. Thanks also to Jeff Gahol, the most awesome tour guide ever. And of course, to Joey Cuerdo who organized the whole festival along with Thea Yusay. Thank you do the experience and hope the event gets bigger and bigger every year – to further help and support local surfers, local communities and the local tourism. Hope to see you next year!
Friends, add Come to Cam Norte on Facebook. They have tours and packages that will give you the best time in Daet and Calaguas. They will take care of everything.