Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PANSACOLA BEACH RESORT – Cagbalete Island, Mauban Quezon.

Date of Travel: 19 - 21 May 2011

How to Get there.
Cubao to Lucena - Jac Liner Bus (FREE WIFI Baby!) – P209.50
Travel time: About 3hrs, if you travel during the wee hours. About 4 to 5 hrs going home.
Expect the Bus to pick up passengers along the way especially when home bound.
*Drop off is at Lucena Grand Terminal where you can board the bus to Mauban as well. If you boarded the bus hungry, there are food stalls and fastfoods here you can replenish in, oh and buy pasalubongs too. Public comfort rooms are also available, just ready your P5.

Lucena to Mauban – NCR Lines – P54
Travel time: about an hour.
*Ordinary bus, expect smoking locals every now and then.
*Tell the Bus Conductor that you’re headed Cagbalete Island and ask to be dropped off where nearest. We got off walking distance to the port.
*If you plan to buy stuffs from the local market, he can arrange a farther drop off , but then you’ll have to take a tricycle to get to the port.

Mauban to Cagbalete Island – 60ish seater boat – P40
Travel time: about an hour and since the tide is usually low, another small-boat transfer is required to draw near Cagbalete’s shore (Sabang Port).
*Prepare to drench your feet as early as your first contact with the island so fold your trekking pants and expect wet feet.
*Mauban to Cagbalete Boats leave at 10AM and 3:30PM daily.
*Cagbalete to Mauban Boats leave at 7:30AM and 1PM.
*Be sure to alot time to have your pictures taken with the statue of Gat Uban.
*The Cagbalete boat Departure location  is different from where it Arrives coming from the island.
You’ll figure it out when you return from the island.

Now off to Pansacola Beach Resort.
From the island, there are two ways to get to the resort. Take the scenic land route or take the scenic sea route. We walked. With kids, no matter how hard we decline, persisted with their service of guiding us to our destination. Cagbalete has a huge community you’ll slice your way into, much like APO island in Zamboangita, Dumaguete. For kicks, torture yourself a little more and do the 20minute walk under the angry sun. If you also need further supplies, now's the time to replenish.

But honestly, if you have lots of stuff to carry with you, the P50/head boat ride aint that bad at all.

Don’t expect a lobby or a reception area at Pansacola. Head on over to their Kitchen HUT, and make your presence known. Surely they’re expecting your company ready to serve your first meal.

5meals. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and Miriendas in between. For once, Get the Food Package, Pay the fee; forget about bringing food and water. Beer is at P45 (Redhorse and Pale) Vodka Ice is at P60. Must say it’s worth it. Go get wasted.

Expect that most Huts are open with just a fence like partition to maintain airflow. The island relies on generators for electricity. Power turns on at 5PM and turns off at around 7AM the following day. 2:1 A Mattress, 2 pillows and a blanket are provided to accommodate 2people. They provided 1 electric fan for our batch of 6. Just enough to drive mosquitoes away and boost the cold night breeze further. A common CR is available but also partitioned by tree-branch-fences a-top of the cement walls. If you’re a six footer monster, you’re sure to show off a nipple or two when taking a bath. Just borrow a monoblock seat so you can bathe seated. They have showers in the bath areas powered by a pump, try taking a bath when the other is in use and expect pressure to die down to pee strength. Theres always an old skool pump just outside, if you fancy a “Pumping Scene”. (Hik)

Don’t expect A1 service from the servants, heck, even from the Owners. Although we’ve seen some they have treated fairly warm. We are not snobs nor complainers but a simple smile and some warm greetings in the morning is a kick off more than brewed coffee.  Besides, we came all the way from Manila, at least acknowledge our presence when we arrive, right? I speak not just for myself but for the rest of the people Im with during the stay, all by experience. But hey, you just might get lucky and get special treatment, YMMV.

  • White sand beach. 
  • Some shards of unfine sand and blasted shells. (Perhaps due to local dynamite fishing). 
  • Roughly a kilometer of sand, or knee high water levels when you walk beach-ward, during low tides. 
  • Some mud like sand packets (Soft goo like spots).
  • Lots of weeds floating about, usually in the afternoon.
Explore and walk to the left side of the island facing the sea and find your spot. We found ours at the front of the local cemetery. Water there is awesome. Gradual decline in sand level. Not too shallow, Just right.  Don’t bother bringing your Skim and Surf Boards, you’ll find no waves at Cagbalete. Unless you’ll leave for another spot by boat, you can do without your snorkels as well.

Things to do on the Island.
None. Eat after every 3hours, and Just bum around. Maybe do a butong pakwan marathon with your friends, or read a book. Well, bring lots of em.. You may hire a local boat to tour you around some scenic spots for P500, dont forget to bring your camera, (or you can spend the money on beer at night) or rent a self paddled boat to go burn skin. 
Cagbalete is a heaven for those who appreciate solemness and all those autistic shits. No banana boat rides, no henna tattooers, no night life... laid back. Just steer clear of weekends as em kids bring along their Noise and the owner pumps up the sound system with Disco music. Yeah, that Boracay and Ermita feel.

TreeHut - P2000/6
Food -  P900/2days
Jac Liner Bus – P209.50x2
NCR Bus – P54x2
Boat to Cagbalete Island – P40x2
Boat from Pansacola to Cagbalete (Going Home) – P50
Tricycle from Mauban port to NCR Bus Terminal – P10


Would I return to Cagbalete Island?  
Yes but not at Pansacola. You know there are people who appreciates simple joys; Values service and acquaintance above all else. We didn’t receive that at  Pansacola Beach Resort. They serve our food and pass us by almost 5times a day, and not even a connection was established. Although the food and lodging package is bordering on OK and Expensive, Im sold with the bounty of food we were served. Its just that one thing they failed to provide, good service.
If you want a laid back beach vacation, literally man, this is the place to beach bum. That it, dawg.

Now Peechurs.
Mauban Port.
Gat Mauban Park.
This is where Cagbalete stocks and passengers board. Farther in the horizon is where you'll board off going home.
 NCR Old skool buses. Morning trip, sit at the left side to avoid the sun.
CAGBALETE Island and its Community.
Sabang Port: Prepare to get wet, knee high. Oh and be surprised at how many people lives in the Island.
Waiting for coconuts to fall.
 Kids, mango peeling.
The Tree house we stayed in.
Below the tree house. 
An Electric fan, Mattresses, Pillows and blankets are provided. Notice that its an open room with walls made from tree branches.
Two Baths and a Toilet in the middle. There's also a wash station and in front of that, an Old skool water Pump (not seen). Notice the bathroom walls are open and covered with tree branches as window rails.
Upon arrival, This is what greeted us. Death by Crispy Pata...
GG stands for Galungong.
Roasted Green Fish, Liempo and Jackfruit.. Theres ripe-mango for deserts too.
Mirienda: Pancit Habhab (Noodles with veggies, flavoured with Vinegar) and Palitaw (flattened rolled flour with shredded coconut and sugar.)
Mirienda:Pansit and Turon (Sliced bananas wrapped in Spring Rolls then fried with sugar.)
Mirienda:Another variation of Pansit and Fried Sweet Potato.
The Beach.
During mornings, the good and bad mountain reveals themselves.
Newly arrived guests are welcomed by flood high walk to Pansacola Beach resort.
Killing the Boredom.

You'll find a lot of these cuties along the shore. Dont forget to bring your Pokeball. :) 
Patrons offer Massage services for only P250.