When I came from the United States to live in the Philippines, probably the biggest misconception that I had was that there would be beaches everywhere and I could just go swim in the ocean any time I wanted to. After living here for 2 years, I now absolutely love Manila, but I still crave the ocean like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve had very few chances to actually get away for a swim. So when my husband’s workmates organized a team-building getaway to Cagbalete Island, I was on board right away!
As we got further and further from the hustle and bustle of the big city, I got to enjoy all the beautiful sights nature has to offer—something the Philippines has indeed no shortage of. Mountains, trees, creeks; we saw it all and it made the six-hour drive well worth it. When we arrived in Maubon, we were disappointed to hear that the ferry had already left. We had arrived early, but the ferry had filled up early, as well. We ended up having to hire a private boat to take us to the island, and while we waited for things to be sorted out, we enjoyed our first glimpse of the ocean.
While we waited for the boatmen to load all of our things up, there were a bunch of kids hanging around showing off, diving for coins that we threw into the water. I swear, these kids must be half fish!
After about a 45 minute boat ride, we arrived on the shore of Villa Noe Beach Resort! Or at least we arrived near the shore. See, it was low tide when we arrived and there was a lot of seaweed leading up to the beach, so we couldn’t get very close. After transferring to a smaller boat which got us a little bit closer, we still had to wade quite a ways to the shore while carrying all our things! It started our day off with a fun and unexpected adventure.
Everybody unpacked and relaxed. There was about 20 of us in our group, so we had two large huts to accommodate us all. Once everything was unloaded, the dinner crew started cooking, while the rest of us waited and watched the tide. One thing to keep in mind if you’re going to visit Cagbalete—there’s only a beach when the tide is in, so don’t expect to be able to swim all day long! After arrival, we had to wait a couple hours for the waters to return as the shore was just a mess of seaweed and sand without it. My husband and I poked around the beach and found crabs, starfish, and collected shells while we waited.
Once the tide finally rolled in, a bunch of us jumped in the water with delight! It was already evening, but the water was so warm and refreshing. It’s a very shallow beach; so great for kids and families! There were picnic tables and chairs placed strategically around the beach, so you could just leave your towel and slippers behind while you jumped in, feeling the sand between your toes!
All in all, we had a wonderful weekend getaway, playing around in the sun, sand and sea! I finally got the dose of seawater that I’d been longing for, and I can’t wait until our next trip!
Villa Noe Beach Resort
Cagbalete Island, Maubon, Quezon