Cagbalete Island Itinerary 2D1N for less than 2k

Cagbalete Island

It was during our extended New Year’s Day celebration when my friend Ruby said one of her 2020 goals was to experience camping by the beach – marshmallows, bonfire, tent, waves, starry skies. Cagbalete Island comes to mind when considering a not expensive weekend trip on a white sand beach somewhere near Manila.

Below is our expenses during our Cagbalete Island experience.

EXPENSES PER PAX
BUS Manila – Lucena – Manila 514
VAN Lucena – Mauban – Lucena 130
BOAT Mauban Port – Sabang Port – Mauban Port 200
AC Room Accommodation (1000 / 5 pax) 200
Pansacola Beach Day Tour 200
Environmental Fee 50
Trike around Mauban 60
Foods and Baon 500
GRAND TOTAL 1854

To maximize this experience, the group should depart Manila by 2 or 3AM. Since some of us work the night shift, this is not possible. By leaving at 10AM, we could still catch up the last boat which departs at 4PM. We were at DLTB bus terminal few minutes before 10AM but the bus departed almost 12noon plus the traffic in EDSA which spelled our doom. Travel time is 3 to 4 hours and fare is 257 pesos.

We reached Lucena around 4PM and went for a quick toilet break before transferring to a van going to Mauban. We were at the tourism office few minutes past 5PM and we were told the last public boat departed at 4PM. Even private boats won’t be allowed by the Philippine Coast Guard to sail so we had no option but to stay in Mauban.

Sadly, we won’t be able to spend the night at the island. We then asked some locals for a resort where we can stay for the night. We were recommended to Lumberio’s Travelers Inn and we found a nice deal for 1000 pesos (divided by 5 = 200 each). There is a nearby barbeque-han and surprisingly, it only costs 15 pesos. I had 3 and a rice for just 55 pesos. Solved. We were up till 1AM drinking and going down the memory lane. I was awakened around 3AM by the heavy rain. It felt like there was a storm. I think it was a blessing in disguise since we planned to only have tent accommodation on the island. Thought it might be an unpleasant night with that rain.

Sunrise at Mauban, Quezon
Sunrise at Mauban, Quezon

We woke up 5AM for the sunrise and strolled around the beach. We checked out at around 7AM and then went back to Mauban town proper. We bought some groceries and lunch before heading back to the tourism office. At the tourism office, you will have to pay for the Environmental Fee of P50 as well as pay a down payment for your chosen resort. If you wish to contact specific resorts in Cagbalete Island, the numbers are posted below:

On your way to the boat, there are street vendors – don’t forget to try and eat Pancit Habhab which only costs P10.

Pancit Habhab
Pancit Habhab

TIP: Go for the public boat, it only costs 100 pesos per way. First trip is 10AM and last trip is 4PM. Be there atleast 30 minutes before departure since the boat leaves when it’s full. The fare is collected by the crew during the sail.

Cagbalete Island Itinerary

The boat departed earlier than the 10AM schedule because it has already reached the maximum passenger capacity. Travel time is around 45 minutes. We reached Sabang Port in Cagbalete Island and we were greeted by a staff from Pansacola Beach Resort and he assisted us with our belongings.

Cagbalete Island Itinerary

Below is the map for Cagbalete Island as posted at the tourism office. If we had plenty of time, I would love to walk and explore the island up to Nilandingan Cove.

Cagbalete Island Itinerary

Pansacola Beach is 10 to 15minutes walk from Sabang Port. Since we won’t be staying for the night, we only paid 200 for the day tour. They said we can stay on the cottages and we got ourselves a nice one for free. The restrooms and shower rooms are clean and they have good supply of water.

Cagbalete Island boasts white sand beach and is a perfect weekend getaway from Manila. It is also child friendly specially during the low tide.

Our boat will depart at 3PM so our call time was at 230PM. We cleaned our table and then walked back to the port. It was a smooth sail and we safely arrived back to Mauban Port.

We went to buy some raw pancit habhab for pasalubong before hopping to the van bound for Lucena. We dropped by SM Lucena for our dinner at Buddy’s.

We boarded the Jam Liner bus bound for Cubao at 8PM and arrived 1130PM at their Kamias Terminal. I was asleep the whole ride. 😀

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A Storm In My Heart – El Nido, Palawan – 4D3N All-In Itinerary for 5k+

Back when we toured Osaka, we were having buffet lunch with some foreigners and upon knowing that we are Filipinos, they excitedly mentioned how beautiful the paradise of El Nido was. It was a shame but I admitted that I haven’t been there! 😦

Palawan has been dominating travel sites and magazines and is regarded as one of the “Best Islands in the World“. The Google Images were really inviting so when I got the chance for Cebu Pacific Air’s pisofare, I immediately booked a trip to Palawan.

Below is a summary of my expenses when I traveled to El Nido, Palawan.

EXPENSES AMOUNT
Airfare 865.24
All-In 4D3N Package 4000
Dinner 300
Lunch 100
Environmental Fee 200
Matinloc Shrine Fee 100
TOTAL 5565.24

As usual, I was able to score Cebu Pacific’s PisoFare round-trip to Puerto Princesa for only P2595.75 and that’s for 3 persons. The round-trip airfare only costs 865.24  pesos per head:

el nido palawan piso fare

For El Nido accommodation, you may check thru Agoda:

I drafted a DIY itinerary and I found it more expensive and hassle as I need to coordinate with different persons. I instead opted to go for an all-in package of 4D3N for only 4000 pesos. Below are the inclusions and itinerary:

Package Inclusions:

  • Round-trip van transfer Puerto Princesa Airport – El Nido – Puerto Princesa Airport
  • 2 nights room accommodation in El Nido
  • 1 night room accommodation in Puerto Princesa
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Tour A with lunch
  • Tour C with lunch

There’s already daily breakfast and lunch so all we need to spend is the dinner. 🙂

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in PPS Airport / Transfer to El Nido

Day 2: Tour A with lunch

Small Lagoon
Big Lagoon
Secret Lagoon
Shimizu Island
Seven Commando Beach

Day 3: Tour C with lunch / Transfer to PPS

Helicopter Island
Matinloc Shrine
Secret Beach
Star Beach
Hidden Beach

Day 4: PPS Airport / Flight to Manila

It was a rainy day and I had a fight with my girlfriend lol. Really bad that when I tried reaching out to her, she was not responding – at all. Just 6 hours before the flight, I still got no word. I then decided to bring along my nephew since the tour package was already paid. The flight for my nephew was a bit expensive though.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

Our flight was around 9:45AM and it would take an hour to reach Puerto Princesa City. We arrived with a very beautiful weather.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

Outside the airport you will be greeted with agents with placards of their guests. You just have to find your name if you availed of a tour package. If you’re on DIY route, just ask them for vans going to El Nido, fare is P500 to 600.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

The van is shared with other tourists so we had to wait for the others to arrive. We left the airport around 12noon and traveled to El Nido which takes about 5 hours. There are few stop-overs but be warned that the store pricing would make you raise an eyebrow. Good thing we had brunch at NAIA. Wew.

We arrived at rainy El Nido Terminal around 5PM and looked for our accommodation Chariz Inn. After unpacking we went out and looked for a place to eat dinner. There are lots of dining place around the area but I highly recommend the Bulalo Plaza. Below is the menu, the serving is good enough for 2 to 3 persons.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

It was raining hard the next day – to the point that our tour guide was waiting further instructions from the Coast Guard if we can proceed with the tour. I was getting anxious that the tour might get cancelled…. REALLY? SERIOUSLY? Along with this broken heart lol.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

We had our free breakfast (choice of either tocino, corned beef, hotdogs, etc with rice and sunny side egg – and coffee of course). We got lucky that the rain has stopped and we were given a go signal to proceed. Our tour guide picked us up at our accommodation and we walked to the Tourist Information Center where we registered and paid for the P200 Environmental Fee. Also, there are lots of vendors selling waterproof bag. It’s a must for your gadgets – I highly recommend getting one.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

We were all set for the tour and we departed the port at around 9AM. It was storming and it was scary to be in the middle of the sea with our little boat. The foreigners touring with us were very scared and demanded we go back to the port. Our Tour Guides assured them that it is okay – that the storm will pass – like my broken heart lol.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary 18

It was crazy out there, the weather changes drastically – either raining or shining. Somehow I felt like a Straw Hat Crew out in an adventure. It was fun!

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

El Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan Itinerary

El Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan Itinerary

Kudos to our tour guides for keeping us safe, taking amazing pictures and preparing our foods like these:

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

El Nido Palawan Itinerary 17

There’s also some guys selling coconut and drinks so if you want some beer, they got it 😀

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

We got back to El Nido town around 5PM. We went to the nearby bakery and grabbed some hot bread and coffee. Got back to our inn and refreshed. For dinner we went to Bulalo Plaza.

The second and last day for the El Nido Tour. This time, the weather was a bit nicer but it was still raining.

El Nido Palawan Itinerary

Matinloc Shrine was my favorite part of this tour though I got some really serious goosebumps here – felt like there’s some other world creatures lurking. It was very secluded and our group was the only people here so it was very quiet.

El Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan ItineraryEl Nido Palawan Itinerary

El Nido Palawan Itinerary (20)

We then went to 2 other islands and the waves and wind were stronger. It felt like our boat was not gonna make it. It was really nice to have Captain Sparrow on board. Wew.

We went back to El Nido port around 5PM and made a quick preparation. We departed El Nido past 6PM and our van driver dropped us at Corazon Tourist Inn in Puerto Princesa City.

We got the sun on our 4th and last day in Palawan. We had brunch at Nokinocs which is just a few steps away from our accommodation. Nokinocs serves really delicious and affordable combo meals.

nokinocs

After our brunch, we then informed the receptionist at Corazon Tourist Inn that we are going to the airport. They offer free transfer to the airport so it was really a great experience with them. If you’re going to Puerto Princesa, stay at Corazon Tourist Inn – which you book thru Agoda.

That’s it. It was an amazing tour despite the storms and heartache. Touring one of the best islands in the world is not expensive right? Definitely going back to El Nido!

If you wish to avail of tour packages, kindly let me know. 🙂

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Baler, Aurora – 2D1N Itinerary

My office mate Liz found a package tour for 2D1N in Baler for only 2000 pesos. I was asked if I’d join and of course, who would let this offer slip right?

Composed mainly of office mates and their other friends,  we exceeded the target joiners for this package. Instead of 2000 pesos, we got the package for 1700 pesos per head. The package is inclusive of one night accommodation, tours around Baler, van transfer (Manila-Baler-Manila), fuel, toll fees and driver’s fee, entrance & environmental fees. I think the package tour is already a good deal since going the DIY way could cost more.

Baler is or was known as the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines”.  Located just 5 hours from Manila, Baler is ideal for out of town road trips and this place will make you tick that surfing goals off your bucket list easily.

My head was full of surfing. All I can think of was me and the surfboard and the cool pictures while surfing. To my surprise, Baler has way more to offer than surfing! I’ll let the pictures do the talking 🙂

Here’s a quick summary of the itinerary and expenses.

DAY 1

0300 – Departure from Manila
0700 – Pantabangan Dam
0800 – Balete Tree
0900 – Breakfast at Baler Town Proper
1000 – Ditumabo Mother Falls
1400 – Rest
1500 – Late Lunch and More Rest
1700 – Lukso Lukso Islets
1730 – PAGASA Weather Station
1900 – Hotel

DAY 2

0600 – Rise and Shine
0700 – Lunch
0900 – Surfing at Sabang Beach
1100 – Packup
1230 – Eat All You Can Buffet Lunch at Gerry Shan’s Place
1400 – Hanging Bridge
1500 – Pasalubong Hunting
1600 – Departure from Manila

EXPENSES

1700 – Package Tour
0075 – Day 1 Breakfast
0050 – Day 1 Meryenda at Ditumabo Mother Falls
0150 – Day 1 Heavy Late Lunch
0075 – Day 2 Breakfast
0400 – Day 2 Surfing Fee
0199 – Day 2 Buffet Lunch at Gerry Shan’s Place
0300 – Day 2 Pasalubong
2949 – My Grand Total

Book Your Baler Stay Here:

The expenses varies per person since some items are optional. Some opted not to go surfing and instead went all out on pasalubong haha.

Oh! Of course, pictures:

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraStop-over at Pantabangan Dam

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraBalete Tree – it is huge and 600 hundred years old!

Baler AuroraThe famous BALER signage

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraDitumabo Mother Falls – My favorite experience here in Baler! Be careful, sometimes the current is so strong that it can drown you!

Baler AuroraOur home in Baler – it was still under construction during our stay and is located steps away from the beach! If you’re looking for a place to stay in Baler. Book thru Agoda.

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraLukso Lukso Islets

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraAt PAGASA Weather Station in Baler

Baler AuroraCan you surf with these waves?

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraSURFING! – It was fun riding the waves! Sadly though I did not have pictures of me surfing. No waterproof camera and no zoom lens.

Baler AuroraBuffet Lunch at Gerry Shan’s Place. Buffet for 199, you should never miss this place! I was so hungry and the place was very crowded so I wasn’t able to take decent pictures.

Baler AuroraBaler AuroraBaler AuroraThe famous Hanging Bridge. Some were purposely swinging the bridge so you’ll get dizzy feels

Baler AuroraLastly, pasalubong and souvenir hunting! Don’t forget to ask for discounts ;)

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