During the Labor Day holiday (May 1), my friends and I took the opportunity to go backpacking since it was a long weekend. This time, we decided to go to Quezon Province and try to discover enjoyable places to go and interesting things to do on a tight budget. We wanted to enjoy the holidays as best we can but keeping in mind to spend within our allotted price range. The challenge was to go on a 3-day vacation spending only Php3,500 or lower for each.
This trip was not planned thoroughly, we only knew that we wanted to go to the beach so we searched how to go to Quezon by commuting. Once there, we’ll leave everything up to luck – accommodation, food and places to see.
My friends stayed overnight in our house so we can go to the bus station together. We boarded the 3am bus in Jam Liner Kamuning going to Lucena, Quezon. We arrived the Lucena Grand terminal around 7am and then we had breakfast and proceeded to look for the next bus going to the town of Mauban which took another hour. In Mauban, we alighted at the market and took a tricylcle ride to the port. We paid for the environmental fee at the Tourism booth and went ahead to board the ferry going to Cagbalete Island.
The ferry ride took at least 30 minutes before arriving Cagbalete Island. When we got to the island we asked a local guide to take us to any resort he thinks was best. The thing is, we did not know that the resorts were on the other side of the island and so we had to walk for another 20-30 minutes or so before we can finally hit the beach. We got an airconditioned room at Joven’s Blue Sea Beach Resort at a good rate although we (again) were not aware that electricity was scheduled in the island. They only had electricity from 6pm-6am so this trip surely went into a communing with nature thing and saving our batteries to last until electricity was on, haha.
We scheduled our island boat trip with our guide at 3pm so we have enough time to rest after too much walking. We also ordered our food (paluto) to be brought in the boat trip. During the boat tour, we visited the mangrove forest and then went on some snorkeling. This was also our first time to try eat a sea urchin! It’s eaten fresh out from the sea (raw). They cut the sea urchin in half and then you eat the yellow paste inside it. It tastes like crab fat (taba ng talangka), a mix of sweet and salty taste with a soft pudding-like texture. It was good, definitely better eaten with rice although I don’t think it’s something I’d want to eat regularly.
We got up early (due to electricity shut off resulting to a very hot room!) and went for a stroll down the beach. It was low tide during the mornings and the shore now extends 3km away from the original shoreline we saw the afternoon we arrived. Because of this, there were exposed corals and rocks and small puddles. We walked and took more photos before checking our of the resort.
We checked out from the resort at 12 noon, walked back to the port and boarded the 11am ferry back to Mauban town. When we arrived at Mauban port, we had no idea where else to go. There was a food stand inside the port selling deep-fried chicken intestines (isaw), so we thought of snacking on some and proceeded to small talk with the vendor. We asked her if there were other beach resorts in town and she made recommendations of where we can go. Fortunately, there was a tricycle driver having a break near us and overheard our conversation so he offered us a ride to go to the resorts and look for one where we would like to stay. We finally decided to check-in at Tres Marias a small family-run resort. We got a small hut (kubo) and ordered food (paluto). The resort was small and simple and the owners were very nice and accommodating. We swam at the beach and took more photos.
We woke up early to go get more photos taken but it was raining! We had breakfast and waited for the rain to subside and we finally had our final stroll along the beach before heading back to Manila.
- Day 1 Total : Php 2,176.000
- Bus (Kamuning to Lucena) – Php 218
- Bus (Lucena to Mauban) – Php 54
- Trike (Mauban market to Tourist Center) – Php 9 (shared with 2 other people)
- Trike (Tourist Center to Port) – Php 10 (shared with 2 other people)
- Boat ride (Mauban to Cagbalete) – Php 50
- Resort accommodation (aircon room) – Php 835 (shared with 2 other people)
- Boat tour – Php 535
- Food – Php 465 (shared with 2 other people)
- Day 2 Total: Php 685.00
- Boat ride (Cagbalete to Mauban) – Php 50
- Trike (Port to resort) – Php 30 (shared with 2 other people)
- Accommodation (hut) – Php 335 (shared with 2 other people)
- Food – Php 270 (shared with 2 other people)
- Day 3 Total: Php 478.00
- Trike (Resort to terminal) – Php 40 (shared with 2 other people)
- Van (Mauban to Lucena) – Php 60
- Bus Ride (Lucena to Kamuning) – Php 218
- Food – Php 160
Total expenditure for 3 days: Php 3,339.00