Living in Manila may be fun and exciting but eventually the fast paced city will tire you. December is one if the most busy month, hence, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’ve been wanting to get away because of the busy corporate life and packed paper works in the office. And so, vibed my beshie then planned a trip to bicol, my hometown.
Of course, bicol trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Caramoan again. Yes, again. It’s my second time here.
How to get there?
From Manila, ride a bus to Naga. A 12 hours butt-numbing ride. From Naga, Caramoan can be reached in 4 1/2 hours through land. A bus terminal near SM Naga City is offering a trip that starts from 3am as first trip and 2pm as last trip.
You may also opt to ride a boat. From Naga ride a van to Sabang port. Last trip at Sabang port is at 2pm. 3 hours boat ride to reach Caramoan.
Tip: As a second timer, I highly suggest to take the bus trip. You can relax and sleep in the bus comfortably. Taking the boat ride is a good idea but very tiring, seating uncomfortably with more than 50 passengers for 3 hours in a boat is not a joke. So yeah, just take the bus!
The backpacker experience
The plan is to spend Christmas eve in Caramoan, we’d like to experience a Christmas by the beach lol, but then again, the weather didn’t permit us. So, we went straight home in Pio Duran and spent our Christmas eve with parental.
Where is everyone spending their new year?
Plan A was cancelled, but no one can stop us lol, New Years eve by the beach, yeah!
Spentour new year with the locals of Caramoan. It was “5 days no electricity” stay because of typhoon Nina. The whole bicol region has no electricity. We had to look for generator so we could charge our mobile phone and powerbanks. The only source of light was a flashlight, candle and gasira(as we say it in local language, sorry I don’t know what you call it in tagalog or english word).
The place was very quiet until the most awaited twelve midnight, locals went out of their house shouting and making noise using their motorcycle. There were firecrackers but very minimal.
We’ve seen no fireworks display, but star gazing-by-the-beach was more than enough. Celebrating new year’s eve in other community is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.
Although I’ve been here before, the weather didn’t permit us to see the stunning islands of Caramoan. Coast guard didn’t allow us to do island hopping for our safety. A good sign that tourism office here are very strict when it comes to the security of tourist and locals itself.
The place has so much to offer. Roaming around the town via habal-habal, visit the St. Michael Archangel Church, 524 steps climb to reach the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, swim inside Omang cave’s super cold water and immerse with the locals. I’d love to discover more on my third visit and I will update this blog
The locals are so genuine. It somehow keeps you coming back for more.
We stayed at Kuya Ambo’s home, He’s a friend of friend. A friend from last year’s stay here, Kuya Ramer. He’s in Palawan during our visit. So he endorsed us to Kuya Ambo. If you’re planning to visit this place, please be sure to contact Kuya Ambo, He’s gonna take care of you 24/7, promise. Super nice and gentleman guide. We’ve recruit Him already, He’s now our friend 😁
You may contact Him at 0919 946 7983 or message Him in facebook: Ambo Concepcion.
Bus fare (mnl-naga) > 1,000php
Bus fare (naga – mnl) > 640php
Bus fare (naga – caramoan) > 230php vise versa
Accomodation > room per night starts at 400php per person
Land tour via habal-habal > 300-400php
Island hopping short trip (3 island) > 1,500php
Island hopping long trip (5 island) > 2,500php
Tent rental > starts at 300php (you may also bring your own tent)
Islands to visit
Matukad Island / Lagoon
We are already planning for a third visit. If you’ve seen Caramoan before, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I’ve been to many places, but this is where my heart is.
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