Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday, May 03, 2015
Rome Candaza with a fresh catch of Dorado


With Boracay leading the Philippines as a sought-after beach destination, mass tourism has flocked to the island to a fault. Fortunately for those in Luzon, particularly in the Bicol peninsula, seeking a pristine and remote location is still possible. There is a remote island paradise off the coast of the Lagonoy Gulf in the province of Albay in the municipality of Rapu-rapu that still offers tourists the chance to unplug.

Triple “A” Travel
To discover this newly-opened beach destination, I tagged along an island group tour of Roaming Rome Knows Travel (Facebook) one late April for my Triple “A” Travel (Absolute Albay In April Tour). Led by tourism advocate and group tour operator Rome Candaza, the boat of 20-plus local tourists left the Bacacay Port at past 7:00 in the morning and arrived at the destination after a couple of hours of sea voyage.

Boating during low tide at Guinanayan Island
Leaving Bacacay Port for Guinanayan Island early in the morning
At the Bacacay Port with the Mayon Volcano in the background

Dorado For Lunch and More
What greeted me at Guinanayan Island was a fancy and fresh catch of Dorado which locals call Lamadang and a calm and turquoise water-oriented shore that’s accentuated in the background by the Mayon Volcano. The beachfront has an attractive signage for photo opportunity. I had a good filling of the seafood for lunch with the other tour members by 11:00am as island is complete with a little of everything from open solar-powered light cottages to portable grilling stations. It even has a beach volleyball area for group games. The area is off the grid in terms of mobile phone signal and the nearest one can be had at the distant Misibis Bay Resort.
A residential cottage inland equipped with a solar panel
Exploring The Island
I spent my time after lunch exploring the island’s inland areas with Rome. From the beachfront below, we proceeded to traverse the rolling terrain of the island that’s densely populated. There is an open chapel nearby and at a hilltop, I even spotted a cottage that was equipped with a solar panel setup. We passed by some rural farmland and cattle that made the exploration exciting. At a high point of the island, the view of of surrounding was breezy and spectacular with the distant cone-shaped Minaroso stone formation and cave in the background.
Where The Island Is
Guinanayan Island is located in the mouth of the Cagraray Pass and it sits next to the Pacific Ocean. What I adored about the beachfront is the sandbar-like formation of white sand where a few open cottages are erected for guests. On both sides of the shorelines, the waves were calm and inviting. This makes swimming safe for kids and paddling on boats safe on low tide. For an afternoon activity, I hopped on a small boat with Rome and cheerfully paddled in different directions for 30 minutes or so. From our spot, we were able to see other guests swimming to their hearts’ content. I even spotted a foreign tourist sunbathing solo at a quieter side of the beach.

Rome’s group tours are affordable and can lend guests enough time within the day to even hie off to a few high points inland and explore the community that exists at the island.
Pleasant Experiences
Perhaps, the best part of my stay at Guinanayan Island was resting at a rustic bamboo bench next to the beachfront. From my reclined spot, I was able to appreciate endless vegetation of coconut trees that seemed to be unison with the wind. A few moments later, I grabbed myself a soda drink at a nearby sari-sari store and watched a local board a passenger boat for a destination that I was not able to ask.
Lunch at the beach
Soon, our group tour’s boat returned to the island to fetch us at around 3:00 in the afternoon. Our tour leader decided to traverse the Cagraray Pass on our way back since we managed to arrive at the island in the morning bearing the brunt of the strong waves at an area called Nagtapis where mermaids are said to be sometimes seen. I recall passing an unused cable ride of the nearby Misibis Bay Resort, a bridge that connects it to its location, Monkey Island where wild monkeys are said to inhabit the area, and a few more islets along the way.
Guinanayan Island tourists guests should be informed that even without so-called resort house rules about waste cleanup, they need to put their litter to dedicated trash bins that could be found at the beachfront for responsible tourism.

Cagraray Pass
The cone-shaped Minaroso stone formation and burial cave

Guinanayan Island Tour
Phone: 0927-242-5115/ 0909-116-3310
Email: roamingromeknowstravel

More Photos Below:

The Mayon Volcano silhouette before sunset at the Cagraray Pass
At a high point of the island
Monkey Island
Approaching Guinanayan Island


  1. Hi Sir! We have just visited the island few days ago and I say that it is one of the best island that I have visited here in albay. I never expected that rapu rapu has its own hidden gem. I also wrote a post about the island, hope that it would get more visitors someday and get popularized. :)

    1. I'm so looking forward to the time when the island has a few overnight accommodations already coz I eagerly want to make a revisit soon.

  2. pwede po bang mag overnight stay sa guinanayan island? may alam ka po contact person, number to call? i really wanted to visit the island, pls reply

    1. There are open cottages but you can verify with Rome Candaza of Roaming Rome Knows Travel if they're ok for overnight. You can contact him at 0927-242-5115/ 0909-116-3310 or at,

  3. How to get in there? how much? please send me details. thank you.

    1. Book with Rome Candaza of Roaming Rome Knows Travel (Facebook fan page). His mobile: 0927-242-5115/ 0909-116-3310. You need to go to Albay to meet up with him as it's the jump-off point of the boat ride to Guinanayan Island.


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