Cagbalete Island is incomparable as a destination in the Philippines. It's not developed to a fault like Boracay nor is it as seedy as Puerto Galera. The place offers an escape in between. Its lure is not as easily accessible as Bolinao because a visitor still needs to make a 40-minute long boat transfer from the pier of Mauban, but it's a guaranteed paradise once you're there. Electricity is still rationed -- and for a good reason for travelers. This is so you can kick back and relax to appreciate nature during the day. Slather that sunscreen. Put on that quirky hat. Stroll at the beach. Read a good book on a hammock or simply linger at the beachfront. And what's my recommended back-to-nature resort for this tropical pleasure? Villa Noe Beach Resort!
Villa Noe Beach Resort sits smack dab in the middle of the tourist-favorite shoreline of Cagbalete, opposite from the local settlement of the island where local passenger boats dock. It's also directly facing the vanishing Bonsai Islet, a rock expanse attraction that's a 15-minute stroll from the beachfront on low tide. Stroll further to the left of the resort and you can slow down at the mouth of a mangrove forest. Hit the opposite direction and you can visit a vanishing sandbar (on low tide) that's a short walk from an old beachfront cemetery. It's also where viewing the island's sunset is most intense.
|A couple enjoying each other's time away from the beachfront|
|Rustic Lodgings at Villa Noe Beach Resort|
|Where passenger boats dock on Cagbalete Island|
|The dining area of the resort|
... I found it nifty that the resort has a catering package for meals.
Recommended Catering Package
My visit of Cagbalete Island became memorable because it's where I had the chance to lead a group of travelers, a mix of young professionals and a couple of fellow travel bloggers. Booking our accommodations was easy and I found it nifty that the resort has a catering package for meals. Availing it enabled me to forget about bringing supplies to cook on the island.
As a result, it let me spend more quality time with my touring guests. They also had more time for small talk, exploring the island, and simply being idle which is the best part of being on a vacation.
|One of my tour guests killing time on Bonsai Islet, a stroll away from the resort on low tide|
|Part of the resort's catering package|
|Just one of the featured dishes of the catering package|
|The laid-back island vibe of Cagbalete Island via Villa Noe Beach Resort|
The lodgings at Villa Noe Beach Resort are how I wanted them to be for my guests -- simple and rustic. They blend well with the tropical setting and the experience of having soft sand on your feet unlike in neighboring beach resorts that really try hard to be modern but fail because the beach vibe is lost in the modern fixtures and design.
The lodgings at Villa Noe Beach Resort are how I wanted them to be for my guests -- simple and rustic.
Truly, any upgrade is not something that one will want on an idyllic paradise as Cagbalete Island. Most backpackers -- local or foreign -- will always look for a nipa hut, a wooden recliner, and nothing but trees to attractively obstruct one's view of the beach.
|Bird-watching on low tide|
|Guests of the resort can kayak on a good day|
|The beachfront of the resort|
For alternative activities, you can kayak on a good day or book an island-hopping tour with the resort. The place is also where some kiteboarding professionals train on selected months of the year because there's less tourists around and the wind conditions are great for the sport.
At night, don't expect the party vibe of typical beaches in Boracay or Puerto Galera because you won't see one here. On Cagbalete, the intimate guest interaction is the chief source of a stimulating evening. Some guests prefer to light up a bonfire while some simply kill time at the beachfront by gazing at the star-studded sky.
On Cagbalete, the intimate guest interaction is the chief source of a stimulating evening.
Reaching the island in Quezon Province on a budget is easy, especially if you're coming from Metro Manila. Simply board a Mauban-bound Jacliner Bus (EDSA Kamuning station) and bear the 5-hour commute. Get off at the town proper and ride a tricycle for Mauban pier. Along the way, your tricycle driver will drop you off to a tourism outpost for a necessary registration prior to boarding a passenger boat for the island.
Reaching the island on a budget is easy, especially if you're coming from Metro Manila.
Don't wait for the beach to come to you because it will never happen. Some escapes are just meant to be pursued like the allure of Cagbalete Island.
|A part of Cagbalete Island where Villa Noe Beach Resort is|
Villa Noe Beach Resort
Official website of Villa Noe Beach Resort
Address: Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines
Mobile: 0921-784-9062 or 0905-205-4348 or 0905-472-8901
More Photos Below:
|Island breakfast at the resort|
|The vast rock expanse of Bonsai Islet|