Hot, Hard and Beautiful – The Islands of Caramoan

When we left Matukad Island, the heat of the sun and the atmosphere of the will-rain, will-not rain skies was inspiring me to finally get into the water.

I love the beach, I do, but in order to swim, I was very picky about the moments I’d go in. Choosy? Maybe.

But when we parked over some low-rise corals in front of what looked like an expensive island resort, I didn’t really have to be coaxed out of the boat.

hunongan beach resort

The Hunongan Beach Resort is an exclusive and expensive beach resort owned by the governor Luis Villafuerte (I think). This beach resort is where the Survivor staff would stay whenever they shoot the series.

While we were parking, a white helicopter landed on the beach resort and we looked on, curious to see why the helicopter would be there at that time. Was this a sign that Survivor would be shooting again soon?

The waters were not too calm. But at least, there wasn’t any strong current to make it harder for us to move in the water.

Unfortunately for us, because the snorkels were broken, we weren’t able to enjoy the underwater as much. However, I did get a glimpse of the underwater. It was refreshing too, because in Caramoan, the fishes didn’t seem to notice that we were here. They just went about their own lives and they wouldn’t crowd up around you like they normally would in Palawan.

The clear, bluegreen waters, the live corals and the colorful fish, it was magnificent down there. 

None of us had the strength to actually go deeper, so we couldn’t really see as much. Even when we took several “diving” shots underwater, we couldn’t get as many details as we wanted because we were too scared to go deep.

When one of our companions accidentally stepped on sea urchins, we were pretty alarmed.

Our boatman had warned us already of the sea urchins, but we didn’t really expect to step on one of them, ruining the rest of our stay – so it happened to one of our companions. The rain started pouring at this time, but we didn’t care since we were already swimming. We just hoped it wouldn’t turn into a storm.

Our next destination was Busdak Beach. This beach was near the Gota Village, one of the village resorts that Survivor Caramoan would take over when they were filming.

From afar, Busdak beach didn’t look so special. In fact, because it didn’t have white sand, bluegreen shores or limestone rocks, it wouldn’t look so special for a particular eye.

busdak beach

But what was so special about Busdak Beach? It was the sand. The sand wasn’t clear, pearly whites. It was actually dark and black, but the softness of the sand – it was different. It was finer than Boracay’s, finer than any sand I’ve stepped on. It was also so soft that some people were rubbing the sand on themselves as some sort of spa. Cute. Looked like real Survivor.

busdak beach

Interestingly, we found some unique-looking rocks as well. While at first, we thought the rock was harmless, when we touched it, it was practically a knife to your skin. Only then did we realize that the rock was actually made up of tiny oysters that people could’ve harvested from, time to time. Pretty cool, huh? And because only the best pictures can be taken in the hardest locations, we couldn’t help using these rocks as our background.

busdak beach

Our last destination for our first day was the Cagbalinad Island. This beach was also pretty tiny. It looked similar to all other islands we visited during the day, but as an extra bonus, it also had a bit of cliff climbing as well – our current favorite hobby, since the Enchanted Lagoon incident.

cagbanilad island

This next climb wasn’t harder than the one in Enchanted Lagoon. In fact, it was pretty easy, except that in order to get to the farther end, with a closer look at the “lagoon”, you had to jump over sharp, limestone rocks.

Having short legs is definitely a disadvantage in these occasions. 

Cagbanilad Island

The view beyond the rocks wasn’t exactly a lagoon, but more of an opening to the ocean amid the beautiful limestone rocks and cliffs. It looked like it was shallow, but according to our boatman, it was deep.

cagbanilad island caramoan

Too bad it had just rained and the skies were still pretty dark. Otherwise, the view was awesome. We also took some solo shots in the set of rocks that we were sitting on. The background, the clear waters and the soft light was pretty unique for photoshoots.

Trust me as my current profile photo was taken here.

cagbanilad, caramoan

We left the last island a little gloomy, like the skies, but definitely satisfied.

And tired. But happy. 

Brenna is the sole owner of The Philippine Travelogue, an online journal of her travel adventures and experiences. Brenna is a freelance writer, online marketing and social media specialist and a blogger with a constant itch for adventure and thrill. For inquiries, suggestions and invitations please send a message.

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