The Cebu to Caramoan Trip

Last June 12th, we flew from Cebu to Manila and traveled by bus to Camarines Sur, one of the gateways to the Caramoan Island.

We were able to book a cheap flight from PAL months ago and because of the long weekend that was associated with the June 12th holiday, we decided to travel on this date hoping that we will be blessed with good weather despite having June as the start of the rainy season in the Philippines. (P792 round trip fare for Cebu-Manila-Cebu)

Originally traveling with me were Edcel and Meryl. Rich tagged along and paid for a more expensive plane fare since he booked, i think 3 days before our scheduled departure. Honestly, discussing the preparations for the trip as the date got nearer was really exhausting. There were originally 11 on this trip and Meryl also showed signs of bailing out but in the end we managed to push through with this adventure.

Rich was scheduled to fly at 8am that day so he was already in Manila by the time we reached the Mactan Cebu International  Airport. Our flight was at 11am. He just waited for us in the airport.

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Goofin around as we wait for our turn at the PAL counter

When we were about to check in, the staff of PAL told us that Edcel’s flight was scheduled at around 4pm. We were shocked to learn of this incident. I was the one who booked the flights online and I was sure I booked for the same schedule. Anyway, we had no choice but to leave Edcel behind as it would be costly if he’ll buy tickets just to join us on our flight. We also had a lot of time so we agreed that we will purchase the bus tickets in advance and we’ll meet him up in Manila since the bus for Caramoan leaves at 8:30pm.

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Leaving Edcel behind

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Meryl and a PAL tail

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When we arrived in Manila, we headed for the bus stop and waited for the free shuttle that will take us to Terminal 3 since Rich was waiting for us there. Philippine Airlines docks at  Terminal 2. Rich, on the other hand, booked a flight with Cebu Pacific, which uses Terminal 3.  After fetching Rich at Terminal 3,  we hired a metered taxi and instructed the driver to take us to Ali Mall in Cubao where the buses for Bicol are located. The taxi driver exactly knew where the place was so we didn’t have to worry with getting lost or being scammed by some of the scheming drivers in Manila.

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Meryl and Rich checking the rates and the bus schedule

It didn’t take long for us to reach Ali Mall, thanks to the holidays. Otherwise we could have been stuck in traffic for an hour or two. So we immediately looked for Isarog Lines and Peñafrancia Bus Liners since these were the only 2 bus companies who have comfortable seats with bathroom, based on our online research. After comparing the prices of the 2 companies, we decided to book our trip with Isarog Lines. The fare was P850 one way per head. The trip was at 8:30 pm and our watch still showed 2pm. We still have a lot of time to kill.

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buying toiletries

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tissue paper, toothpaste and sunblock

We went to SM Cubao, the mall after Ali Mall (in front of the bus stations), to leave our bags and  we bought our toiletries. Afterwhich we decided we wanted to eat in Wendy’s since they don’t have a branch in Cebu and we’ve heard a lot of positive things about the food joint. The nearest one was in Gateway, beside Araneta Coliseum since the one across SM was still undergoing renovations. We had to walk around 2-3 blocks to reach this place.

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Gateway Mall

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Araneta Coliseum

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Wendy’s on the 3rd level of Gateway

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Wendy’s burger

Rich and I ordered our late lunch at Wendy’s while Meryl bought from Pizza Hut. After I took pictures of them with Wendy’s as background, somebody called our attention and scolded us that it’s prohibited to take pictures. Then the people at Wendy’s again  scolded us. wtf!!! I  almost got irritated  at how they treated us but I just controlled myself since I don’t want them ruining our vacation. Anyway, we waited for Edcel in Gateway since we were tired to go anywhere else. Meryl and I came off from our shifts this day so you can just imagine how sleepy we were by this time already.

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passing through Ali Mall from SM

Finally, Edcel arrived and after he ate his late lunch, we headed back to SM and bought chips, bread and water for the trip. Then, we headed to the bus station since it was almost 8:30pm.

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then crossing the streets of Ali Mall

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the bus we rode

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Lazy Chairs with foot rest

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comfort room

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inside the bus

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sleeping time

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The trip from Manila to Naga lasted 8 hours

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Edcel and his breakfast noodles

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our rice and egg breakfast, P19.00

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having breakfast in the terminal

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waiting to get the jeepney full

After eating breakfast, we went out of the terminal and headed to the jeepney terminal, just beside it, and waited for the jeepney to be full and on its way to Sabang Port. This is how the transportation system works in Naga. They wait for passengers to load the jeepney before the driver hits the road. At times, they don’t have to wait for the jeepney to get full. The fare is P80.00. There is also another way to travel to Sabang Port. That is via an airconditioned bus. If you are in a hurry, you can rent the van, if not, the driver will still wait for passengers to load the van. Sabang Port is where you need to disembark to go to Guijalo Port, in Caramoan. The travel to the port normally takes 2 hours.

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Ed, signing our names in the boat manifest…in case you know…

Upon arriving at the port, locals swarmed to us offering to take our luggage and offering to carry us to the boat. We were still shocked at the crowd that greeted us and we almost didn’t believe at them when they said they have to carry us. Not until we saw some passengers being carried did we believe those locals.

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Meryl being carried away

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me and my back 😆

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Rich looking like a Japanese here 😆

Before we boarded the boat, we asked some kids how much the rate was to be carried by someone. They said P5.00. I really thought that it was like P10 or P20. Thanks to those honest kids, we knew how much to give the people who carried us. For the four of us, including our bags, we gave the 2 men who helped us board the boat P50.00. We arrived in Sabang Port at around 8am and we left the port at 9am. The trip from Sabang to Guijalo normally takes 2 hours. Our trip was a scenic one since we were traversing the waters near the mainland and we could see the beautiful mountains of the area. The fare was P120.00 per head. Caramoan can be reached by land from Naga but the road is in  terrible bad shape and it takes a longer time to reach the area which is why people prefer traveling by boat.

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going to Guijalo Port

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Edcel, checking out the boat’s improvised bathroom

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Meryl and Rich, soundly sleeping during the voyage

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the port’s landmark

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arriving at Guijalo Port

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waiting for our turn to get off the boat

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meeting up with our tour guide

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the trike that took us to the main town

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comparing who has the fairest leg while inside the trike traveling on our way to the town of Caramoan

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where we stayed in Caramoan

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our room

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eating lunch at Lutong Bahay

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our meal, 1 cup of rice and 1 viand

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the only place where they serve “cheap” food

We ate our lunch at this small eatery before starting our half-day tour of the islands. We also met some travellers who joined us on the trip since they didn’t have any tour guide. It turns out that one of them was my officemate’s friend. Such a small world 😆

Anyway, I will be posting the tour of the islands next time.

Comments

  1. hehehe…I remember people carrying you to a small boat . I had a lot of experiences about that when mindoro and romblon was behind digital world pa ..missing that scene ..kelan uli kaya, hihihi.

    oi …maliligaw na pala ako sa Cubao..looked nicer na ha?
    thanks for updating the areas.

  2. you’re welcome vhingF. currently the area is so busy with all the renovations and facelifts of the old buildings. Mas nice na sya ngayon. 🙂

  3. I am not fond of using Cheap Flights because i am always after the amenities and comforts’~:

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