Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Holy Week In Bicol: Day 4 - Calaguas' Ultimate Beach Adventure!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Henry David Thoreau once said "The sea-shore is a sort of neutral ground, a most advantageous point from which to contemplate this world."

Halabang Baybay Beach ( part of the now famed Calaguas Group of Islands in my hometown Vinzons, Camarines Norte) is such a place where I could contemplate the world. It is a deserted island (since you can only get there by boat!)and as such you won't find amenities here that you expect from the more popular beach destinations (i.e. no hotel,no restaurant, no electricity, no phones, no computer hookups, no flush toilets & no showers except for simple restroom and shower facilities, etc.).Despite the lack of amenities, Calaguas Island,is to date the best backdrop for my ultimate beach vacation... for many reasons!

I share My Ten and More Reasons here...

1. Swimming/Snorkeling In the Clear, Cool, Crisp, Water!

Clear blue waters of Halabang Baybay Beach is by far to me the best beach for real swimming! I love the fact that I can dip in the crisp water anytime of the day under the stunning blue skies,and the water is still cool.

Since there is no electricity in the area, no night swimming please!

With my diving mask and relatively little effort practicing before-hand my "peace" sign (peace man!) ( and taking tutorial from cute little Nino on how to wear my diving mask properly haha),I was able to observe wonderful underwater life.Oh!beautiful corals and coral reefs. Too bad I have no marine camera...

2. Playing in the Sand

When I don't want to hit the water yet, Halabang Baybay's wide coastline and soft powdery white sand was a great source of adventure. I lazed on it, slept on it, sat on it, or even sand written my prince' name on it! cheesy? No, you call that in love! hahha

3. Tent Camping At Its Best!

With its long, wide stretch of powder-like fine white sand, Halabang Baybay Beach(Calaguas) is a great place to pitch the tent! I slept through the night with the sounds of the waves and the fine sand as my bed (ooops and the cushioned mattress hehe...)

4. Meeting and Bonding With New Friends

"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.~ Ralph Waldo Emerson"

I totally agree with Ralph (naks, first name basis haha) because Calaguas Islands (which is the best that nature can offer) is now synonymous with the names Sally, Issa,Aya, Ruby Ann, Brian, Jeremy,Edward,Zaide,Chef Janjie,Nano,Aaron, and the rest of the Lakwatserong Kusinero and Byahe Adventours guests!!!

Photo Credit:Mariano Erwin Balane

5. Going on Nature Trails

Just a leisurely walk away from the beach front is Tinaga Hill.The hill with the coconut trees lined up provide the needed shade for our tents. Atop the hill, we were greeted by a majestic view of Halabang Baybay! Precious!

5. Experiencing Nature's Lullaby

Tinaga Hill became our sanctuary when the sun was its hottest! We had our (siesta time!) playing cards while enjoying the wonders of the seashore at a vantage point feeling the cool fresh air that sounded like a lullaby to our ears. After awhile,all of us were asleep - true commune with nature - zzzzzzz.

7. Rock Climbing or Pretending To Climb

Halabang Baybay has its share of unique rock formations on its shore, amidst the blue waters. These rock formations actually separate Halabang Baybay from the other smaller deserted beaches so I walked, posed, sat on, and climbed (este pretended to climb) the rocks.You rock!!

8. Fire Dancing, Wine Mixing, Star Gazing, Evening Talks and Slapjack

Yes there's no electricity yet in Halabang Baybay,but no need to fret! The activities on a dark night in the middle of a vast wilderness (with the aide only of the lights powered by generator)) is sky's the limit!

So how did we spend the two nights at the beach?

Last night I learned two new skills (I mean concepts because I can't do any of them) - fire dancing and wine mixing. I was impressed by the phoi dancing exhibitions because earlier yesterday I had my lame attempt into it and realized it isn't for me!

Tonight, since we have more time on our hands, we watched for shooting stars (yey! I saw one!), shared jokes (funny ones! hehe), and 'slapjacked' the evening away!!

Slapjack is a card game where the players race to be the first to slap a hand on top of the Jack. We modified the rules a little for eight (8) players to be able to play. Instead of determining one winner, we just need one loser (the player whose hand was the farthest from the Jack). The loser has to take a sip (except me and kuya Mike).

8. Feasting on Gourmet Meals

Who says you need to go on diet during camping? Not if you join an organized tour like I did.The Lakwatserong Kusinero prepared sumptous meals that I can't help but pig out!

9. Taking Sunset Photography

Calaguas Island will never run out of a good sunset especially during summer. It was here where I've seen a picture perfect sunset at the beach with the sun crossing the horizon leaving reflections on the water. I have captured a few moments in my camera. Good I have it handy!

10.Beach Bumming All The Way and Immerse My Senses Into Nature

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My Lakbayan grade is A!

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