Caramoan : Sun-kissed and drenched in the rain.

To reach this place, you have to take a plane ride for 1.5 hours,  a small boat against crashing waves for 2 hours and a car ride  for another hour.  It took us alot to come here, and we left the place with more than what we hoped for.

It was raining  hard when we landed on Naga City Airport. Since it was already late to catch a boat ride to Caramoan Island, we decided to spend the night on the city proper.  The morning comes, still raining very hard –  but we muster enough strength to ride that rickety boat that will take us to where we should be. I cant count how many prayers nor bible verses I uttered during that ride but it was one of the scariest moment of my life. The waves are hammering this small boat with no mercy, and I made mental calculations on how long I can survive with what little swimming skills I have.

0 boatride

 My friends looked happy but I KNOW YOU’RE ALL SCARED!

After the 2 hours boat ride : Caramoan Port welcomed us. Oh you sleepy, rustic, beautiful town, why torture us?

2 Approaching Caramoan Island



We stayed at the West Peninsula Villas. There was an ongoing shoot for the international show “Survivor” on the island and this villa is the official residence of the crew and those voted out. Teehee! Feelin’ celebrity.

11 Food Day1

We were served lunch before we went for our island hopping tour for the day.

4 My Travel Buddies

We didnt get any sunshine during this day but I came to realize that we should always bring our own sunshine wherever we go. (For me. I brought 4. Thats more than enough.)

5 1st Island

Matukad Island is the first of the island group that we visited. We spent a good amount of time swimming and playing with the waves on this spot, while local boatmen looked at us – smiling occassionally and thinking of us as crazy tourist (I guess).

6 1st island

Look at those mountains and clouds!  Pretend that your in a movie . The Beach. The Lost Island. Cannibals?

7 1st Island

Oh bliss. 

8 2nd Island

Second stop for the day is Lahus Island – where lime-stones and ferns are everywhere.

9 2nd Island collage

My adorable friend Joy and our life saver Daniel (we just invited him to go with us a  couple of days before the tour and he said Yes right away.)

10 Group Pictures

Iam blessed to be with people who seldom complains about life and what it throws at them. They simply do whatever they can to make the most of what they were given. In our case, we were given only rain and strong winds, but we managed to enjoy and laugh at it.

Because of the rain, our tour guide and boatman find it diffucult to navigate and go further so we decided to just come back to the resort, eat, take a good rest and pray that tomorrow will be a glorious, hot, bright day.

11 Old Church

We decided to take a stroll and go to the nearby “Red Church” as they called it. Yes, it is creepy. But you will be surprised how beautiful it is in the morning.

And so we went to sleep and prayed for a better tomorrow..

And it was answered with this : 

12 Sunny Mornin

Clear skies, blue waters, salty breeze, wind throwing our hairs back! Amazing God.

13 Grotto

Our first stop is the towering Our Lady of The Most Holy Rosary Grotto. A flight of 524 steps (530 if landing is included) to the grotto leads to the 26-foot image of the Blessed Virgin Mary (description from Wikipedia)

530 Steps? You’ve got to be kidding me. We were reluctant at first, but Im glad I did conquer those  steps because if not, I wont be able to see probably one of the best view there is in the Philippines. You should be there and sweat it out to see what I mean.

14 Grotto Solo 15 grottocollage 16 Grotto Top of the world

After the tiring walk, were off to the next island destination.

17 Fisherman

Took this photo during those sleepy 45mins boat ride using my ever reliable point and shoot camera. (All of the pictures here are shot using my old and grumpy Canon A800)

18 Beautiful Island

Next stop is the glorious, hallelujah-isque (if theres such a thing)  island of Cotivas. White, powdery sand and crystal clear water. This is Heaven.

19 Beautiful island collage

20 jona solo

Forgive me for taking this candid but not so candid shot. This is heaven and I need a piece of it with me.

21 Sand dunes

Our last pit stop is the gorgeous Sand bars of Manlawi Island. According to our tour guide, this is one the largest sand bar in the country. I’ve seen a couple of sand bars before but this is undeniably the largest and the most beautiful of them all.  We had so much fun here- including a lot of wardrobe malfunctions.

22 Kubo at Sanddunes 23 Sand dunes

We waited for about an hour to watch the sea level go down and the sand bars to unfold. It was beautiful. Just about right to end an awesome day.

24 Back home at Day 2

Took this photo of an old couple on a fishing boat. They waved at us. Right there I realized if Im living a different life – I would love to just stay here, get married, have children, go on fishing when the dawn breaks, sit by the porch, drink coffee, cook meals by the ancient fire.  There is something alluring about a simple life on a small town. This is unedited/ unenhanced photo. I took it as it is, and look how captivated Iam by it.

25 lastnight

Last night on the Villa.  We ate, drink some, talk some. Good life. We decided to sleep early because tomorrow, we will need to wake up early for out boat ride back to the town proper so we wont miss our flight back to Manila.  We will be travelling this time on a small fishing boat because no commercial medium sized boat travels that early. Dread and fear starts to creep in again. Haha.

26 Early boat trip back home

Goodmorning. Time to go home. Unedited view from our small fishing boat against the beautiful Caramoan.

During this long boat trip that I was able to get my Blackberry and type in words that now reminds me of Caramoan.  Random thoughts, but it reminded me of this far away paradise.

A smell of lush green mixed with saltwater.

Mist covering the mountains and peak, almost magical.

This place is precious, the people are gems.

Waves crashing on the scattered beauty of rock.

The noise of the boat’s motor  fade into oblivion, until you only hear the waves singing some lullaby, and the soul of the place hum more melodies.

On the other side is a vast endless sea, with breath of clouds and daydreaming.

The beauty of it mostly comes from the feeling of far away, rugged mountains and hammering waves.

I pray this place stay preserved, unbound, untamed.

26 End of tour


Published by

Jona Alday

A corporate slave who finds joy in motivating and leading people but ultimately yearns for weekends and plotted vacation leaves. An Engineering graduate who HATES Math. An acrophobic who conquers mountains. A lover of sleepy towns, dawn, poetry, pancit canton and cats.

2 thoughts on “Caramoan : Sun-kissed and drenched in the rain.”

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