“France, Israel, Serbia, Sweden, USA, Belgium, Bulgaria and Norway”, Alan Lopez – our well versed tour guide enumerated the countries that shoot their Survivor show in Caramoan Group of Islands. At the moment, filming of Survivor shows was stopped due to election. “Actually maam, the producer of Survivor Switzerland is now here in Caramoan”, he added. “Kuya, can you set us an appointment with him?” my friend Shirley kid with the idea. We chuckled while I asked “So that we can take pictures with him?”
The atmosphere of excitement appeases us that finally after more than four hours of travel from Ligao, Albay we reached the Survivor Island. We started our afternoon at Caramoan with a late lunch of a very spicy Laing served together with rice, Sinigang na Baboy, and fried fish. The serving is big for four girls, we were struggling to finish the food until our tour guide reminded us that we should Island hop before high tide comes.
We walked into the Guijalo’s fine black sand on our way to the boat. I’m sure my friends were happy to see that the boat is big unlike the one we had when we island hopped at Hundred Islands in Pangasinan.
The group of Islands are mostly of Rocks and Sands. We passed by the Gota Village – the main tourist spot of Caramoan Peninsula as we head to Bosdak Island. Bosdak is an island with a small shoreline sandwiched by huge rock mountains. The waves are huge in this island; we only stayed there for a few minutes to allot more time on seeing the other islands.
We hopped next to Matukad Island. There are a lot of seaweeds on the shore. I love this beach because of its fine white powdery sand. ‘Maam, you can also rock-climb on that mountain, there’s a lagoon behind the cliff’ Alan advised us while pointing to a rock mountain. As we explore a part of the beach, we saw a blue sea star just lying in the sand.
Opposite Matukad Island is the Lahos Island, which is said to disappear during high tide. It has white fine sand and rock formations as well; one of the favourite Islands to film Survivor show aside from Gota.
We head next for snorkelling at Cagbalinad beach. There are some tourists kayaking and just swimming in the beach when we reached there. From the boat, you can see the abundance of marine life in this area as fishes and coral reefs are just a foot deep away from the water surface. Some tourists just even stand on the rocks underwater when they feel tired.
Snorkels and masks are available for renting but for hygiene purpose it is advisable to bring your own. The spot is also good place to scuba dive but sadly, there are no scuba diving shops yet at Caramoan, the nearest one is in Naga City.
The last stop is the Minalagos Island. I’ve read that the difference of this island from others is that majority of the rock formation in this island are proportion. Anyway, I just saw this island in one angle. I hope I can take photos of Caramoan in bird’s eye view next time *day dreaming*.
We came back early to Guijalo beach proper before high tide. Alan brought us to a small cave. ‘Are there snakes there?’ Joy asked in a cynical tone. ‘No maam, because it’s near the beach’, Alan responded. Natz decided not to come along but when we found out that the cave is way too small like when you go in, that’s it. We made her changed her mind.
Caramoan Travel – our tour provider brought our dinner to our Cavana. Dishes are fried chicken, rice and Paco (fern) in coconut cream. I can’t remember the last time I ate Paco and I can’t figure out why I like eating it this time. Maybe because I missed it unconciously, haha. I’m so Bicolana!
Rest of the night was spent in the beach having a drink of Tanduay Ice while gazing in the sky full of stars. I’ve always been wanting to do this. I didn’t know that there can be millions of stars in the sky until then and in Caramoan I think this is how a usual night is.