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Travel Guide: Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon

cagbalete island sunrise
Early morning in front of Joven's Blue Sea Beach Resort.

I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Tayabas, Quezon without ever hearing of this beautiful gem of an island off the coast of Mauban, Quezon, which is a neighboring town. Circa 2010 - I was captivated by the prospect of visiting Cagbalete when I stumbled across a few blog articles raving about it on same day a friend was asking me for a recommendation for her destination birthday party. No brainer - Cagbalete! Nearing the day, here comes Murphy (in the form of a client) crashing my weekend freeloading motives. Onset of summer 2014, while thinking of a quick weekend getaway, Tess reminded me about Cagbalete.

Travel Guide: Bantayan Island, Cebu

Alice Beach Sante Fe Bantayan Island
Early morning at Alice Beach. Beach Placid Resort's banca shot in front of Anika Island Resort.

If getting to a destination isn’t half the fun for you, travelling to Bantayan Island from Manila can be daunting if you don’t enjoy multiple transfers; a little over an hour by air, four hours over land, and then another hour over water, with a good amount of waiting time in between. However, if you’re up for an adventure and wouldn’t mind dealing with an aching butt Bantayan Island is the worthy paradise destination you should visit -  a rustic island getaway, surrounded by sun, sand and other beautiful islands ringed by white sand and crystal blue waters. Just enough of nothing to get your mind off the concrete jungle you left behind.

Travel Guide: Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

Saud Beach Pagudpud Ilocos Norte
A bright morning in front of Saud Beach Resort.

Why Go

The beaches! Pagudpud's a sleepy coastal resort town at the tip of the Northern Ilocos region of the Philippines. No need to call it the Boracay of the North - Pagudpud is something very good all on its own. Really fine beaches, spectacular waterfalls, panoramic scenes and beautiful coastal drives give you a feeling of new discoveries and trails. You won't find the glittering nightlife here, if that's what you're looking for. Pagudpud is laid-back. Best time to visit is anytime between November to April. That covers summer in the Philippines and its drier cold season, outside of the wet rainy months.The two main beaches are the Blue Lagoon (otherwise also called Maira-ira), located on the eastern side of Pagudpud, and the other one is the arguably more popular Saud Beach which is on the western side. If you've got several days, spend half at the Blue Lagoon and the remaining half at Saud Beach.