November 2015

Cagbalete Island is one of the most budget-friendly white beaches in the Philippines, and it is found in Mauban, Quezon Province. If you’re really on a tight budget, you only need P2,000 for a 3-4 day stay at the beach and you’ll still get a change! This was initially recommended by my friend while we were in Calaguas Island. She told us that the beach is almost the same but for a cheaper cost and nearer from Manila. I immediately added it to my bucket list.


I am lucky enough that our OJT at work (lgu ambulance and rescue unit) is from Mauban, Quezon. That’s why we were pushed to proceed in his hometown. He also knew that we also wanted to go there.

What are the things you need to bring aside from your swimsuit for competition ala Miss Universe. JK.

  • Waterproof camera (GoPro/SJ cam/Xiaomi Yi/Action cam) to preserve memories. It is really good to look back those good memories. Even sometimes we tend to forget what happened in those photos, it is a brain memory exercise, on what happened on that photo.
  • Water proof case – especially if you don’t have a waterproof camera. You can also use this case to put your money and small valuables like receipt worth P5,000 which you can reimburse. Hahaha!
  • Cash – it is not easy to find an ATM in the province! Mahahaggard ka pramis! You cannot be stressed. The reason you went for a vacation is to reduce stress.
  • Sunblock/Tanning oil or lotion – even if you want to get tanned, you need sunscreen to reduce surburns. If you skin starts peeling, it would be really painful.
  • Powerbank – expect that there is limited power supply in an island. They usually depend on generators and they only switch them on during the night. Some bring their own gasoline to supply the generator for an extended time.
  • Tent – if you really want to save. You can save PhP150-200 per day.

How to get there?


JAC Liner

We opt to take a bus going to Mauban via JAC Liner sa EDSA Cubao. That’s the only commute we found going to Mauban. It is cheaper than renting a van or vehicle. We arrived at the bus station at around 3AM because we’re not sure of the schedule. Hahaha! By the way, there’s free WiFi on board! Make use of it because you’ll gonna miss your cellphone signal in the island.

Origin Regular Trip Schedule Destination
Cubao Terminal 4AM and 11AM Mauban
Buendia Terminal 4AM and 11AM Mauban

Bus fare is around PhP270-290. You get a 20% discount if you are a student, senior citizen or PWD. Just present a valid ID. 4-5 hours ang travel from bus terminal to Mauban.  Upon our arrival in Mauban, some of the passengers were hurrying up to catch the boat that leave 10:30Am-11AM. We stayed in Mauban to have our brunch and buy our food that we’ll cook in the island.


You can ride a tricycle going to the market or to the port for P10 each. You need to pay P50 for the environmental fee at the tourism office. The fare for the public boat is P50 and travel time is 45 minutes to 1 hour going to Cagbalete Island. We got the afternoon trip of the boat. You have an option to rent a private boat so you can have your own time and go straight to your resort but for a higher price.


Cagbalete Sunset

It was already sunset when we reached the island. That’s the reason why the people are so much in a hurry for the morning trip of the boat. If you don’t have so much time, don’t do what we did. Go for the morning boat ride. But if you have more time, then do your grocery in Mauban because stuff are more expensive in Cagbalete due to shipping. You can swim at the side of the island where the public boat docks, but it is not where the resorts are. You may go through the residential area then pass through the middle of the island to reach the other side faster. But if you’re adventurous, you can walk around the island to reach your destination. It’s too far though.

There is limited to no cellphone signal in the island. You need to go to the beach side to have a signal. I don’t know why, but it is better than none at all.


White Sand Beach

Low Tide

It was low tide when we swam at the beach. We’re already too far away from the beach, the water was still shallow.


You’ll get tired walking away before the water level reaches your waist. I love the sand, it is soft and mushy. You can build sand castles with it.

It was typhoon season, it rains every morning because it is just beside the Pacific Ocean. It was also an off-peak season, you can have the beach all by yourselves. We were told that the beach is flooded with people and pitched tent. We were far from the  resorts, away from other tourists, so we can freely drink liquor (but make sure to leave no trace behind). If you’re going to ask me, I think it is better to go there during summer even if the place is crowded. Because there is a higher chance of getting stranded in the island during rainy season.

Raft in the middle of nowhere

Aside from the beach, they told us that we can do an island-hopping. Sabi kasi sa amin island-hopping pero sa sa gitna ng mga bakawan (mangroves) kami dinala kung saan may balsa! Maybe because we only paid the boatman P800, not enough to go for island hopping. Hahaha!


There are plenty of starfish in the beach, cute for photo-op. Make sure to return them in the sea immediately, so they won’t die.

pak mowdeling

Before going home, we still had time to go swimming. We swam at the docking area near the residents. The water is deeper but the sand is not as white as beach side where the resorts are and there were lots of boats docked in the area. Though the water’s clean, the sea water is more of turquoise green because of the color of the sand. We rode the boat going back to Mauban at 11AM for P50. We bought pasalubong in Mauban and there we rode a van going to Lucen Grand Terminal for P50. Travel time is 30 minutes but really far because there was no traffic. We rode the bus in Lucena Grand Terminal going back to Cubao for P200-220. You’ll get a 20% discount if you’re a student, senior citizen, or PWD provided you have an ID.

There are numerous fast food and restaurants in the Lucena Grand Terminal. You may opt to eat first before riding the bus going home. The departure of the buses are continuous, you wouldn’t have so much problem catching up with time.

Expenses Amount (PhP)
Bus (Cubao-Mauban) 270-290
Tricycle (Terminal-Port) 10
Environmental Fee 50
Food 500-700
Tent/Room (2 nights) 300-800
Boat (Mauban-Cagbalete) 50
Island Hopping 200
Boat (Cagbalete-Mauban) 50
Tricycle (Port-Mauban) 10
Van (Mauban-Lucena) 50
Bus (Lucena-Cubao) 200-220
Total 1,690-2,430

Kung mag-iinom, mag-allot ng dagdag na PhP300-500 depende kung anong klase ng alak ang balak inumin, nagyoyosi, at kung gaano kalakas uminom. Huwag ka namang maging free-loader, matutong mag-ambag. Chos!

Pinaka-importante sa lahat, iayon ang arte sa budget!

 Have Fun Everyone!

*Photos are taken with GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition and Nokia Lumia 1020

Resorts in Cagbalete:

Pansacola Beach Resort

Villa Noe Beach

Villa Cleofas

  • 0917 814 0496

Dona Choleng Camping Resort

Cagbalete Joven’s Blue Sea Beach Resort

  • 0917 984 8505

MVT Sto. Nino

Nilandingan Cove – Cagbalete Island

Aguho Playa