Calayan island is one of the four island of Calayan Group of Island or Babuyan Group of Island. The three other islands are Dalupirit, Camiguin and Babuyan. Fuga Island, the fifth island and the first island you will pass by when you cross the Babuyan channel is a private island. I found this island through looloo app article titled “The 5 unspoiled island in the Philippines”. I saw the pictures and they are majestic. What’s next? Of course my #YOLO spirit brought me here.
I caught the 9 am Partas Bus from Baguio going to Laoag, as advised by virtualtourist.com users. I was thinking of taking Baguio- Tuguegarao- Claveria route but a good virtualtourist.com adviser told me that it’s quite difficult to get a bus or a van from Tuguegarao to Claveria and I might not catch the early lampitaw in Claveria.
It took 8 hours to get to Laoag due to stop overs and passengers picked up by the bus from La Union until Vigan.While on the ride I kept in touch with my homestay and the boatman who will take me to Calayan. My boat will leave at 6 am next day. It’s already 5 pm when I reached Laoag. I was thinking of taking a Florida bus going to Claveria when a woman whom I met in the toilet of Partas Bus Station in Laoag told me that I can go with her to Claveria Tours bus station because she’s going home to Adams, Ilocos Norte. See that’s the essence of solo traveling you meet people along the way. 🙂
We rode a tricycle going to Claveria Tours bus station it costs Php 20.00. Because it was holy week a lot of passengers are waiting and we weren’t able to catch the last trip going to Claveria but luckily another bus is coming to get passengers going to Claveria. Yes!
It was 6 pm when we left Laoag. Crissa, the girl I met before kept me entertained while on the ride. We talked about a lot of things, family, job, school, boyfriend things and travels. We exchange numbers and facebook id’s. Until now, we keep in touch with each other. Sadly, she needs to get off to Adams. Thanks to her my trip wasn’t boring at all.
I reached Claveria at 9 pm and I’m quite early for the boat so I asked some passengers if they know any budget hotels where I can stay for the night. One passenger told me to try Agri-Base Multi-purspose Cooperative. We got off to the market then I rode a tricycle going to Agri-Base. The accommodation is very cheap Php 150.00 but it’s the worst. The room has double size bed, television and electric fan (not bad) but, too dirty. The sheets, blankets, pillows, are not replaced or washed from the previous guests. The common toilet and bathroom is dirty. The sink is clogged with a bloody water from a washed fish. Damn! soooooo yuckie…. I decided not to sleep. I didn’t lie on the bed I just sat down until 4 am. I took a very quick shower and I left the place as quickly as possible because I can’t stand it.
I reached Taggat Lagoon 5:30 am just on time to meet Kuya Isad, the boatman who will take me to Calayan. We left Claveria at exactly 5:55 am along with two college students going home to Calayan. The journey was good but tiring and a little bit dangerous due to the waves.,In some part of the channel waves are calm but passing by Fuga Island men, better get ready for a raincoat you will totally get wet. I saw sharks for the first time while crossing the Babuyan Channel. The ladies with me are friendly. They told me how beautiful Calayan is. Finally after 6 hours we reached Calayan Island. Wooh!
Things I did/ My itinerary:
There are many things to do in Calayan Island actually in my case my budget was not enough so I just visited the highlight of this place which is Sibang Cove. In my honest opinion this beach is the most beautiful I have been so far. I love the peaceful, undeveloped vibe of the place. When I sat there I only met less than ten people local and travelers enjoying the sand and waves of the beach.
I also hiked Nagudungan Hill, then went to another beach which is called Canarawa beach.
Next, my guide took me to Bataraw Falls and I freaking forgot my phone so I didn’t have the chance to have my own photo of this place. How stupid I am not bringing enough money and forgetting my camera. Anyway, this is a good place to have picnics.
Then motor ride to Magcidel for the sunset.
The next day, my hostel owner, Mommy Tessie suggested me to visit Cabudadan falls but I skipped it. I am honestly worried because I didn’t bring enough money and the news about the super typhoon broke out so it means I am stranded in this place (this paradise) for few more days without money.
Rabigan Falls, Cabudadan
So I just hanged out with my hostel’s helper. We went to back to Magcidel in the afternoon to see the place again in a different time (not during the sunset). She scares me that there’s a mermaid in this beach cave. I’m kinda scared with supernatural creatures actually (haha).
The 4th day, it is Easter Sunday Mommy Tessie invited me to go to church and join their mass. In the afternoon I hanged out with the other guests in the hostel.
It’s Monday and there is still no lampitaw (passenger boat) traveling to Claveria so it means I am still stranded with no internet connection. My family and friends still haven’t heard anything from me. So I went to municipal hall of Calayan where Mommy Tessie is working as Tourism Officer hoping that my pocket wifi would catch some signal to inform everyone on social media that I am OK and there’s no need to worry. Unfortunately, my wifi didn’t work. So, I just enjoyed bothering everyone in the office talking to them.
Finally the last day I am going home. I will never forget this experience. I promised myself I will come back here to see the places I missed such as:
I strongly suggest that you bring spare cash because there are chances that you will be stranded just like me especially during the rainy season in which waves are strong and gigantic than the passenger boat. I also struggle to stretch my Php 5,000 budget for 6 days good thing my hostel owner adopted me and provided me with free food on the latter days of my stay she also gave me discount on my accommodation fee. Here is the list to give you an idea on how much you will need for a trip on this island.
Bus fare: Baguio- Laoag Php 465
Laoag –Claveria Php 100
Lampitaw (Passenger boat): Php 500 (one way)
Accomodation: Php 250/ night (TPS Homestay)
*for inquiries contact Mommy Tessie Singun (0908 593 3453 or 0929 837 5737) she also arranges lampitaw in going and leaving the island.
Food: Php 120/ meal (you can cook your own food and there are also eateries, and stores to buy your food)
Tour Guide: Php 500/ day
Rented Motorcycle: Php 200/ day (If you plan to go around the place by motorcycle without guide.)
Diesel or gasoline for the motorcycle: Php 50/ liter
Tricycle fare in the island: Php 30-100 depending on where you are going.
- The lampitaw from Claveria to Calayan and vice versa only leaves 6 am everyday except Sunday or during typhoon so you better be on time because there is no other trip available. If you miss it you have to wait for the next day for the next trip or you can hire a fishing boat which cost Php 10,000.
- It is highly recommended that you contact a person from Calayan Island or your host to guide you especially on the schedule of lampitaw because it varies. There are possibilities that there are no lampitaw traveling due to typhoon or holidays (especially holy week).
- Cover your bags with plastic bags because surely that your things will be wet. Raincoats are provided by your boatman but I also hope they give life vest because there are people like me who cannot swim.
- The island run out of electricity from 12 midnight to 12 noon so you better charge your devices before midnight.
- Unfortunately only Smart sim cards are working in this island so if you are Globe subscriber prepare to be disconnected while you are in the island. I also brought my Smart Bro pocket wifi but it is not working, no signal. huhu
You need tons of nerve in traveling this island aside from long land travel, crossing the Babuyan Channel is really exhausting and sickening. I almost cried in the middle of the journey because of unending waves slapping on me. The waves are too big, bigger than the boat. The clouds didn’t hide the sun so the heat kept on kissing my skin that turns out to be totally dark when I reached the island haha! But, every time people ask me what is my favorite place on earth I always say Calayan Island is the best place I had been. It is the place where I had the best experience, met the most amazing local people and learned a lot from them. Yes! I will go back to this place to see the places I missed and will update this blog soon.