A vacation with the closest people you have in your life at the moment is always a gift. The cherry on top of that was our destination – Calaguas, Camarines Norte.
I used to despise beaches until last year, and Calaguas completely erased all those memories of me hating the salty water and scorching sun away. This paradise further proved to me just how wonderful, breathtaking, and life-changing the beauty of nature could be, if only you’d open yourself up to it.
After the stressful twelve-hour van ride (prolonged because of the lengthy stopovers) and four-hour boat ride (prolonged because of a failing engine), I didn’t expect all the weariness in me to suddenly vanish the moment I had a glimpse of the untarnished shores of Calaguas.
The White Sands
I have never seen anything like this in my life. From that very moment, I knew I needed to cherish each minute I spend here.
We hurriedly took off our slippers after taking some photos. The sand felt cold, perfect for the summery weather. It was very fine, and I can’t help but think of polvoron whenever I touch it. I was overwhelmed with joy because I’ve never seen and felt such fine sands touching my feet. We were all smiles and stoked for the next hours we’ll spend here.
We ate our lunch and put our swimwear on. About an hour later, we were ready to take a dip. Though a little crowded, we tried to find the spot especially for us.
The Pristine Waters
To my disappointment, there was no visible marine life near the shore of Calaguas. I was hoping we’d have a tour of the nearby islands for me to snorkel and be taken aback by the beauty of the world under water, but that didn’t happen. I brought my snorkeling gear for no reason, but of course, I still enjoyed swimming.
The water in El Nido was clearer, but Calaguas doesn’t disappoint either. We took pictures and videos, played games, watched the sunset, and enjoyed a fun time together. I wanted more time to swim, to catch the mildly strong and completely beautiful waves of the ocean.
My only sunset in Calaguas was extra special. It’s the first time my eyes caught the light of the sun come down and disappear for a night. After a few more moments, we headed back to our tents, ate dinner, and hang by the shore to enjoy a night with each other.
The Countless Stars
Moments after the sun went down, I looked up and saw a single star. After a few minutes, I looked up again and saw three. After eating dinner, there were multitudes.
Stars will forever hold my heart. I still can’t fathom how such mysterious dots of light can appear floating and twinkling in the sky, their lights not enough to fully brighten up a place, but deep inside they light up my entirety.
Our very blessed and talented friend Ann played the guitar for us. We sang along, with Nase taking on the lead singer role with her delicate high-pitched voice being the loudest. The most beautiful girl in the island that night, Reg, was our tanggera. Mont drank even though he said he wouldn’t. Alette was at the center of it all, trying to explain to us her progress on something (while hoarding chips). We also shared stories from the past. And even though the night was still young, we decided to sleep because we were all so exhausted already.
Our second day in Calaguas went by so fast because we only had a few hours left to spare.
As Ann and I were taking pictures by the seashore, Mont was just sitting by himself in one corner. After our photo session, we approached him and invited him to go back to our tent. He said that if he had a choice, he won’t move a muscle. Right at that very moment, he just wants to shut his eyes and hear the calming sound of the waves.
I did that earlier because I was the first to wake up and leave our tent. I went back to the shallow hole I dug the night before and looked at how the water mixes with the sand to create this wonderful color that reminds me of my favorite cup of coffee. In that solitary moment, I took it all in because it’s not every day that you get to see such a proof of this world’s grandeur and how wonderful this life truly is.
To bid goodbye, we climbed to the view deck of the island. Everyone was dumbstruck because why not? The island was incredibly lovely beyond words, and the 360-degree-view of it all will only make you fall in love and want to come back.
This is freedom and this is living. I am beyond grateful and blessed to have had the privilege to visit such a wonderful creation of God. Just like my current favorite song, I felt like a “Lost Boy” who just found out where he belongs.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart and my very last breath. I’m just a spectator and you are the grand attraction. Your beauty will never run out.