Our next destination for the day was Cabugao Island. This is where that famous picture of an island in almost every single post about Islas de Gigantes is taken.
Cabugao Island is privately owned just like most other islands. There was an entrance fee of P50 per head.
I was excited to climb the hill where that famous picture is taken. It wasn’t an easy climb. As always, I was this big rhinoceros (just to differentiate myself from an elephant) who needed to be pulled and dragged. Manong Jofer said that this was nothing compared to the caving part. I found this to be really true the next day.
I was very excited when I got up that I didn’t realize there were drops of water on my lens that caused the blur in my pictures. I never realized this until it was too late – that big crowd of people started to arrive. I hope though that people would still appreciate the beauty of Cabugao Island in the pictures sans the blur and the other people (not me, Raisa and Manong Jofer of course).
When we got down, we went straight to the beach. The water was immaculate. The sand was fine enough. Nong Jofer said that before Typhoon Yolanda, which directly hit their place exactly a year ago, the beach was purely sand. But after the typhoon, corals got washed up on shore and made the beach rougher. Just imagine the waves crushing the beach from left and right. Nong Jofer also told us this story that the caretaker of the island got out of the island just two hours before the eye of the storm came. I could only imagine what the sea was at that time.
The beach was a little steep so I was not that confident to practice my swim. But again, the water was amazing. It was crystal clear and clean.
I didn’t realize this was our last stop for day 1 until now. I felt at that point that we have accomplished a lot. I guess we were just mesmerized by the beauty of Gigantes. We were going back to these destinations the next day so look out for my next posts.
We arrived at the Gigantes Hideaway Tourist Inn around 5pm. There were tents set up outside of the rooms because aside from that big group we saw earlier, a bigger group of students from the University of the Philippines in Miag-ao, Iloilo were also booked for the night. We were supposed to go to the lighthouse that afternoon but Nong Jofer decided against it because the place was packed with all the students.
We were then shown our humble room. They provided us the room at the end of the resort because that was probably the only room left for us. It was a simple room where we could stay for the night. It isn’t luxury so please don’t look for that. It looked nice from the outside though.
A few hours after, it was dinner time. When Mr. Decano texted me about the inclusions in the tour package, he mentioned the meals were “sumptuous.” I thought this was funny but then I realized it was true. It was even an understatement considering how huge the servings were.
The scallops, most especially, were a plenty. They were just overflowing. Raisa and I talked about how expensive scallops were back home. At P300, you’d be lucky to get 10 pieces. It was even worse in hotels. Here in Gigantes, we had hundreds of them in one sitting for around P400 per head (or per mouth). The scallops could be reason enough to go to Gigantes.
I apologize but I don’t take pictures of food. I’m not a foodie so the only way I know how to appreciate food is to eat them. I don’t care how they look. I don’t even pray before meals so I don’t have any rituals before eating.
We had a few bottles of beer to cleanse our palate. Don’t be scared of running out of beer. The next-door store has plenty of them. Aside from beer, the store also has plenty of supplies.
The store also had a videoke machine in the yard so Raisa and I decided to sing the night out. The machine had problems taking the coins though but Nong Jofer did everything he could to fix it. We ended our sing off when other guests started arriving in the videoke hut.
The UP students had a mini-event that night so it was a bit noisy. It was never chaotic though since the students were mostly behaved and no one was causing problems.
Except for the mosquitoes (I was too tired to hang the mosquito net that the resort provided), I had a really good night.
Our more exciting second day on my next post…