For this particular post, I’ll be excerpting some lines from a piece “Crossing Wild Quezon by Mini Van” written by photographer, writer and friend Oggie Ramos for InFlight’s July-August 2012 issue.
Setting out for Cagbalete Island
There are two boat trips going to Cagbalete daily, one at 10:30am and another at 3:30pm. We took the latter, boarding a large boat that sits anywhere from 75-100 passengers. The trip was splash-free and dry save for the time to board off in Sabang as the water has receded far from shore, necessitating a ride on a flat-bottom boat and wading near the shore.
The western side of Cagbalete is littered with houses and various commerce mainly run by migrants from the Visayas who have made the island their home. Making our way to the home of our host, a retired judge of Mauban, we had to weave through an assortment of houses, sari-sari stores, bakeries and shops.
We woke to a bright, clear morning. Fueled by a hasty breakfast of coffee and peanut butter cookies, we hiked 20 minutes through grassland to the eastern side of the island. Emerging from the windbreak rows of she-oaks (trees that resemble pine trees but grow in drier land), we found a shoreline littered by seaweeds and a deserted stretch of beach with fine, fair sand all to ourselves.
At Villa Cleofas, we watched the copra workers as they went about their business, shucking coconut and preparing them for drying. After an hour, we went for the hammocks by the beach to watch the birds and survey the empty beach.