Brian, a friend/former officemate opened a local business (Chibugan Republik) in Tayabas, Quezon in 2011, and ever since he has been inviting us to visit and eat. Finally, last weekend, we packed our bags and hopped on a bus to Quezon. Since it’s summer, we also took the opportunity to make a side trip to the beach. We were supposed to stay at resort but we decided to make it a backpacking-weekend-trip-in-1500php-or-less. That’s $36 dollars for you non-Filipino readers.
Since we set a tight budget for our weekend trip, we researched camping islands similar to Anawangin and Nagsasa Cove – no electricity, no hot and cold showers, no beds, no room service. We learned about Puting Buhangin through blogs. Coincidentally, Beep also went there the weekend before our trip with a different set of friends, so planning the trip was fairly easier with his help.
aAt about 2 AM Saturday, we boarded the Jac Liner bus in the Buendia/Gil Puyat terminal. Fare to Grand Terminal in Lucena was 209.50php if my memory serves me right. Travel time was about 3-4 hours. After a quick breakfast at the terminal, we hired a jeepney to take us to the jump off, which is about an hour away. Since the island doesn’t have a resort to serve us meals, we dropped by the wet market to buy ingredients for our meals as well as our drinking water. We were 10 in the group so we just split the 1,300php service fee for the jeepney.
Once we arrived at the jump off, we paid for the boat ride + overnight fee, which is 120php (20php for the boat ride that took us to the back of the island and 100php for the overnight fee in the island). The boat ride was only 5 minutes since we just needed to cross the river. The boat will only take you to the back of the island, they say that there’s a 5-min trek to the beach and camping grounds. 5 minutes my ass! Haha. With all the stuff you’ll be carrying, it’ll get you 15 mins or more to reach the camping grounds. Prepare yourself because trekking there while carrying water jugs, camping equipment, etc will be not as easy as “a 5 minute walk”. But, if you don’t want to risk your life in that 5 minute trek, you can opt to take another boat ride which will cost 250php.
When we finally reached the camping grounds, we were welcomed by this swarm of people. Great. Not so peace and quiet in paradise after all. Despite the overwhelming number of campers who decided to go to Puting Buhangin that same weekend, we were still able to enjoy our stay. It’s the people you’re with that makes a trip enjoyable.
MJ and Mei playing Monopoly Deal while waiting for our lunch to be cooked.
Adobo by Ate Chrissy.
By night, it was Chef Yna’s turn to cook.
Sinigang by Chef Yna!
I don’t cook so the only help I could contribute was set up the tent and wash the dishes. LOL.
The next morning, we had our breakfast, packed up, and boarded a boat that we hired for 1200php. It took us to Silangang Nayon in Pagbilao where our friend, Brian, picked us up for part 2 of our Quezon getaway. Next stop.. Brian’s Chibugan Republik in Tayabas!
PS. There are restrooms in the island. Don’t expect too much from those. :p
PPS. “Shower rooms” are in a separate area from the restrooms. You need to buy the water if you want to take a bath, which is 50php per container. We also bought those for our camp.
PPPS. Although there were camps that set up bonfires, we chose not to because there were a lot of tents set up close to each other. There are also a lot of trees in the area.