Expectation VS. Reality: Carabao Island (Maragondon, Cavite) When Summer’s Over

The first time I heard about Carabao Island, the one located in Maragondon, Cavite, was when it was featured in a news and lifestyle magazine TV program (Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho), summer of this year. I was actually amazed by these hidden beauties that can also be found in our Province. Who would have thought that white sand beaches, cliff diving and haven islands can be experienced somewhere in Cavite. That made me feel so proud (I should be; I’m a legit Cavitenya). I mean, make way Palawan, Bicol and other provinces down and up the Philippine map, Cavite has something better to offer. ๐Ÿ˜›

But since I’m not into island hopping, I never really made a concrete plan to go there. Until, my brother, eagerly pushed us to make a schedule and itinerary for a day tour in Carabao Island. So, we did. But sadly, he couldn’t go with us because of his work. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Okaaaay, enough with the background story. ๐Ÿ˜›

We left Rosario, Cavite around 4:00AM and headed our way to Kaybiang Tunnel to pick-


Photo credit: Maynhard Crizaldo (Kaybiang Tunnel @5:20AM)

up the mother of our contact person that will lead the way for us from there to reach the port/shore going to Carabao Island.

Comment down or message me to get the contact number of our guide. I highly recommend you our guide. HIGHLY. ๐Ÿ˜€

Around 5:40AM, we were ready to board the boat.

boarding the boat

Photo by: Mel Asarez


Photo by: Mel Asarez


Photo by: Mel Asarez

The boats of the locals can only accommodate 7 backpackers each. Boat rentals ranges from P1500 to P2000. In our case, our contact gave us a discount and allowed us to rent their boat for P1500. We were a total of 8 pax, including a 5-year old child, so maybe that was why we were still considered as 7.

The boat ride lasted for almost an hour. And the views/scenery were so breathtaking and worth risking for (risking for your gadgets to get wet) ๐Ÿ˜› I was amazed by the 3 most beautiful places/scenery in one sight. In. One. Sight. (Sea, Mountain, Sky)

seasea1sea2carabao 1

We scheduled our tour just days after Typhoon Pablo, so the waves were still dancing a bit wild and splashes of water were all around us, including on our backpacks. So, it is very important to bring a waterproof bag or pouch for your gadgets. I’m very thankful to God that though my backpack was wet, the water didn’t enter and so, my DSLR was safe. Actually, I was really praying hard for it. ๐Ÿ˜€ But I suggest, secure your equipment/gadgets if you’re planning to go on this trip. ๐Ÿ˜›

And then, we were approaching Carabao island:


Photo by: Jham Cadelina (Carabao Island)

Yes, the above photo is the historical Carabao Island. Historical because this place served as a “kuta” of the army (I just don’t know whether Philippine Army or the enemy’s army) here in Cavite. Well, if you want clarifications regarding its historical background, Google is just a type away. ๐Ÿ˜›

But that wasn’t the island our boat docked at. Because obviously, you cannot dock the boat there. It has no shore. Plus the waves during this season might wreck the boat on its rocky supposedly “docking area”. You have to swim in order to reach that island. And we cannot do that. Some of us don’t have that kind of skills yet and our backpacks aren’t waterproof. So, our guide decided to tour us around the parameter of Carabao Island instead (video footage/clip of a close-up look around Carabao Island can be seen here: Carabao Island Closer Look), and brought us to a nearer amazing island. Yes, the one featured on the TV show I’ve mentioned above.

Our contact person made us sure that the island we’ll be staying at is like a paradise and has white sand. She mentioned that there will be no cottages, so I was quite ready and visualizing the place in my mind. The perfect picture I saw in my mind was a ‘Survivor-like-island’. It turned out I was right.

It turned I was right but with a twist. ๐Ÿ˜›

We were so disappointed. DISAPPOINTED to the highest level! We were actually planning to stay in the island until 5:00PM but then upon arriving the island we suddenly told the boat man to pick us up at 2:00PM instead.

This was not what I saw on the TV Program. Those yellow things floating on the sea were not included when I visualized the island in my mind.

But as the old saying goes “fist impression never last”,ย we found ways how to see the island beyond its imperfection, and get along with its natural wonders.

White Sand is for real. ๐Ÿ˜€



Cliff Diving, “JUMPING” rather, is possible too. ๐Ÿ˜€



Photo by: Gelo Sto. Domingo



Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


And we found spots where we can still swim and enjoy the blue or green ocean without those floating yellow things. ๐Ÿ˜€


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo

The waves look calm on the pictures but really they weren’t. Life vest is a must-wear because the waves might bring you somewhere far. And wear slippers/sandals when swimming; you will not be stepping on the sand down there. ๐Ÿ˜€ But if you’re a masochist, you are free not to heed my advice. ๐Ÿ˜›

I can say, that for a day we have owned an entire island. So yes, it was a survivor-like-island experience. ๐Ÿ˜› Aside from the things we brought, we were left with nothing. ๐Ÿ˜›


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


Photo by: Mel Asarez


And what would you do if you own an entire island for a day (aside from swimming)? ๐Ÿ˜€

Food Trip it is!


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez



Camp building!


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


Sand Castle Making ๐Ÿ˜›



Rock Tower Making! ๐Ÿ˜›


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


Or just plain relax ๐Ÿ˜€



And if everything else fails, go to sleep. ๐Ÿ˜›


Photo by: Angiemel Asarez


We were picked up by the boat we rented around 2:30PM and brought us to another island. We were not expecting this one. Angel, our contact person, told us that this island is for those who want to stay overnight. This time, cottages and toilets and stores are available in the place. It is also residential.

The beauty of the views going to that island were much visible. Maybe because it was nearing the golden hour. So, the color and contrast compliment each other. ๐Ÿ˜€


Photo by: jham Cadelina


Photo by: jham Cadelina


Photo by: jham Cadelina

Here in our second island, we enjoyed swimming by the shore without slippers/sandals and life vest. ๐Ÿ˜€ We savored and rode on the waves this time, which we couldn’t do on that survivor-like-island. ๐Ÿ˜›



Photo by: Angiemael Asarez


Photo by: Angiemael Asarez


Photo by: Maynhard Crizaldo


Photo by: Angiemael Asarez

We managed to have a talk with Angel, our contact person, whom we have rented a boat. And I was surprised to know some funny details regarding the situation of the locals in that place. And I was triggered to throw rotten eggs on the face of Henry Sy.

Angel told us that some of the islands that we have seen during our boat ride were already bought by business men. One of the islands (and it is a beautiful island) is owned by Henry Sy. That was quite okay but to hear that this greedy business man is actually trying to demolish the locals on their island, by offering them to sell their lot, is something inhumane. I mean, back off! You already owned a big business industry out in the city, for freakiiing sake, don’t touch these natural wonders! And don’t you dare snatch away the simple and peaceful life of these locals. Don’t take away their source of income and living. Back off! Just back off, please!

But I guess, if the government can’t or wont (is the perfect term) do anything to stop you, Henry Sy, from your wicked schemes, who would? And who would listen to the rants of the locals? Who would listen to these things I say? It breaks my heart to think that these locals were peacefully living a life in this place and then suddenly someone will try to snatch it away from them. That is so inhumane! But the rich people control the world — that’s a fact. And I don’t know how these locals would fight for their rights. Yet still, my hope is in the Lord. He is just. And justice will be served. Maybe not now, but sooner or later it will be.ย ย Deuteronomy 32:4 says, He isย the Rock, His workย isย perfect;ย For all His waysย areย justice,ย A God of truth and without injustice;ย Righteous and uprightย isย He.”

Anyway, I know that you’re looking for budget breakdown, itinerary and so on, so here it goes:

Van – 500 (3,500/7)
Bangka – 215 (1500/7)
Total: P715 each

4am – Tejero, Cavite (you can eat breakfast at home or buy something at 7/11, may rice meal naman dun)
5:20am – Kaybiang Tunnel (ili-lead tayo ni Angel papunta sa sakayan nila ng bangka)
5:40am – boarding the boat
6:00am to 7:10am – boat ride (ikot-ikot lang, ikot-ikot)
7:10am to 2:30pm – savour the island
2:30pm to 3:00pm – boat ride going to the next island
3:00pm to 4:00pm – swim-swim again dun sa 2nd island
4:00pm to 5:00pm – Banlaw time! Pack-up!
6:00pm to 6:15pm – boat ride back to the port
8pm – Tejero

Things to bring:
Extra clothes
Swimming clothes
Wear sandals/slippers
Water (for the whole day)
Packed Lunch
Waterproof bag/pouch for your gadgets
Plastic bag for wet clothes
Sumblero/shades (for eye protection kung mainit)
Panlatag sa buhangin
Charcoal and Match (if your planning to cook your food at the island)

By the way, those yellow things (lilies) floating on the first island we stayed at were from Manila Bay and it was because of the Typhoon. I mentioned above that we scheduled our trip here just days after Typhoon Pablo. So, if you’re planning to spend a day on this haven island without those yellow things, schedule your trip during summer. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, if you’d like to watch our adventure vlog in Carabao Island, click this link: Carabao Island (Maragondon, Cavite) When Summer’s Over

P.S. Clean as you go! I repeat, CLEAN AS YOU GO!