Well, there’s always a first time for everything…and yes, this is the first time I will blog about my first backpacking escape with two (2) first time getaway friends. This is, wait for it, awesome and legendary.LOL

Finding a post from a friend about Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas (Pagbilao, Quezon) on our group on FB (a group of adventure seekers via mountain climbing and side trips), I fell in love with this the first time I got through the pages. Then I told myself that I am really onto it and I’ll go there come what may — ready or not, with friends or alone, with budget or broke. Haha.

(l-r, Standing) Ma'am Angie, Ate Ghi, Ishan (xtian), Me (l-r, seating) Ryan, Vheapot, Ms. Melods, Camp Master Rymar

(l-r, Standing) Ma’am Angie, Ate Ghi, Ishan (xtian), Me
(l-r, seating) Ryan, Vheapot, Ms. Melods, Camp Master Rymar

Luckily, I’ve recruited seven (7) adventure seekers like me — of course (1) Ryan, my hike buddy slash partner in crime, (2) Vheapot, my pakner on escapes, (3&4) Ma’am Angie and Sir Rymar, our office mentors slash my badminton buddies who turned out to be the camp masters on this escape, hihi, (5) Ms. Melods, a former employee on our office who’s not sure of coming along until the last minute but decided to go, (6) Ate Ghi, Ryan’s friend who became my badminton buddy as well, and last but not the least, (7) Christian, a good friend of Vhea and I who’s also a former employee on our office.

We left Rosario (Batangas) at 9:00 am and reach the paradise of Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas at around 3:00 pm. But don’t you worry, kasama dyan ang stop over para kumain, bumili ng chuchu, and mag-intay ng public vehicle since we are commute. I think if you’re planning to bring your car along, 3-4 hours travel time will do. Of course, it will be more convenient for you but I think, yong hindi mo alam kung saan ka pupunta and you can’t do anything but continuously ask and do price huggle, made this escape more exciting and thrilling too. If you’re coming from Manila, just take a bus ride to Lucena Grand Terminal; approximately 3 hrs of travel time.

So ayon, our first stop was Lucena Grand Terminal where we ate after hours of traveling.

First group pic, Chowking (wala pala si Ishan pa since he's from Lucban and we'll meet him at Pagbilao)

First group pic, Chowking (wala pala si Ishan pa since he’s from Lucban and we’ll meet him at Pagbilao)

Natuwa kaming lahat sa number ng Chowking. There were quotes that, as if, know what are we really experiencing right that very moment.

Number 30 yong akin. Haha

Number 30 yong akin. Haha

Then we rode the jeepney located just accross the Chowking with the sign board of Pagbilao. We dropped off at the Pagbilao Market to buy our food since we don’t want to buy our food in Batangas then carry everything to Quezon. #MedyoHassle kasi. Haha. Note: If you have your own food, you could make your way directly to Ibabang Polo (same jeep from the Grand Temrinal)  instead of dropping by Pagbilao Market.

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Then our camp masters and me start buying our food. Actually, tagabitbit at taga-picture lang ako kasi hindi ako marunong mamalengke talaga. HAHA!

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The four (4) others were left outside to guard our backpacks. Ishan came out of the blue. LOL

After checking our menu list, we called Kuya Erwin, the tricycle driver  (found his number by reading other reviews about the place.), and ask if he can fetch us up at Pagbilao and make our way to Puting Buhangin entrance. But, he told us just to rode the jeep located at the back of the Public Market with the sign board Ibabang Polo and told the driver to dropped us at Kapitan Amandy’s house and there, Kuya Erwin will fetch us.

Good thing, one of the passengers was also going to Kapitan Amandy and another passenger was actually directing us where to go and what to do next. Mababait ang mga tao. (y)

After an hour, we finally arrived at Kapitan Amandy’s place. Kuya Erwin suggested that we buy first our Drinking water before making our way to Capscapas to avoid the unbelievable marked up of the sari-sari store there.

After buying the water, here we come!

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Riding with Kuya Erwin was Ms. Melods, and the Camp MAsters

Then ayon,  we finally arrived at the campsite called Capascapas. Here, you’ll pay your entrance fee to Ate Gemma, PHP 160.00 overnight rate, plus PHP 25.00 for the boat ride since you have to cross a lake (very short ride) in order to reach the other side.

If you’re bringing your car along, dito kayo mag-park. Safe naman kasi dito naka-tigil ang caretakers.

Before riding the boat, Capascapas

Before riding the boat, Capascapas

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Boat ride

And yes, we finally arrived the other side then we start our trekking!

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Just follow the obvious trek and you won’t be lost.

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Walk and walk and walk and tadan! The hidden paradise is now on hand. ❤

Groupie after putting our bags down. Isn't it amazing? :)

Groupie after putting our bags down. Isn’t it amazing? 🙂

 Following our itinerary which I thoroughly (and keenly) wrote,  we prepare first our ‘campsite’ (campsite-campsite-an.LOL) — we put everything in order, set up our tent, find a spot for our kitchen corner, dining corner, bags, and other things.

Camp Master Rymar giving instructions to me and Ishan for setting up the tent. First time! haha

Camp Master Rymar giving instructions to me and Ryan for setting up the tent. First time! haha

For a 2-3 pax tent, 5 pitchers? HAHA

For a 2-3 pax tent, 6 pitchers? HAHA

Since we won’t fit on that tent, we rent another tent available on the sari-sari store there. The biggest is PHP 400.00 good for 3-4 pax.

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The compact and easy to use cookset. Thanks Kuya Rion for letting us borrow this.

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Our kaldero, hinubad na steel from a rice cooker. HAHA. That’s our rice

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This is on the back portion wherein we cook some other stuff like Miki-Canton, do our grilling.

The Amazing Wonder Pan --- nakaluto ng Miki-Canton, Hotdog, at Fried Eggs! ^___^

The Amazing Wonder Pan — nakaluto ng Miki-Canton, Hotdog, at Fried Eggs! ^___^

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Rymar marinading ur Pork Chop for dinner. Yum! PS: This cottage is free of charge. But, brace yourself, it’s on a first come first occupant basis.LOL. Abangers kami dito before napa-sa amin ang lugar na ito. xD

After everything was set up, we see to it that we locked our things inside the smaller tent, change to our swimming outfit inside the big tent we rented, before we finally start to conquered the place.

Puting Buhangin and Kwebang Lampas is more enchanting and mesmerizing in person than in pictures. If I fell inlove with its picture, I fell harder when I get a glimpse of it.

Its name, Puting Buhangin justifies its meaning — a shoreline with creamy white and powdered fine sand. Its beach is an enchanting azure that resembles the one in Boracay and Palawan. On the right side of the picture is the 15-meter long  Kwebang Lampas. During low tides, water’s deep is actually up to knee-level water. During high tide, it may reach up to my shoulder (I stand 5’7). Lukcily, when we explore the cave during night time and day time, the sea is on low tide so we don’t have a hard time exploring this short cave.

Opening of Kwebang Lampas, night time

Opening of Kwebang Lampas, night time

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Kwebang Lampas opening, day time. With our camp master, Rymar (be careful on walking on the water. Mabato kasi. I got alot of souvenir cuts because I failed to notice those stones and rocks)

Since we prepare first our dinner as ordered by Camp Master, it was already night time when we decided to get along with water.

Cave

Cave

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That’s me, making the heart shape. Sorry. LOL

And the rest was history for that night — Chicha’s, kwento overloads, heartaches (?), random memories, and everything under the sun. Nakakagaan ng feeling kapag may mga taong hindi ka naman ganoon kakilala pero parang alam nila lahat sa’yo. Ang saya magkwento. Parang feeling mo, may kakampi ka kahit t*ng* ka. HAHA

The next morning, I woke up with this,

Not-so-sun rise as the sun is being covered by that stretch of the island. :( Pero pwede na rin. Relaxing.

Not-so-sun rise as the sun is being covered by that stretch of the island. 😦 Pero pwede na rin. Relaxing.

 Sumisikat na ang araw….bagong umaga!

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Breakfast din pag may time.

Food!

Food!

Kaya pagkainom ng Coffee, gora na kami sa paggala ulit. Syempre, ang Walang kamatayng picture picture! HAHA.

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Some under water shots.

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Itinerary:

Day 1

0800 Meet up Jollibee Rosario

0830 ETD Jollibee Rosario

0900 ETA San Juan

0930 ETA Candelaria

1030 ETA Lucena Grand Terminal

Lunch at Chowking

1130 ETD Lucena Grand Terminal

1215 ETA Pagbilao Market

Buy things needed

1300 ETD Pagbilao Market

1400 ETA Brgy. Polo Old Checkpoint (kasama ang pagpupuno ng jeep sa estimated time na ito)

Buy water

1430 ETA Capascapas 1

1440 ETA Capascapas 2

1530 ETA Puting Buhangin

1530 Set Camp/ Free Time/ Swim

1900 Dinner

2000 Program! HAHA ^______^

Day 2

0500 Wakeup Call, sunrise

0600 free time / swim / snorkeling / island hopping

0800 HEAVY Breakfast

1100 ETD Puting Buhangin

1120 ETA Capascapas 2

1130 ETA Capascapas 1

1145 Brgy. Polo Old Checkpoint

1245 ETA SM Lucena

Halo halo

1330 ETD SM Lucena

1430 ETA Sariaya, Quezon

Buy Pasalubong

1630 ETA Jollibee Rosario

1715 ETA Lipa Bustop

Breakdown of Expenses:

  • Jeep from Lipa Bustop to San Juan – 50.00 (I used this bec I came from bustop. But if you’ll be meeting up at Rosario, 35 pesos from Jollibee Rosario to San Juan)
  • Jeep from San Juan to Candelaria – 20.00
  • Bus fare from Candelaria to Lucena Grand Terminal – 28
  • Lunch – 80.00
  • Jeep fare from Lucena Grand Terminal to Pagbilao Public Market – 11.00
  • Jeep fare from Pagbilao Public Market to Brgy. Polo Old Checkpoint – 35.00
  • Water for drinking (Yong panlagay sa dispenser) – 11.00 (90.00/8); note: ibalik ang lalagyan at may deposit na 100.00.
  • Tricycle fare from Brgy. Polo Old Checkpoint to Capascapas – 50.00 (400 per byahe, max of 5 pax/tricycle)
  • Boat fare and Entrance fee from Capascapas 1 to Capascapas 2 (and vice versa) – 185.00 (PHP 160 over night rate plus 25 boat rides)
  • 15 minutes trekking
  • Fresh Water for bathing – 50.00 (six gallons, 3 gallons per bath)
  • Contribution for food – 225.00
  • Tent – May dala kaming isa pero nag-rent kami ng isa pa worth Php 400.00 good for 3-4 pax – 50.00

Pauwi:

  • 15 minutes trekking ulit
  • Tricycle fare from Capascapas 1 to Brgy Polo – 38.00 (tawad tawad din pag may time. Haha)
  • Jeep fare from Brgy. Polo to SM Lucena – 45.00
  • Halo halo at Chowking – 69
  • Bus fare from SM Lucena to SAriaya – 28.00 (actually pwede na tong Tiaong tapos from Tiaong jeep to Lipa but we wanted to buy the famous Yema Cake and Pinagong of Quezon so we decided to drop by here)
  • Bus fare from Sariaya to Jollibee Rosario – 63.00
  • Jeep fare from Jollibee Rosario to Lipa Bustop – 25.00

TOTAL: PHP 983.00 🙂 … yema cake not included. (PHP 155.00 small, PHP 280.00 big)

Food menu:

  • Lunch at Chowking Lucena Grand Terminal, Chao Fan with drink (may Jollibee din dito, 7/11, ATM Machine, etc)
  • Meryenda, Miki-Canton luto ni Camp Master Rymar
  • Dinner, Inihaw na Tilapia at Porkchop Rice
  • Chichas / Candies and kwentuhan overload during midnight
  • Breakfast, 3 in 1 coffee / Milo,  Fried Eggs,  Hotdogs, Marshmallows
  • Lunch, Yong hindi naubos na Tilapia.LOL, Yong hindi naubos na rice
  • Perk up at Chowking SM Lucena, Halo halo

Backpack:

  • Tent
  • Cookset – one butane (gas ng cookset) will do for overnight stay
  • Mosquito sticker patch
  • Flashlight – very important kasi walang kuryente dito.  Haha
  • Toiletries / Personal hygiene – Speaking of that, yong CR dito ay hindi pwede sa maaarte.  Well, but it makes sense sa word na ‘camping’
  • First aid kit
  • Water proof camera
  • Shades
  • Kawali Kaldero
  • Utensils (Paper plate na di plastic, yong pangfiesta. Haha)
  • Sunblock!
  • Aqua shoes
  • Tripod – para kasama lahat sa picture xD

 

Ayon, go and visit this place and it’s worth every penny. Hoping for more backpacking activity. Hihi.

Pahabol pics:

The girls

The girls

The boys

The boys

Yours truly

Yours truly

CONTACT PERSON:

Ate Gemma the caretaker (0947-5911-630)

Kuya Erwin the tricycle driver (0946-8419-456)

 

Oooops, PS lang para hindi naman kayo mabigla at sige, konting tips na rin:

  • Walang kuryente rito. Kaya magdala ng emergency light.
  • Mahina ang signal ng Globe Telecom. Minsan, totally wala. ‘Yong Smart, may signal may kahit paano. Hindi ko lang alam ‘yong ibang networks.
  • Almost double to triple ang prices ng items sa Sari-sari store. Kaya magtiyaga magbitbit para tipid.
  • ‘Yong CR eh pinagpapatong patong na tuyong dahon ng niyog. Medyo mababa for me kaya nakaupo ako habang naliligo. Sa PHP 50.00 na bathing water, dalawa kaming naghati. So sa apat (4) hanggang limang (5) buhos, solve na dapat kayo. Pero, sa bagay, kung mayaman ka naman eh di madaming water. Haha. Tapos, ang ginawa namin eh sa tent na kami nagbihis.
  • Maraming askal dito. Maiingay. Pero hindi naman namamansin except that kapag may food, kailangan niyong itago sa hindi makikita / maaabot ng mga aso.
  • May gumagala ring pabo. Kaboses ng mga palaka pero okay naman. Harmless.
  • Bawal mag-bonfire pero maaaring magbangi.

Ayon.

This is, indeed, life! ❤

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