Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary can be found in Brgy. Tabgon (which is not an island but a mainland). This can be reach via boat or via tricycle. An old woman living in this town had a dream about having a 'grotto' in their barangay. She consulted this with the priest and the priest consulted the government. But instead of building a grotto, the government decided to build a 27 ft shrine in 1990. Thunders ruined the original shrine so the goverment replaced it with a 33 ft shrine.
Sabitang laya is one of the most beautiful islands in Caramoan. Majestic rock formation, mangroves, long stretch of white sand beach can be found on this very awesome place. We swam with fishes here :)
Cotivas is just few minutes away from Manlawi. The island is owned by a private local that is why you need to pay Php 50 for the entrance and another Php 50 for cottage rental. The island has wide strech of white sand beach, the other part is a rocky shore and the island is blessed by green surroundings. :) There are cute dogs here too!
Manlawi can be as far as an hour from the port. It is a long stretch of sandbar where you can go dine and eat your lunch for Php 200 (rent) per cottage. Vendors are around this island selling sea shells from Php 20 and up.
While walking along the Centro, it’s recommended to have a visit of the red bricked Parish church of St. Michael, the Archangel in the island of Caramoan. From the church’s façade and the structure, you can see that this church is very, very, very old.
I believe this place is best for ghost hunting.. well, I haven’t tried it but when we walked along the porch of the church, (though it’s already 8am) I can feel that there’s something weird in that place. I’m not trying to frighten anyone here but I’m just sharing with you the feeling I had during that moment. I strongly believe that due to the old age of the parish church and the location in an island with only a few residing people here, it’s no wonder that “something” wanders around here. And especially, this tomb infront of the church with a cross on it.. there's just "something" about it.
It’s a good thing though that the school beside the church got my attention. Just a few walks from the church, you’ll see the school’s gate… which I also believe an old school too. Come to think of it, a school and church… hmm… it's the usual place where disturbed souls gather... right?
Last Stop- Lahos island has a white sandbar that connects 2 identical limestone formations. During the high tides or rainy season, the sandbar eventually disappears then leaves a smooth white sheet of sand in the middle of the 2 rocks. I also noticed that there are more big waves in this area.
We were supposed to hop on one of the international reality TV game shows- Survivor's favorite shooting location, the Sabitang Laya. Sabitang Laya is a triangular island of long fine white shoreline. According to our boatman, this island has the finest and whitest sands among the other islands of Caramoan.
We were excited when our local friends said that Sabitang Laya was included in our list of islands to conquer until… when we got near the island… somebody from Sabitang Laya waved his hands indicating a “NO” sign. A pump boat came on one of our boats and said that we’re not allowed to go any nearer the island since the US Survivor show’s currently having their film.
Well, it’s a good thing though that we’re able to get a look of this popular island. Our boatmen brought us to this Haponan Island instead as an alternative due to our frustration.
Haponan Island captured us of its small hut situated on top of the rocks. It has this wooden stairs that look like it will collapse once you try to step on it.
The most captivating island I’ve ever seen was our 1st stop- Manlawi Island! Manlawi Island has this fine and white sandbars that are very unique! Just imagine a layer of cake traced with an icing along the sides! This island’s really a paradise! The almost 1 hour boat travel from the shore of Paniman was worth it!
We arrived in the island at around 830-9am and we just can’t help to be mesmerized with this paradise!
The white sandbars are very evident due to the low tide. The area surrounding the island gives a very awesome attraction with its green Tropical Island and aquamarine ocean water!
Once you arrive you’ll see a small hut along the shore and 2 ladies who sell these seashells which cost 25-100Php. The 2 ladies are kind and polite; they even took our picture that my friends bought a few shells with them to show their gratitude. Just make sure to check in with your baggage, the shells in the airport so you can bring it with you once you leave the Bicol Region. We paid 150Php for the small hut and also paid 25Php each for the Buko (Coconut) we drank as refreshment.
Matukad Island is one of the small islands in Caramoan which has fine white sands with prominent limestone cliffs.
Our boatmen said that we can climb up the cliffs so we can take a closer look of the lagoon. We were hesitant at first because the rocks are very steep! But when a few young people came and climbed, we got curious and excited to find out what they saw and experience the thrill! Our boatmen served as our coach on what will be our tactics to be able to reach the top. I really have this fear of heights but my curiosity always persists more than anything else so I gathered all the strength and courage to climb that very steep cliffs! Thank God, we made it to the top!
Inside the rock formations lies a tropical forest with the lagoon!!! Our boatmen said that we can’t cross to the other cliff since they’re not sure if the rocks on that area are as strong as the rocks we climbed below.
From the top, I imagined that the “Lost” TV series (where the people were trapped in an island and mysterious things happened) was shot here. It’s pretty scary but I thought of being one of the trapped people… I don’t know if I can survive it, haha!
Island hopping is one of my best favorite thing to do in Caramoan aside from eating local dishes!
There are top 10 islands featured in the peninsula. We're able to hop on to 4 islands only and able to get a view of 2 more islands. It took us 1 day to start the island tour. We left barangay Ile at 730am and prepared the foods to take with us- for our lunch and snack.
Barangay Ile is a bit far from the town of Paniman where we'd start the boat ride so we hired a jeepney (to take us there and back to the house where we stay) & paid the jeepney driver 1,000php (roundtrip).
We got to the town of Paniman and hired a boat to start the island hopping. Since we're on a large group we hired 2 boats (1st boat can accommodate 8-10 pax, 2nd boat 12-16 pax) and paid a total of 3,000Php for a roundtrip! really affordable right!?
Barangay Paniman is a fishing village; we saw a lot of fish nets and fishermen's sailboats along the shore. The locals are very polite and helpful to give information on our island hopping. The boatmen who also served as our tour guides gave tips on what to expect on our island adventure. Once you step on to the shore of this town, you'll get to see the nearby islands... and it'll seem like the islands are so near, that you can just hop on it in 10 minutes... but yet so far.
We were able to hop on Manlawi Island, matukad Island, lahus Island.
We were supposed to hop on also to the Sabitang Laya island which they say is the most popular due to its very fine and wite sand among the top 10 islands but we were blocked by a few US Survivor crews who were currently having their latest shooting of the US Survivor episode.
I believe that knowing someone from a place new to you is really an advantage! We're fortunate to know a local who lives in Caramoan, who also offered their house for us to stay!
She and her family gave us easier ways on what things we can do and what to expect.
Caramoan is a 2nd class municipality at the Caramoan Peninsula, in the province of Bicol, Camarines Sur, Philippines. Little is known about this beautiful isolated town in the Bicol region until the French Survivor chose this place as a location for their reality TV show. From then on, this once unknown paradise has become popular among local and international tourists.
It is our last destination before going home. It is about 30 minutes banca ride from Bikal Port.
You have to be prepared on this. Bring your ankle or leg support because you will climb about 523 big steps to see the panoramic view of the surrounding islands aside from the gigantic statue of Mary at the summit.
I was so tired but worth it.
visitors usually just do island hopping when they are visiting Caramoan. Try to explore the country side by walking. No heavy traffic and pollution so it's okay. We even went far off the road to get near a swamp and see hundreds of birds playing or Just simply enjoy the lush green surrounding, the river, Caramoan town hall, souvenir shops. market etc... a whole new different thing to do.
Very old church made of red brick located on a vast courtyard with trees, well maintained grass and Some religious monuments like St. Joseph . The church was put up by Franciscan Missionaries in 16th century.
For Catholic Church architecture lovers must not miss this church.
These are the beaches we managed to see even on a bad weather. About 45 minutes travel from Bikal port.
These twin beaches are located on a single triangular island. One side is Sabitang-Laya( wide and long) and the other side is Bag-ing (with rock formations). The island is beautiful and also belongs to the top 10 islands of Caramoan.