You may have seen videos and pictures of this island being shared a number of times on social media accounts. You saw how beautiful the beaches here are, how pristine the place… how secluded this island is. And you may have also noted what a perfect getaway for tropical destination this island is, etc., etc., etc. And then you may have read blogs about it and you may now have the idea how to get there, etc., etc., etc.
But what I’m going to showcase about Carnaza Island are not just its physical beauties but also our experiences which made this island escapade interesting and different from my earlier escapades. This account reveals why this escapade is one of my unforgettable trips ever. New treasures were found, additional keepings to my wanderlust chest.
So here’s the time story!
3 : 00 AM – My friends and I planned to meet up in North Bus Terminal to be able to have an early schedule to go to Daanbantayan but due to unavoidable circumstances, we were able to depart at 5 : 00 AM.
We rode a bus with the name “Maya via Kawit” on the sign board and told the conductor that we would disembark at Tapilon. The estimated travel time in the bus was 4-5 hours.
11 : 00 AM – It was almost midday when we arrived at Tapilon. From Tapilon, we would proceed to Carnaza. The usual trip going to Carnaza is between 9 : 00 AM to 12 : 00 noon.
This was the scenery when we got to Tapilon. I should not have posted this so as not to be lengthy but this scene caught my eyes and I just couldn’t resist the desire to share.
Fresh Catch. I saw this couple counting their freshly harvested sack of sea shells called Saang. When I say freshly it means that the shells were still “alive and kicking”. And while looking at them, I silently murmured of having some, haha!
Second. Waiting for the boat to depart took us more than an hour. We just watched the busy men loading and unloading sacks of cargoes. I was amazed by the cargoes loaded in the boat. That was why there was no exact time for the boat to depart because they have to unload and load a lot of cargoes.
Third. These sacks contained blocks of ice because as what I have known, there’s a limited supply of electricity in the island making the preservation of food by freezing difficult. To keep their food fresh and cool they use these blocks of ice. There were almost 15 sacks of ice and it was such a heavy cargo to be carried in a boat. I was just amazed by the sight.
2 : 00 PM – With the perfect weather, finally we reached Carnaza. It took as more than an hour to reach the place and as the boat docked at the shore, we could clearly see the turquoise clear water of Carnaza, where a lot of kids were swimming in it. Oh, how I envy those kids!
2 : 30 PM – We went to Kaelina’s Cove which was just a few treks away from the docking place. Upon arriving at the place, I was stunned with the view. Though there were just a few trees, there was abundant grass where we could squat on. The shore side had very fine white sand with a single parked boat. Beautiful rock formation that served as boundary of the cove, and the turquoise sea water were really admirable.
We were the only people in that place and it seemed that we owned the island. So peaceful and serene, this place is definitely a paradise. Here’s a video of me just freely running around because I was in bliss to be in this place.
Video credits to Kevin de Arca
3 : 00 PM – It’s time to hit the water. Of course, one reason why I wanted to be in this island was to swim in the water of Carnaza.
See, how rich Carnaza’s marine environment is! Can you spot the sea grapes or locally called lato? They are abundant here. We gathered some and ate them directly. They were savory. Honestly, it was my first time to see lato in abundance. Again, I was amazed. I just have simple joys in life and seeing and eating freshly harvested lato made me happy.
Here are photos of my friends and me swimming and taking snaps, capturing different angles of the beauty of Carnaza.
Obviously I’m enjoying the beach in Carnaza Island.
There were locals fishing just near the shore, so just imagine the rich marine biodiversity of this island.
4 : 30 PM – As Mr. Sun lay down to embrace the horizon and before darkness enveloped the earth, he made sure he bade farewell by spreading lovely darling pink hues in the firmament. What a beautiful sight!
5 : 30PM – As always, wherever I go, witnessing sunsets must not be missed. This specific time of the day is euphoria. This photo is from James one of my companions in this adventure.
6 00 PM – And as time ticked before night blanketed the scene, the pink hues on the sky were reflected on the sand and the sea and its surroundings looked like a pink beach! It was such a beautiful sight. How I wish I could prolong the time just to watch this scene!
6 : 45 PM – Then the sun was finally out and it was already pitch black. When that final tinge of light finally settled into the black sky, I was under a tree watching the setting sun. As I looked up, I noticed some moving lights and thought they were stars. I realized they were fireflies dancing and moving in harmony with the melody of nature as the sun bade farewell.
7 : 00 PM – While some of my friends were cooking food for dinner, others were singing and strumming the guitar, others were taking snaps of the stars, the rest of the group and I were hanging around with the locals , a father and his 3 kids specifically, who happened to kind of catch fish and shrimps and other sea food just in the vicinity where we camped. What amazed me was that the kids just used their bare hands to catch those shrimps. You should watch my video to see it for yourself.
This video is the summary of our first day in Carnaza Island.
7 : 15 PM At this specific time of the night, something enchanting happened. This photo is just for reference. Actually, it did not really look like this. It was just that every time we stepped on the water near the shore, sparkling blue lights came flashing in; if we stood still, the lights would be gone. So we stepped on the water again, the lights emerged and then disappeared. They might be bioluminescent planktons I guess. This was one of the unforgettable moments I spent here in Carnaza Island. It reminded me of the movie Life of Pi. After about 5 minutes of that enthralling experience, the tide became so low and the sparkling planktons vanished.
10 : 00 PM Until then we got used to the darkness of the night coated with sparkling gems stuck in the sky. We just enjoyed the moment and the company while relishing our dinner. Later on we had games and music and the sounds of laughter could be heard in the night.
10 30 PM – I was so dead tired that I slept outside the tent assured that the weather was perfect. I could sense the cloudless sky with million stars on it, the waves gently kissing the shore , nature singing its lullaby and the snoring sound of my friends, hahaha. Then my thoughts turned blank and I fell into deep slumber.
4 : 00 AM – I gradually opened my eyes and looked at the sky right away. I was astonished to see clearly with my naked eyes the cosmos, the Milky Way. It was another spectacular moment of my life because I could not see this every day. I was truly grateful for this chance.
5 : 30 AM – On this early morning, the sun had not shown its full radiance but it was already showing its darling hues. Isn’t the simplicity of this island life amazing? So simple, yet a lot of beauty is everywhere.
6 : 00 AM – We had a slight trek in the island to have greater view of Carnaza. True enough this place is a paradise. This part of the island is where the fishermen dock their boats and sell their freshly caught fishes and other sea foods.
10 : 00 AM – The time flew so fast, we would now leave Carnaza. We had breakfast, took a last dip in the waters, captured final snaps of the island and the group, of course. And then we went off to another island, La Manok, only after the boat man sailed us around Carnaza Island to see more of its spectacular scenery.
So that’s it. That’s my Carnaza Story. I know there are lots of stories and travel blogs now about Carnaza. But this is my story, my experience. This is my travel adventure and this is how I chase potatoes. Haha Charot Lang. Anyway I’m just grateful for this experience.
How to Get To Carnaza Island
Ride a bus at North Bus Terminal bound for Daanbantayan ( Maya Via Kawit) and disembark at Tapilon. As much as possible travel early because most boats going to Carnaza will travel around 9 : 00 AM to 12 :00 noon unless you will settle for the pakyaw system to go there.
Tips and Tricks on your Trip
- Always check the weather before you proceed to this venture because my story happened on a very fine day. If the weather is not on your side, you might not enjoy your trip and you might encounter treacherous waves in going to Carnaza Island.
- Be early to maximize your trip as much as possible. Go to North Bus Terminal as early as 3 : 00 AM. Ride a bus bound for Daanbantayan or ride a bus with a sign board of Maya Via Kawit. The travel time of the bus ride is estimated to be 4-5 hours. You should go there early because most boats going to Carnaza will travel around 9 : 00 AM to 12 :00 noon unless you will settle for the pakyaw system to go there.
- Please be guided that going to Carnaza is on Tapilon port while Maya port is for Malapascua Island.
- You can take your lunch at Tapilon, as there are carenderias there. There are stores, too, where you can buy some important stuffs before going to Carnaza.
- Options, if you opt to stay overnight
- Bring tent and camp at Kaelinas Cove.
- Book in the only resort in Carnaza, the Carnaza Eco Park with price ranging from Php 300.00 to Php 1, 500.00.
- Ask some locals who offer room in the island. The price depends on your negotiation.
- Don’t rely too much in their sari sari store or carenderia. It’s better to bring food and water or if you want to cook there, bring your cook set with you. Some locals sell fresh seafoods there.
- There are places that are restricted to the public so follow the restrictions and don’t be hard-headed. 😛
- Network or signals are limited. Just enjoy your disconnection, please!
- Since Carnaza is rich with marine resources, just bring along your snorkelling gears for there are no gears for rent in Carnaza.
- Since there’s not much shade in the area of Kaelinas Cove, bring sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun hottest rays.
- There is only limited electrical supply so bring power bank, additional batteries and flashlights.
- Bring extra money for emergency purposes.
- Boats are available at 7 : 00 AM if you want to go back to Tapilon.
- If you want more Island hopping tour, look for a local who owns a boat who may tour you to La Manok Island and Gato Island. We negotiated this in the amount of Php 4,000.00
- Always bear in mind the “leave no trace” policy. PLEASE LANG! I repeat leave no trace.
Possible Travel Expenses to Prepare:
Php 180.00 – Bus fare from North Bus to Tapilon (non-airconditionned bus)
Php 100.00 – Boat fare from Tapilon to Carnaza Isalnd
Php 100.00 – Boat fare from Carnaza Island to Tapilon
Php 180.00 – Bus fare from Tapilon to North Bus terminal (non-airconditionned bus)
TOTAL – Php 560.00
Those naughty potatoes roll so fast that I could hardly catch up with them in Carnaza Island. I wonder what place will they be venturing next. So stay tuned for my next chasing potato adventure.
How about you? Have you experienced something spectacular with the passing of time? What are your stories? I would love to hear from you?Please connect thru my FB page and Instagram. Join me in my adventure and misadventure. Let’s chase those potatoes. OH YESSS! Thanks for visiting.