|Footprints in the Sand|
Four years ago, a group of friends ventured into a little-known island off the coast of Paracale. Only few outsiders know the place so it was sort of a hidden gem by that time. I remember to have reached its Mahabang Buhangin Beach and fell in love with it instantly. After all, save from another group of beach combers, we have the entire stretch of beach all to ourselves.
Just imagine people you can count exploring the long beach with fine white sand, crystal blue waters, scattered volcanic rock on both ends and the best part of it… less people and more nature! When I left Calaguas four years ago, I swear to myself that I will return again soon.
Fast forward to 2014. I was given the opportunity to revisit Calaguas so I grabbed the chance. And what have changed? A lot!
More People. Approaching the island, there are at least two dozen boats docked on the shores of the long beach so I initially thought, wow, there are lots of people in there and I was not wrong for you can see hundreds and hundreds of people of all size and shapes loitering around the beach.
More Structures. When I first visited the place, there were only four cottages made up of wood and bamboo located at the leftmost side of the beach. There was also a solitary house cum store and a pump well where we get our fresh water for bathing. But now, there is a modest beach resort on the right side of the island and numerous cottages and stores scattered along the beach.
More Sounds. I can still recall how we were lullabied to sleep by the gentle sounds of the waves with the occasional cry of geckos and some bugs. But this time, the sound of the waves was blinded by the music coming in from a full-blast sound system bought-in by tour organizers that went through all night. There were also some hysterics who were obviously drunk who kept talking and talking and talking craps on the top of their lungs.
More Fun and Adventure. This one is rather relative and depends on the fun and adventure you are looking for. If you like taking photos of people enjoying themselves on the beach, then you will have the time of your life here ‘coz the place has become abuzz with water adventures. You will now see people kayaking or skim boarding or flying kites or playing volleyball and frisk bees. But if you like to photograph landscape more than people, then it will be a different kind of adventure for you for you will seldom find a place here devoid of people.
Undoubtedly, a lot has changed but what remains is that I still consider the place ideal to visit and to camp overnight because Calaguas Island’s Mahabang Buhangin is still one of the best place to relax and unwind… to just sit on the sand … to swim in the crystal-clear water …explore the island … watch the sunset… bond with your friends during a bonfire night …and you will absolutely appreciate the place -even with hundreds of people or not.