January 2, 2020

Everything about Cebu

Insight into island’s life. Inspired by Carnaza Island

Hello everyone! Happy New Year! In my last blog I’ve talked about the spirit of Christmas and the popular spots in Cebu City to visit during Christmas time. If you’re from other countries where the winter season is about snow and cold it would surprise you that there’s no snow, only Sun here in Cebu. Therefore, I’d like to tell you about my trip to sunny and exotic island that happened on the last New Year’s Eve. Let’s go!

Surfing the net I got my eyes set on the paradisiacal Carnaza Island which is located deep in the north of Cebu province, in the Daanbantayan municipality. This Island is not a popular destination among tourists because it’s small and really remote from the mainland Cebu island. Many visitors prefer going to Malapascua Island rather than Carnaza. So this fact was intriguing for me and I got all fired up to see it live.

How to get there from 3D Academy, Cebu?

It is not as difficult as you might think. 

  1. If you’re going with friends, It’s better to take a taxi. It costs around 100-120 pesos from 3D to North Bus Terminal. Approximate time: 20 min
  2. From North Bus terminal, get on a bus or van to ride to Tapilon Port. Remember to tell the bus driver that you’re going to Tapilon, because the first stop would be at Mayo port that is for Malapascua Island. Approximate time: 4 hours, price – 180-200 pesos
  3. Travel by boat to Carnaza Island. With good weather it may takes 2-2,5 hours average. Price – 200 pesos

Note: To maximize your time, try to depart from North Bus Terminal as early as possible (at least at 3 am). There are a few boats that usually start going from 7-10 depends on weather conditions and number of passengers. The boat we hopped on left Tapilon at 13pm.

Sunrise in Tupilon port (photo made by Hitoshi Namura)

Waiting for our boat

Saying goodbye to mainland

Stock up on food

It’s better to bring your own food and water because there are limited products in local small stores. 

Although, you can buy some water or food in the Tapilon port but not so many options available; Over there you can only get rice, cans, bread, snacks, soft drinks. Also, you can support carnaza’s people by buying from them the fresh fish and seafood. They can cook it for you.

In my case, I bought vegan food for two days: fruits (my favourite mangos and one papaya), corn, green beans, spaghetti, tomato paste, peanuts, oatmeals. 

Accomodation

We were planning to stay in a beautiful and cozy Carnaza Ecopark where you can book a cottage or tent from 150 to 200 pesos. However, it didn’t turn out well because due to passed typhoon there were some damages and trash. 

The boatman took us to another side of the island and recommended us to rent an apartment from locals. We weren’t disappointed because it was so excited to speak with the local people. 

Fishing the main source of income (photo made by Hitoshi Namura)

What we explore

Kaelina Beach

Since we arrived at Carnaza at 4pm, we decided to spend our time enjoying the amazing Kaelina Beach. 

We were stunned with the crystal clear water of all shades from turquoise to deep blue. The long strip of the beach with white sand seemed to be perfect for relaxing and enjoying the beach activities. There were almost no tourists except for us that gave us a feeling of peace and serenity. In addition, we figured out that Karnaza is an ideal place for snorkeling and diving.

 

The night beauty of island is something magical. We were captivated by the magnificent constellations in the night sky. While watching the stars, we enjoyed the clean air, lullaby of sea waves and tranquility of that place. Also,I saw some fireflies that were dancing in theirs nature harmony. Gazing at the stars gave me a special feeling of elation. It provoked deep thoughts about the universe and people’s role in it. 

Kaelina beach after sunset (photo made by Hitoshi Namura)

Amazing night sky (photo made by Hitoshi Namura)

Eco Park 

Next day, we went to see the sunrise and experienced other gems of Carnaza. Basically, you can explore the island by taking motorbike. But our team preferred to travel on foot to catch every moment of the island life and to exercise more.

The view from the Osmeñas’ helipad was gorgeous. Besides, the place seemed good for yoga practice because the ground is quite wide and flat. At the same time it offered beautiful panorama of the island.

Skull Cove

Skull cove with its mysterious cave is another key attraction here. The Cove is surrounded by the cliff with amusing rock formations. If you are a curious person, you can try cliff jumping here.

Afterwards, we got to the Cave that is famous for people’s skulls in it. Filipino guy who guided us told us a story that these skulls were belonging to people suffered from leprosy. Back then they were expelled from society and met the end in this cave. 

Near the cave there were a pathway which lead us to the top of the hill. There were second helipad. I was inspired by the breathtaking panorama of the white sand beach, crystal water and greens.

Besides, there are more amazing Coves to visit in Carnaza Island, which we weren’t able to see such as Kang Gorio Cove, Linao, Hinagban, Kabitounan, Bantigue, Panato, and Pantao Cementryo. 

Communication with local

The locals speak English well enough. It is easy to communicate with the older generation while finding out information about places on the island and start a conversation with young people on any topic.

In the evening, I watched a musical rehearsal of local children who were preparing for the Sunday church performance. The girl played drums, two guys used the guitar and bass, the second girl sang beautifully. Filipinos have musicality in their blood. Almost all Filipinos are religious, therefore, theirs hobby, is also associated with church activities.

On the beach, we talked with teenagers from 8 to 15 years old, who, despite their early age, are already help their families. They are engaged in fishing and catching seafood, which then go to the dining table or will be sold to tourists.

 

There is only one school on the island, and teachers are not enough for so many children (Filipino have an average of 3 to 6 children). However, the young guys are educated and ambitious. Many of them have already decided on their future specialization and want to enter the university as soon as possible.

What is useful on the trip:

-A portable charger (electricity runs from 7:00 to 22:00), however, for an additional fee, you can extend the use.

-Mosquito spray (in the evening, by the water they disturb from time to time)

-Slippers and sneakers. As I mentioned, there are some caves, cliffs, limestone formations  which would be hard to explore without sneakers. 

-Sunscreen (or you might be sun-burnt in the afternoon).

Note: there is a weak mobile signal on the island, be prepared to remain without communication and take a break from social networks. However, with local SIM cards, it is possible to catch a signal climbing higher.

To sum up, Carnaza is an idyllic island for retreat and spending time with friends. The Island has a lot to offer, but you need more time to see all the places there. 

Visiting Philippines you will definitely have the most unforgettable trips and meet new friends. What are you waiting for!

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