We visited the gorgeous Cagbalete Island last February. We planned to stay overnight as we figured a day tour would not be enough to make the most of this beautiful island.
There are a lot of resorts to choose from at Cagbalete Island. Most of these resorts offer the same amenities as the other.
- They offer these types of accommodations:
- Air-conditioned rooms with toilet and bath
- Fan rooms with common toilet and bath
- Some offer fan rooms with toilet and bath
- Tent pitching areas
- As the island has no electricity yet, generators are used. Electricity is only available from 6PM to 6AM.
- Cooking your own food is allowed.
- Beach front location.
- Price ranges of accommodations are not significantly different from each other.
And since most of the resorts offer almost, if not the same, amenities, we search the internet for reviews. I’d like to list down a few to narrow it down for you:
- Pansacola Beach Resort has the nicest and longest stretch of beach front. But some reviews claimed of poor customer service.
- Aquazul has a swimming pool and 24 hour generator, but don’t have the best beachfront.
- MVT Sto Nino, being located in the farthest north, has the most serene place, but is quite far from Sabang Port.
- Dona Choleng is near the Sabang Port, and has the most number of blog reviews.
You can’t have everything in one resort. So we found ourselves in Dona Choleng Camping Resort. We booked a Pacific Hut fan room with own toilet and bath for Php2000. We paid the reservation fee through bank transfer prior to our travel date. We were informed that our chosen accommodation is good for 4 pax.
Dona Choleng is not far from Sabang Port. You can reach Dona Choleng from Sabang Port through (1) boat transfer [Php300-Php500 depending on boat size and number of people]; (2) habal-habal [Php50/person]; (3) Dona Choleng shuttle service [Php15/person, but dependent on availability]; or (4) walking. The tour guide who assisted us told us that the best choice is walking as it was not really far, we will only encounter some muddy roads. We believed him, and found ourselves walking in knee-deep mud. Not the best choice after all [First 🙁 ].
Upon arrival at the reception of Dona Choleng, we were assisted and told that our room is ready. We checked and found out that the room we booked, Pacific Hut Fan Room, can only fit 2 people. It was so small that only a bed can fit. [Second 🙁 ]. One staff gave us an option of paying additional to a bigger room. This was not part of our budget, luckily, Sir Ting, a staff supervisor, gave us a bigger accommodation, for the same price. He told us that it was not our fault, but the reservation officer who told us that 4 people would fit in the room of our choice.
We settled in our new room, White Sand Fan Room, and enjoyed the afternoon in the beach. The accommodation given to us is elevated. It has a bedroom and balcony on the second floor. A small dining area and kitchenette as well as the toilet and bath are located in the lower level. The bedroom has no beds, but it has 3 queen size foams and 2 electric fans. Pillows were provided but there was no blanket provided. This posed a problem for me as feel really cold at night time, and the mosquitoes feasted on my skin. [Third 🙁 ] My other companions did not have an issue with it though.
We brought foods that we can cook but unfortunately, unlike other resorts, Dona Choleng doesn’t offer cooking amenities for rent. [Fourth 🙁 ]. What are going to do with all the raw seafood we bought from the market? Good thing, another staff lent us cooking utensils. She let us borrow her grill, matches to light a fire, cooking pot, and knife. See how unprepared we were?
Then come night time, when the generator was supposed to be opened, our part of the resort still is enveloped with darkness. [Fifth 🙁 ] Apparently, a fuse near our area has issues. We did not need to report the issue as staffs/electricians fixed it ASAP.
We were lucky that during our visit, there is a scheduled fire dance. This is Neo and my first time to see fire dancing up close, and we were so amazed. We ended the night by looking at the stars by the beach.
Our next day was supposed to be spent island hopping and snorkeling. However, we were so tired by the commute to Cagbalete Island the day before so we just spent it lounging at the beach. It was indeed a relaxing weekend for the Nunag family.
Now, let me write down the things I like about Dona Choleng Camping Resort:
- The beachfront is very nice. The sand is powdery white. We walked to the next resort, and found out that the sand in that resort is made of dead corals – very unfriendly to the feet.
- The tent pitching area is secluded from the beachfront. Unlike the other resort where the tent pitching area is at the beachfront itself, at Dona Choleng, the tent pitching area has its own location so guests can enjoy the beach front without hindrance to the view.
- Dona Choleng is near Sabang Port. But I suggest you transport by boat if the shuttle service is not available.
- Dona Choleng’s resort area is clean. You will rarely see litters and dirt around the resort. The staffs are very keen on keeping the resort clean.
- Need I say that we were so happy about Dona Choleng’s customer service? All my 🙁 were turned into 🙂 because of the staffs of Dona Choleng. I will definitely recommend this resort to people who will visit Cagbalete Island.
Disclaimer: We paid for our accommodation at Dona Choleng Camping Resort and all opinions are mine.