Philippine Travel Guides: Capalonga, Bicol
The Bicol Region has always been known for its butanding (whale shark), the white sand Calaguas Island, and the perfectly-coned Mayon Volcano. However, unbeknownst to many, Bicol also boasts of other beautiful wonders like mountains to trek, waterfalls to explore, and other beaches to enjoy. And I can fully attest to that. Remember our post on the pristine Macolabo Island and Bantayog Festival 2019 a few months back? Well guess what. I recently made a trip back to Camarines Norte and it was as eventful and charming as my first visit. Only this time around, we explored the fishing municipality of Capalonga. Check out this ultimate Capalonga Travel Guide.
Capalonga Tourist Spots
Being a coastal town, fishing is the primary livelihood of Capalonga’s residents. And with the abundance of fishing boats come the many islands that surround the central baranggay of Poblacion.
The Capalonga Lighthouse is located along the town’s baywalk. You can either take a short tricycle ride (php 10 per person) from your hotel. Or if you’re already at the municipal hall, the Capalonga Lighthouse is just a short 3 minute walk from there.
Once a garbage dumpsite, the new baywalk of Capalonga is now home of a full-sized basketball court, an open air auditorium, and the tourism office.
Pulong Guijanlo (Island Hopping)
From the Capalonga Baywalk, we rode a pivate banca (good for 15-20 for Php 2500) to take us island hopping that day. And since we were running a tight schedule, we were only poised to visit 2 islands. First stop on this Capalong Travel Guide is Pulong Guijanlo in Camagsaan.
Some 30 minutes after, minor splashes aside, we arrived at Pulong Guijanlo. From afar, the island looked very peaceful and untouched. Unfortunately, we arrived low tide so we had to get off the boat and walk about 200 meters to the island. No worries, though, because the water is quite refreshing and the sand was comfortable enough to walk barefoot on.
But going back to the boat was a different story. We were made to pass a different path. And we were left to walk on soft sand that sinks. And much harder, there were sharp coral rocks that can either slash you or are too big that they can stub your toes. So while slippers are okay, just wear aqua shoes if you can.
So what exactly does Pulong Guijanlo have to offer? For starters, the island has a long sandbar that’s met with clear waters all around. The sand isn’t as white or fine as it’s actually small pebbles that fill up the shore. What we loved about Pulong Guijanlo is the different IG worthy spots around – the dead driftwood by the shore, the lush trees in the middle, and the charming mangroves on the side. Making the virgin island worthy to be included in this Capalonga Travel Guide.
Shrine of the Black Nazarene
Every May 13th of each year, busloads of devotees and pilgrims of different nationalities flock to the town proper of Capalonga.
This is to pay homage to the miraculous image of the Black Nazarene located right at the center of town, just beside the municipal hall of Capalonga.
Selfie Beach Resort
Next on the Capalonga Travel Guide must visit tourist spot is Selfie Beach Resort. The area is about 10 to 15 minutes from the town center. And you would need to hire a tricycle to take you there. Get your cameras ready because you’ll have to pass the ‘groovy’ Camagsaan Bridge.
Honestly, we all didn’t expect much from the place, based on the stories shared by other people who have been a few years back.
However, as soon as we arrived at Selfie Beach Resort, we were amazed by what we saw. On one side were day cabanas and on the other, modern rooms and facilities. Everything looked well thought of and classy.
The beach was also a beauty itself: calm waters with soft, light brown sand. We were also lucky to have arrived at Selfie Beach Resort during golden hour. A real must to be included in your ultimate Capalonga Travel Guide.
Tinagong Beach Resort
Another not-to-miss tourist spot in thus Capalonga Travel Guide is Tinagong Beach Resort.
The resort is located just beside Selfie Beach, in the cliffside part of the shoreline.While it’s not the most impressive resort with its facilities, I’d have to say has alot of potential. Mostly because of the breathtaking view it offers. On top, you see trees abound all around and overlooking the whole stretch of Selfie Beach. Perfectly complimenting the serene and raw beauty of the place.
Make sure you get a glimpse of the sunset as the view is just spectacular!More rooms and better facilities are set for construction soon.
In the meantime, daytrip rentals are allowed at 200 and 350 pesos per cottage. While rooms can be booked for PvP 1500 for couples, Php 2500 for small family and PHP 3500 for big groups.For reservations, contact Tinagong Beach Resort at 0942 565 1992 or email them at email@example.com.
Must Eat in Capalonga
Hungry? Here’s some good news. Small eateries that offer cheap but delicious food run many at Capalonga. But one not to miss is Mommy Terry’s Bulaluhan and Eatery located near the Talagpucao Port.
After our quick island hopping, we arrived at the town’s primary fishing port and walked for about 10 minutes to Mommy Terry’s.
What was once a small rustic carenderia has expanded into a mini restaurant that serves all things delicious: fresh seafood and nicely cooked favorites.
We were full to the brim with the feast especially the fresh shrimps, fish steak, and squid. Sarap, salamat po!
Other Tourist Attractions In Capalonga
We only stayed for two days in Capalonga. And obviously that’s not enough to explore and encapsulate the full beauty of the charming Bicol town.Other tourist attractions in Capalonga include a myriad of waterfalls like the Banca-banca, Banokbok, and Itok Falls. Other beaches to visit in Capalonga are local favorites such as Sabang beach and Lom-oc beach.
385th Founding Anniversary of Capalonga
Aside from exploring the tourist spots around Capalonga, we were also invited to join in the town’s 385th founding anniversary festivities. Yes, you read that right Capalonga is already 385 years old, because it’s one of the first Spanish settlements in the Philippines.
Cultural Street Parade
As if luck had it made, we arrived from Bag-Angan Farm Resort to Capalonga just in time to witness the day’s first event. Kids and student of all ages and grades from different schools paraded down Capalonga’s main street to showcase their costumes, dance, and whatnots.
I particularly loved the marching band most. The cheerful tunes and lively dance definitely set the energy high.
Everyone was all smiles and proudly strutting their stuff. What a wonderful day to start the day!We then followed the flock of parade goers to the municipal hall in preparation for the next event: The Cultural Dance Competition. But first we met Sir John Enero, Capalonga’s Vice Mayor.
Capalonga’s Cultural Dance Competition
After having our morning snacks, it was finally time for Capalonga’s cultural dance competition. We were fortunate enough to be given good seats to take shots up the stage.
And so the show began!The cultural competition is actually one of the highlights of the day-long celebration. The competition is divided into 2 categories: Elementary and High School.
It was both fun and entertaining to see all the kids giving it all on stage. I loved how each group prepared well to showcase the best of Capalonga’s culture and traditions. It was indeed a wonderful display of colors, dance, and all around fun.
Mr. and Ms. Teen Capalonga 2019
The most awaited event of the day took place at night: The Mr. and Ms. Teen Capalonga 2019. Unlike in past years when the pageant was only for girls, Capalonga has decided to include Mr. Teen Capalonga for their 385th founding year.
The pageant started with an impressive open in dance number. Followed by a presentation of all 9 female and 7 male candidates.
We were then all pleasantly surprised by the talents shown by everyone, especially the Singkil and the production number by Male Candidate No. 7. Althought I’d have to comment that the others were a little too dramatic for my taste. Or touched extra sensitive topics.
I also loved the fact that the topics for the Q&A were relevant to Capalonga’s culture and pressing issues.The night ended with the presentation of winners and special prizes. I’m extra ecstatic that my personal bets won!
How to Get To Capalonga
By Private Car
Capalonga is about a 2-hour drive from Daet, which is around 7-8 hours from Metro Manila. So average travel time to Capalonga is 9-10 hours more or less.
By Public Transportation
You can also commute to Capalonga via Daet. Take Superlines in Cubao (EDSA Southbound) to Daet. Tickets cost deluxe 720, first class 667, regular aircon 599. Travel time is around 7-8 hours. From Daet, you can ride a UV Express Van for 2 hours.
The fastest way is to fly via Naga City, a 45 minute plane ride from Manila. Then you can catch a shuttle ride to Daet in front of SM City Naga. From Daet, buses and vans ply abound to take you to Capalonga.
It may be my second time to visit Camarines Norte but I am still at awe discovering all the hidden beauty the province has to offer. Here’s to ticking off more items from our Capalonga Travel Guide!
Many thanks to Sir Bong Palma (Provincial Tourism Officer), Ms. Myrna and Sir Jovanie of CamNorte Tourism Office, and Sir Rod (Municipal Tourism Officer) of Capalonga for the invite and hospitality. Thank you Sir Mike Zuniga of Katooga.ph for organizing this trip!
* Note: This article was written and documented by Tina Punzal of HungryTravelDuo for Karlaroundtheworld