Below are taken from the blog of NIKKA CORSINO Calaguas as drawn by my friend Love. They don’t call this the happy beach for nothing. Let me walk you through Mahabang Buhangin (Halabang Baybay in Bicolano; Long Beach in English), a beautiful stretch of white sand and clear waters in Tinaga Island, part of the Calaguas Group of Islands in Camarines Norte, Philippines (or simply put, Calaguas).



Untitled DSC_5827 How could it not be? Just look at that water. And here’s another one–one of the countless shots I took which left me red-nosed from all my attempts at getting a half-submerged shot. DSC_5187 The first thing I noticed upon arriving–aside from the crystal clear waters–is this very happy-looking banca that’s screaming SUMMMMMER! DSC_5407 Mahabang Buhangin’s rugged side is courtesy of extensive rock formations on its right side. Walk to the other side of the rocks and chances are, you’ll be seeing mountain goats running on the very steep slopes. DSC_5399 Interesting mark left by the waters on the sand. DSC_5278watermark What I love about Calaguas is that bare though it may be for its lack of crowds, I never ran out of subjects to take pictures of. DSC_5151watermark The children in the island are a great example. As soon as we docked–which was around 12 noon–it had been difficult to not photograph this group of kids under the scorching heat. DSC_5233watermark DSC_5264watermark DSC_5658 DSC_5661watermark If Mahabang Buhangin was paradise for us, for these local kids, it’s just their everyday pool. #inggit   DSC_5339 DSC_5325 DSC_5919 This is how the beach looks at 3 PM. I could still feel the sting of the sun just by looking at this photo. #notgood DSC_5353 Our breezy and shady cottage. We’re ever thankful to our boatman Mang Roberto for bringing us to THIS side of the beach (your left hand side when you’re facing the cottages) because everything is accessible from there. Plus it’s the coolest spot, which probably explained why the very friendly dogs loved sleeping there (plus, that spot could receive cellphone signal from Smart). DSC_5891 There’s really nothing to do in Calaguas except swim, eat, and sleep, aka The Sweet Life. But then again, you could take a cue from this group and bring your own kayak and paddle away during the sunset. DSC_5387 Since I couldn’t take photos of myself, I indulged through these. I must say that hat is really photogenic. DSC_5834 Everyday at around 10 AM, fishermen drop by Mahabang Buhangin and sell freshly caught fish. This lady priced the two huge fish at P500, but one of our friends managed to haggle the price down to P200. The caretakers then set up fire and grilled the fish for us. Locals were effortlessly kind–one of the things I really love about the place. DSC_5611watermark Whoever said you have to pay thousands to have a room with a view? At Calaguas, you wake up to this gorgeous view very early–between 5 AM and 5:45 AM–because the sun comes up really early on this side of the earth. Best of all, it’s free. DSC_5527 The sun finally sets in our little paradise. DSC_5539watermark But these children seem to be having such a grand time. DSC_6021 We did too, and we’re raring to go back! DSC_5694watermark calaguas_watermark_5000px This is how summer should look like. DSC_5889 Calaguas: our newest happy place.:)

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