The sun was scorching the beach of Bagieng. We just had a lunchful of bicol express, ginataang palos (eel on coconut milk), and squid with veggies. I was full and contented as I sat on the beach under the island’s many rock formations, totally unaware as my eyelids fell and sleep engulfed me.
We started for the island at eight in the morning, plying the northern portion of the Caramoan waters. The hour-long ride went smoothly as we passed the jagged rock formations that rise up on the island’s eastern end and docked on its cream-colored shore.
With the tent put up, I unhurriedly went for a walk on the northwestern shore of Bagieng.
The sand was very soft against my bare feet. Although the sand at Matukad Island is still the finest of the three islands we’ve visited so far, I consider Bagieng’s to be the most enjoyable to walk on. The soft sand stretches for almost a kilometer to the west and I took my time, photographing its pristine shoreline.
After countless photographs of its creamy sand, hypnotizingly green waters, lush foliage and a few not so ordinary birds, I eventually reached the far end of the beach. My initial plan was to circle the island in one go; alas, the beach ended on a wall of rough rocks. Going inland was impossible due to very thick vegetation (although, I guess it might have been possible if I had my slippers on, unfortunately, I was barefoot).
I had to make a u-turn to check out the southern shore.
But before another long walk, it was swimming time first. I immediately got my underwater cam, turned it on; and it wouldn’t turn on. I checked the batteries, and there were no batteries! I totally forgot to put it back on after charging the night before, oh well.
Good thing there was not much to see below the waters of Bagieng, just sand, patches of seagrass, and more sand. I contented myself in simply enjoying its warm clear waters. There were a few more mini-coves on the eastern karsts of the island and I had to transport my non-waterproof cameras overhead across the water to have a few photos taken. Those drybags I bought before embarking on this trip came pretty handy.
After some snacks, it was time for the island’s other side to be explored. I again took off my sandals and went off into the heat of the midday sun.
The sand here seemed finer than that of its other-side twin and the shore seemed wider. This seemed to be the more popular side as there were already a lot of beach bummers setting tents and swimming along the shore as I walked through its sand. The far end of the beach seemed a good place for snorkeling activities, as I heard a kid reportedly seeing a lot of fish to his friend. After again reaching a dead-end, I turned back to camp for lunch.
The island upon looking at Google Maps is triangular in shape, with two of its sides being the sandy beaches I explored earlier. It is pretty big compared to the ones we visited yesterday and if only not for my already ultra-bruised feet (it’s now seven days since I departed Manila), I would have explored its interior and third side.
I awoke to the sound of waves and people walking about. It was still pretty hot and there seemed to be a lot more people than before I fell asleep. I immediately went to our tent and asked if we were already leaving; not yet, my uncle said. The water apparently has receded and our boat cannot navigate its shallow waters; we were trapped on the island.
With nothing else to do, I again checked out the northern beach and saw people walking on water!
It seemed that the low tide had made a whole stretch of the shore very very shallow.
We had fun slowly trudging along the shallow cove, being careful for the occasional sudden dips. We got pretty far off from the beach before noticing a cave on the eastern karsts of the island. We checked its guano smelling interior before heading back to camp to wait for the tide to turn.
Address: Caramoan Peninsula, Camarines Sur, Bicol Region