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I first went here around 16 years ago.
It was beautiful. Unspoilt beach front, only locals knew about the place. Kids were guides (they would climb the small mountain and it wasn't dangerous) and you would pay them with a shared meal and softdrinks.
There was harldy any gray to be seen. No concrete and just purely green and white and blue.
Although, there was this gray puppy who bounded after us as we caught the last banka off the island.
Now, it is still a bit beautiful. Although, a lot has changed. Please see photos.
The locals are still warm. The kids have a choir now and the guides are all adults.
Medyo highway robbery yung banka from Culasi to the island.
750 hatid sundo kahit mag-isa ka. Utos ng LGU raw sa boatmen and they can't go against it even if they wanted.
I suggest that you wait for a couple more people and makisabay ka.
It's still a fair fare kapag marami kayo in a banka.
I personally stay with a local fisherman and his wife. Their little beach front hut is simple but clean.
It is your own little hut with a bed and a fan. May deep well sa tabi so you can wash up. CR is inside their main home so medyo hassle for the maarte but totally alright for the cowboys.
Mang Rony is a fisherman by trade and he can spot any type of fish or marine animal that passes this little island. He will lend you binoculars if he sees something he thinks you should see (like a pod of dolphins). He studies how to be more environmentally friendly but with his limited budget and capability, he can only do so much.
Nang Uray is his wife. She mans the store and cooks for you. She will talk to you about storms and the healing properties of sand. She is motherly in all ways.
Homestay with 3 square meals is at 1K/person.
You eat what they catch and whatever available vegetable is on the island. So if it's a lobster, then you all feast. If it's the local Tambakol, you can ask for it to be done either fried or as a soup.
Hire a guide or ask Nong Rony to take you up to the mountain (he is a seasoned guide too).
In the mornings, go to the front of the island to see what the days catch is. You can buy a bucket of fish for 15Php.
Beer is rarely cold because they don't have steady electricity. But you're in an island, go swim in the ocean with that beer and keep it cool.
Please pay them well. Don't haggle. These are ordinary folk.
Remember that puppy I mentioned?
I think that doggo in the photo is him. :)
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