Romantic Beige Sand Beaches Near Mayon Volcano

 


We were entranced...

We sailed the eastern seas off the coast of Albay Province for our weekend getaway. Every time we see a beige sand beach common in the area, the enigmatic Mayon Volcano peers over the scenery.

There were many of these beaches, appearing every once in a while, with the dazzling volcano in each and every view. I will never forget this past weekend for each turn had a magnificent scene looming in the horizon --- from isle to isle, from coast to coast, from beach to beach!


Tambilagao Port

Tambilagao Port

We drove from our hometown Daraga, Albay setting off to our main destination, Namanday Island Resort. After making our way to Cagraray Island via Sula Bridge, I felt as though we already left the country. I've never been outside Luzon Island since before the pandemic so leaving Luzon already feels like traveling abroad.

On Cagraray Island, we saw magnificent views of the many islands dotting the eastern seas of Albay, but it was the Tambilagao Port where the getaway officially begun. I've been to Cagraray Island many times over but I've never been to our actual destination before.

Tambilagao Port is a lowly small port on the eastern coast of Cagraray Island. There was nothing special about it --- just swamp and mangroves --- but it was the jump-off point to Namanday Island Resort...


Namanday Island Resort


Namanday Island Resort is located on Brgy. Namanday in Cagbulauan Island, Bacacay, Albay. Most people think that Namanday is the name of the island but all sources on the internet show that it is only a barangay and the island's name is actually Cagbulauan.

Namanday Island Resort is the most developed resort in the area. However, the resort's unforgivable flaw is its use of sea barriers. While their necessity is debatable, they ruined the natural landscape of the beach. Instead of sands draping naturally down the shore, a big wall is mounted that changes the natural contour of the beach.

A local said that the beach is merely artificial. The sands were taken elsewhere and dumped into the area, which used to be a swamp full of mangrove trees. 

No matter how unforgiving the resort's development is, one can still fall in love with everything else it has to offer. There are still many nice things about it, and if one is there just to lounge, maybe the way it was developed would hardly matter.






















Timberland Resort




Just beside Namanday Island Resort is Timberland Resort, which seems to be another misnomer. The beach may not necessarily qualify as a timberland. It's a beautiful beach resort on an idyllic setting --- beige sands washed by the tide with so many endearing qualities about it.

While NIR is almost a hundred percent artificial, Timberland seems natural. Frankly, I like natural way, way better. Not only do I believe that God is the best architect there ever is, I also believe that Mother Nature is all too effervescent already so any development, especially substantial, actually leads to its ruination. 

The owner of Timberland seems to be friends with NIR though. While a fence made of barbwire separates the two, which is rather weird in any beach setting, the owner of Timberland defended the NIR by saying that it was natural. I doubt it though as it seems farfetched. I feel that the other local I asked about it said it more frankly.








Hammocks are aplenty at Timberland, and most of them give a full view of Mayon Volcano.





There are many dogs in Timberland. Don't worry, they don't bite. They'll just follow you if they like you.





Who wouldn't fall in love with the rivulets as well?





The seashore is idyllic in this area...






Obligatory Starfish photographs...







Bright yellow fiddler crabs with oversized apple green claws... 







Sunsets are amazing at Timberland. Me likey!


Odyssey of Beige Sand Beaches



The owner of Timberland was very hospitable and friendly. We were told that they offer an island hopping experience of nearby beaches. An overnight at NIR seemed a little too boring as it offered no more than amenities so we immediately took the opportunity to island-hop without second guesses.

It proved to be worthwhile as it was an amazing escapade. We were stunned by the many beige sand beaches we saw along the way and every one of them had Mayon Volcano peering over the scenery. Such amazing sights...






























Cabungahan Beach




Our first stop was the Cabungahan Beach. It is a beautiful beach resort of powdery beige sands, which were so fine, our feet easily submerged into the ground. Locals say that this is the best beach resort in the area. You'll surely fall in love with it...






The sea transitions from jade to emerald green on Cabungahan Beach...



The fine, powdery beige sands of Cabungahan Beach...






These things should never be there in the first place. Sigh...





Conspicuous footprints are proof of the fineness of the sands...













Pixie Lagoon


Our guide, Melvin, toured us around. Just as we thought the beach was all there is, we were stunned when he led us to a tiny hideout - a very small but picturesque lagoon.

Melvin told us the place had no name yet. The limestones that surround it, giving it a dramatic contour, made me imagine tiny fairies flying over. What if they glow in the dark just like on Peter Pan? What if they had mermaid tails too? The imaginations go on and on...

It was so hard to come up with a name but in the end, I settled with Pixie Lagoon...





A holy statue could fit in to complete a grotto, but I prefer it the way it already is...




I love lounging on Pixie Lagoon, imagining tiny fairies flying over my feet...







Imagine pixie mermaids perched on this stone, looking in awe at Goddess Mayon...


Pinamuntugan Island




Our next stop was the equally breath-taking Pinamuntugan Island. This is my brother's favorite; you will find out why as you continue reading on...






The emerald green hue of the sea adds drama to the beautiful island...










Our tour guide, Melvin, was excited for his surprise for us...



There was something special behind this rock. The gap between it and the forest beckons the vagabond to astounding sights...


Amber Beach


The entrance to an unnamed beach on Pinamuntugan Island was unremarkable but there were many things that would surprise the visitor as he continues exploring the area...




The very first noticeable figure was Mayon Volcano. Because the mountain was not immediately visible, we didn't think it would appear on other areas of the island. In this unnamed beach, however, it towers over the horizon...



The small beach was blessed with fine white sands but it was special for something else...


It was not because of Mayon Volcano, although, yes, it appears on this photograph...






More pictures of her majesty, please...




The small seaweeds give the beach its idyllic charm...



Can you see something very different here? If you think it's Mayon, you might want to take a closer look below...




While other beaches shine like emerald, turquoise or sapphire, this small beach shines like amber... Its remarkable hue made my brother and I baptize it with the name Amber Beach...



The Amber Beach with the view of Mayon...




Of course, Mayon is always amazing...




Virgin, unspoiled, the sea appears like an orange gelatine...




My brother raising his two hands...




The amber hues of the sea must be coming from the dead seaweeds washed ashore...















Mistress Mayon is always mesmerising...











Good bye, Amber Beach! We hope to see you again some day!


Nagtaquin Island



At the back of my brother is a view of two islands separated by a narrow channel. However, locals take these two islands as one. The island splits into two on high tide and merges into one on low tide. They named it "Nagtaken Island" though it is officially spelled as "Nagtaquin Island."

I wonder how the government treats this pair as one or two, and if the same already figured in the officially reported 7,641 count of islands. For purposes of this blog, however, they are taken as two --- Nagtaquin Laki and Nagtaquin Liit...



Nagtaquin Laki is pretty simple. A grass, some benches, a small kiddie table and chairs for some tea party (perhaps), and the open sea all around it.




The view of Nagtaquin Liit from Nagtaquin Laki...




Nagtaquin Liit is less developed. It's filled with bushes on top...



Cottages on Nagtaquin Laki as viewed from Nagtaquin Liit...


Baby Powder Beach



Still on Cagbulauan Island is another unnamed beach. It is blessed with powdery white sands akin to Boracay's. As it reminds me of Baby Powder, I named it Baby Powder Beach. On this beach can be found Drew's Island Resort, La Consolacion Beach Resort, and Namanday Island Resort Extension.
















Recommendations & Getting There

To enjoy the beige sand beaches of Cagbulauan and nearby islands, it is still best to stay at Namanday Island Resort due to its amenities. A cabana for two persons costs 5,999 pesos. Additional 899 pesos will be charged for an extra bed.

The jump-off point is at Tambilagao Port. Getting there is quite difficult but signs showing the directions to "Namanday Island Beach Resort" are conspicuous in every intersection starting from Cagraray Island. To reach Cagraray Island, you must follow the signs leading to Misibis Bay.

To enjoy the trip to the fullest, it is best to go on an island-hopping tour as the beach at Namanday Island Resort is not noteworthy. We booked tours at the Timberland Beach Resort, which is the only resort adjacent to NIR. The owner of Timberland is Gil Villanueva. His contact number is (0945) 633 1953. The island hopping tour costs 1,000 pesos per boat per island or destination.

You may also visit Cabungahan Beach Resort directly. An entrance fee costs 25 pesos and a cottage costs 600 pesos. Although cottages are not air-conditioned, Cabungahan must be included in the itinerary because it is the best beach in the area. The owner is Perin Palomer; she may be contacted through FaceBook Messenger.


Who We Went With

It was our aunt's birthday party so we went with family and relatives...

Mama Hayne, the eldest among our aunts.

Our Mother, Mama Cy...

Pecson Fam, with birthday girl, Mama Jane.


We had a great time! Thanks, Mama Jane!


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