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A Boat Trip Around A Car-Free Island In The Philippines (Pangasinan)

LennyThroughParadise: 2017-10-20 12:12:35

Exploring Cabalitian Island in Pangasinan


The area around Labrador municipality, the location of Olana Resort where I was staying, was still surrounded by some doubt invoking clouds. The weather that morning made me wonder if today was the right time to head over to Pangasinan's most famous attraction: Hundred Islands.

The day ended up being a nice one though. Even though I chose to stay within the area; after my breakfast the day would lead me up to having a real great boat riding day trip around a nearby island, and it stayed sunny too!

electrical power plant in background with ocean in pangasinan province philippines
The area there in the back with the power plant is what we would be exploring that day: Cabalitian Island.

Restaurant Teblong


The day before I already met this older German gentleman, who owned a very nice waterside restaurant nearby called Teblong. Reynold was coming with me again for the day, and we decided to start with a nice lunch at Teblong restaurant. There again I met the German man again as I now will refer to as 'Sir Michael'.
Sir Micheal actually owned a second house on a nearby island, and suggested taking a boat trip around would make for a very nice day trip. This guy seemed like he knew what and where he was talking about so we happily following his suggestions. In fact Sir Michael thought we were already a little bit late if we first wanted to have lunch first and then go for that boat ride. He said he would bring us there to arranged a good deal for us, and so he did. Sir Michael is a very nice man and brought us to the point where some boats were available for us.

german restaurant owner michael teblong in sual pangasinan province philippines
The German restaurant owner sir Michael.

Sir Michael seemed to know everyone quite well and it seemed he was a well-respected man in the area. He arranged a boat ride for Reynold and me for 500 PHP (ended up being about a 3 hour ride), and off we went.

western guy talking to filipino in car
western man pointing finger in pangasinan philippines
Sir Michael was well respected within the community and arranged a boat ride for Reynold and me.

Feeding the milkfish


The area was quite an interesting one to me. Two of it's immediate impressions it left on me were the huge area of fishing installations and this huge electrical power plant in the background. I've been told this power plant is owned by a French guy and that he has a house on a private island nearby.

fish farm and electrical power plant in pangasinan province philippines
Fish farms and the big electrical power plant.

We went off towards the fishing installations which were milkfish farms where they bred and fed thousand and thousands of little milkfish. The boat guy said I was allowed to feed them as well and I took the opportunity. I should've tipped the lady but I totally forgot in that moment. I heard in her voice that I should've tipped when I said 'Thank you' and she said 'Welcome'. It was bit of a pained voice but still nice and sincere; it just seems like the people who work on these farms make very little and that I should've tipped them some. I just completely forgot, no biggie.

lenny through paradise about to throw fish food feeding the milkfish at a fish farm in pangasinan province philippines
lenny through paradise looking at a fish farm in pangasinan philippines
I got to feed the milkfish, there were about a 100K little fish inside this particular cage.

School of the poor


After the fish feeding experience went off towards the island and we soon beached the boat there. I quickly came to know that this island was also were all the fish farming workers live. We had something to drink a one of their sari-sari stores ('sari-sari' is Filipino for "variety" or "sundry") and then we went up hill to an elementary school. The boat guy said it was called 'school of the poor'. I was surprised when he said that but it still became more apparent that the workers in that local fishing industry are not too wealthy.

lenny through paradise pretty picture traveling in the philippines pangasinan
cabalitian elementary school on island in pangasinan philippines
Just took a quick look at the school of the poor. Not much special, glad the poor have a school on Cabalitian Island.

We went back to the boat cause we were going a little bit around the island to our next destination: Sir Michael's second house.

Sir Michael's house


The house was beachside, and currently being renovated. He had a pond in the back which also belonged to him. Another cool feature about this property that he had a little four pillar construction at the waterside through which you enjoy a very beautiful sunset every single day. This 64 year old German gentleman seemed to have life figured out already for himself. I'm not envying him just yet.

white house on cabalitian island in pangasinan province philippines
Short boatride to, and quick look at, the second house of sir Michael, the restaurant owner.

We were also closer now to the power plant, and of course we wanted to go around that one as well. We went close nearby its constructions and it was also really cool to see. The sun was already quite low, and the lighting angles made this sight even more impressive and majestic than it already was.

electrical power plant industry in pangasinan province philippines
electrical power plant industry in pangasinan province philippines
Watching the power plant was quite cool with the sun going low like that. The lightning made for some cool sights and photos.

Concluding the tour around Cabalitian Island


After that we went another halfway around the island encountering cool rock formations, beaches, and underwater caves. We also saw more fishery scenes (mostly fishing boats) and a big white holy cross on top of a hill. We ended up a nice little beach which actually belong to a resort on the island. Our boat trip ended there, as we went almost all around the island. The sun was getting really low and I thought it would be great to get some footage of the sunset with my drone.

fishing boat in pangasinan province cabalitian island philippines
We encountered a cute-looking fishing boat.

I prepared the flight as local island inhabitants gather around cause they have never seen something like that before. Then the drone went into the air and I had a beautiful 15 min flight over the area. I filmed the large area of fish farms and also the power plant in the back. Also the island itself was a beautiful paradise-like sight to behold. I ended the flight trying to catch the sunset. The sunset wasn't quite there yet it seemed my drone battery wouldn't last long enough. I tried to mimic a sunset by gradually lowering the drone so the sun would disappear behind a mountain on the island. It didn't work out all too great though cause the power plant's chimney was also visible behind the mountain and disappeared together with the sun as I slowly lower my drone down (said goodbye to my intended illusion).

drone aerial photography photos of cabalitian island in pangasinan province
This is Cabalitian Island.
drone photo aerial photography of sunset in pangasinan philippines with fish farms and electrical power plant
I thought this shot was cool from high above with the fish farms visible and the electrical power plant.
drone photo of sunset behind mountain at cabalitian island in pangasinan province philippines
I tried to mimic a sunset by lowering the drone but there was not enough battery life. Guess my timing of flying the drone just wasn't right.

The day and the vlog came to a fantastic end anyway though cause as we took the boat again, away from the island, we still ended up admiring this beautiful, awe-inspiring sunset.

filipino man on boat with beautiful sunset in pangasinan province philippines
I'm glad Reynold and I were still able to enjoy this magnificent sunset from this little boat.

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