Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Our Mishaps in Carnaza

La Manok Island
La Manok Island
by: Mark Linga Aguirre

So you’ve heard about the tiny paradise, fairly inexpensive, white sandy beaches of Carnaza. We have just been there and brought you guys a souvenir of stories of our mishaps. 
But before that, here’s a how-to-get-there-info provided by Fickle Feet

Carnaza Island
Carnaza Island
by: Fickle Feet
Carnaza Island, Cebu for Php1000
If you like remote, beautiful and affordable island getaway. You should try Carnaza Island in Cebu!
🚗How to get to Carnaza Island:
* From North Bus Terminal – Take a bus going to Daanbantayan (Maya via Kawit) for Php190.00. It will take 3-4 hours to get there. Drop in Tapilon and go to Tapilon port
* From Tapilon port – Take a boat for Php100.00. It will take more than an hour to get to the island. Also, take note that the boat needs to be full and the target schedule according to the boatmen are below:
* From Tapilon to Carnaza Island at 1PM.

* From Carnaza to Tapilon at 8AM
🏠Where to stay:
You can camp at Kailina or Candionesio
Carnaza Eco Park

Rent a house (Ate Hilda at 09508241981) Price depends on the negotiation.
Possible expenses:
Bus going to Daanbantayan: Php190.00
Boat Going to Carnaza Island: Php100
House rented: Php100 per person
Boat roaming carnaza island: Php1000.00 good for 6 people
Boat going to Tapilon: Php100

Bus going to Daanbantayan: Php190.00

As a group of freedivers, we decided to rent out our own Pumpboat since we wanted to maximize our 2-day-diving trip. It’s a tad expensive but with the right amount of headcount, you have all the boat to yourselves and go to nearby islands to dive. i.e Isla de Gato and La manok.

Pushing the pumpboat out the shore required the boatmen, locals, and all passengers' effort
by: John Sas-Kyo

We started the day right. Parked our vehicles in Tapilon port (yes - they do have a safe parking area) and met our contact for the pumpboat. We waited from 7AM – 9AM for the sea to participate but it looked as if it wont be high enough till 11AM for the boat to move. After both patiently and a bit angrily talking, complaining and compromising with our boatmen, we decided to just let it be and wait. A few minutes after our surrender, the boatmen, together with some locals and some of us, managed to push the boat out and moving. We had additional 7 passengers on our boat bound for Carnaza too. It was not an issue since it meant having more headcounts to divide the total amount (we only asked for the standard fare – 100PHP per head one way), but they had no choice but to wait for us on the boat while we dive.

Gato Island
Playing good cop bad cop with one of the many jellyfishes in de Gato
by: John Sas-kyo

Upon arriving Isla de Gato, it was easier to spot dead fishes than live ones – a result of dynamite fishing which was supposed to be strictly prohibited but is still very rampant in the area. Nonetheless, there were lots of jellies and sea snakes and typical tropical fishes.

La Manok
La Manok Island
by: Mark Linga Aguirre

Before proceeding to La Manok, we dropped the 7 passengers in Carnaza’s eco park and ate lunch in the boat. La Manok is a very small island, and looked like a dinosaur from afar. No outstanding marine life to see there as well, just a lot of tiny fishes clinging to the sharp walls of the island rocks. But nice view though, with it’s small sandbar.

It was around 6PM when we arrived in Carnaza. It was dark and the place we stayed at had no electricity, no lights and the water had to be fetched in their nearby well. Very very very very accommodating owners though. They will help you cook your food (just add additional money), help fetch water for shower, and set up a bed under 5billion stars.

Some of us slept under the starry night sky in Carnaza

The next morning, we had freshly caught fish for a very cheap price. Breakfast was great! They toured (hiked) us around the island and showed us hidden beaches that we might like. Beaches were good. White sand but too many trashes in the shoreline. Still no outstanding marine life to see.

The trashes around the shoreline negates the beauty of the beaches in Carnaza
by: Mark Linga Aguirre
On our way home, the boat again was filled with other passengers and boxes of fishes that had to be delivered to the mainland. It was not something we were very concerned of but knowing we rented the boat to ourselves, it was common practice for rented boats to not allow other passengers or additional loads to be carried. The boat was obviously overloaded since it was slower than the other day. Upon arriving Tapilon port, they docked as where the water was dark and murky. Trash everywhere. The boatmen then asked 50% share from the 7 additional passengers that joined us the other day -  we didn’t agree, of course. They had the audacity to carry additional passengers/load despite the fact that we rented the boat for ourselves – they were abusing their privilege.

To make the long story short:
1. Carnaza is a good place to relax and go swimming in white sandy beaches (some areas with the abundancy of trash and some were properly maintained)
2. It is not for diving nor snorkeling unless you go visit their ecopark (200PHP entrance)
3. DO NOT contact 09480787894 Tirzo for pumpboat rentals.
4. Be wary of Tapilon Port’s resident crazy old man while showering. He was seen pleasuring himself while watching bikini-wearing tourists.
5. No signal, no electricity. Enjoy the night sky
6. Coordinate ahead of time with your host about food to cook
7. Parking fee in Tapilon port is 100 per vehicle
8. Garbage can be seen on the shoreline – clothes and plasticware
9. Fresh seafood available early in the morning. Ask locals or your host if you are planning to buy for dinner so they can buy freshly caught ones any time of the day.
10. Just a friendly reminder: Avoid using single use plastic to minimize trash. Bring your own spoon, fork, cups and plates.