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Capalonga Travel Guide: Bicol’s next top tourist destination

It was an adventure on the way to Capalonga, Camarines Norte.

After spending a relaxing day at Bag-angan Farm Resort in Labo where we experienced to pause and savor life; the next day, we were in a van traveling at such an unreasonable speed going to our next destination, Capalonga.

It felt like we were part of a scene in the movie, Fast and the Furious. Seriously. We were baffled. Why are we such in a hurry? Is there an emergency? Do we need to beat a deadline that is a matter of life and death? We couldn’t understand.

“Oh, our driver used to be an Ambulance driver, that’s why he drives too fast,” explains Ma’am Myrna, the hospitable staff of the Provincial Tourism Office of Camarines Norte.

Okay. Is there any room for compromise? Hahaha! We still had some questions, but we decided to just stay quiet and hope that we’ll all be safe.

Luckily, we safely arrived in Capalonga. We just accepted that the adventure was all part of the experience. Good thing that Capalonga created a positive impression on us, that we instantly forget the stress of the Fast and Furious moment kind of land travel.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

A famous landmark in Capalonga.

Capalonga is a sleepy town in Camarines Norte. The roads are wide and there seems to be a lot of space for everyone. People are nice and welcoming, that they seem to know and identify who is a tourist in a bunch of locals.

Poblacion, where the municipal hall is located is surrounded by green trees and forest nearby, and just a walking distance is the popular baywalk of Capalonga. This is one of the major achievements of the local government in the past years. They were able to transform a bay area, that was once considered as a garbage dumpsite with shacks and tiny houses endangered for any storm surge, into a baywalk conducive for sports and recreation.

The new baywalk of Capalonga is now protected by a seawall with a basketball court, open-air auditorium, and a tourism office. You’ll also find here the Capalonga signage and the Lighthouse mark. I’ll share more details about this more in this post, but for now, I’ll share what happened when we arrived in Capalonga.

Capalonga Tourist Spots

Capalonga is famous for its image of the Black Nazarene wherein devotees and pilgrims flock to the town every May 13 to witness and celebrate the miraculous image. But over the years, Capalonga has proven that it has definitely more to offer, and here are some of the attractions in the municipality of Capalonga.

1. Pulong Guijanlo

Since Capalonga is a coastal town expect that there are beaches and islands to explore. The most popular one is Pulong Guijanlo in Camagsaan.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Beautiful.

Early morning, we walked from our guest house going to the Capalonga Baywalk, and there we met Sir Rod who assisted us with everything from boarding the boat until reaching the island and back.

It was just a 30-minute boat ride until we reached Pulong Guijanlo. The island looks inviting, but since it was low tide, our boat was unable to dock near the beach, so we got off the boat and walked until we reach the island. I highly recommend that you wear protection on your feet like the aqua shoes because there were some rocks to encounter. Don’t be like me. I just wore slippers and it gave up on me.

Despite the little challenges, Pulong Guijanlo is worth it. It has a long sandbar, with a pristine beach and clear waters.

It has some trees in the middle to give shade in case you want to escape the scorching heat from the sun and some mangrove areas.

While my fellow travelers were taking pictures for their Instagram, I decided to walk and explore the island alone. I don’t know. It may be because of age or what but I prefer exploring the place and experiencing its solemnity while connecting with nature. I also took some photos of the island.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Siempre kailangan may selfie LOL

At the back of the island, I saw a group of people digging something at the rocky part of the islet. At first, I thought they were doing illegal or something, but it turned out they were planting mangroves in the area.

They were digging to crush the rocks and be able to plant at the rich soil at the bottom. My bad, I should stop being judgmental. What can I do? I am just too concerned for the environment that I initially thought that they were mining there or something. Hahaha!

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

They’re planting mangrove trees.

Overall, I enjoyed the island vibe. It was raw and secluded perfect to relax and be away from the stress of the city. The water was crystal clear and calm for those who love to swim and sunbathe.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

#PogiProblems HAHAHA    Photo Credit: HeyitsJacque

2. Capalonga Baywalk and Lighthouse

At the last part of the Cultural presentation, I decided to walk and explore Poblacion. I didn’t have any idea where to find any tourist spots there, I just walked until I reach the back of the municipal hall and saw a mother walking hand in hand with her 2 kids. The older kid was still wearing his costume, and it was obvious he participated in the cultural presentation.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

I just followed them, until I saw the road was getting wider and wider until I saw an auditorium and a basketball court. A few meters more is a baywalk, a little bit similar to the baywalk in Manila but of course, this one in Capalonga is better because the water isn’t polluted and there are a lot of mangroves.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

There were kids, a lot of kids hanging out at the baywalk until I saw a mini-lighthouse and the Capalonga signage and letter standee. This is a popular landmark in Capalonga. Good thing I brought my camera with me, so I just took some shots.

3. Selfie Beach Resort

The Municipal Tourism Officer of Capalonga, Sir Rod Rawat, arranged some tricycles to bring us to Selfie Beach Resort. We traveled for a few minutes and even passed through the famous Camagsaan Bridge.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

People of Capalonga are also proud of the Selfie Beach Resort because this is the first high-end resort in town, signifying that Capalonga is worthy of investment.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

True enough, when we arrived at the resort, I was surprised by its amenities and design. It was like I was transported into a different place, like an expensive resort in Batangas or El Nido.

There are cabanas, restaurants, chairs, and tables to chill while feeling the sea breeze. The beach is clean and well-maintained. It has fine sand that is relaxing to my feet. I enjoyed exploring its longshore.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

The resort’s Operations Manager, Sir LJ, prepared a delicious pancit and refreshing iced tea for us. Well, that’s what we call hospitality right?

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

with Sir Rod, the Municipal Tourism Officer of Capalonga  and Ms. Myrna of  Camarines Norte Tourism   Credit: Jovanie Teodoro of Provincial Tourism Office

I was able to view and explore one of the resort’s rooms. And all I can say is that it’s truly built for a relaxing stay for as low as 3,000 pesos per night.

Selfie Beach Resort Contact Details
Number: 0977 801 0634
Facebook Page: Selfie Beach Resort 

4. Tinagong Beach Resort
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Tinagong Beach resort is special and worthy of any media mentions and coverage because of its huge potential.

It is just located beside the Selfie Beach Resort sharing the fine sand of the long stretch of beach. But what is special in the property is the huge rock formation beside the beach, comparable to a hill that once fully developed, it will definitely provide a different kind of vacation experience to any visitors.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
We climbed up and there were few rooms constructed on top. More than anything else, the view on top was just breathtaking especially in the afternoon when the sun was about to set.
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Sir Abner, the owner of the resort shared that they have more rooms to build and more plans to improve the resort. Cottages are priced as 200 and 350 pesos depending on the size. They have 3 different varieties of rooms priced at PHP 1500 for couples, Php 2500 for small family and PHP 3500 for big groups.

With more plans in place, it is exciting what the development of this resort will be in the coming months and years.

Tinagong Beach Resort Contact
Number: 0942 565 1992
Email: tinagongbeachresort@gmail.com
Facebook Page: Tinagong Beach Resort

3. Capalonga Shrine of the Black Nazarene

This is probably what Capalonga is most known for. Located at Poblacion, the Shrine to the Black Nazarene is said to be miraculous that every May 13, devotees and pilgrims flock to Capalonga to pay homage to the Black Nazarene.

More Tourist Attractions

Capalonga is home of more waterfalls and beaches. In Barangay Alayao, there are Banca-banca Falls and Banokbok Falls. While in Brangay Itok, there’s Itok Falls.  Camagsaan is not only known for its Pulong Guijanlo, there are also some beaches like Sabang beach and Lom-oc beach.

There are also rivers and dive sites like Alayao River, Itok River, and Sabong-sabong Reef and Dive Site. I would love to be back in Capalonga soon to explore these eco-tourism sites.

385th Founding Anniversary of Capalonga

The reason why we were in Capalonga aside from exploring the undiscovered gems of the town is to experience and share the foundation day celebration of one of the oldest towns in Camarines Norte.

We witnessed the parade showcasing the creativity of the Capalonga’s youth through costumes and designs. It was such a treat to see those kids in their awesome looks and costumes.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Cute oh. Magaling sumayaw ang grupong yan.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Smile

There were a group of kids dancing, enjoying the moment. With all those colors and designs, I can say that it was a nice way to welcome the morning and start the day.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

There were also some students who joined the parade proudly wearing their uniforms and representing their schools. All kids in costumes were actually participants of the Cultural Presentation that will happen after the parade at the auditorium beside the municipal hall.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination
explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

The reigning Daragang Magayon 2019 from Capalonga, Ms. Jashmin-Lyn Dimaculangan.

After the parade, we then proceed to the municipal hall. We met there the Vice Mayor of Capalonga, Mr. John Enero.  He was warm and approachable. I noticed that the public officials in the provinces are more accessible and more relatable than the officials in Metro Manila whom you seldom see and whenever you get a chance to see them, they’re usually with their entourage and body guards.

In the province, most of the officials can be seen just walking and roaming around the municipal hall’s premises.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

With Capalonga Vice Mayor, John Enero with fellow travel bloggers. Credit: Pia of Piathought.com

We had our breakfast and brunch at the municipal hall. Before the cultural show even started, Sir Rod Rawat, the Municipal Tourism Officer of Capalonga, gave us a background and briefing of what we have to expect in the coming days. Sir Rod has been unbelievable during the entire program making sure that the event was smooth, and he also had the energy to assist us with the island-hopping experience the following day.

The Cultural Presentation

It was time for the cultural presentation. I got a pretty nice spot on the stage. Although it wasn’t the best spot to take some photos, with all the people and locals eager to witness the presentation, I should still be thankful that I was able to position myself on the stage.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Iba ang dance step oh. Go go kids!

The cultural show is one of the highlights of the foundation day celebration wherein students showcase their awesome dance performances with elaborate designs and props that embody the heritage and culture of Capalonga. It was divided into 2 categories namely Elementary and High School.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Malakas ang laban.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Makuha ka sa tingin

It was fun to watch the showcase of the talent and creativity of the kids of Capalonga. All of the participants are remarkable in their own unique way but in the end, there can be only one winner for the Elementary category and one for high school.

Mr. and Ms. Teen Capalonga 

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Candidates of Ms. Teen Capalonga 2019

I know that Philippines is crazy about this kind of pageant and it is imminent even in the smallest towns and barangays in the country. Capalonga’s answer to the people’s clamor for showcase and expression of beauty is their very own version of Mr. and Ms. Teen Capalonga.

It has been a tradition of Capalonga to have an annual Ms. Teen Capalonga, but this year they’ve added Mr. Teen Capalonga for the first time.

I remember in our province in Northern Samar, it is also a tradition to have this pageant so this experience in Capalonga brings back a lot of memories of when I was a kid.

We freshened up at our hotel after dinner, then when we arrived at the auditorium, the pageant was just about to start. Good thing we have seats reserved for us at the back of the judges, so we had a nice view of the entire program and contestants.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Lagi bang nakaharang si kuyang photographer? wag mag-alala, gawin mo siyang part ng photography mo. LOL!

The opening number was a blast. Supporters showed their huge presence from the dance number to the presentation of the candidates. I can say that they have a pretty good set of candidates, especially for Ms. Teen Capalonga.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Nag-aapoy. LOL!

This kind of pageant even in the province has changed over the past years. I am actually amazed that with the gowns, clothes, and presentation of the candidates it’s obvious that they’ve taken this pageant seriously.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Ang kontrobersyal na talent. May hipuan. LOL!

The talent portion was another entertaining part. They were too many drama performances to the point that as an audience, I’d prefer a simple yet well-coordinated dance number instead. True enough, the candidates who won the best in talent were both good dance performances.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Ms. Talent.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

The winners or Mr. and Ms. Teen Capalonga 2019

The announcement of winners of Mr. and Mr. Teen Capalonga 2019 is not only a representation of beauty but a celebration of the town’s people and identity. Everyone was in a festive mood even though it was already late at night.  The pageant ended at about 12:30 AM.

How to get to Capalonga?

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Superlines, Philtranco, and DLTB are some of the bus companies that have daily trips to Daet, Camarines Norte. Once you’re in Daet, it’s another 2-hour land travel by van or jeepney going to Capalonga.

Superlines now has trips directly going to Capalonga. Check the daily trip schedule on their website, Superlines in Capalonga.

Where to eat in Capalonga

There are some small eateries in Poblacion and in other parts of Capalonga, but one that is highly recommended by locals and even by the Municipal Tourism Office is Mommy Terry’s Bulaluhan and Eatery located near the Talagpucao port.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Sample lang yan. wala pa yung Squid at Shrimp. Di ko nakunan

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

Mommy Terry with Sir Rod and siempre, kami      PHOTO CREDIT:  Jovanie Teodoro of Provincial  Tourism Office

Mommy Terry offers fresh seafood and other viands aside from its famous Bulalo. Aside from the delicious home-cooked food, it’s Mommy Terry’s warmth and a smile that will complete the experience. Once you drop by here, say hi and chat with mommy Terry. You won’t regret it.

Where to Stay in Capalonga

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

We stayed at Enrico’s Inn and Diner. They have 3 rooms perfect for small and big groups. The rooms are air-conditioned with flat-screen TV and bathroom. If you’re craving food, there’s a restaurant on the first floor.

Final Words

I had a great time exploring Capalonga. In a matter of a few days, I was able to experience and get a glimpse of the lives of the people there by celebrating with them their Foundation Day with activities like the cultural presentation and the pageant that night.

explore, travel, capalonga travel guide: bicol’s next top tourist destination

With Sir Bong Palma, Provincial Tourism Officer of Camarines Norte  PHOTO CREDIT: GO CAM NORTE

The tourist attractions we’ve explored also prove that Capalonga has definitely more to offer when it comes to tourism.

On our last day in Camarines Norte, we had a nice meeting with Sir Bong Palma, the Provincial Tourism Officer of Camarines Norte, wherein he shared his plans and future developments. It was also a chance to have some practice sharing and suggestions on how to continuously improve the Tourism in Camarines Norte. For all travelers out there, watch out for Capalonga – it’s definitely the next big thing in Bicol Tourism.

Note: This travel to Capalonga was made possible through the Provincial Tourism Office of Camarines Norte, Municipal Tourism Office of Capalonga, and Katooga.ph.

Thank you, Sir Bong Palma (Provincial Tourism Officer), Ms. Myrna and Jovanie of CamNorte Tourism Office, Sir Rod (Municipal Tourism Officer) of Capalonga, and Sir Mike Zuniga of Katooga.ph