My Villa Pilarosa, Cagbalete Island Budget Trip

“If travelling was free, you would never see me again”. Five months ago, you wouldn’t probably hear me say that. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, so I promised myself that even though I am scared of travelling, I will travel to my heart’s content. It just so happened that my first trip was with my friends at Villa Pilarosa, Cagbalete Island, Mauban Quezon. Can you believe that our budget was only 1,500 pesos all-in? That also includes our food and accommodation.

Villa Pilarosa is a hidden and a private resort in Cagbalete Island. The resort is surrounded by mangrove trees – there’s so many mangroves that you won’t even notice that there is a resort behind it. The ambiance of the resort was very peaceful and has this very probinsya feels – definitely a perfect place to have a nice rest away from the civilization. Take note, there’s no Globe signal there.

The first thing we did was to have a nice rest and sleep a little before we enjoy the crystal clear water of Cagbalete, the four of us was up all night after all. We left Manila around 12:30 midnight and we were at Villa Pilarosa by 8AM. Travel time was about 5-6 hours. You can either ride a passenger boat to get to the resort or rent one, we chose the latter, so we could enjoy our whole time without rushing and leave whenever we want.

You must make a reservation before coming here, especially during peak season. Surprisingly, when we arrived at the resort, all the guests were getting ready to leave. We asked the person-in-charge, Kuya Andrew, if they were expecting more guests besides us, he said no, the resort was all to ourselves! LOL He even gave us a discount! Since we are the only guest that day, Kuya Andrew upgraded our small cabana to medium – for free! 
After we had lunch, the water was slowly getting lower. And while waiting for the sand bar to come out, we had a nice chat with the people at the resort and had another rest on the havocs.

And when the sand bar appeared, we took the chance to take some pictures. Since we’re the only ones there, we did almost everything! We danced, sang, posed, and walked around the island. It’s just sad the we missed watching the sunset, but there’s always the sun rise, so it’s fine. 

The morning came and that’s when we really enjoyed swimming in the clearest water of Cagbalete. Another good thing about Villa Pilarosa, you can use their balsa (raft) and life vest; just ask Kuya Andrew and he will surely let you.

No matter where you go, the water is all clear and the fresh air is just so relaxing. Just remember to put on sun block, though, because there isn’t any shade in the swimming area.

Tips before going to Villa Pilarosa, Cagbalete Island
  • Leave early so you can avoid unnecessary delays such as traffic.
  • Make sure that you have extra money with you. The 1,500 pesos may be enough, it still won’t hurt to have extra pennies with you.
  • Buy all the things you need in the market first – food and water. There is a mini sari-sari store at the resort, but expect a higher price of the products.
  • If you think you can’t survive without a mobile signal, or the internet, then bring an extra SIM (Smart or Sun) with you.
  • Bring sun block and mosquito repellant with you.
  • The electricity is only available from 6PM – 6AM, so you better have extra power banks with you.
  • If you want to cook, you can use all their cooking materials and utensils for free. All you have to pay is the P50 for the firewood.

Budget Breakdown

  • JAC Liner Bus (Manila to Lucena) – P210 (we paid P168 for students)
  • NCR Lines Bus (Lucena to Mauban) – P53 (we paid P43 for student)
  • NCR Lines Bus (Mauban to Lucena) – P53 (we paid P43 for student)
  • JAC Liner Bus (Lucena to Manila) – P210 (we paid P168 for students)
  • Environmental and Tourism Fee – P50
  • Boat (Tourist boat-back and forth) – P2000 (we paid P500 each)
  • Cabana – P1500 (we paid P375 each)
  • Food – P150 each (note: all of us have baon, so we didn’t buy much food at the market)

TOTAL: P1,601 / P1,497 for students

Not bad, right? Although I think P1,500 will be adequate if you are to use a passenger boat. You can refer to the photo below for the boat rates.

Our 2 days and 1 night surely were unforgettable. We were surrounded by clear water and a magnificent view. Cagbalete Island is definitely worth going for. And if you want to be away from the crowd, then Villa Pilarosa is for you.

For reservation, reach out to 
or contact Kuya Andrew: 09993663884

What do you think of this trip? Would you like to see more travel post on this blog? Let me know on comment box below.