Camarines Norte: Discovering Quinamanucan Island of Vinzons
Calaguas Group of Islands‘ pristine beaches made a name for the coastal town of Vinzons, Camarines Norte as a jump-off point to the well-known islands. No other island destination rang a bell when I hear the town’s name until turbulent winds and rough seas prohibited our voyage bound for Calaguas. Instead, the journey set on a new course to a tiny paradise off the coast of Vinzons called Quinamanucan Island.
Vinzons Port (photo from our Calaguas trip last 2012)
Going to Quinamanucan Island from Vinzons takes about 30-45 minutes on smooth seas and fair weathers. However, San Miguel Bay greeted us with gigantic waves seemingly about to wipe our small outrigger vessel from the face of the planet. For a second there, it reminded me of our first visit to Cagbalete Island in Mauban.
Still managed to smile amidst the heart-pounding boat ride to Quinamanucan.
Though intrepid souls accompanied us in this journey, braving those treacherous waters that day was just a risk I couldn’t take. Mother Nature delivered a stern warning not to stray any more further away from the coast. Perfectly a clear reminder that no destination is worth a life.
Weather was unpredictable that day. Thick clouds hovered at one point, then the sun peeps on another.
After about an hour of heart-pounding struggle against huge waves, the bow touched dry land – the western shores of Quinamanucan Island. No extensive explanations can be found on the internet aside from the obvious root word,“manok” (translates to ‘chicken’ in English), thus, Quinamanucan or “Chicken Island.” Still the question remain unanswered so I referred to Google Maps, and, more or less, found the reason why: from a bird’s eye view, the island resembles a chicken’s head with the beak on its western tip. I think that’s about it, but if there are further explanations, I’d be more than glad to know.
Yellowish sand in Quinamanucan Island.
Nothing but the beach and the open sea on the eastern part of the island.
A driftwood on the western point of the island.
Soft sands in Quinamanucan’s beaches.
Blanketing the beaches of Quinamanucan are soft yellowish sands that glow white as the sun touches earth. While the island’s south-eastern end is carved with rock formations and corals by nature’s elements. A good way to explore the untouched beauty of this tiny paradise is to take a leisure walk which takes only about an hour.
The southern end of the island.
Sunset in Quinamanucan Island.
Boatmen and Bantay Dagat working together on a local cuisine.
Nothing but lush vegetation and thick forest cover most of the Quinamanucan Island – no resorts, no hotels. Nothing but a tiny piece of open ground nestled under a thick foliage of tree canopies serve as the campsite for overnight visitors. It’s also the base camp of the kind and accommodating “Bantay Dagat”, a civilian fisheries patrol force who watches over and protects the thriving marine life of Quinamanucan from illegal activities.
Camping in Quinamanucan Island.
Taking a rest in a makeshift hammock/swing.
Though sands not as white, and the name not as popular as Calaguas Island, Quinamanucan Island is a perfect destination for travelers seeking the off-beaten path of regular tourist. In your visit, you may find the whole island to yourself where you could enjoy the serenity, peacefulness, and Mother Nature at its finest. Discovering Quinamanucan Island by accident was definitely not a misfortune but, as I see it, a blessing in disguise.
Here are some fast facts that may help you on your trip:
1. If you’re commuting to Vinzons, Camarines Norte, take the 8-hour bus ride bound for Daet (Superlines, DLTBCo., or PhilTranco) and get off at Labo. Take a tricycle to Vinzons Port.
2. Bus fares to Daet and Labo, Camarines Norte:
P361.00 – Cubao to Labo (non-airconditioned bus)
P513.00 – Cubao to Daet (air-conditioned bus)
3. Tricycle from Labo to Vinzons (good for 3 persons)
4. You could contact theMang Putong for boat transfers to either Quinamanucan or Calaguas Island. He’s our very helpful go-to person when we need a boat coming from Vinzons to any of the islands. 0920 566 6985
5. Monitor weather conditions before pushing on with this trip. Best time to go are on the months of March-May according to locals.
6. Quinamanucan Island has nothing but an open hut without any C.R. Hut rental costs P200.00.
7.There are no stores in Quinamanucan Island. Make sure you buy your supplies before leaving Vinzons.
8. If you’re bound for Calaguas, Quinamanucan is a good stopover where you could have lunch before the 2-hour boat ride.
9. Always maintain cleanliness, not only in Quinamanucan, but everywhere.
10. More destinations in Camarines Norte
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13. For a complete and cheap travel package to Calaguas Island or Quinamanucan Island, check out BIYAHE LOKAL’s package.