So this happened: me and my friends rented a private island off the coast of Laguna (may off the coast talaga?!) on my birthday. Perfect that the island was available on my exact birthday (they were almost fully booked) so we grabbed the opportunity and booked it via airbnb.com. The island is located in Cavinti, Laguna, somewhere near Caliraya, and took us about 3 hours to get there from Manila. Check out their listing in the website (or here) because everything you need to know – from directions whether via commute or private car, to the amenities and rate, to suggested activities, to things to do and stuff to bring, to guidelines – is there.
Basically, there’s a house in the middle of the island, a separate office which we turned into a breakfast area, a bonfire and grilling place and an area with hammocks. The whole island is surrounded by trees and of course the water so it was very, very cool, even in the middle of the afternoon. Tables and chairs, fans, beddings, comforters and pillows, pots, pans and utensils, gas and stove and even basic condiments are available. No refrigerator though so make sure your meals are planned (our meals are found below). We only needed to bring toiletries, food and drinks and ourselves.
I brought our airbed thinking we’d need an extra bed for the 9 of us but the king size bed, single bed and two comforters were enough. It’s amazing that my rhinitis wasn’t triggered there. The house was super clean and well-maintained. Generator will run from 6pm to 12 midnight. You may opt to extend the generator time, which we did, for an additional P70 per hour.
We went there via private cars and had lunch at Ted’s Diner in Sta Cruz (where my friends surprised me and a friend with birthday cakes!) which was amazing! Anyway, as for the cars, we left them at the parking area which is pretty safe since it’s guarded and is fenced in. You’ll need to leave your vehicles since you’ll be taking a boat going to the island (duh).
Me and my friends were joking that we’d get bored staying overnight in an island with nothing to do but we were so wrong. Time really flew by! Aside from all our talking, joking, laughing, teasing and jabbering, we simply cooked our meals and ate and chilled and relaxed and ate some more. Before we knew it, it was already evening! Haha! We didn’t even get to play cards anymore. My friend also put up the available hammock there so you can relax completely.
For our meals, we (when I say we, that means my friends) grilled some chicken and pork plus eggplant. We also cooked some steak on the oven (my friends again surprised me with birthday cupcakes!). After dinner, we set up a bonfire and had smores and some drinks. The stars were pretty amazing. I forget how pretty they are with my busy schedule and city living. When we started feeling sleepy, it started drizzling so the timing was perfect.
The next day, it was funny how we all woke up early, around 6am. Guess it comes with growing up? Haha! Right on schedule, the generator was cut off. Since it’s a bit cloudy and the house was a bit dark, we used our flash lights to light our cook and had breakfast in the “office” which was located outside. We couldn’t eat al fresco because it was drizzling. The office, with all four walls made up of windows, was the perfect setting.
More chilling and relaxing, cooked some spaghetti as an early lunch then by 12nn, we had to check out because the next guests were on their way! I have nothing but positive things to say about our experience. It was really amazing and I highly recommend it for anyone who just wants to get away from the world.
Cost of overnight private island rental for 9 persons with 6 hours additional generator: P5,700
Our sample itinerary and details:
25 October (Saturday)
10am – leave Los Banos going to Cavinti
12nn-1pm – lunch stop over at Ted’s Diner, Pagsanjan
1-2:30pm – travel to Cavinti and boat ride to the island
2:30-5pm – eat junk food, chika and relax
5-7pm – start cooking and preparing for dinner
7-9pm – dinner (grilled chicken, pork, steak, eggplant with onions and salted egg, chicken adobo with pineapple, rice)
9pm onwards – bonfire (smores) and night cap
26 October (Sunday)
6-7am – prepare breakfast (tortang talong, ham, leftover steak and chicken adobo, banana, coffee and hot chocolate)
7-9am – breakfast and chika
9-10:30am – prepare early lunch (spaghetti)
10:30-12nn – pack up and check out