For our 2nd anniversary, Miguel and I decided to celebrate this milestone in our relationship at an exclusive resort in Bicol called Tugawe Cove Resort where we tried out our new DJI Spark drone.
I paid PHP 16k for 2 nights, exclusive of 10% service charge, but it was worth every cent. From booking to check-out, our entire experience was 5-star! Immediately after booking with Tugawe online, the sales representative was very hands on and pro-active with coordinating our transportation and other arrangements. Days before the trip, front office made sure to check what time we were arriving and that we had their number. On the day itself, both the front office in Manila and the operations team in Tugawe Cove Resort sent me an SMS confirming our time of arrival.
Catanduanes to Tugawe Cove Resort
We flew from Manila to Virac via Cebu Pacific (1 hr 10 mins) and took a tricycle from Virac Airport to Codon Port (45 mins) for PHP 500/way. Typically, you would need to ask the resort to pick you up from Codon Port (PHP 500/person) or from the Virac Airport in Catanduanes (PHP 750/person). However, in our case, since we wanted to tour the Caramoan Islands first, we took a trike to Codon Port first, then decided to ask our boat man JC Siz of Caramoan Island Travel and Tours (see contact details below) to just drop us off at Tugawe Cove Resort for no additional cost.
We arrived at Tugawe Cove Resort earlier than planned because the major islands of Caramoan were blocked off for the Survivor shoot. Honestly, the Caramoan island tour was a waste of time. We could have spent the day at Catanduanes instead going to Pitogo Island since all the beaches look the same. I would rather go to some lesser known beaches than risk not being able to dock at a beach at all.
At the docking port, we were greeted by Tugawe Cove management with our personal Butler JJ who was super attentive and detail-oriented. He knew what I liked, didn’t like and needed just by looking at my facial expressions. Knowing how much Miguel and I loved to take couple shot, he offered to take our pictures every time. He placed a personal touch at the end of the trip by giving us purple raincoats for our boat ride back to Codon Port, because he realized I liked purple after seeing my outfit for the last 2 days. He originally works front desk and had been around for a mere 5 month, but the quality of service was impeccable!
A shuttle took us from the port to the reception area. The drive was about 5 minutes long. We were offered welcome drinks and a complimentary snack called Maruya (PHP 120) at the al fresco dining area called Cecilia’s. After checking in and signing the insurance forms, we were led down to the lower beach where our lakefront Casita was. There were a LOT of steps (over a hundred for sure). While there is a funicular that covers half the distance down, one of the butlers overloaded it a few years back, rendering it unusable now.
Tugawe Cove Accommodation
The lake was an incredible sight, especially with the lanterns dazzling at night. The Casitas were so luxurious and spacious. Building them on the lake and bringing in all the furniture by sea is a feat in itself. We were so tired on the first night that we had dinner brought to our room. I pitied JJ for carrying the tray of Bicol Express, Laing and Garlic Rice all the way down those hundred steps plus but I pitied my knees more.
It rained all morning the following day, and when the sky finally let up, we had our breakfast delivered to our room. It was supposed to be a buffet breakfast but we just asked for bangus, daing, eggs, pancakes and beef tapa to be brought down. JJ set up our breakfast table in front of the beach. That afternoon, Miguel and I took our new DJI Spark for a spin. It was still pretty cloudy, but we managed to take good shots of the resort. You can watch the cinematic video at the Corked and Screwed Youtube account. (Please support us and subscribe!)
Things to do in Tugawe Cove Resort
We went for a swim at the beach. There are Standup paddle boards and kayaks for free use all day!
It was so windy at some point that we lost control of the drone which triggered its fail safe feature; it started to descend over the infinity pool. Inexperienced with landing the drone, I panicked and grabbed it from the air, not knowing that it was supposed to drop into my hand. I cut my middle finger on the blades. The laceration was pretty deep, but I managed to place the meat back into my finger and let the blood clot. JJ came down with the first aid kit and patched me up. I was pretty rattled and numb at first, but then the stinging sensation came and all I could do was laugh deliriously from the pain.
That afternoon, we were supposed to do the picnic by the lighthouse for PHP 650, but it was too windy for us (cyclone signal 1). We made the trip up the hill anyway and took some 360 degree shots at the light house.
We stopped by the viewdeck on the way down. It had a view of both the green lake and the blue beach.
We had our grilled cheese tuna and grilled cheese chicken sandwiches back at the restaurant, and popped open a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc for an additional PHP 600. Even then it was windy at the restaurant. We continued onto the dinner buffet at Cecilia’s for PHP 700/person. They served some Bicolano dishes and had a barbecue grill.
We had breakfast buffet at the restaurant on our last day just to check it out. Miguel took more drone shots including one of the lighthouse from a distance because we couldn’t do it the day before. The skies were perfectly blue and the winds were calm after we left.
Tugawe Cove Resort to Virac
Tugawe Cove Resort had arranged a boat transfer for us back to Codon at 10 AM for PHP 500/person (PHP 750/person with land transfer to Virac Airport). After the 45-minute boat ride, we arrived at Codon where our car rental waited to take us on our Catanduanes Island Tour.
The 3 days we spent at Tugawe Cove Resort were truly some of the best in my life.
Caramoan Island Hopping from Catanduanes
Tour Company: Caramoan Island Travel and Tours
Contact Person 1: JC Siz (+63 950) 690-8981
Contact Person 2: Giselle Siz (+63 946) 279-6122
Boat Rental Rate: PHP 3,500 for 6 pax maximum