“Life’s a beach”. Good enough for a cliche. There is just something about it that soothes a torn soul. Last Wednesday, I had a chance to visit Sagay City, the home of the 32,000-hectare Sagay Marine Reserve, with some friends. Carbin Reef is such a beautiful marine sanctuary with colorful schools of fish. I’ve been here three times and it never gets old (believe me, it’s worth playing hooky for). I just love that feeling when I sit on the sand and I bury my feet in it like I did when I was a little kid, and I just look out to the sea.
Carbin Reef is a tongue-shaped, white sandbar. There are no trees or shrubs so the number one thing that you should never ever forget is your sunscreen. Trust me, you don’t wanna get burnt. Another thing you might not want to forget is water. Nobody wants to drink sea water right? So you really have to make sure you bring enough water and food since there are no shops in the islet. Ascertain that you pee or poop too before getting on the 15- to 20-minute boat ride because there aren’t any toilets available there.
They have tents for you to stay in and a two-storey tower which you could rent for about Php300-600, all seasons. At low tide, the sandbar is exposed to the sun’s dazzling rays. During this time diving is discouraged due to the shallow water. In contrast, at high tide the sandbar can be submerged. Though it rarely happens during the day, it is important that you check the tides before planning a visit. For this reason, Carbin Reef visitors can only go on a day-trip. I wish I could spend a night in the islet but for safety purposes, they just let guests stay up until 3-4 pm only depending on the wind strength and direction. Still, it attracts plenty of bathers and people who are just eager to get away from the mainland for a spot to play a game of volleyball or frisbee in or even just for picnic.
The place is perfect for a scenic somersault, my favorite pose when they take me a picture. It’s all free play. Sometimes though, small rocks or shells in the rough sand cut my feet as I tread across the beach. Still, it is definitely worth getting my feet on those sands everytime for an ultimate fun and memorable Carbin Reef experience.