CARAMOAN, part two : Small Town Downtown
it was a 15-minute bumpy ride to the main street
of (the very tiny) downtown of Caramoan.
one of the ill-fated Boy Scouts from the 11th Jamboree plane crash,
and now more well-known as one of the Quezon City "food streets",
is the most famous son of this small town.
On the way there,
we nicknamed our driver "FIRST GEAR",
since he seemed to manage the whole drive
without shifting to second!
Maybe he didn't dare to go faster
because just like in the movie "Speed",
there was a ticking time bomb in the vehicle:
the "jerry can" gas tank right next to the battery!!!
The two most popular hotels in town are
La Casa Roa and the Rex Tourist Inn.
LA CASA ROA is just off the main street,
an old house converted into a cozy hotel,
and is also the only source of ice cream here.
(mobile : 0917-5801850)
REX, owner of the inn that bears his name,
also owns the convenience store, hardware supply,
and the Caramoan Cable TV company.
(mobile : 0919-8821879)
Accomodations at The Rex
start at P300 for fan rooms,
P500 up for for A/C rooms with TV.
The rooms are quite clean and comfortable,
although there are only a few channels on cable:
BBC, HBO, MTV, ABS-CBN, and unfortunately, GMA-7.
Not that we wasted time watching TV anyway,
our downtime from the islands was spent bumming around
in the lobby, chatting up a group of Canadian tourists,
and the future manager of the inn, Rex's baby girl.
Caramoan shuts down very early;
by 7pm, not even tricycles ply the main street.
Dinners were always at CAMALIG GRILL,
(try their excellent pansit!!!)
and pre-beach breakfasts at LUTONG BAHAY .
(also owned by the entrepreneurial Rex!)
There's no nightlife to speak of,
although in the distance,
we heard some spurned lover wailing
The Calling's "Wherever You Will Go"
as fitting a song as any, our soundtrack
as we walked the empty streets of this sleepy town.
There are no ATMs in Caramoan;
factor in P300/day for meals,
P200/day for water and booze,
and P500/pax/day for boat rides,
and you ought to be fine!