After ten years of keeping mostly to itself, Hunongan Cove is ready for its public debut.
Only ten years ago, the islands of Caramoan were pretty much inaccessible and thus, unbeknownst to the public as a pristine destination. However, seen as a viable opportunity by the provincial government to increase tourism, Caramoan slowly opened its doors: First, to an international franchise of a reality television show; then, finally to a curious populace.
While CamSur Watersports Complex and Gota Village Resort stand as jump off points for the islets around Caramoan, most of which are only reachable via boat, Hunongan Cove acts as a secluded respite among the islands. Upon reaching the island, it’s clear that the cove is a paradise meant to instill tranquility in its visitors during their stay. EXPLORE spoke to Richard Rivera, overall manager of the provincially-owned properties, about Hunongan Cove and how it distinguishes itself from the neighboring Gota Village and the adrenaline-packed CWC.
Compared to the nearby Gota Village which can house 135 people comfortably, Hunongan Cove is limited to 35 visitors at max. Rivera says it’s to preserve the area—and it makes sense. The private cove is strewn with powdery white sand and looks out into crystal clear waters only interrupted by neighboring islets and limestone formations. At dawn, the sunrise colors the waters with a pink hue and the setting awakens back into this surreal paradise. It’s a beauty akin to Palawan, Rivera says, but its seclusion keeps its pristine and raw nature.
Despite its hush-hush privacy, Hunongan Cove has been around since 2008, with all of its original structures still intact. “We saw the opportunity to build near the beach but wanted to build to last,” Rivera recalls. While solid cement facades feel out of place in a tropical abode, it makes the most sense—less maintenance on the original structure means more room for improving their amenities. As of now, Hunongan only houses 15 rooms, all scattered within the various villas—including a presidential suite that houses two rooms. This year, as they gear up to open their doors to a wider audience, Hunongan Cove is looking to improve its facilities, with a pool and a clubhouse in the works.
But even as it is, Hunongan itself is already a destination worth the grueling trip by land and sea (take a plane if you’re lucky) because it’s where you go to cut yourself off from the rest of the world. At the moment, Hunongan Cove only has itself to offer, but the neighboring islands readily accessible through a chartered bangka is a wonderful way to discover the rest of Caramoan. Soon, diving spots will also be available for guests.
Hunongan Cove may be just revealing itself to the public after a decade in silence, but it is the stepping stone for the rest of the Bicol region to showcase some of its surreal landscapes that can easily rival world-class tourist destinations. It’s also a wonderful marriage of protection by the provincial government unit and the local DENR, and the locals themselves that has kept Caramoan so pristine despite being a prime tourist haven.
To book at Hunongan Cove, shoot an email to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org