More Fun in Cagayan – 3 Days adventure to Cagayan Valley
After 3 years and I will be sharing you, the things that I have enjoyed in Cagayan Valley. It’s a 3-day adventure and a really long road trip, I believe it took us 12-14 hours of land travel. Though you can book a flight from Manila to Tuguegarao, we decided to travel by Van. I have gathered all photos taken by my friends using their phone and DSLR’s.
We arrived exactly 8 in the morning at Tuguegarao our first stop to eat breakfast, as we are searching for an authentic meal we have found “Pancit Batil Patong”. It’s a noodle delicacy and very popular in Tuguegarao City. It is made from egg noodles, mixed vegetables and on top crushed chicharon (Deep fried pork skin). “Potun” which is a Ybanag word for “Patung” that means putting one on top of the other. They serve it with chopped onions and partner it with calamansi blended with soy sauce. You can also add chilies with vinegar depending on your preference. On the same place you can also visit the Tuguegarao Cathedral named “Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral”. It’s a 18th-century Baroque church originally built by the Dominican friars. It is also considered as one of the largest churches in the Cagayan Valley. Unfortunately, the church at that time was closed so we didn’t have a chance to go inside the cathedral.
After a heavy meal of Pancit Batil PATONG, we went to the famous Callao Cave, a seven-chamber cave system located at Peñablanca. You HAVE to pay an entrance fee of 10-20 pesos per person and you will be accompanied by a tour guide explaining the history as you go around the cave. Upon entering you will be amazed how big the chamber is and how high the cave ceilings are. You will also notice natural light emanating from a huge hole above creating a striking illumination on the natural stone altar with the image of Mother Mary.
After a long trip in Tuguegarao, we decided to take a rest and eat lunch on that day, afterwards we traveled 3hours from Peñablanca to Sta. Ana, located at the northeasternmost tip of Luzon Island. We checked in Costa Carina beachfront around 3:30 pm. Yes! you read it correctly, we were starving and exhausted from a quite long travel, so we spent our first night there and got ready for the next day.
Exactly 7:00 am, we arrived at the San Vicente Port. We are greeted by a group of boatmen that will take us to Palaui Island. So no need to search on google who to contact, they already have a fixed price of the boat and packages for island hopping ranging 1,800 to 3,000 pesos, prices may without prior notice.
Our first stop is the Anguib Beach. As our boat docked, I found myself standing on a spot, that I believe, is a complete and utter paradise! With the fine white sand between my toes, the inviting clear waters with teeming marine life below, the pine-like trees shielding us from the morning sun. We wandered around the beach, taking photos and eventually played among the waves of Anguib.
Next, we visited Punta Verde, one of the known community in Palaui Island. This island sprang into fame because of the two Survivor Series shot here. Before we tackle the trail to Baratubot Falls, we have our hearty lunch in one of the cottages. After that satisfying meals and ample rest, we started our trek and took us roughly on jour to get to the catchbasin of the waterfalls.
Never leave Palaui Island without setting foot in Cape Engano, a magnificent cove, commanded by the iconic Cape Engano Lighthouse. Perched at 92 masl, surely, the view is breathtaking. The trail leading to the lighthouse is an easy one. From the beach, the trail is surrounded by tall grasses, passing by an open field, with carabaos nonchalantly grazing and with the clear view of the immediate rolling hills. As trail starts to ascend, there are concrete steps, which I actually lost count at 200 steps. The view gets better as you go high through the trail.
As sun the sun moves westernwards, our boatman signalled that we should be travelling back to San Vicente Port before nightfall.
Came the last day of our Cagayan adventure and we still have one spot to explore, the” secret” blue waterfalls. It was off the radar the time we visited. I would be imagining number of tourists now in that waterfalls. According to the locals, we need to trek through the 3 kilometer foresty trail. It was a challenge to get to the jump off point because of the current road construction happening that time. With seemingly all hopes lost, it is one of the best coincindences I have in my life, one of the truck drivers involved with the road construction offered us a hitch and would happily drop us near the forest trail. So here we are, enjoying the bumpy road, the view, all but seating on top of huge sand pile. We alighted from the truck and expressed our gratitude to the driver. What still lies between us and the secret waterdalls is still a kilometer long foresty trail.
After that bumpy ride with the friendly sand under our bottoms, we rested for about half an hour. We met an old man and told him about our visit to the waterfalls. He happily offered the services of his grandson to guide us through the trail. And we eagerly tackled the foresty trail. It was another 3 kilometers of walking and walking. With excitement filling our hearts since the start of the day, we forgot to bring water and trail food. Exhaustion and hunger started to creep within our bodies. The cold breeze, the awesome scenery, the sound of water gushing, the rustling of leaves above the forest canopy, the coos and chirps of distant wildlife, these altogether made us ignore the hunger pangs. We paid Php10 each for the guiding services.
on what seemingly hours had passed through the trail, the sound of gushing waters grew stronger. A clear sign that we are near the waterfalls. Then here we are, we arrived at the basin of the secret waterfalls. The place is enchanting and captivating. The cool turquoise waters cascading down over huge boulders and through crevices, wild small flowers blooming between rocks, a scenery as if a home for fairies or deities we usually see in movies. With all the challenges we encountered back, it was all worth it!
Being of one the largest province in the Philippines, Cagayan has always something to offer to travelers and tourists. This is my epic Cagayan experience that truly one for the books. There are still hidden spots and wonders tucked within the province still awaiting discovery, and I am eager to revisit.
Hope you liked my post!