I decided to go back to my little space here in the world wide web (again). I figured it would be nice to share my thoughts rather than just writing it on my journals, which makes me feel extra dramatic. Also, I want to share to you a bit of my travels and a lot of random stuff really. This time, I will really try my best to write a lot, just so I could still practice this skill that I have grown to love and well, miss.
For the Holy Week (March 27 – March 31), my family, together with my childhood friend, Corina, travelled for almost 15 hours from Manila to the north eastern tip of the Philippines, Sta. Ana, Cagayan. We always love it when we can go home to our little home in this province. Maybe no adjective can completely describe how beautiful this place is, but it is. Although it is extra far from Manila – 625 kilometers and 12 – 15 hours by land, to be exact – I can confidently say that the long drive is definitely worth it.
Since my childhood friend went with us, we tried our best to squeeze in as much places to visit in three days. It was already 3:00 pm of March 28 (Holy Thursday) when we arrived in Sta. Ana so after a bit of rest, we went straight to the San Vicente Port in Barangay San Vicente – the north easternmost tip of the coastal town of Sta. Ana. It is also the jump off point to many of the best beaches in the Philippines.
From the San Vicente Port, you will also be rewarded with breathtaking views of Palaui Island and Crocodile Island, including the nearby beaches of Mapurao, Anguib and Gotan.
During our second day (March 29), we all went to the Palaui Island which houses the Parola ng Cape Engano, built during the Spanish period and designed according to the parolas of Cape Bojeador in Ilocos Norte, Faro de Punta Capones and Faro de la Isla de Cabra. Palaui Island is an hour and a half boat ride from Casambalangan, and maybe a 30-45 minute boat ride from the San Vicente Port. The island is a protected landscape and seascape so everything you see there is in its glorious beauty. We stayed at the Cape Engano cove. We brought food with us too. Around midday, we decided to climb the mountain to the parola – 20 minute hike and 245 steps to the top. Although, in our case, the climb took a little bit more since the views were so amazing we were stopping from time to time to take pictures. When we got to the top, it was a sight to behold. You can see on the far left the Camiguin Islands, in the middle, the Dos Hermanas Islands and on the right, the North Pacific Ocean.
In the afternoon, we trekked Leonard’s trail to see the Baratibut Falls. For first time travellers, it is best to have companions with you or even a guide. The Baratibut Falls is a 15-minute trek from the cove. You will also have to pass by a river to get there, so you must be careful so you won’t get lost.
On our last day in Sta. Ana, we decided to do away with the ocean and just go to the nearby river. We went to Dumasag which you can reach via motorcycle, kuliglig or car in 10 minutes. You will pass by rice fields and mountains so the drive going there is nature tripping in itself. Like our trip to Palaui Island, we brought food with us. My pamangkins also enjoyed the improvised dive board, which I wanted to try by the way, if only I knew how to swim.
Our vacation passed by us like wind. Three days isn’t really enough to visit every place, but that gives me all the more reason to keep coming back. I can’t wait! Cagayan will always be my second home. Nothing beats the good vibes the air from the province gives me. It’s a blessing and I am very much thankful for that.
Until next time.