Cagayan Trip: Visit to Our Lady of Piat & Exploring Callao Cave

After the memorable experience in Palaui Island and seeing the majestic beauty of Nangaramoan Beach, we arrived back in Tuguegarao after more than 3 hours of travel. We were picked up at the van terminal and went back to Brgy Bagay to freshen up a bit.

Around half past 10, we’re back on the road. We went to Central Terminal along Buntuan Highway to catch a van going to Piat. It was an hour ride. Note: It’s an ordinary van, No airconditioning. Fare Cost: 60 Pesos.

Since most vans just stop at the terminal, you need to walk to get to Our Lady of Piat. It can easily be recognised by a marker along the road. Turn left going up to get to the basilica. If you go straight you’ll reach the local market.

For more than 400 years the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Piat has been a significant event in the lives of devotees of the people in the Cagayan Valley.

Feeling hungry and tired, we decided to look for a place where we could eat Pancit Cabagan. Instead of walking, we took a tricycle going to the market area because it was too hot. We went to Carmela’s Panciteria. You won’t get lost on your way here because most people know this place. Simply ask for directions or ask where to get Pancit Cabagan.

It was a delicious treat! Not bad if you imagine us travelling all the way here just to try an authentic Pancit Cabagan. You’ll get a Super Special Pancit Cabagan for just 50 pesos. Yummy!

With no time to waste after lunch, we immediately went to the van terminal to catch a ride going back to Tuguegarao.

This time it took us less than an hour to get back to Central Terminal.

Just before 3PM we rode a tricycle going to Callao Cave. Callao is pronounced as “Kalaw”. It is a cave with seven chambers located on the Province of Cagayan. It is one of the best known tourist attractions of the province. It is located in Barangays Magdalo and Quibal, Peñablanca, near Tuguegarao City, the capital city of the Province of Cagayan. It has a natural cathedral located at the first chamber, which was turned into a chapel by the local people.

Turn Right to get to Callao Cave.

Once you arrive in the place, you have to few along this road to get to the registration area.

There’s a 20 pesos charge to get in.

It takes 184 Steps to get to the Cave Entrance.

Finally Inside Callao Cave.

After Caving and before heading back home, we decide to treat ourselves with a yummy HaloHalo.

It was almost sundown so we decided to get closer to Cagayan River and witness yet another beautiful sunset.

An hour after leaving Callao, we’re back in Tuguegarao. Before going back to Brgy Bagay, we stopped at the nearest Alcala Carabao’s Milk Candy.

Back in Brgy Bagay, we washed up and packed all our stuff and went straight to Florida Bus Terminal. Luckily there were few bus still offering seats for 3. Only to realise we’re 4. Haha. Since seats available are only at the back, we took it. Lex who joined us in the trip decided to squeeze in but not all the way to Manila. He was able to book a flight from Cauayan to Manila. I didn’t even notice him leaving. Haha. It was a quick bus ride. We reached manila around 5 in the morning.

 

Cagayan Trip: The Unexplored Beauty of Nangaramoan Beach

Nangaramoan Beach. a highly recommended place to relax, unwind, escape from city life and feel the wonders of nature. This is located in Sta. Ana, which is at the tip of the province of Cagayan. The beach is very accessible via commute (quad-cycle) or private vehicle because of the newly cemented road leading to the beach area.

After an hour or so boat ride from Palaui back to Sta Ana, we went straight to Dampa Seafoods & Restaurant where they gave us free breakfast again.

We wanted to visit one of the famous beaches in the area so we asked them for recommendation. We only wanted to get direction on how to get there until they’ve decided to join us. Yes! Another free treat! Not only we got the chance to go there free, they also brought with us food for lunch. Fresh Sea Foods! Haha! Big Thanks to Tito and Tita.

It was a quick and easy ride because of the newly paved road leading to the beach. Once you get there, you’ll fall in love with the place.

Untouched… Peaceful… Clear...

Tito immediately spoke to the resort care taker to give us discount. I think we paid roughly 400 pesos. We started preparing for Lunch where we had Grilled Fish. Few hours after we arrived, Tita and Tito together with their kids decided to leave. Still full, we rested for a bit.

The sun on its peak, some of us decided to explore the beach and seriously get tanned. I don’t know how long we were out walking along the beach and exploring the caves and rock formation but we definitely enjoyed every minute of it.

More Pictures of Nangaramoan Beach

Just before sunset, we decided to cook for dinner. Cleo our official chef prepared for us Gatang Sitaw Kalabasa and Fried Tilapia. Whilst cooking, Simang Gala and I decided to visit the last marker we know. 651!

It was a bit dark already when we came there and barely noticed it. Haha! Just after few shots, we decided to go back.

Back at the beach, dinner was ready. We ate loads! It was a yummy treat!

After dinner, we had socials. We rented a Videoke machine to make the night more fun while having few shots and munching on a specially prepared Spicy Sizzling Pork by Cleo.

We didn’t sleep at all only to realise it’s almost 3 in the morning. Our service was early but because of the heavy rain around 3AM, we didn’t manage to prepare and fix our things up. It was a chilly morning when we left at around 5AM.

Last Photo taken before we left the beach.

We arrived in the van terminal at around 6AM and officially left Sta Ana going to Tuguegarao at 630AM.

The adventure continues as we travel back to Tuguegarao and visit Piat and Callao Cave. See full story on my next entry.

Cagayan Trip: Palaui Island + Cape Engano

Few months before this trip I applied for a 3 day leave so I could attend a friend’s wedding only to find out it was moved after my leave got approved. Not wasting any change, SimangGala and I decided to look for an interesting place to go until we came across a blog about Palaui Island. Right then and there we agreed to go and started planning. Since it wasn’t really well planned, only 3 of us went. It was early Thursday morning when we went to Florida Bus Terminal to catch the 3AM bus going to Tuguegarao. For some reason the bus left 4AM since the 5AM bus was cancelled.

We were supposed to look for the cheapest place to stay, fortunately SimangGala’s half brother lives in Tuguegarao. That’s few hundred pesos off of our expenses. It took us 13 long hours to get to our destination. Next time I would take the plane. Haha!

In Tuguegarao, we were picked up by SimangGala’s relative in the terminal.

We were brought to a well known panciteria serving Batil Patong. Excited as always when it comes to food, not knowing how big the portion is we immediately asked for the Special one.

Batil Patong is Tuguegarao’s own version of stir-fried noodles served with an egg topping and a side serving of egg drop soup. This is also served with loads of onions, chicharon, sliced pork, cabbage and beef strips. This dish won’t be complete without soy sauce, chilli and Calamansi.

We were surprised that you have to make your own mix to top off the dish. Clueless of what to do, we watched how the locals did it and voila we now have our very own Pancit Batil Patong. Delicious! Devine!

We couldn’t move after finishing the entire dish. So after eating, we decided to call it a day and went straight to Brgy Bagay where we stayed for a night. And yes it’s FREE!

Since we need to leave early the following day, we decided to rest. To no avail, we couldn’t sleep. We decided to just play cards while drinking coffee and chitchatting.

While playing, one of my friends commented on my foursquare post telling me that his friend who I also know was in Tuguegarao. I immediately sent him a message telling him of our whereabouts and our plan for the next couple of days. Luckily he decided to join us. From 3 we’re now up to 4. Yey!

It was 3 in the morning when we woke up. After drinking coffee and taking a bath, we went to the van terminal going to Sta Ana Cagayan.

Still very early, we decided to buy Hot Pandesal. Yummy!

The van left at exactly 5 am. It took us 3 hours to get to our destination; we were sleeping almost the entire time.

In Sta Ana Cagayan, a friend who was suppose to join us asked us to go straight to Dampa Seafoods and Restaurant to ask for his Aunt and Uncle to ask for help to get to Palaui.

We were surprised to be given free breakfast. After breakfast, some of us decided to go to the market to get some supplies. Since there is no electricity/market in the island, it’s best if you buy or bring anything you need and make a checklist to avoid missing anything.

Before leaving Sta Ana, we were offered yet another FREE treat, this time, Lunch.

Colorful way of getting around the town. This is what they call Quadcycle.

The sun was out so we thought it would be a calm and smooth ride going to the island. Apparently not, this reminds me of the boat ride going to Calaguas. Rough! To add to that, we don’t have life jackets. Haha! This explains why we don’t have many pictures taken while on the boat.

It took us almost an hour to get to Engano Cove. Due to its shape, the water facing Engano Cove is generally calm. Right after setting foot on the island, we went straight to the island marker and took some photos.

With Simang Gala

Not ready yet to set camp, we left our stuff near the camping area and went to Cape Engano Lighthouse.

View of Palaui Island on our way up

More Pictures

Ate Maya, a local resident.

View of Dos Hermanas from the Light House

More Pictures taken from the Cape Engano Light House

After making some few conversations with Maya, she offered to bring us to the waterfalls. We never saw any blog post about the waterfalls so out of curiosity we decided to go. To get there we passed by Leonardo’s Trail.

The rain started to fall on our way there which according to Maya is better so we could enjoy the water. It was refreshing and at the same time relaxing.

Maya offered to show us where they are staying and to show us some of the souvenir she created herself.

Back in the campsite, we pitched our tent and prepared for an early dinner.

We had Bicol Express and Adobong Pusit. Yumyum!

After dinner, even before sunset, we then had some few tequila shots.

Colorful Sunset at Cape Engano.

We slept really early because of the heavy rain. We just couldn’t imagine how we survived the long cold night waking up all drenched in rain water the following day. It was such an experience. We somehow managed to secure all our important belongings dry and safe.

Very early in the morning, we tried to dry up all our wet clothes while preparing breakfast. Thinking about the heavy rain last night, we thought we won’t be picked up by our boat. With all smiles we saw the boat from the horizon moving closer. We offered them food but they seem to just ignore us.

730 AM, till we meet again. We rode the boat going back to Sta Ana.

This is yet another memorable backpacking/camping experience.

Follow the story on my next entry as we visit the beautiful NANGARAMOAN BEACH.

Subic Bay Trip

Quick Trip to Subic

Date: May 05, 2013
Location: Halfmoon Beach Resort, Subic Bay

HOW TO GET HERE: 

Travelling by Land from Manila
Subic Bay Freeport Zone is 110 kms. North of Manila, the Philippines’ capital city, where Saulog Transit and Victory Liner air-conditioned buses provide passengers regular transport services to and from Olongapo City terminal. A short jeepney ride takes you from the Victory Liner terminal to the Freeport, while Saulog Transit terminal is just a stone’s throw away from the vicinity.

Travel via Victory Liner Terminal
Main stations from Manila are Pasay (Edsa, Pasay), Caloocan (713 Rizal Avenue Extension, Caloocan City) and Cubao (EDSA, Cubao). Buses’ schedule (either Zambales or Olongapo) is from 4:00 AM with 1 hour interval.

Travelling by car via Lubao and rural road (Approx. time of travel: 3 hours)
From Manila take the North Luzon Expressway all the way to San Fernando exit and pass thru towns of Pampanga (Bacolor, Guagua, Lubao) and Bataan (Dinalupihan) to the Subic Bay Freeport Expressway (Tipo Road, Bataan).

Travelling by car via SCTEx (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) (Approx. time of travel: 1.5 hours)
From Manila and any point in Luzon. Take the North Luzon Expressway all the way pass San Fernando through Dau and exits to the Subic Bay Freeport Expressway (Tipo Road, Bataan).

(Source of above information: subic.com)

Of the many options we had when we came here few months ago, we chose Halfmoon Beach Resort. It is roughly an eight (8) hectare beach property formerly known as Kale Beach Resort. With its long stretch sand and 30 big big cottages, is a perfect place for total escape from crowded and spoiled beaches. This place is also perfect for team building.

Address:
Purok 6 National High Way Road
Lower Kalaklan
Olongapo City Zambales 2200 Philippines

Hours of operation:

Tuesdays to Sundays :
6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Mobile number : +639334100455

GALLERY

Burot Beach Gallery

Burot Beach Calatagan Snap Shots

Better Beach – Burot Days from Kuneho Ohenuk on Vimeo.

Burot Beach – Time Lapse from Kuneho Ohenuk on Vimeo.

Planning a getaway here?

Click: Burot Beach Guide

Read Simang Gala’s entries about Burot Beach…

Mt. Isarog (Panicuason Trail) Itinerary and Expenses

Brgy. Panicuason, Naga city, Camarines Sur
1922 MASL – Major climb
Difficulty Level as per PM 5/9
Estimated Budget: Php 2000-2500

See details below:

via Mt. Isarog (Panicuason Trail).

Mt. Mayon via West Face Baligang Trail

Mt.Mayon is a Major Major climb (9/9 rating)
Trail Features: Treeline to Cogonal to Rock Scrambling w/ Sulphuric fumes at the Summit

see Mt. Mayon via West Face Baligang Trail.

Daranak Falls

Daranak falls is located in Brgy. Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal, a few minutes from Tanay market. It is a government-owned park and part of the laguna watershed.

♦ If you are going by private vehicle, just follow the road going to Laguna from Antipolo. At the Daranak-Tanay junction, turn left and head straight uphill. You will see a sign “To Daranak Falls” at the left side of the road. You have to turn left here. It’s hard to miss since there are several fruit stands on both sides of the road which sell fruits in season. Once you have turned left, just go straight, passing by several farms (poultry and hog) which you will notice by the smell =). Check you brakes as you will pass by rocky steep roads. You will arrive at the parking area of Daranak at the end of this road. You have to pay for parking, entrance fee (about P20/person) and cottages (about P350 for a small one). Overnight stay is not accommodated.

♦ If you are going by public transportation, you can ride a jeep or FX to Tanay in Araneta center (Cubao) or in front of StarMall (Edsa cor shaw blvd). Get off at Tanay market and take a tricycle (or jeep if you are a large group). You will normally get the tricycle for P150/trip (max 3 passengers). You can bargain for the return trip as there are no tricycle waiting near the falls. You will have to take a hike to the main road to get a ride back to the market.
Batlag falls is situated near the top of the falls. You will have to pay a separate entrance fee though.

Additional Info:

From EDSA Starmall: There are vans (GT-express) that are lined up near starmall. The fare is around 70 pesos. Travel time going to Tanay is around 2.5 hrs.
Daranak Falls is Open from 8am-5pm, 7 days a week, No overnights
Entrance: Adult-20 Children-15 Picnic Table/Shed -100

Batlag Falls is offering overnights
Entrance Fee: Adult-50 Children-25
For overnight: Adult-150 Children-75

Picnic Shed-350 Cottage-250

Related articles

Mt. Damas Traverse

Summit Camp

View From Trek Start Point

Falls

Lunch Time!

This climb won’t be possible without the help of Chad Torres and Game-Nest. Thank You!

*Observe Basic Mountaineering Course… Please put all candy wrapper/chocolate wrapper/cigarette butt in your packet during trek… LEAVE NO TRACE!

via Mt. Damas Traverse.