Santa Ana, Cagayan: Palaui Island Paradise

March 24 – 25, 2016

Palaui Island is one of the places that listed on my bucket lists. This is the Cagayan’s northeastern island that instantly bounded from an unusual destination to one of the Luzon’s most desired tourist spots.

It is characterized by scenic cove, dramatic rock cliffs, precious meadows and perfect mangroves.

This island was recognized by CNN as one of the Top world’s best beaches. It was also the location of the 2013 Survivor US reality show.

Lagunzad Trail

There are two ways to explore Palaui Island: first and easiest would be by boat which would take you to most attractions in a shorter period, second, by hiking into Palaui’s dense jungle to vast clearings, and traversing beaches to assaulting for peaks, via Lagunzad Trail.

Due to the considerably bad weather condition, we took the trail instead of taking it by boat. Coastguards did not allow everybody to go by boat. Rick and I were glad because this is our advantage and we love trails.

Taking this two-hour route gives hikers a closer look into the island’s wide range of flora and wildlife.

Cape Engaño Lighthouse

Cape Engaño Lighthouse also known as Faro de Cabo Engaño, stands on top of a 90-meter cliff guiding sea vessels passing by the raging waters of the northeastern coast for over a hundred years.

The breathtaking view of rolling green hills and jaw-dropping sea cliffs surrounded by the vast blue ocean what really attracted me and made me visit this island.

It serves as the guiding light from the Pacific to the extreme northeast point of Luzon, and the channel between the Babuyan Islands and the mainland.

Among the lighthouses found in the north coast of Luzon, it is the easternmost among light.

 

Costa Carina Beach Front Resort

We stayed overnight at Costa Carina Beach Front Resort for the next day’s activities.

The resort is not a white sand beach but I believe that this is a very good place for sunset viewing though we did not witness that.

Costa Carina offers basic comforts such as small rooms with fan/aircon and bathroom. They also have small bar, gift shop and coffee shop.

Siwangag Cove

We descent from the lighthouse to Cape Engaño Beach, from a flight of stairs to the white-sanded shores. We spent a few minutes there before going to another attraction in the island.

Baratubut Falls

Palaui has another well-known waterfall, Baratubut Falls, accessible via Leonardo Trail to Cape Engaño. We took a dip to freshen up and to cool down in this mountain water shower through huge rocks that approximately measured 10-15 feet high.

Anguib Cove

It is located in Santa Ana Cagayan which is the northernmost town of the province. Anguib beach has become the pride of the town.

It has blue, clear water that touches the fine, white sand near its shore. Being in a cove, the waters are calm and display stillness as the waves are mild, making the place safe for swimming. It reminded me of the Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte. Its waters are so clean and prestine. The scenery was more than incredible.

Crocodile Island

Crocodile Island is also known as Manidad Island. It was named such obviously because of how it looks like a crocodile with its head above the water.

Crocodile Island was actually a rock that formed the reptile’s head.

Punta Verde

The long stretch of Punta Verde serves as the main entry point of Palaui Island’s hiking and camping visitors. Travelers are required to register on a marine detachment unit based within the island.

People lived there were selling souvenirs like keychain, necklace, etc. We bought keychain made in seashells.

GETTING TO SANTA ANA, CAGAYAN FROM MANILA

By Passenger Bus

  • Take a Florida bus bound for Aparri or Santa Ana Cagayan
  • You may also take a Victory Liner bus to Tuguegarao then take a shuttle van going to Santa Ana, Cagayan

By Plane

  • Fly to Tuguegarao. We got incredibly low promo fare flights from Cebu Pacific: http://www.cebupacificair.com
  • Just outside the Tuguegarao Airport, take a tricycle going to the terminal for the shuttle vans going to Santa Ana, Cagayan
  • Shuttle vans are only up to 5:00 pm. If you past 5:00 pm, you may spend the night in Tuguegarao and leave the next day.
  • The last trip of vans going to Sta. Ana from Tuguegarao is 5:30 PM
  • The last trip of vans going to Tuguegarao from Sta. Ana is 1:00 PM

Social media Event Pages

  • We joined our trip thru GalaPH event on Facebook. We took van provided by the organizers.
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Peñablanca, Cagayan: Magnificent Callao Cave

March 24 – 25, 2016

Callao Cave is one of the limestone caves located in the municipality of Peñablanca, Cagayan province.

It is located in the Barangays of Magdalo and Quibal in Peñablanca about 24 km northeast of Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan.

We started our caving with a short orientation by knowing the background of the Callao Cave and how to maintain and preserve the cave.

Before reaching this cave, we climbed 184 concrete steps.

The cave consisted of seven chambers but because of earthquakes in 1980’s as per Wikipedia, it was cut off to two chambers. As we entered, we were welcomed by the first chamber. It is a cathedral-like room has been turned into chapel by the locals.

A rock formation served as the altar of the chapel lit by a stream of light coming from a rooftop opening.

After we prayed at the chapel, we headed to the next chamber. It was indeed magnificent.

The light that was coming out from the rooftop opening was superb and really breath-taking.

As we headed to our next activity, we took our short meal with the Cagayan’s Batil Patong.

Camalaniugan, Cagayan: The Oldest Bell, Ruins of San Jacinto de Polonia Church, and a Brick Kiln

March 24 – 25, 2016

One of our destinations brought us to Camalaniugan Cagayan. It is named after the “malaniug” trees (coconut-like palm trees) which grew in abundance during the early years. The Ybanags and Ilocanos who were the early settlers and peace-loving citizens built their houses along the banks of Cagayan River.

It is in this town where the oldest Christian bell in the Far East is located (circa 1595).

Oldest Catholic Church Bell

Camalaniugan Bell is kept on the topmost part of a 3-storey square tower covered with red bricks. The bell, also called the Santa Maria Bell or Bell of Antiquity, was forged in 1595 making the antique the oldest in the Philippines, and in the entire Southeast Asia. A significant heritage passed down by our Spanish colonizers to the proud townsfolk of Camalaniugan.

Ruins of the Old San Jacinto de Polonia Church

Brick walls built parallel to each other in a park nestled right on the banks of Cagayan River. For a century, these walls belong to the former San Jacinto de Polonia Parish Church until typhoon and earthquake of 1845 hit with heavy damages.

Loss poses another threat to the site so the church was rebuilt further from the bank.

Today, Ruins of the Old Church served as a centerpiece to a public park where locals could relax and spend time.

Brick Kiln
“Horno“, a term used by the Spanish referring to huge kiln, a type of oven used to process materials such as hardening clay into bricks, in town not too distant from the church.