Cagayan Day 3: To Pagudpud

Sun was up and it was hot. We thought we had a chance but no we were wrong. Heartbreak or something else even more painful. None of our plans were happening. We were doomed.

Plan B for day 3 is to hit Pagudpud because why not, it was only a hour away from Claveria and where else could we had gone to? Nowhere but Nikita’s or town. So we prepped and off to Pagudpud via UV Express. We had to wait few minutes for the van to be filled with passengers. I sat in the passenger seat with one of my travel buds, Albert. Did I mention in an earlier post that they don’t use the airconditioner of these vans? Windows down! It was sunny and windy. It was the best UV ride I had so far!

That electric wire tho

We reached Pagudpud around 10 in the morning and it was freaking hot!!! We just hailed a tricycle to tour us around. We negotiated the tour down to P800 (from 1200) because we won’t be visiting few other tourist spots anyway.

Our first stop was Bangui Windmills. There were windmills in Pagudpud already but it was not open for tourists. So we had to cross borders and toll patrol asked us to pay for toll fee upon arriving the town of Bangui. The area we went to was not the one I went to in 2013. There were lesser people and it was quite difficult to go near the windmills. We had to slide down the sand and hike back… On my mind while walking my way up the sand then was “parang hindi naman ako umuusad! Lubog lang ng lubog.” It was stressful and truly tested my patience. Ikaw ba naman pasong paso na yung paa mo sa sobrang init ng buhangin, hindi ka pa susuko? I swear yung init, perfect na sana to sail to Calayan!

Look at that number of windmills now

Next stop was in Kabigan Falls. This was where we ordered food for lunch also. Lunch was inihaw na baboy (na matigas) + pinakbet. Our food was ready after our trek. I learned from our tour guide that there were about more than a hundred of guides! So each guide can do tour once a week or sometimes once a month!

After lunch, we went to Mairaira Cove where Hannah’s and a new dinosaur-animaly resort was located. Same area where you would find Bantay Abot Cave and Dos Hermanos islands. Kuya was very kind to drive us until the end of the cove to see Dos Hermanos. I opted not to walk farther because it was noon-sun-is-serious-scorching.

Some miss enjoying her weekend at Bantay Abot Cave
Very probinsya!

Then off to our last destination, Patapat Viaduct. In 2013, I asked our tour guide where the bridge leads to… He said Cagayan. I never thought I would get there and take that road. But no, after the bridge, it’s still Pagudpud and few more minutes before reaching Cagayan.

Can’t get enough

After the tour, Kuya drove us way past the bridge to wait for a bus. It was just less than 20 minutes of waiting and we were waving our good byes. Pagudpud is still one of my favorites.

Day 3 Expenses

P10/each – Tricycle to van terminal
P100 – Van Claveria to Pagudpud
P8.3/each (P25/tricycle) – Toll Free Bangui
P20 – Water at Bangui
P43/each (P130/group) – Guide + Fee at Kabigan Falls
P10 – Karioka
P160/each (P480 good for four) – Lunch Paluto
P20 – Environmental Fee at Mairaira Cove
P266.6/each (P800/tricycle) – Tricycle Tour
P30 – Ordinary bus to Claveria
P10 – Trike to Nikita
P5 – Water Refill
TOTAL= P682.9

Cagayan Day 2: Claveria and Sta. Praxedes

“Wake up at 4:30 am. Bed at 8:30pm. Hahahaha. I wish this happens at all times in Manila.”

I reported on Twitter because it was true. There wasn’t really anything to do apart from watching local tv shows, and endlessly looking at my phone. No nightlife in Claveria, and establishments close as early as 6pm. I say, it was better that way.

On our second day, with no chance to cross the ocean, we decided to go around the town of Claveria and the next town, Sta. Praxedes. We arranged the tour with Kuya Walter (+639488290573), recommended by Juanderfulpinoy.

Our first stop, Portabaga Falls and Resort is located at the town of Sta. Praxedes, about 20 minutes away from the town of Claveria. There is a minimal entrance fee of P25/head.

Portabaga Signage
The Falls

There had been a lot of construction going on; must be preparation for summer.

After some time of appreciation and snack, we headed back to the town of Claveria. Kuya Walter drove us to the Taggat Lagoon.

Taggat – Right Side / Rock Formation – Panorama

Weather was not in favor of us that day. It drizzled and poured heavy rains. Thus stepping on these rocks was an ultimate challenge. Kasalanan ko rin naman, who wears flipflops on this kind of adventure? Wala rin naman akong choice! I slipped on a rock at the far left end of Taggat which resulted to a sprained left arm and bruises on my palm! Ngunit, hindi iyon ang tamang oras sa pagiinarte, kaya tumuloy pa rin ako sa paglalakad sa mga bato.

Taggat – Far Left End; Area where I slipped
That mini falls

After the walk along the beach and the rock formations and visit to their new wharf, we headed back to the main town to eat lunch. It’s another carinderia is the house with interesting cabinets full of their personal stuff. I ordered Kare-Kare and knew it’s Cara-beef. Pero napunta sa akin puro taba, kaya sarap ng gulay at bagoong ang peg ko sa pagiinarte. Then headed to an optical shop because my right contact lens popped out of nowhere during the Portabaga – Taggat ride.

MAHAL. NG. ISANG. PAIR. 550. IYAK. TAWA.

Next stop was Sentinela Cove, which was about 10 to 15 minutes travel from the centro. Weather was still the same and it started pouring heavy rain when I reached the far end.

Sentinela Cove – Panorama

Took several selca, because why not? Then headed back to the town and Nikita.

Day 2 Expenses
P10/each – Tricycle (Nikita – Market)
P40 + P30 – Basic fried fish and rice and 1L bottled water Breakfast
P25 + P8- Portabago Falls and Resort Entrance Fee, Cheeze It Snack
P75 – Lunch share for four
P550 – Contact Lens
P134 each- Tricycle Tour Share P400
P11 – Ice (for my bruises) and Surf powder (because I planned to wash my top – remember, nagkalumot because I slipped)
P245 – Grocery (Random food and stuff)
P50 – Dinner
P12 – Egg for breakfast the next day
Total = 1190 *Could had spent half if not for the contact lens. Cry.*

Up North: Cagayan

Why Cagayan?

PAL Express’ seat sale frequented last year thus being impulsive led me to purchase a MNL – TUG round trip tickets. Yes, even though I didn’t have any idea what to see there. Feeling ko ang adventurous ng peg kapag ganon. Hahaha. So I Googled after booking.

Boarding Pass

My first choice was Palaui Island. Then I forgot why and how I changed my mind. I fell in love with the photos and blogs about Calayan Island. I didn’t even know how I came to know Babuyanes can be traveled to. Uy, aminin, hindi rin naisip na pwede palang mapuntahan ang mga isla na ito! I booked the tickets sometime June 2014 and totally decided to go to Calayan Island by October 2014. As early as October, tinawagan ko na si Ms. Tessie at nagconfirm na pupunta ako ng February 19 – 22, 2015. Okay, go!

Cagayan’s capital is Tuguegarao, which is my gateway to explore the province. Who was I with? Total strangers! You know what happens when you kept on asking your friends to come along but no one confirms because they are busy (and tell you ‘you should have invited me’ after you posted pretty photos) and other reasons? You meet new friends who share same passion, same interest, same adrenaline to just go anywhere.

Tricycle ride from Tuguegarao Airport

It was my first time flying on a Bombardier Q400. It’s small but has the same feels just like any aircraft. I got a free Skyflakes Condensada and thank God for that snack because I was so hungry I didn’t have breakfast and lunch yet (ayoko namang bumili ng cup noodles, ang mahal mahal)! My flight was at 2:00 PM! There were no delays and arrived at Tuguegarao 26 minutes earlier than scheduled. Sweet.

Upon arriving, I asked Kuya tricycle driver to drop me off at the van terminal. He did drop me off at the nearest terminal. It was not even more than 10 minutes of transport and it cost P70! I guess if the Lady Officer from the airport didn’t tell me how much it should cost, Kuya will charge me more than P70. Kasi nung tinanong ko siya, ako na rin sumagot na, “Sabi kasi nung Pulis, seventy daw po.” Hahaha. Edi, sabi niya, “Osige, seventy. Malapit lang naman.” I didn’t expect it was that near!!!

So I met with Albert and Rayn on February 18 at the van terminal. They were the travel buds I met online. Medyo kinakabahan talaga ako before meeting them. Syempre first time ko kaya to meet total strangers for a travel. Thoughts like, “Magnanakaw ba sila? Baka magkakilala sila, tapos patayin nila ako” and so much more were running on my mind. Then they arrived from the city proper to see a church. Surprisingly, Rayn is beki so napanatag naman loob ko na may girl at heart akong kasama.

Me, Rayn, Kuya Medi (Tour Guide) and Albert at Tapwakan having lunch

We waited for some time for the van to arrive and off we were to Claveria at 3:30PM, our entry point to Calayan Island. Claveria is 4 hours travel from Tuguegarao City. It’s the second to the last town of Cagayan before reaching Ilocos Norte.

Claveria Arch from Sta. Praxedes

Our driver was really nice to drive us around Claveria even it was dark and raining. Dapat bumaba na kami and tricycle na lang eh. Inikot niya kami ng Lagoon and Fishlanding to ask kung meron bang ba-byahe the following day to Calayan. Pero wala talaga eh. Ah, yes! I forgot to mention, Tuesday night, Ms. Tessie informed me that weather will be bad for the next few days. Still we pushed through because why not.

Kuya driver finally dropped us off at El Dia Beach Resort. We were offered a rate of P1200/room/night. Expensive! Especially we already knew we may be staying for a couple of days. Good thing, they were fully booked for the next  few days since they will host a conference. Kuya was kind enough to refer Nikita Beach House which was just beside them.

Nikita Beach House shot from their cottage area

Nikita’s gate was closed already but thank God, they still accommodated us! We were offered a rate of P800/night. Ito yung part na nagiinarte pa ako. I asked Ate Eden, person-in-charge that night if they have another room for 1 person and how much would that cost… It’s P500/night. The bigger room she can offer at P500/night for two, too! So dahil alam kong walang mararating ang pagiinarte ko, sige na nga. Sama sama na kami sa isang room. Our room has four beds, one is double deck bed. I got the double deck. It also has its own comfort room, a balcony, small cable tv,  lamp, fan, aircon, chairs and table.

We were given time to settle and Ate Eden asked us if we want something to eat. She ordered us Miki for P35/order. So for P105, we were already full. Kaso lasang butter talaga yung luto eh. Hahahahaha. Pero tamang panawid gutom na!

Called it a night after around 9 or 10 PM.

Expenses: February 18 – Tuguegarao – Claveria

Tricycle (Airport – Van Terminal) – P70
Van (Tuguegarao – Claveria) = P180
Dinner (Miki) – P35
Accommodation (Nikita) – P267/night (shared P800 for 3 persons)
Total = P552