Let’s go to Cagayan! #AlohaCara

I guess this trip was the longest ride I’ve ever had since I started wandering (and this post is gonna be so long as well, FYI.)

Every month, I always allot time for me to breath and explore different places and I’ve realized, I haven’t been into somewhere for the last few weeks and that made me think. I needed a break and I’ve decided to visit Cagayan. Cagayan is a province of the Philippines in the Cagayan Valley region in the northeast of Luzon Island and includes the Babuyan Islands to the north (1).

This trip was supposed to be my first ever solo adventure. I just needed someone who’s kind of familiar about the place in case I get lost (Plus, my Mom won’t be too worried if she knows that I will just visit a friend there). Gladly I found some Colleague, and this means I’m good to go! I immediately filed my leave at work and booked a trip ticket to Cagayan. Then I don’t know how but a week before the trip, friends wanted to come along. So, yes. It was not a solo trip but it was fine, it was fun! 🙂

I left Manila on Thursday at 10 in the evening via Victory Liner Regular Bus trip (click here for Online Booking). Just a piece of advice, I reserved my seat online but it was useless because the Transportation Company will not prioritize your booking. The Driver doesn’t know if the seat is reserved or not. I hopped on the bus 10 minutes before the scheduled trip because I was confident that my seat was reserved for me but unfortunately someone is already sitting on it and the driver didn’t do anything about it. So, if you want to have your seat, be at the Terminal as early as possible.

It took me 12 hours to arrive at Tuguegarao City and my friend was there to pick me up. We went to Basilica Minore Nuestra Señora de Piat after we had our lunch. It is one of the twelve Minor Basilicas in the Philippines. A three-hour drive from Tuguegarao and you will catch a glimpse of the old Cagayan. You will pass by a lot of beautiful scenery of grasslands and hills and sun and fresh air. That was what I needed.

After taking some pictures and enjoying the view, the next stop was the Metropolitan Cathedral of Tuguegarao. To give you an idea, before the year started I challenged myself to visit 16 new Churches until the end of the year and I am so glad that I have entries from Cagayan.

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We also went to San Antonio de Galicia Church, which is well known because of the famous Calvary Hills wherein you will see concrete statues portraying the 14 stations of the Cross. Catch the sunset, you will appreciate it more.

Long drive it is and we decided to check at Las Palmas Hotel wherein I stayed over for the night. The place was cool, with a pool and super neat rooms.

The following day, we picked up our other friends at the same terminal and had our lunch before we went to Callao Cave. A 2-hour-drive to Penablanca. Take note of 20 pesos for the entrance fee and a bottle of water because you gonna have 200+ stair steps to the Cave. Callao Cave has a cathedral inside.

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We decided to pass by the Dirty Market to buy the things that we will need for 2 days at Anguib Beach Resort. The beach was amazing, especially at night when I had a swim with my friends with the light of the moon reflecting on the clear blue sea. Amazing! We pitched our tent and slept at around 12am.

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On the third day, we were all tired because of the activities that we had. We went Island hopping the whole day. We got a chance to visit Cape Engaño Lighthouse, trek to Baratubot Falls, tasted the forest crab and fresh in-adobong posit at lunch, swim and do Snorkeling, passed by the Mangroves, and experienced the big waves at Crocodile Island. It was a tiring but fun activities indeed! We stayed in at Jotay’s Resort for the rest of the night.

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On our last day at this wonderful place, it was the “Roadtrip- Foodtrip day” wherein we tried a lot of freshly cooked meals such as Tapsilog for breakfast, Sinigang, and Menudo for lunch and the famous Pancit Batil Patung for merienda. We also visited more churches such as St. Philomene Church and St. Catherine of Alexandria. After buying pasalubong at the City proper, we headed back to the Terminal and bid our goodbyes to each other. I got back to Manila at 6AM in the morning.

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Watch my video of this trip –

This trip was amazing – the people, the place, the food, the company. It was perfect actually. I really needed a break and this place gave it to me. I’ll be back at this place soon I’m sure of that, but next time it’s gonna be me traveling alone. #Goal  🙂

ITINERARY (Personal)
DAY 0
10:00 pm – ETD Manila to Tuguegarao

DAY 1
9:00 am – ETA at Tuguegarao Terminal
12:00 pm – Basilica Minore Nuestra Señora de Piat
2:00 pm – Metropolitan Cathedral of Tuguegarao
3:00 pm – Check-in at Las Palmas Hotel
5:00 pm – San Antonio de Galicia Church
7:00 pm – Back to Las Palmas Hotel/ End of Day 1

DAY 2
8:00 am – Check-out at Las Palmas Hotel
10:00 am – Callao Cave
4:00 pm – Passed by Dirty Market for Errands
6:00 pm – Anguib Beach Resort, Sta. Ana
11:00 pm – End of Day 2

DAY 3
6:00 am – Island Hopping preparation
9:00 am – Cape Engaño Lighthouse
11:00 am – Snorkeling
12:30 pm – Palaui Island/ Lunch
2:00 pm – Baratubot Falls
3:00 pm – Crocodile Island/ Mangroves Scenery
4:30 pm – Back to Anguib Beach Resort/ Wash up/ Pack up
8:00 pm – Check-in at Jotay’s Resort/ End of Day 3

DAY 4
9:00 am – Check-out at Jotay’s Resort
10:00 am – Breakfast/ ETD to Tuguegarao City Proper
12:00 pm – Lunch
1:00 pm – St. Philomene Church and St. Catherine of Alexandria
2:00 pm – Jaime’s Place/ Buy Pasalubong
3:00 pm – Merienda
5:00 pm –  San Antonio de Galicia Church
6:00 pm – Victory Liner Terminal/ Departure to Manila

DAY 5
6:00 am – ETA at Cubao, Manila

Budget: PHP 3,000
(Note that we had our own car, I’m not sure of how much it will cost you if your commuting. 🙂 )