A crosspost from my old repository of memories of the past, a.k.a. my Multiply site. For those who are unfamiliar, Multiply was THE thing during our med school years — everyone was on multiply, posting albums and albums of pictures, notes/blogs. This was our home, our network away from our books and transes. Of course these all happened before everyone jumped-ship to FB, and before multiply became the E-STORE that it is now.

But even now that multiply’s hayday is over, I still maintain my multiply site from time to time. I uploaded almost all of the pictures I took from years 2004-2009, making my site my virtual hard drive, a back-up system.

Hence this post. A glimpse of a memory made last January 2010, when my high school friends and I made a tireless journey up north (all 600 KM of it!) and returned in just 2 1/2 days!


January 1-3, 2010

Palaui Island & Anguib Beach in Sta Ana, Cagayan
Callao Caves in Penablanca, Cagayan
Magat Dam in Isabela

Moviefriends’ Roadtrip to the North! This is actually our second long-haul drive to the north, the first one was our Ilocos adventure last 2005 (grabe, 5 years ago?). But since Meiling, who now secretly does research for a super secret IT company in Japan, came home, of course we needed to travel! By hook or by crook, kahit san man, kailangan matuloy!

Pero sa totoo lang, muntik nang di matuloy. Just 2 days before our departure date of JANUARY 1 (of all days, kailangan New Year talaga, haha) we still didn’t have a place to go to. On the top of our list was Baler, Aurora to do surfing and whatnot. But I soon found out that we needed a 4×4 to go there dahil nasira daw yung daan dahil sa Ondoy. Ok, so Aurora was crossed-out from our list. I suggested we drive to Banaue Rice Terraces instead and do spelunking in Sagada after. Well, gusto pa rin ata nilang magbeach so kailangan may beach.

We still did not have any destination until 1 day before leaving, I browsed my handy Travel Map of the Philippines (thanks Maan! <3) and saw that in the Northeastern most tip of Luzon is where Palaui island is located, the game fishing capital of the Philippines, and it also has a lot of tourist activities like snorkeling and a nearby whitesand-like-Bora beach. I researched the place in the net and saw this:

We’re definitely going there!

We left QC around 10PM on the first day of 2010, armed with a CD of 17 of JA’s latest mixes (including Party in the USA of Miley Cyrus, haha) and of course the Glee soundtrack (unending “Just a small town girl…”), and much of Eheads and other 90’s music, we traversed the NLEX-SCTEX-Tarlac-Nueva Ecija-Nueva Viscaya-Isabela-Cagayan route eventually arriving at San Vicente, Cagayan (the jump off point to our destination – Palaui Island) at around 11AM of January 2! Not bad. 642km in 12 hours = ~50kph, ang bagal pala namin, hahaha.

On our way up, we had to go through Dalton Pass. According to our map it’s the highest point in the Maharlika highway at around 1900m above sea level. It was a zigzag road and we passed though it around 3-4AM! Scary? We actually don’t know, hindi ko naman alam what to be scared of since di naman namin makita kung may bangin or not, hehe, until I saw this picture:

This is what Dalton Pass would look like at daytime, haha. SCARYYY…

Ok, on to Palaui Island. This island is located at the north-eastern most part of Luzon. San Vicente port (situated at the town of Sta. Ana, Cagayan) is the jump-off point to the island where you can rent a boat for a daytrip for ~P2000. Included in the rate is the island hopping to and from San Vicente Port, around Palaui island, to Anguib beach and Cape Engano where the lighthouse is located. Upon arriving at San Vicente, we arranged our lodging at Jerolynda Resort at a smaller island. We got a decent room with 2 big beds, no aircon, but w/ acceptable t&b, which costs around P800/day.

Jerolynda Beach and Resort: good food and accommodations!

We then went to Cape Engano first, then planned to go to Anguib Cove last. Malas talaga at nakakainis nga lang, makulimlim that day…pangit ng lighting for pictures! 😦 So all pictures with the sky is WHITE…no crystal clear waters and bright blue sky! FAIL. 😦

Palaui, Sta. Ana, Cagayan

The feeling when we finally arrived at the island was so surreal. Parang nasa Jurassic Park ka! Sprawling hills and mountains na feeling mo may nagtatagong t-rex just around the corner! Hehehe. We went up the lighthouse and saw that it sort of reminded us of the lighthouse in Cape Bojeador in Ilocos! Well, according to the NHI write-up, this lighthouse and the ones in Bojeador and Capones were similarly made and were put up almost at the same years.


The view from the lighthouse was just spectacular! You can see the waves violently splashing into rock formations and cliffs at one side, then see a peaceful cove at another.

We then decided to go to Anguib Cove, the BORACAY daw of cagayan. According to my research, white na white daw talaga ang sand, at pinong-pino. We asked our boatmen, since it already started to drizzle, if it was still safe to go there. Sabi nila malapit lang naman daw…so GO! I thought it was a great adventure to brave the open seas while raining, parang roller coaster lang yan! Not until I saw how huge the waves were!!! Para kaming nasa Perfect Storm! Buti na lang may katig yung banka namin, we would’ve been in the news! (At that time, kakalubog lang din nung ferry sa Batangas…)SACRYYYY. That’s why when we finally arrived at Anguib, medyo bad trip na kami for being wet and scared out of our wits…

Arriving at Anguib Cove: We Survived!!!

But come to think of it, Anguib was really beautiful! Powdery white beach with not so many tourists, shallow clean sandbar for swimming. I took a dip and no jellyfish anywhere (yehey!). Mei, JA and Kitts just stayed at the beach, takot pa din sa dagat, haha. Will definitely go back here and enjoy this lalo na pag may araw na!

Anguib Cove = unspoilt secret of Cagayan Valley

On our way back to our resort, we passed by the mangroves surrounding our small island resort. Ganda!

Sunset at the Mangrove Reserve

Sunset pictures are always nice, especially when you get to see God Rays:

After dinner and some drinks (Christmas wine c/o Kitts haha) nakatulog na rin kami sa sobrang pagod at walang tulog galing sa byahe, and in preparation for our activities the next day and ride back to Manila.

The following morning we went back to San Vicente and had a picture taken with the kilometer marker @ 642km from the Rizal Shrine in Luneta! Anlayo namin!

642 KM!

We then started our travel back to Manila, stopping over at various tourist spots in Cagayan Valley like:

the Callao Caves in Penablanca (sana na-preserve nila ng mas maganda…)
eating Pancit Cabagan (sarap!) at Felicidad
Magat Dam

and a side trip to Magat Dam (superb view! we made it just in time for sunset!!!) in Isabela and even stopping over at Ian’s parents’ silver anniversary, (thanks bai)!

We finally arrived in QC at around 3AM on January 4, just in time for me to fix my things to go back to Manila and start my duty at Ophtha Ward at 7AM. Hehehe. =)

Thanks friends for the great memories and pictures! Saan na next? Out of the country na! Thailand? India? Taiwan? Haha. Ipon muna tayo. =)

Santiago City, Isabela

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