Travel Tales: Conquer Cagayan

One of the goals I have this year is to travel to places I have never been to before. Don’t get me wrong, there are sooo many beautiful places that I would love to go back, but I realized that there are still a ton of places that I want to visit. And since I am not a TLC travel host, I need to save up and really plan for those kinds of trips.

Last April, together with Maxine and Liezl, I visited Cagayan. The great thing about having not enough money to travel the world is that you’re always on the lookout for cheap airfare. And so, instead of traveling 15 hours from Manila to Tugeugarao by bus, we got to save a lot of time by flying instead of taking the bus. The Universe was one with us when we got a roundtrip ticket for just about php2000. The flight from Manila to the city will take just about 30-40 minutes. From the airport, tricycle drivers are ready to take you to where you actually want to go. We asked our driver to bring us to their famous pansit place, since Tuguegarao City is famous for pansit.

This is called pansit batil patung and this serving costs only php70. It has chicharon, liver (not sure though is it’s chicken or pork), veggies and of course the pansit. The thing about this pansit is that they serve it with soup, and you’re actually supposed to put soup in it. The srving is actually too much for 1 person, or probably depending on how hungry you are? Hehehe. So we asked for the remaining food for takeout and gave it to our driver.

After lunch, we asked our driver how much it would be to go to Callao Cave. The driver said it would be around php700, and we realized why, kasi pala it takes 30-40 minutes travel time from the city center to the caves.

Cagayan 1

The cave, to give you an idea, became more well-known because of JLC’s movie, The Mistress. To get to the cave, you have to climb around 70-80 steps, but the good thing about it is that the view is great and once you reach the top, the air becomes much cooler.

Cagayan 3

The cave has 7 different partitions (I forgot the right term kasi hehe) and of course the highlight would be the chapel inside it. The guides said that mass is held at once a month or if there are any special occasion.

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After the caves, you have the option to go on a short boat ride in Cagayan River.

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I have to say, the view of the river is so beautiful!!! Sobra!!

Cagayan 4

After looking for a hotel and resting for a bit, we asked around and were told that the best pansit cabagan (another type of pansit) in town would be at Felicita’s. And it is! I actually liked the cabagan more than the batil patung.

The next day, we left the hotel around 630AM and took the van going to Sta. Ana. It will take 3 more hours from Tuguegarao City to Sta. Ana. And from Sta. Ana, you can now start your island-hopping adventure and visit Palaui Island – which is our trip highlight and non-negotiable. 😀

Just a reminder, the commuter vans are non-airconditioned. But, even though it was the middle of summer, it wasn’t really that hot while en route. The driver is also really nice because he told us that he is willing to also pick us up from our hotel back to Tuguegarao City, o diba? Haha.

In Sta. Ana, we stayed at EF Costales Lodge, just walking distance to the pier. The room we got is php1500 per night, so not bad. But, there’s no WiFi in the lodge so I hope it’s not an issue for you. If you want a more high-end place, there is a casino hotel in the area, reason being there are a lot of chinese and local businessmen who actually come there to gamble.

I’ll have to go on a short break and then I’ll post pictures of our Sta. Ana trip. I’m gonna have to start looking for pictures to post as well. 🙂

More travel more love,

Melai

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