Mis-Adventure in Cagayan Province

After being sick for two weeks and not able to join Bim on our Panay Trip, I’m finally feeling better and ready to go back to work. Unfortunately, when I was asking for my “fit to work” clearance from our Company Doctor, she told me wait for another two days. I can just to go work on December 1 (Tuesday) since Nov 30 (Monday) is a holiday. It’s another four days for me  not doing anything at home. Two weeks is already enough so I don’t need this extra four days, boredom is already killing me.

So I browsed the internet, facebook and look for any tours that I can join. Good thing, there’s a trip going to Cagayan Province via Lakbay Backpackers. It’s a Baguio travel agency so it means free ride from Baguio to our destination. Almost all the trips that I joined, meet up place is in Manila so I had to travel down from Baguio to Manila.

I always wanted to visit Cagayan to see Callao Cave and the famous Palaui Island (home for survivor US). Before the trip, the travel agency (May) texted me if we still wanted to proceed with the trip since it’s been raining in Cagayan which means big waves so it’s very hard to go island hopping. She told me that we are divided into three groups: group of friends from Manila, lovebirds from Baguio and solo girl from Baguio (that’s me). I told her that my decision will be based on the big group, if they cancel, then I’ll have to cancel also. Good thing, they decided to push with the trip. 🙂

10

The itinerary makes me so excited since it’s a three day full of activity – island hopping, trek to lighthouse, beach bumming and church visits. But unfortunately, the itinerary was not followed. Instead of 8hours drive from Manila to Cagayan, it took us 15 hours (arrived 3pm at Sta Ana Cagayan). I think the problem is that we only have one (1) driver, so we need to take lots of breaks/rest… safety first right.

It was raining so it’s not advisable to go to Palaui. Our Day 1 was used for travel and rest at Jotay’s resort. Good thing, they have swimming pool so I just did an underwater pictorial with Chamy and Harold (lovebirds from Baguio). We also went to see their market and bought some goodies for our island hopping  tomorrow.

2

won’t let our first day go to waste 🙂

After breakfast, it is now time to go island hopping. I’ve visited different islands – in and out of our country, but the boat ride to Palaui is the most scariest ride that I’ve ever did.

I’m glad that we made it alive! Thanks to our expert boatmen. 🙂

7

definitely, the scariest boat ride experience

It took us an hour to reach our first destination: Anguib Beach. It has fine sands and blue water. As always, took lots of pictures and enjoyed the beach.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

vitamin SEA 🙂

8

the beautiful Anguib Beach

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the gang…

Another one hour boat ride to our next destination: Palaui Island where we trek to Cape Engano Lighthouse.

IMG_4389

6IMG_4408

IMG_4437

17

Palaui is ❤

16

survivors..PH

18

4

after an hour trek…finally reached the lighthouse

5

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

feels like home ❤

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

mandatory jump shot

Chamy and I wanted to see the hidden falls but the other big group doesn’t want to, so we moved to our next stop: Crododile Island.

9

can you spot the crocs? 🙂

After island hopping, it’s time to eat our late lunch at Nangaramoan Beach. We were surprised that we will be sleeping in one small room with no private toilet at Mar-pe’s Lodging and Cottages (Phone#09174767041). It’s not acceptable for a group of 10 people to sleep in a small room. So we decided to pay an added fee so we can have our private room. I think I added Php 600 pesos since it’s only the three (3) of us in our room – Chamy and her bf Harold; and me. Our coordinator Tosz and driver Roger slept inside the van only.

IMG_4513

15

enjoying Nangaramoan Beach 🙂

It was agreed that we will leave the beach early so we can complete our remaining itinerary, but the big group was late so we left an hour late against our original plan.

We ate our breakfast first at Dodie’s Panciteria. This was featured by Rated K already for their famous pansit batil patung.

1

Then off to Callao Cave – yippee! This famous cave was featured on the movie of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo “The Mistress” wedding scene. Our guide told us that you can use this as venue for weddings. You just need to decorate it and pay Php 20 entrance fee for each guest. I was also surprised that this is not the only attraction on this cave. It has seven chambers but you can only go up to the 5th chamber. Here you will see different rock formations.

11

after 184 steps, we reached the entrance to the Callao Cave

PB300532.JPG

12

say a little prayer for you 🙂

13

rock formations 🙂

14

lion’s head ❤

There’s so much more to do within Callao Cave like boating to falls. But due to time constraint, after spelunking, we went to visit the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat.

3

PB300709.JPG

During lunch time, Tosz found out that we already pass the other church. We had to go back to Sta Ana again to see it. But the team decided that we will just travel back to Manila since it’s gonna be another 13-15hours. It’s sad that I won’t be able to see the other churches but at least I was able to see one. It’s enough for me for this trip.

They need to drop the Manila peep first before going back to Baguio. So that means, I might be late for my work. Chamy and I decided to take a bus going to Baguio. We arrived in Tarlac at 3am and arrived in Baguio 6am. After power nap, I’m ready for work.

What do you think about this blog? Leave me a comment or email at roanguerrero@yahoo.com. Thank you! 🙂

Day 2: Negros Oriental Eco Tour

My second day eco tour leads me to Sibulan, Negros Oriental to see the famous Twin Lakes – Lake Balinsasayao and Lake Danao.

start of the long and winding road to the twin lakes

start of the long and winding road to the twin lakes

It was almost an hour motorcycle ride from Dumaguete to SIbulan…why? I always asked my guide to stop, enjoy the view and take pictures. Addicted right?  The road to the twin lakes is a steep and winding path, good thing, I’m used to the zigzag road of Baguio.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

say cheese!

say cheese!

can't help but to stop and take photos

can’t help but to stop and take photos

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 27 26

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

cool ride :-)

cool ride 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

exploring Negros on this

exploring Negros on this

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

stop and pose!

stop and pose!

Finally, we reached the Visitors station where you need to register and pay the entrance fee. At the back of the station you’ll see another lake. Another photo op session for me 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lake Balinsasayao is a protected habitat for birds, a noisy ride is not allowed. So we had to leave the motorcycle and walked 1km to reach the lakes. A few bikers passed us by…you know me, i’m sooo slow…. I’m not in a hurry since I always find time to enjoy the view.

Finally, we’re here! There’s a typhoon so they have few visitors only. Activities include swimming, fishing, boating, trekking and kayaking. There is a clean restroom and a small canteen selling beverages and light snacks. So if you forgot to bring some food, no worries! 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

cmon..let's bike

cmon..let’s bike

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You need to ride a boat to go Lake Danao.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

off to Lake Danao

off to Lake Danao

IMG_3643 28

Oh, the twin lakes all for me!

Lake Balinsasayao:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lake Danao:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_3654

beautiful Lake Danao

beautiful Lake Danao

IMG_3647

It was truly a relaxing experience for me. I can sleep here! 🙂

comfier than my bed...lol

comfier than my bed…lol

This ends my Eco Tour.

I will definitely go back to Negros — there’s still a lot of places to explore. See you soon! 🙂 ❤

Day 1: Negros Oriental Eco Tour :-)

Despite the storm and me being alone on this trip, it didn’t stop me explore Negros Oriental.

I contacted several tour agency in Dumaguete but most of the tour package are beyond my budget. Good thing, I stumbled on the page of WPG Philcan Tours (http://philtraveltours.com). Their tour package is in USD but I still tried to contact them. To my surprise, Gord (owner) replied to me and he was very accommodating and willing to help me out on this trip with affordable budget. If you have plan to visit Negros Oriental, you can contact him via email – gord@traveltours.com or call him at 09154881914.

My guide – Kuya Jong2 pick me at the Gazeebo Pension House. We will be going to Dauin for snorkeling and Casaroro Falls via tricycle.

with Manong Tricycle driver

with Manong Tricycle driver

Unfortunately, due to the typhoon which brought big waves made it so impossible or difficult for me to go snorkeling. I’m a bit disappointed since I’m not able to see the fishes. 😦

IMG_3589

overlooking Apo Island

overlooking Apo Island

no swimming! :-(

no swimming! 😦

After a few photo op, I told him that we can just go to Casaroro Falls. It will be difficult to go there via tricycle so we decided that I’ll just ride on his motorcycle. It’s not a big deal for me since I used to ride motorcycle with my brothers in Subic.

There are so many beautiful sights along the way so I can’t resist but to take some photos. I usually have more than 1000 photos on any of my trips. Am I addicted to photos? 🙂

15

At last, we’re here! There’s a stairs going down to Casaroro Falls. But to may dismay, I still can’t see the magnificent falls at the end of the stairs. You need to take the difficult (for me) trail and trek for another 20-30 minutes to see the falls. I didn’t push to do the trek since my guide is not familiar on the trail. So I was disappointed again….

14 16 21 IMG_3595

Seeing that I’m so disappointed, my guide told me that he’ll bring me to a better falls for free. So we went to see “MALABO FALLS” at Valencia. It is popularly known as Pulang Bato Falls due to the red color of its rocks. Locals say it is the presence of iron minerals that made the rocks turn red.

we're here!

we’re here!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pulang Bato Falls

Pulang Bato Falls

I actually enjoyed my visit here since I had the chance to swim. Just a short walk from the entrance is the man-made stone-lined swimming lagoon that is fed by small ‘falls’ cascading down the walls surrounding the lagoon.

spot the mini me :-)

spot the mini me 🙂

Then if you go down, you’ll see the picnic area and another waterfalls where you can jump and dive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

swimming time

swimming time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And then the main waterfalls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_3607

The way to Malabo Falls let’s you pass the highway where you can see some steam vents spewing out hot sulfuric smoke.

17

Then off to Tierra Alta Residential Resort. It felt like I was in Greece. I love their Greek inspired clubhouse & pavilion, lighthouse and lagoon type infinity swimming pool. I could live here! 🙂

18 19

It was a bad start but ended nicely.

March 10, Day 3: Brightlights

Before flying back to Manila, we had a quick tour at Beijing National Stadium. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

China’s National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest),  is the world’s largest steel structure and the most complex stadium ever constructed.The Bird’s Nest was designed by Swiss Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, and a Chinese Architect, Li Xinggang. The requirements for its design were that it had to be inspiring and be able to withstand an earthquake. It is saddle-shaped, but the interlocking steel parts resembling a lattice of twigs, make the name Bird’s Nest an obvious alias.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Beijing National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), is an aquatics center that was built alongside Beijing National Stadium in the Olympic Green for the swimming competitions of 2008 Summer Olympics. Despite its nickname, the building is not an actual cube, but a cuboid  (a rectangular box).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Congratulations Beijing! You are once again nominated to host the 2022 Olympics!

March 10, Day 3: Lost in Summer Palace

After our sumptuous meal at Wangfujing, it’s time to see the famous Forbidden City. We just walk towards the entrance since it’s near. To our surprise, there is a very very long line going to Forbidden City. Plus so many … Continue reading

March 10, Day 3: Foodporn at Wangfujing

Lunch time! So where to go?!? Time for a food trip at Wangfujing. 👍😜       I thought Cambodia has the weirdest food but nope! It’s China now on my list. 😱 I was really surprised (more of shocked!) to … Continue reading

March 10, Day 3: Jingshan Park

Time flies when you’re having fun! 🙂

So true! We are now on our last day of our backpacking trip in China! And still with so many places to explore. Our first stop: Jingshan Park. Tikoy highly recommends this place since it provides an amazing view of the Forbidden City.

1OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA54

2

7

Here’s an information about this place:

Five pavilions sit atop the hill. At the Northern foot of the hill is Shouhuang hall, once dedicated to ancestor worship, now used for childrens’ activities. Just to the East lie Yongsi and Guande Halls, where the bodies of Qing Emperors lay in state. There are displays of art and calligraphy by the Park’s North Gate.

It was in Jingshan Park that the Ming Emperor, Chongzhen hung himself from a pagoda tree as rebels stormed the city and brought down the dynasty. A replica of the tree, (The Chinese Scholar Tree) is to be found on the Eastern side of the Park.

The hill was formerly known as Coal Hill. The current name, Jĭngshān, rightly suggests rightly that the hill commands excellent views. (Jĭng 景=scenery, Shān 山= hill).

The hill was formed from earth excavated to make the moat around the Forbidden City, and its location directly to the North protects the Forbidden City from evil spirits according to Chinese feng shui. It also serves as a useful windbreak, and was once part of the Forbidden City.

Let’s continue with our photoshoot!

Thanks Phoebe, our Art Director, for the concept!  🙂

3 IMG_2884IMG_2894OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6 7 8 9    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After our fun photoshoot, it’s time to visit Forbidden City. Unfortunately, the north entrance is closed. We had to go to the other entrance. It’s a big place so walking towards the entrance will take us hours. Tikoy decided that we need to take the bus back to Dongsi Subway Station, then to Wangfujing  to eat our lunch first.

Hmmm..what to eat?!? I’m hungry!

March 8, Day 1: Beijing Zoo

Tummy’s full after eating at KFC so we continued our commuting city tour, this time off to Beijing Zoo. The Beijing Zoo is a zoological park in Beijing, China. Located in the Xicheng District, the zoo occupies an area of 89 hectares (220 acres), including 5.6 hectares … Continue reading

March 8,Day 1: Photoshoot at Temple of Heaven

After a long trip from Baguio to Beijing, I only had four (4) hours of sleep. But that won’t stop me from exploring this wonderful city. So excited and woke up at 6am, dress up for our first day photoshoot. … Continue reading