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Thursday, June 2, 2016

PALAUI ISLAND TOUR Part 2: Island Hopping Anguib Beach, Crocodile Island + Overnight in Tuguegarao, Callao Cave and Villa Victoria Hotel

NOTE: This is Part 2 of our Palaui-Tuguegarao Tour this summer via g@dventuresPh.

Prior Post: 
PALAUI ISLAND TOUR Part 1: 
The Homestay, Baratubot Falls, Mabulbul Beach 
and the 3-Hour Hike to Cape Engaño

......we then went back to the resting area next to the beach where our boat was waiting. We had a quick lunch then off we go to the final part of our day tour --Island Hopping....

If you think your Palaui tour culminates in Cape Engañno then you are wrong.
Yes, there is more to Palaui than just waterfalls, hiking and the lighthouse. Rent a boat and go island hopping. There are so many other interesting destinations around the island and the mainland in Sta. Ana.

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In our case, our forward destinations were Anguib Beach in the mainland followed by a quick visit at Crocodile Island before heading back to our accommodation in Punta Verde.

We were so exhausted after our hike to the lighthouse. The trees in the waiting area offered respite from the heat. Our boat and lunch waiting. Nobody had the energy to do anything else but eat. This is the advantage of homestay, we already had our lunch prepared. No more hassle.

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By past 2:00 pm, we were on our way to Anguib Beach. It took around 45 minutes via Northern route past the photogenic islands of Dos Hermanas. I noticed a few white beach coves along the way--both in Palaui Island and mainland Sta. Ana-- with no people in sight.

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Anguib Beach

I wrote about Tondol Beach in Anda Pangasinan before entitled: 
And I honestly think Tondol still holds that title despite the claim of Cagayan to call Anguib Beach "the Boracay of the North." as I see more resemblance to the former than the latter in terms of terrain and fine sand.

Don't get me wrong, I find Anguid Beach very beautiful and it's sand white but it resembles that of Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud Ilocos Norte more than Boracay. It has to do with the shape of the beach and the hill that punctuates it to the East.

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This is where we stayed a few hours after lunch. 

Not a public beach I assume because they collect 100 pesos per head. There are also cottages for rent but we opted to stay under the trees with our beach blankets. It was scorching hot so some of us took a nap while others braved the sun and went for a swim. It was already 4:00 pm when I went out to try the water. Some beaches look fine on the shore but not really very good for swimming to rocky swimming area but Anguib is a very friendly beach for swimming. Sand is soft and almost rocks to bother your enjoyment. The beach is very long and the water is very clear. It is more peaceful compared to the beach next to it where many overnight accommodations are located.
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Crocodile Island

Our last island hopping stop was crocodile island. It is very near Punta Verde where our homestay is. Don't expect grand rock formations as the island is small but I want to give credit to the name as it is really shaped like a crocodile when seen from the Eastern or Western side. 


We were already near exhaustion at that time but still very eager to climb up the island and take lots of pictures.


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One thing I admire about Crocodile Island is the composition of its rocks. At the Northern tip one can easily notice the colorful crystal-like rocks that makes the place charming. One of our companions even picked glass rocks, my first time to ever see some.

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We were back in our accommodation right before sunset. Spent our last night in Palaui bonding over alcohol.

Back to Tuguegarao
Our boat arrived before 9:00 am the next day to take us back to mainland Sta. Ana. From there it was another 3.5 hrs back to Tuguegarao City where we pent our last day of the trip.

Tuguegarao is not to be discounted. It is a small city but rapidly on the rise. Too bad we didn't have much time to explore it more but at least we git to visit Callao Cave in the afternoon. Along the way, don't miss... fried siopao and crema de leche.

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We had a quick lunch first before going to the cave. When in Tuguegarao, one should not miss pancit batil patong. Many small eateries selling this, many standards in taste too. The first one I tried was too salty for my taste, but still worth the try exploring for the perfect taste. Big serving is a plus.

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Villa Victoria Hotel
We stayed in Villa Victoria Hotel. It is the practical place to stay for those who are budget conscious looking for a decent place to spend overnight in Tuguegarao. It is a little off the city center but only a few blocks to Victory Liner which is a major bus line servicing Manila and many parts of Northern Luzon. It is opposite Robinsons Tuguegarao which is currently under construction si expect the area to be busy and full of interesting activities in the months to come. It is also very near the airport. Tricycle will only cost around 50 pesos and a few minutes.

The hotel is a bit old and is scheduled for upgrade 
but their unbeatable rates you will love.

Per Night Rates
Single matrimonial bed --700 php 
Double twin bed --1,200 php 
Tripple Twin bed --1,500 php 
Dormitory Bed --2,000 php

We booked two (2) triple twin bed and all 12 of of us fit in. Imagine 12 pax for 3,000 pesos. That's less than 300 pesos per pax. Hello big savings. Next to Villa Victoria Hotel  is Grand Victoria Lodge, newer building and upgraded version of............

Villa Victoria Hotel is located at
11-A Pengue Ruyu Tuguegarao City Cagayan
Phone: (078) 844 0436 / 0977-1436-825
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Villavictoria

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Villa Victoria Hotel Tuguegarao
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Bulalo for Dinner
We had dinner at RGT Bulalohan along Gonzaga Street Centro 10. It is a simple eatery which prides itself for the "original bulalo" in town which we ordered.  I may say at par with the Bulalo ones popular in Tagaytay. I was a bit confused though because some of our companions said later that night that what we had was carabao beef bulalo which I hardly noticed except for the dafker meat on the bulalo we ate. I still don't know whether it was beef or carabeef we ate until this day.


It was all good though, even their papaitan and dinakdakan. Affordable too.



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Callao Cave
Callao Cave is a show cave which means it is made accessible to the public via constructed trails, lighting and has regular opening hours. There are only a few of these caves in the Philippines as local advocates are strongly against it. One similar attraction is Batu Cave in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I was also yet to write about the cave in Halong Bay which I thought was a very lovely cave with striking rock formations but they completely killed the cave to give way for access and photographic appeal. I also have some objections to such show caves especially after experiencing the natural caves in Sagada and the Underground River. 

So after seeing thousands of pictures of Callao Cave online, I thought it's a place I can survive without visiting. I was not very excited about the visit to Callao Cave therefore and initially regarded it as a filler for the day's itinerary. But the cave surprised me. It was better than i expected.

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I like the fact that they put up lights and pathways for easier access and still keep the cave alive by allowing certain sections to be untouched. There are around five (5) chambers open to the public with three having open domes therefore allowing the sun to get in. This makes the cave very dramatic and indeed photogenic. The chapel inside on of the chambers also gives it an added appeal.

Callao Cave should not be discounted when visiting Tuguegarao.
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This trip was not without an unfortunate event. There was a power outage in NAIA-3 the night before our rerurn to Manila so one of the only two (2) daily flights of Cebu Pacific was cancelled and the one cancelled was my flight. Another member of our group was affected. The rest were fine with the 2nd flight so the two of us had no choice but to take the grueling 15-hour bus ride to Manila. I even lost my phone the night before and I didn't bring my tablet with me. It was for me unimaginable to travel without any gadget at hand but it was bearable thanks to a new found friend.

Despite the last-minute fiasco, I was very happy I finally got to experience Palaui and Tuguegarao. It has been long overdue.


_____________________
Thanks to:
Group Adventures Ph
for making this already awesome trip more awesome!


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