Cagayan Province is not usually in one’s road trip list – perhaps because of its distance from Manila not much has been mentioned about its beauty & history.
In 2013, we were fortunate to discover some the province’s stunning beaches, islands and attractions.
Day 1 : The 645 km Road Trip
12:00 ( 0.0 km) – We started midnight in Makati where we met up at a gas station to fill up our tanks for our long journey up north – we prefer traveling in these hours because traffic is very light.
06:00 (275 km) – Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya is an ideal place to stop after a long drive. I was surprised to discover that our favorite restaurant, Mrs Gaddi’s has already closed and was replaced by Mountain Oasis. Gone was our favorite, the squash soup served on a bread bowl – so we settled for the new menu which was good enough to fill our hungry stomachs.
12:45 ( 510 km) – It was time to make another stop for lunch. We chose to eat at Aling Kikay’s Pancit Cabagan.
04:00 (645 km) – We arrived in Santa Ana, Cagayan and met up with the rest of the group who chose to fly via Tuguegarao.
Early evening, we found out that Eagle Ferry was not sailing to Camiguin due to bad weather so we decided to rent out bancas to take us to Camiguin the following day.
Day 2 : Anguib Beach
I woke up past midnight to the sound of heavy rains so I knew that our trip to Camiguin will not push thru. By morning, the clouds cleared but the decision was already made to postpone our trip the next day. This gave us some time to check out the local market & the beaches in the area.
After lunch, we drove to Anguib beach – known as the Boracay of the North because of its fine white sands, calm & clear waters. Unfortunately, our exploration of the place was limited due to the production of the Survivor Reality Show.
Day 3 : Calm Seas
It was finally happening, we couldn’t ask for more – the sky was clear & the sea was calm. We woke up around 5:00 am to prepare for our banca ride to Camiguin Island.
Camiguin Island is one of the four major islands of the Calayan Group of Islands. It is approximately 40 kms from Santa Ana.
09:00 We landed on Camiguin’s shores. We took a fifteen minute walk from where we landed to our temporary home which was an elementary school. We were welcomed by the Barangay Captain who prepared fresh buko juice & some snacks.
Day 4 : Searching for the Humpbacks
We left the island early to search for the humpbacks in the open sea. We circled for about two hours but unfortunately we didn’t see any. While searching, our boatmen casted their lines and caught two mahi-mahis (also known as dorado). We spent the rest of the morning exploring sites around Camiguin.
After lunch, we packed up our gear and headed to the island where we camped. The boatmen gave us one of the mahi-mahi which we prepared to become “kinilaw” and sinigang for dinner – of course, we also had lobsters!
Day 5 : Cape Engano Revisited
We planned to go out again to search for humpbacks but the weather wasn’t good so we decided to head back to Santa Ana right after breakfast. On our way back, we made a quick stop in Cape Egaño.
Day 6 : Callao Cave
- Eagle Ferry sails to Camiguin from Aparri, Cagayan at P 300 per person.
- When renting bancas in Santa Ana, always get the ones with two engines and get a back-up boat. You cannot afford to be drifting afloat in the open seas.
- Rental of banca is P 3,600 per day (as of April 2013). This does not include fuel & the boatmen’s daily wages & meals.
- Always allot an extra day or two when planning for a trip to these islands due to weather or swell conditions.
- Our trip cost P 5,000 per person, excluding the cost of the trip to Santa Ana, Cagayan.