Monday, July 29, 2013

Claveria, Cagayan - Our Gateway To Babuyan


It all started with a Facebook group message about an upcoming trip to Babuyan Islands. I just lurked for a while. And then I realized that it will coincide with another trip of mine with another group. So I totally ditched the idea of joining the Babuyan Islands trip. But when someone brainwashed me that there may never be another opportunity for such epic trip I quickly had a change of heart. And I didn't regret it. The planned 7-day (turned 10-day) Babuyan Islands trip was such an epic one that I consider it to be one of my favorite trips - ever.

It was a hot Sunday afternoon and the group were set to meet at the Florida Bus Liner's terminal in Sampaloc area. I arrived a little earlier than my fellow travel bloggers ChristianChino and Kara (that's me being O.C. with time). They soon arrived and there we met the other half of the group, a family of photographers who initiated this trip - Homer, Lanie, Harold, Harvey, Karlo and Karla. And the ten of us boarded the 3:00 p.m. scheduled bus ride (paid 730 pesos each) going to Claveria in Cagayan Valley, our jump-off point to Babuyan Islands.

The 14-hour bus ride was not a bore especially when Chino is seated right at your back (we all chose window seats), almost half of the trip was spent in catching up with him while the other half was dreaming in the perfectly cushioned and grooved head rest (prevents the head to be thrown on the window or your seatmate) of the pink bus - just lovely. 

It was drizzling when we arrived in Claveria. We should've went straight to the port and ride a lampitaw (boat) to Calayan Island but then due to the strong winds and occasional rain we postponed the trip for next day.


facing backwards with never a bore chino
We checked in very early at a new beach hotel we found in Claveria. Our group stayed in a twin room with aircon and ensuite toilet and bath for 1,200 pesos per night. The other group stayed in a family room for 1,800 pesos per night. Getting stranded is so fun when you get to stay in a beach front hotel to chill all day.


thanks chino

early morning scene
After having our breakfast somewhere, we decided to hire two tricycles (400 pesos each trike for the whole day service / Kuya Walter - 0948.829.0573) for a quick tour of the town to maximize our stay there. First stop was the Portabaga Falls Resort and Inn in Sta. Praxedes, it took us around 20 minutes to get there. The place was obviously intended for tourists and all the developments around the waterfalls could prove that. The photogs started setting up their tripods and cameras while I just took a couple of shots and sat somewhere to just chill. Lazy is me, me is lazy. 



We wanted to go to another waterfalls but the very unpredictable weather on a summer day prevented us to proceed so we just went around to look for a place to eat. We were in Cagayan so we guessed that somewhere tucked in there is a panciteria that serves the specialty of the province. And so we did find one. A panciteria that serves Pancit Batil-Patong for 70 pesos. It's been a year since I last tasted this regional favorite. And  the verdict? It was just ok. The one in Tuguegarao tasted better. Maybe I was looking for that distinct carabeef taste which I didn't get there. 


pancit batil-patong claveria edition
We rested for a while in the resort and then hopped on the tricycle again to go to the nearby Lakay-Lakay Lagoon. It was still drizzling and the brave photogs went on their separate ways to take their own spot and clicked those shutters. I, on the other hand, grabbed my underwater camera and braved the waves to chill on one of the cliffs overlooking the sea. 





chill chill din kahit maulan
When we were back on the shore, we saw some fisherfolks and their catch for the day. Curachas, Lobsters and Sea Urchins lang naman. Just a typical day for them. Nothing special. But if you could only see the looks on our faces you would know that we were all drooling for what's inside the nets. And thanks to Homer, he bought a few kilos of lobsters for a bargain price and shared it with our group - for free! (di namin nasama sa budget namin ang lobsters).




curacha and lobster - inseparable
lobsters for dinner lang naman
With no power supply (bad weather), no chance to swim on the beach and nothing sensible to do on a late afternoon, we all secured good beachfront seats with our good old Red Horse beers on hand and wasted time boozing up. And the day just went crazy and fun. 

When it was time for sunset we rode our trikes again and went back to Lakay-Lakay Lagoon to seize that moment. The photogs, again, chose their spots to set-up their weapons. And I just took a few shots, sat on a chopped tree trunk and savored the moment - boozed up. It was just the perfect way to end the day. 


boozed up sunset




27 comments:

  1. Ang layo! Hindi ko carry ang 14hours na travel.

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  2. kung alam ko lang sana nakasama ako at makauwi din sa hometown ko hehehe pero takot ako sa alon jan di ata kakayanin ng tapang ko.

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    1. sayang sana maganda ang Panahon at na capture nyo ang sunset sa Apo lakay-lakay at Apo Baket-baket

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    2. at dadating tayo sa usapin ng alon na yan mina... hehe

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  3. Is there a way na makapunta without having to travel for 14 hours?

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    1. you can take a plane to laoag michy... and from there mga few hours na bus ride na lang to claveria:)

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  4. wow... great pics..
    haven't been to this side of our country.
    i'm planning to do a roadtrip within the year :)

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    1. you should go explore the babuyan! :)

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  5. wow! a great place to chill. your sunset shot is great!

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  6. Nabitin ako ng bongga! Gusto ko na mabasa about the rest of the trip. Haha.

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    1. kung kaya ko lang gawan ng isang post yung 10 days gay eh. haha. eto na lapit na... :P

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  7. Not a fan of lobsters pero naglaway ako sa photo. *drools*

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    1. ditto kat. pero mas bet ko ang curacha :)

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  8. Excited na akong mabasa ang buong kwento! Hehe muntikan na ako magpunta dyan last year pero di natuloy. Sakit-sakitan ang peg :))

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    1. shoot sayang naman yun... ako din excited nang basahin ang buong kwento mica! ay isulat pala :P

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  9. Basta maraming restroom stops OK lang sa akin. Lalo na kung may restroom ang bus maski na more than 70 hours ang bus ride as when I took a bus ride from LA to Toronto. I don't think I'll do it again though.

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    1. 70 hours?! eh ibang usapan naman na yun bert. hahaha

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  10. hay salamat... start na ng babuyan trip... waiting.....

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  11. .. nakarating na rin ako sa bayan ng claveria during my medrep years (di pa ata uso ang blogging nun, haha) pero nakalimutan ko na ilang oras yun coming from laoag, madaanan ang pagupud pati yung sta. praxedes then claveria.

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    1. hi rob. yes tama nga. ilang hakbang lang sa ilocos norte ang claveria :)

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  12. Parang sarap lobster. Hindi ko pa natitikman yan... Bitin yung story.

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    1. masarap ang lobster ian pag mahilig ka sa seafood at hindi allergic.hihi :)

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  13. hi, i liked ur 'boozed up sunset' photo, it's awesome! congratz for winning the TigerAir Philippines Contest!

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    1. thanks oly! answerte ko lang lately :)

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