Exploring Palaui Island

4 a.m. was the call time and we did wake up hazily of course because of last night's booze. If you read my previous posts, we did rent a van for two days making it more convenient for the group (we were 6). We slept during the 3.5 hours on the road to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. The next plan was to conquer Palaui island.

It was raining while we were on the road. Not a good start though. The weather was not on our side that time. It didn't stop us to push through with the plan. We got to the San Vicente port (jump-off point) and headed straight to the tourism office. 

It was still raining at that point. Our main goal was to reach the top of the Cape Engano's lighthouse. We were given two options; first was to go straight to the lighthouse by boat (which will take us more than an hour), the second was to go to a much near part of the island and trek to the lighthouse for two hours. By the time we were ready with our decision, the tourism officer told us that the only way was the second option, this is due to the large waves which the boats couldn't handle.

San Vicente port
We were still in high spirits as we ate along side the road in this eatery for a full battle gear breakfast and we ate like there's no tomorrow. The servers asked; "Ano po ang gagawin ninyo sa Palaui? Bakit po kayo pupunta doon?", we looked at each other. No one gave a decent answer. 

We were on the port, inside the van and spirits were low, I cheered them up in spite of the weather. We all said, "Eh ginusto natin 'to eh, tara na!". So we went on to ride the outrigger boat.

rough seas - is it fun?! thanks for this shot ivy.
The 40-minute boat ride was not as easy as we thought it could be. But we still had high hopes. We reached the shore of Palaui (chilling at the beach would suffice the boat trip for me) and registered with the designated official who took our names and gave us two guides for the "2-hour" trek. At that point, the rain got tired and gave us a clear sky. And off we went to the elusive lighthouse.

There were two trails; the lagunzad and the lorenzo trail. The guide breezed us through the lagunzad trail. We were excited to have reached this far in spite of the weather. We crossed a bridge and started with our epic 5-hour trek to the Cape Engano lighthouse.

The trek looks challenging. Pardon my ignorance but I've only trekked twice in my life - on the way to Puerto Princesa, Palawan's Subterranean River (both the monkey and jungle trail 7 years ago) and Mount Banahaw (a requirement for my course 9 years ago). And I never really liked it - NEVER. I don't find any fulfillment and happiness on trekking. I signed up for this thing just because I needed to rekindle my love affair with trekking - di nga?

It started great. No rain nor strong winds to stop us and cancel this whole thing. Our guides told us how bad the weather was days before. We entered the woods, followed the guides and reached the mangroves along the shore. It's where the river meets the sea. We were really excited at that point. Right out of the woods we were now at the shore. It was so beautiful. Everything was beautiful. Very scenic.

can you tell me what snake is this?

Arrgh. I wished the sun was shining so wildly to capture everything in its brilliance. Oh, but I couldn't ask for more because this is a good bargain though, no sunburning-type-of-sun and no rain at all. We saw some snails, a snake and mangrove trees. It was so fun. And then we were told that we should be faster so as to finish the trail fast. I was asking our guide, "Kuya kalahati na ba tayo?", and he told us, "Hindi pa ma'am". 

mud packed feet - salon?!
And then we went into the "muddy part" of the trail. It was so muddy that the moment you step into the mud, your shoe or slipper will get stuck. It was a knee-deep/no-joke kind of mud. I was to careless that I started to walk barefooted. One of the guides took my slippers and hold it for me. Then we all started to trek again - barefooted. We were scared of sharp rocks and thorny shrubs along the path. We were literally inching ourselves to get out of this long strip of muddy trail. It was hard. Everyone was quiet and observing how the guides were crossing the trail.

"I see trees are green" - 1
And then a gleam of hope. We saw the what we called "I see trees are green" part. We shouted out of excitement and run towards the field. Happiness once more. But we kept on looking for the lighthouse. Nowhere in sight. Seems like there's still more. Once again I asked, "Kuya please sabihin mo na malapit na!", and then he answered, "Hindi pa po". Ok. Let's move on. Another trail and another version of the "muddy trail". We were all silent again. But no sign of anxiety or whatsoever. Doni shouted, "Eh ginusto nyo to di ba?". Sure. Bring it on!

thanks peng for the photo and doni for taking this shot.
Woods and then mud and then woods again. A little "I see trees are green" part and then we took a break. We ate some bread. Yosi break for some and weewee break for some. (saan? your guess is right. sa bukid walang papel di ba?). The magic word came from one of the guides, "Nakaka-kalahati na po tayo!". No one seems to care anymore. Then we moved on. We then reached the part where you can see the ocean, the Dos Hermanas island and the fields. We were on top of a mountain (or a hill?). We felt the nearness of the lighthouse. Ramdam na namin

And then woods again. We never asked anymore nor put on our slippers. We just continued barefooted and followed the guide. And then the third "I see trees are green" part. We noticed how vast it was. And then the guide told us, "Ayun na po yung lighthouse", we all said, "SAAN?".

Ayun oh!

And there it was, after 5 hours of trekking barefooted, the lighthouse. We ran towards the field and didn't care if we stepped on some poop and whether we were on the right path but we just ran. Up until the last step to the top. 

We dropped our stuff and looked closer to what was this thing that we were running after the whole time. We did it! We were at Cape Engano lighthouse in Palaui island baby! We trekked for 5 hours for this lighthouse. And then Doni asked, "So eto na 'yun?". Laughter everywhere.

Going back
See, we endured rough sea. Trekked 5 hours in muddy trails. Saw a snake. Got bruised and some abrasions on our legs (I still have mine - sebo de macho?). Literally did the "call of nature". And cussed more than our quota for a day. But then again, we were strangers who joined together for whatever this thing that we did. It was hard, especially for me, and fun at the same time. And may I quote Hannah Montana - "It's the climb!". Ayun oh!

We didn't wanna trail back so we all agreed to ride the boat going back to San Vicente port. But we didn't regret that we took the trail going to the lighthouse rather than the boat to and fro.

I miss you all Palaui girls - chyng, peng, doni, sol and ivy.  Rock on!

Just a piece of advice; go there during summer, or at least check the weather first :)


  1. katakot yung hanging bridge. =)

  2. it was really a humbling and overwhelming adventure at the same time.

    thank you soooo much sa photos. =)

  3. Gusto ko din mag Palaui eh, how much nagastos nyo?

  4. Haha "So eto na yun?"

    So pwede ko na iblog tong entry na to? tapos na naman kayo e hehe..

    nga pala, nasa blogroll mo nako *kilig* Thanks so much!!! ^_^

    1. Hi Donnie msta, hingi nman ako lhat ng expenses nio sa Palaui Island. Plan namin pmunta this summer. Thanks. *Myra Sagada 2*

  5. This is such an adventure! :D I hope I can go to Palaui with my hs barkada soon.

  6. Is that lighthouse still operational? Not much of a destination but I can feel the fun you were having on your way there. It is the travel and company more than the destination that makes a memorable trip, isn't it?

  7. hahaha sabi ko na nga ba kaya may picture ng paa sa umpisa eh :P

    congrats ma'am! :)

  8. Sulit naman ang "the climb" da ba? ;)

  9. I reckon it's sooo worth the 5 hour trek. Good job gurls! Gurl power!

  10. hi michi. medyo sturdy naman yung bridge :)

    chyng! korek... tanungin mo ako kung saan ang favorite ko sa pinas bilis... ask me go!

    hi marx - na message ko na ngapala si maricar ha. yung plane medyo sale tapos super mura lang eh. mga 2000 to 2500 excluding airfare, siyempre depende pa rin kung ilan kayo maghahati :)

    hey doni! ang jorte. may kilig dapat? di mo pa ba nai-blog?

    hi sumi. you should really go, pero dapat talaga summer or walang ulan para di maputik...

    hi bert. hindi na po operational yung lighthouse. pero matibay pa rin po yung structure and yung staircase :) at talagang tatatak ang trip na to sakin dahil sa mga kasama ko at mga pinagdaanan namin.

    in fairness walang umiyak o duguan bukod kay doni...

    thanks christian!

    hi nina fuentes! (kailangan kumpleto?!) korek ka jan! super sulit talaga.

    thanks gay! girl power talaga :)

  11. ayos. angsaya ng Palaui adventure nyo. target ko din eto ngayong summer.

    btw, banded sea krait yung pangalan ng snake. Laticauda colubrina ang scientific name :)

    1. go for it ivan! atleast ang haba ng oras mo sa bakasyon (pareho tayo, *winks*)...

      at salamat sa mala-matanglawin na trivia sa snake:)

  12. eto ang gusto ko na blog entry, yung medyo detailed yung trek na part... heheh.
    isip ko kasi yung mga female friends ko na ksama na di masyado sanay sa lakaran... papabasa ko muna para walang "Eh ginusto nyo to di ba?" na statements later on... hehehe..

    Thanks for this! good read.

    1. thanks marvin..at eto rin yung nag trek na ayaw naman talaga mag trek..hehe..

      go! ipabasa and i-challenge mo sila... kami nga all girls nakayanan naman namin :)

      balitaan mo ko ha...

  13. walo-walo ang tawag sa snake, a very poisonous sea snake. (i got here because i was searching for snakes normally encountered when trekking. hehe.)

    our group's been to palaui, too; we got there by boat.

    1. really? gosh..poisonous pala yun..tsk tsk tsk... thanks jr.

      happy ang palaui noh? :)

  14. hi there manong... pag trek/beach/bundok at adventure ang hanap mo, pasok na pasok ang palaui! balitaan mo ko pag nakapunta ka na sa paraisong ito :)

  15. tama ka diyan. nagugulat ang mga lokal pag aliw na aliw ang mga dayo sa kanilang lugar - eh para sa kanila natural environment nila yun :)


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