Journey to the Boracay of the North
On the third day of our holiday, we opted to drive further up from Lal-lo to Santa Ana which is famous with its fascinating white sand and black sand beaches.
We drove 90 kilometers to Anguib Beach which has the most pristine fine white sandy beach and crystal clear water in the town. After one and a half hours drive, we came into disappointment after we were told hat the resort is fully booked and they don’t allow walk-ins anymore.
I’ve foreseen that this beach resort will be crowded during the Holy Week but I did not expect that it will be fully booked since this place is behind God’s back. Well we continued driving for another kilometer and reached the Nangaramoan beach which is the runner-up to Anguib in the white sand category. And as expected, all rooms and cottages are occupied.
We had no choice but to turn back and check out other beaches. We ended up in Jotay’s Resort which is close to the National road. It is not a white sand beach, but it has a fine black sand and clean water. I am quite satisfied since I have never swum in a black sand beach before. We rented a huge cottage for a big family for PHP 700 (USD 15) but we ended up paying only PHP 300 (USD 6.50) since we only stayed there for 5 hours. We also cooked our own food without extra cost incurred.
It was raining on that day so the water was a bit cold. Eventually, the weather did improve and we were able to swim and play. The sand is really black yet it’s absolutely fine. The water is not really that salty so it is a perfect beach for families with kids.
If you wish to hop to the nearby island of Palaui, then you can rent a boat for 12 for PHP 2,500 or USD 54. We never went for island hopping since we have some kids and elders with us so we just spent our afternoon in that resort.
On the way back to our Grandparents’ place, we passed through the Ghost Airport of Lal-lo. The Cagayan North International Airport is the only operational International Airport in the Philippines which has no airlines flying. This airport was built to boost the tourism in the Northern part of Cagayan Province, but it did not fulfill its purpose yet.
We also checked out the Magapit Bridge in Lal-lo which is the first hanging bridge in Asia. It runs across the Cagayan River and is 0.76 kilometers long. The hanging bridge links the first and second districts of Cagayan going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Viaduct in Pagudpud. We just took some photos there and called it a day since we planned to leave early the following day to head back home.
Stopover in Tuguegarao
It’s Easter Sunday and as planned, we left Lal-lo by 4:30am dreaming to arrive home in Cavite by 9:00pm with several stops ahead. Our first stop en-route home is the famous church in Peñablanca built inside a limestone cave. We reached the entrance of Callao Cave by 6:30am only to find out that it is still closed and will only open at 9:00am. I wish that I did more research before driving off-route for 20 kilometers for nothing. We just decided not to wait anymore and visited the Tuguegarao Cathedral instead to offer our prayers.
We left Tuguegarao City by 8:30am and arrived home in Cavite at 1:00am the following day with few stops along the way. It’s supposed to be a 12-hour journey only but since it was Holy Week, we experience the worst traffic on the road.
It was a tiring yet a very fulfilling long weekend with my family. We travelled for over 1,600 kilometers in this road trip and I would like to do this very often with my family.