Palaui Island Accidental Tourists

Port Irene Sta. Ana

Thursday, before dawn, Reny and I joined a bunch of friends on a roadtrip to Sta. Ana in northern Cagayan Valley. In the van, I was awakened by brightness, the golden rays hitting on the frondescence, seemingly galvanizing anything and everything.

CartBreakfast: Century Egg and Cucumber with Soyamilk

We had Chinese breakfast at the Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort’s Noodle House. Everyone else ordered noodles while I wanted something exotic. Setting the tone for the unexpected, the century egg and cucumber, laced with chili, and soyamilk combination in the town of Sta. Ana was strange alright. Whilst being ignited by fiery idiosyncratic eggs, images of Palaui Island, shown to me by an acquaintance from the Philippine Airlines Mountaineering Club, suddenly hit me like crazy. Almost short of begging, I asked the company if we could go boating to the ruins, even if I was geared inappropriately in burghal clothing LOL.

Cagayan Holiday and Leisure ResortPort of San Vicente

Thank God, I have game and giving friends! (Thanks, guys!) So as Andre Gide was quoted to have said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

Babuyan ChanelPalaui Island Boat Tour

The boat ride along the Babuyan Channel was close to an hour.

Palaui Island Cove

The most pristine beach I’ve ever set foot on! The 10-km long Palaui Island is a protected marine reserve as well as a wildlife habitat and an important migratory bird site. The Cape Engaño ruins lie on its northernmost tip. No one else dared to climb the 229-step plus plus under a sultry sun (which has given me a post-trek farmer-patchy complexion), but our boatman Boyet and me. Luckily, I threw a scarf into my tote before we left Laoag.

Palaui Island, Cagayan, PhilippinesPalaui IslandPalaui Island CovePalaui IslandLagoon

No sweat, no glory.

Cape Engano LighthouseCape Engaño LighthouseCape Engano Lighthouse Marker

The same Magin Pers Y Pers that engineered the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Burgos, Ilocos Norte (during the Spanish era) designed Cape Engaño. I suspect the two lighthouses were designed taking into consideration the indigenous materials available at that time, like Cape Bojeador is in terracotta tiles while Cape Engaño is stone-hard and massive. According to Boyet, the lighthouse is at the moment powered by battery and not as brilliant as it used to be.

Cape Engaño RuinsCape Engaño RuinsDos Hermanos, San Vicente, Cagayan

A view of nearby Dos Hermanos from the lighthouse.

Ricky, the man on Palaui Island

Island living is a choice made by couple Ricky and Maya, the only inhabitants in the area. Though they look tough, they are friendly and accommodating. They live on tubers and fish. A more modern islander in seclusion, most of Maya’s hours are spent for cross-stitching scenery, her works usually bought by tourists.

Maya, the island settlerPalaui Island Protected Landscape and SeascapeAtop an IslandPalaui Island Boat TourCrystal ClearPacific Ocean

Cruising the other side of Palaui on the way back to the Port of San Vicente was pretty scary to most of us. Pacific winds, I guess.

Tourist from China

On calmer, shallower waters.

Palaui Island Boat TourFlight

To me the best adventures are accidental.

Guava JuiceBalai Cagayano LunchThree Stooges (in action)

Dead tired.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

7 thoughts on “Palaui Island Accidental Tourists

    • We paid 1800 for the Palaui Tour. There are many packages to choose from. Try to look for Boyet Talisic, the guide we met at the Port of San Vicente.

  1. Oh Manang! Another addition to my to do list. =)

    Was the 1800 just for the boat rental and all of you or was it per person.

    And love the post on your daughter’s trip to Coron. My coworker went there 3 yrs ago. He stayed at El Rio y Mar Resort. I was so jealous that he went to Coron. I’m not sure if it’s feasible to go to Coron during my vacation due to cost of travelling. If I wasn’t staying in Laoag and just stayed in Manila then I’m sure I would go. But the traveling cost from Laoag to Manila then to Busuanga and back…don’t think I’ll have enough time. I’m off for 18 days (3 days worth of travelling so technically only 15 days of vacation). I’ll figure something out. I was hoping to hit one other island during my time in the Philippines. Coron (Palawan), Bohol or Cebu are my choices. We will see what happens.

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