6 am: Van terminal headed to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. As most of you may know I do look like a Korean (well that’s what everyone says) and Styleloca does look Korean/Chinese herself. Travelling together or just going around a mall makes the experience just more interesting. Conductors, drivers, dispatchers talk to us in English as if we haven’t been in this country for twenty one years. It’s just funny, and I often play along when this happens.
Dispatcher: Sta. Ana? Sta. Ana? Two of you? Here, Here, about to leave, five minutes
Kwakaduck: Yes.. Yes.. Okay..
Dispatcher: Sit at the back?
Kwakaduck: No.. No.. (points at the front seat)
Dispatcher: Okay.. Okay..
Looking Korean has its pros and cons (but that deserves another blog entry).
After 30 minutes, we rolled out. The van didn’t have a/c but it was early in the morning and the breeze was just fine. We had our iPods to keep us entertained. John Mayer, Keane, Stereophonics, The Killers were in my playlist for the trip getting there. Three-fourths in the trip, a not so pleasant surprise was bestowed upon us. A fucking HUGE Spider was roaming around the top of the car! (see picture) we were freaking out. It was quite embarrassing that we were both genuinely afraid, while everyone else couldn’t care less.
The amazing landscapes seen outside our windows made the three-hour trip to Sta. Ana not long at all. I love driving around the countryside and seeing the wonders of nature, far from traffic, pollution, tall buildings, malls, which the cities bring.
Boom. We have arrived and yet another “I am not Korean” moment. When we got off the van, we walked towards the tricycle terminal to be brought to the resort. 50 meters away from the terminal, the drivers and dispatchers, were shouting “Kawaii.. Kawaii” so loud while waiving their hands. Kawaii is even a Japanese word right? Doesn’t matter. Anyway it was a bit embarrassing. So again, I played a long.
Tricycle Driver: Sunset? Sunset? (Sunset is this exclusive casino and resort for Japanese rich mofos. Sunset has its own airstrip, that’s how rich ass the people who go there are) Oh, that was why they were shouting Kawaii.
Kwakaduck: No..No.. Jotay’s..
Tricycle Driver: Jotay’s? Okay Okay.
Jotay’s Resort was more than what I expected, considering that the price was reasonable, and that we were in the middle of nowhere and not yet one of the prime tourist spots in the country. The staff was young, nice and very polite. We were quite beat from the travel and took a nap for an hour or so before having lunch. Food was pretty okay, nothing special but good enough. Being beside the sea made me think that seafood would be cheap, I found out that I was wrong. Crabs were Php500/Kilo, prawns were around Php250 for 3 pieces, but it was cooked well, very tasty and fresh.
After lunch, we hopped on the bangka and the 50 minute ride to Palaui Island began. On the way there, we were fortunate enough to see a dolphin (yes, just one) swim around. I was not able to take a picture because of my excitement. The scenery on the way to Palaui is just astonishing. You get to see the 3 sisters, the Nostrils, wonderful birds catching fish as they fly around sea (I don’t know what they’re called). You get to pass small beaches with ultra white sand along the way. I kept on saying “I love this shit” on the boat, as if I was a kid inside Toys R’ Us for the first time. Then Boom-Boom-Pow, after a long wait, you get a glimpse of Cape Engaño, the lighthouse at the tip of the island and the ultra white beach. I couldn’t help but say “Damn, that’s fucking amazing”.
After a quick dip in the cold waters of the sea, we started our trek up Palaui to the Lighthouse. You have to cross this jungle first, and once you cross, you are then sent to what seemed like a different dimension. Vast neon green hills, bluer than blue waters of the sea (see picture). It was truly amazing. The Sun was Sizzzzling Hot! (Kho, 2009) (I have to stop quoting this!) more than ever. My tumbler of water might not be enough for the two of us because of the scorching heat. Half way up, Styleloca wasn’t feeling very well. I was afraid she would faint or something! WE WE'RE FAR AWAY FROM A HOSPITAL. It was just too hot, and the only physical activity she has is when she goes around the mall and fixes clothes and other girly stuff. That’s it. She just needed to take occasional breaks and some water. She made it *apir!*
You know those movie scenes were they look lost in some jungle then arrives at one spectacular place? That’s how it felt upon reaching the lighthouse. The lighthouse was completed in 1892 by the Spaniards to do what lighthouses do for ships in sail. During this time, it was just basic, to give light as a signal, that’s about it. First thing I noticed was the amount of detail put into this place. That’s one thing I find spectacular about things the Spaniards left, is their attention to detail. It was built with large bricks with a view which almost made me pee on my shorts. (you’ve got to see them photographs). We spent more than an hour appreciating the beauty of this place, taking photographs of anything and everything, even me levitating (I have superhuman powers – see picture). The extreme heat gave us the urge to start our trek down and take a swim in the clear blue waters. It was unfortunate that it was already getting late, and the tide was starting to rise, the bangkero thought that it might not be safe to go Anguib Island which is another 40 minutes away. It is said to have even whiter and finer sand in this beach. Boo. Maybe next time?
Back in Jotay’s, and enjoyed the beach + the sunset. I played around with the waves, which made me miss surfing. I want to go again (surf), I must go again (surf). It was a very peaceful place; I think we were the only tourists at that time. Others were locals enjoying their weekend. Ended the night with prawns, and beer, we were beat.
Morning came, enjoyed the sun and water for the last time before leaving, had breakfast. My favourite bacon and eggs + coffee, Styleloca had Tapsilog + Minute Maid. We chose to ride the bus going back to Tuguegarao, Florida bus line has trips from Sta. Ana to Cubao which departs at 130 pm and 330 pm. We chose this since we would be travelling in the afternoon and no a/c in the afternoon would mean dehydration for the both of us. It was a comfortable bus, a/c was okay, and seats were spacious, good job.
I therefore conclude that this trip has been one of the most awesome experiences I have had during my Tuguegarao stint, but I do hope there is more to come. Bring it on Cagayan. I have two more weeks of TUG-X before we go back to MLA.
Need information about Sta. Ana? I’ll be glad to tell you what I know. :)
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