For those bold travelers willing to venture beyond the plush resorts and villas, the Philippines holds a startling mammon of genuine and varied beaches. With a very lengthy coastline from north to south, there are a number of out there that’s great for idyllic hideaways.
Such place is Luzon mainland’s northernmost town, Claveria in Cagayan province — where tourism hasn’t yet concealed the local culture and its quaint beauty yet to be unraveled.
My “wanderlusting” has led me to various sorts of discovery. My favorite are those that are tucked and unknown to many. That is why my visit to Claveria is one such happy travel. So what would one do (and see) in a town 10-12 hours away from Metro Manila? Read along.
So there’s Taggat Lagoon, perhaps the most popular from among the locals. This is where the rock formations called Lakay-Lakay and Baket-Baket are found. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see this place up-close and even forgot to take a photo of it even from afar.
With only a day to spend in Claveria, my friends and I decided to go on a short trek to a hill called Bantay Kalbo instead. It was a pretty easy sauntering with a lovely view of Sentinela Cove and Ubing-Ubing rock formation. Atop Bantay Kalbo, one would notice a cliff with an abandoned telecommunications tower. For a moment, the feeling is reminiscent of some of Batanes’ hills.
After enjoying a breezy stay at Bantay Kalbo, we went down by the beach/cove area. The beach may not be of white sand, but the black, fine sand of Sentinela has its own charm. There are no resorts and only an improvised hut is found. We had a great time watching the rough waves pounding the rocks and shore of the cove. We spent some time walking, taking photographs and waited for the sundown.
I am very much grateful that we went all the way to this place. Its location may be (very) far and away but its rugged beauty more than made up for the long travel we took. Indeed, nature has its own way of rewarding those who dared to take off-the-beaten paths.
The following day, we woke up early and made our way to Cabicungan River where the sun rise can be viewed. It was a pretty chilly morning. We were also greeted by flocks of birds flying towards the mountains of Claveria. It was such a sight to behold.
Then, off we went to visit Claveria’s church – Saint Joseph Parish. We also got the chance to walk our way around the town passing by their municipal hall and market. We had our breakfast and also got to taste one of Cagayan’s specialty – pancit batilpatong.
So there. Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.
Man, I say it again, you should work for the Philipines Bureau of Tourism & Travel Industry for the things that you do on your own expense and time showcasing the beauty of the Philippines of her more than 7,000 beautiful Islands, and here I am, an American of Filipino Ancestry, loving all your Travel Experiences, and knowingly that I will only travel a few places of the north and southern parts of the Philippines in this lifetime of mine. For the record, the fardest I’ve travel to the North is Luna, Cagayan the year of 2005, and to the South is Boracay in 2007, and in Decenber of 2014, we visited Tagaytay again and Ilocos Norte as well. It’s a priceless, and selfless undertaking on your part, and you don’t really get enough credit with my own humble opinion, thank you so much. I’m just amaze that you’ve even travel to the Calayan Island northern and fardest part of the Philippines, it’s an amazing feat with just a handful companion with your closest friends and not even the most modern way of transportation to reach these exotic destinations, more power to you, and may God watch over you and your friends as you all travel to these risky adventures that you always undertake always.
I’m so blessed and grateful to have met you here on Facebook & Instagram, you never cease to amaze me and I’m really sure that a lot of people like me that continue to follow you awaiting for your next Travel somewhere in the Philippines feels just the same.
One area I would like to ask you since I just learned her existence just couple days ago, have you ever been to Balesin Island, it looks like the Maldives or Bora-Bora, please give us your thoughts of this Island on your next Travel Tips.
Mahalo & God Bless You Always,
P.S. Sorry for my run-on sentences, I’m not a writer, these are my train of thoughts as they pop-up like clouds in various forms in the sky, lol 😍