Palaui, Cagayan

For someone who craves for the sea, I readily committed myself in joining a trip last year going to one of the northernmost parts of the Philippines – Palaui, Cagayan. Albeit the eagerness, it was with great fear that I agreed to go, because I’m always chased by that fear of getting lost in the sea while on a boat. The fear resonating from my grandmother’s unfortunate event decades ago – years before I was even born.

It was August or September last year that we boarded the plane going to Cagayan – Tuguegarao, specifically, which is also the province’s capital. Two and a half hours later, we caught a van going to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Much to our surprise and misfortune, we had to ride a non-aircon van; it was, nevertheless, a fun ride filled with jokes overtaking our stresses because of the two-hour worth more of long ride, and the heat.

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More photos here: franceslim.exposure.co

As we arrived in our hotel, my inner self couldn’t get hold of the right words seeing the view from the balcony: the sea, its waters crashing to the shores, a group of people playing around, and the sun going beneath us. It’s beautiful.

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We decided to rest afterwards. We were, after all, going to be on a long day tour of the main reason why we went there.

Palaui Island

A nice rain welcomed us as we went out of our hotel room, and, honestly, we were so much in doubt if we were going to continue our trip to the island. But we knew we had to try.

From the hotel, we got to the port riding a trike which lasted around 30 minutes, and much to my surprise, the waves weren’t in their worst phase. They were a bit bad, though – quite shaky, in fact.

And, finally. Hello, Palaui!

Once we got off the boat, we had to trek for another two hours going to the main thing. Cape Engaño, the beach, and New Zealand… of the Philippines. That is, with a carabao.

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When we got there, we knew we had to climb up to see Cape Engaño in flesh, literally in front of our eyes. The steps were extremely muddy since the rain came and went as it wanted, covering the cemented parts. It was especially quite challenging for someone who has trouble going down due to trauma, such as me.

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As we finally reached the top, the view was breathtakingly beautiful.

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The view from the top – Dos Hermanas Island, when the earth suddenly wanted a rock to rise from the deep seabeds.

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Right the time that had to go down, the rain suddenly went haywire with us so we had to stay there for another thirty minutes. It wasn’t bad at all, though! When the sun showed its rays once again, we trekked down the hill going back to the base.

Across Palaui Island is Anguib Beach which was, at the time, lacking of tourists since August isn’t exactly the beach season in the Philippines. So hooray for us having the islands to ourselves, along with these people.

We had to pay a hundred bucks each as an entrance fee though. Plus another 50 to sit on their bench. No questions, however, since I got so in love with the beach. I promised myself I’m going back there in time!

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Once we felt fulfilled of the destination again, we went onboard along with our tour guides who made sure everything went smoothly. Muchas gracias!

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What a great day that was – I’m looking forward to more!

PS: I’m feeling a bit of a déjà vu writing this blog post. Or the fact that I’m actually having a blog again.

 

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Wandering Tokyo

I have honestly never thought of celebrating an important milestone in my life in Japan, and during spring, among all other seasons. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

Got to travel with the most important people in my life last week of April, which coincidentally is the week of the cherry blossoms’ full bloom and my quarter-year birthday.

We got to see places in Tokyo – from Shibuya, Harajuku, Asakusa, Ikebukuro, and Yoyogi. With a short time, we found out how efficient Japan’s transportation network is, and how it can be tiring to change trains for two to three times a ride. With thirteen persons with me, it was quite challenging to lead the way especially when everyone had their own wishes and agenda. It was, nevertheless, a fulfilling role, but never will I do it again! Took the energies away from me.

These are some of the images that I have, gathered from my actual photoblog for our Japan trip.





This was, indeed, a fulfilling trip for everyone! I am very much looking forward to my next ventures in Japan. Still in my so-called Japan bucket list are:

  • go to Kyoto and Osaka, first and foremost!
  • have a cloud-free visit to Mt. Fuji
  • see a Geisha
  • visit Tokyo’s Piss Alley
  • indulge on Kobe’s prime steaks
  • get around Hokkaido on a winter (and possibly have myself chilled to the maximum level)
  • enjoy Tokyo’s Happiest Place on Earth – aka Tokyo Disneyland/Disneysea
  • experience Shinjuku and have more street food!
  • take a good top-view photo of Shibuya Crossing
  • have a sight and possibly feel Nara’s deers
  • …and much more!

My family and I didn’t actually get to experience Mt. Fuji due to weather constraints so we had to cancel our morning plans; we got to go to a somehow empty Imperial Palace Gardens, instead.

Still can’t explain my thoughts on Tokyo, really, since I feel like I need more time to indulge myself in the city. But! There’s always a reason to go back! In the meantime, go see my photoblog here, yo: https://franceslim.exposure.co/tokyo-2017.

Spread the love,

Frances