I just checked in for a trip to Cebu when a facebook friend posted about their trip to Palaui island in Cagayan. Honestly, I wasn't so keen about going to Palaui, but was quite interested with proceeding to Calayan Island in Babuyan. I was telling my travel bud for this trip about Calayan, and gladly he agreed on doing Calayan instead.
At the time of the trip, I've called the contacts I found online for Calayan island and were telling me that the weather doesn't permit sailing at the time; Thereby, we headed to Palaui.
We arrived in Tuguegarao Airport at about lunchtime.
From there, we had lunch in one of the favored panciterias in the town. From there, we took the van to Sta Ana.
After about 4 hours, we arrived in Sta Ana at around 7pm. There was no choice but to sleep in town, and wait til morning to sail to Palaui island.
Next day, It was almost noontime when we left the port, and sail to palaui. Indeed, the waves weren't that easy. In the island, we were hosted by Apolonio Dumlao, who also do guiding service in the island when not fishing.
While I was in the thinking that it will just be beach bumming, we were told we can take a 2 hour trek to a lighthouse, called Cape Engano.
At the cape, it felt like being in Batanes; the view was so similar... rolling hills, cliffs, striking waves, and domestic animals that feed on the grass.
It was already dark when we got back.. just enough time to get back to the community before regretting we did not bring any headlamp.
The following morning, we headed to the falls; It was an easy 20 minute trail. The water was quite weak though, so we did not really spend much time.
A quick rest after, we decided to move it to Anguib beach. It took us almost an hour to juggle between the powerful current. It was also low tide at the time so we did not make it all the way to the said beach. Our boatman docked at the same area where Survivor did their shoot, and intended to walk us through to the beach.
The view was far better than anguib though (since I've visited the beach already four years ago), so instead of taking the almost kilometer walk to just the stretch of sand, we instead thought of burning the time in the site.
How to go to Palaui Island:
Make your way to Tuguegarao/Sta Ana, Cagayan. In case you're getting off in Tuguegarao, in the city, take the van to Sta Ana. In our case, we flew from Manila to Tuguegarao. From the airport, it's P10/head in the tricycle to be dropped in the van terminal. For the van to Sta Ana, fare is P180 and will drop all the way to San Vicente, in Sta Ana.
In case you're arriving in Sta Ana late, you may check in at Costales Lodge in San Vicente. For people with tighter budget, some locals I spoke to said there is this bunkhouse in the port, supposedly for passengers of the boat for Maconacon, Isabela, where you can ask to be accomodated (they may charge P50 as they said).
The tourism in Palaui and Sta Ana, generally, is controlled by tourism. Upon arrival at the visitor's center, P50/pax is to be paid. Then, another P50 upon arrival in Palaui. Treks to Cape are mandated to be guided for a fee of P300/guide for up to 4pax per guide.
For overnighters, another P250 per head will be charged, inclusive of dorm accomodation.
As per boatman, in Anguib, there is a P20 entrance beach, while there is another that charge P100.
In costales lodge is a water station where you can deposit P200 to borrow a water dispenser. In front is also a talipapa where you can wet goods. Dry goods may be bought in the grocery store of the Costales'.
For Boat Service, you may contact Sir Nanding at (0935) 996 6744. Upon reaching Palaui, you may request for sir Apolonio Dumlao. Highly recommended for his courtesy, and his attention to his guests.