Sunday, March 18, 2012

Amazing Palaui Island

Dos Hermanas islets seen from Cape Engaño 

February 27, 2012
Palaui Island, Santa Ana, Cagayan

I woke up to the snoozing sound of my phone. It was only 4 in the morning and the place where I stayed was very still. Aside from the occasional ticking sound of the electric fan, I could hear nothing but silence. Since I missed the van going straight to Santa Ana, I was left with no other option but to spend my night alone in a humble lodging house in Gonzaga, a town one hour away from Santa Ana.  

I texted kuya Ernie, the kind van driver I met the other day and who helped me find a place to stay in, to fetch me at the lodging house. He arrived in a moment's time and joined me for a morning coffee while waiting for the bus. After about 30 minutes, the bus arrived. After thanking kuya Ernie, I boarded the bus and off I was to Santa Ana, the jump-off point going to Palaui Island.

As the bus was trailing northbound of Cagayan, a thin streak of sunlight was already showing in the horizon. It looked like it was giving me signs of a promising weather ahead that day. I could only keep my fingers crossed, hoping that a clear blue sky with patches of clouds hanging by and a beautiful green scenery would be my souvenir photos from Palaui. 

We arrived in Santa Ana in less than an hour. At the bus terminal, I hailed a trike to drive me to the wharf where motorized outrigger boats going to Palaui Island are docked. After about 15 minutes, I arrived at San Vicente Port.  

Sunrise in Santa Ana, Cagayan

Since it was still too early there were only a few people around there when I arrived. I immediately asked for ways how I could rent a boat going to Palaui. Since I was travelling alone, I tried to haggle for cheaper boat rate. But the boat operators I've talked to refused to give in to my request. :(  

They gave me two options: P1,800 going straight to Cape Engano or P750 going to the island then hike for 3.5 to 4 hours going to Cape Engano. Since I was trying to keep my expenses low, I chose the latter. 

At the tourism center, located at the port, I paid P50 fee to get to Palaui, signed my name at the log book and discussed with the officers there the details about the boat that will take me to and from Palaui Island.

All set and already raring to go, I boarded a big boat that has a seating capacity enough to accomodate about 7-10 people. As the boat was speeding off towards Palaui, I was thinking of the people who I would have wanted to join me in that boat. I thought it would have been a happy crowd. :)

Palaui Island is located in the northeastern tip of Cagayan Province. According to Wikipedia, it was declared as a National Marine Reserve in Au