My plan to wake up at 6 AM was postponed to two hours later. It was already 8 AM when I hurriedly checked out and saw the town in action. I bought five pieces of ensaymada (round bread with margarine, sugar, and sometimes, cheese) and two bottles of mineral water to bring with me to the trip. Since I had no transportation of my own, I had to settle for a tricycle to bring me to Anguib Beach. At first, I thought it was only accessible by boat, which would cost you upwards of 1,000 pesos. No, I am not in the mood to swim today. Anyway, I was able to haggle with the tricycle driver and we settled for 500 pesos round trip from the original 600 pesos being asked. All set!
The road to the beach was rough and we had to go through some hills and a lot of mud to get there. Halfway through the journey, the path forks and you have the option of proceeding to Anguib Beach or to two other beaches to the east. Of course you would choose Anguib Beach to see if the Boracay of the North tag is justified. I did too, although I had no idea how Boracay looks like since I have never been there. This trip took around 40 minutes and the undying hope that we would get to our destination in one piece.
The beach is without a doubt, fantastic. White sand and pristine waters! I imagined it to be Boracay before it became like Baclaran. Well, I just heard that Boracay is really crowded nowadays, thus the comparison. Anguib is paradise. The water glistened under the sun and the melody of the waves was just therapeutic. To think, just the day before the area was under the tsunami alert brought about by the one that hit Japan. It was only that morning when the alert was lifted, hence there were only a few people there, most of whom were locals.
I just waded through the water and decided against swimming, although the beach was really inviting. The tsunami might come back for me, so I just sat by one of the huts lining the shore and tried to process the wonderful vision I was having. The said huts can be used for free, although I was not able to ask if there is a fee if you stay there overnight. There are no accommodations in the area. You would have to go back to the city center to find a hostel. There are several huts in there selling souvenirs, snacks, and I even saw one with a Videoke machine. Later, a boat arrived with people carrying pails of shells, from which the souvenirs sold are mostly made.
After an hour and a half, I decided to return to the city center to catch the van going back to Tuguegarao. If I planned my itinerary better I would have had ample time to visit the other popular destination in the area: Palaui Island, although I would not have afforded another thousand pesos or more for transportation costs. You could use Palaui as a jump-off point for the Babuyan Group of Islands, another popular destination for whale and dolphin watching.
The next morning I made the mistake of taking a tricycle straight to the airport from Casa Ludivina. Of course, they are going to charge you with a special fee. Instead, you could just tell the driver to drop you off at that church at Pengue Ryu or that Pampanga bakery (or was it an eatery?) where you would end up in if you take the street leading out of the airport and go straight. There were no delays and I got back to Manila in one piece in a flight which I booked online for just 80 pesos. Got to love them airline promos!
SANTA ANA: 03 – Boracay of the North