Cagayan Trip: Palaui Island Highlights

I gave up 3 months of traveling because I suddenly became busy with work and money. I didn’t get to enjoy my summer which was such a rare case for this travel blogger. But I’m not complaining as much; managing how to travel to 4 countries and 8 local destinations within 8 months was such a feat that I had to take a break – even from a vacation.

Palaui Island
Sta. Ana, Cagayan, Cagayan Valley Region
June 10-13, 2011

meadows palaui
Palaui Island
photo by Jerome

But when the opportunity to drop by Manila for 10 days passed by, I knew I had to go somewhere else so I could remember how it felt to be on the road again. Fortunately, I was able to join other Pinoy Travel Bloggers to an excursion in Palaui Island, an island in Sta. Ana, Cagayan province. A rash decision was made and it donned on me that I was setting foot on the northeasternmost part of Luzon.

palaui lighthouse
Lighthouse of Cape Engano

I was initially planning to create a teaser post and just publish different pictures of our Palaui island trip. But it seems I couldn’t restrict my thoughts of sharing some highlights of our adventure in the Cagayan Valley region.

Highlights of the Palaui Island Trip in Cagayan

Travel Time

What with the total travel time almost reaching up to a day already! My buttocks felt so numb after the bus ride but I’ve gone accustomed to these long trips. I’ve already endured a long trip from Manila to Sagada, a 36-hour traverse from Cebu to Siem Reap, and even 12 hours killing time inside a mall. There’s no way the I’d give up on the trip because of the time travel.

photo side mirror
van in Sta. Ana

Manila to Palaui

Total Travel Time: 19.5 hours
Bus from Manila to Tuguegarao: 12 hours
Van from Tuguearao to Sta. Ana: 3 hours
Boat from Sta. Ana to Palaui Island: 0.5 hours
Trek to Cape Engaño: 4 hours

*Eating and stopping in between commutes are not counted.

View of Dos Hermanas Island

The view of the island of Dos Hermanas was such a beauty that I wished that we had more time and funds to spare to visit the place. Still, admiring it from afar was enough for the day.

Dos Hermanas Island
Dos Hermanas Island

Trekking Adventure

Being able to join The Pinay Solo Backpacker and the Lakwatsero on their supposed trip together was already a great opportunity to experience. How come? Their first attempt to find the lighthouse of Cape Engaño took them 9 hours of trekking and they didn’t even reach the famous tower!

Read the full accounts here:
Offbeat Travel: Palaui Island by The Pinay Solo Backpacker
Finding Cape Engaño Lighthouse by Lakwatsero

palaui island
trees on the beach.

Seeing sights along the way that are beyond the usual beach sceneries remind me how much the Philippines has to offer when it comes to destinations that we have readily available.

cows palaui
meadow during our trek in Palaui Island

Cape Engaño Lighthouse

I’ve only been to a couple of lighthouses and I’m still developing the desire to visit each and every tower in the country. I felt the relief from my companions when they finally reached this side of the island.

palaui island lighthouse
the lighthouse, finally!

The Weather Cooperated

Prior to this trip, I didn’t really mind the weather as much. Rain or shine, I knew I would still push through. Only problem was that it’s already the wet season in the Philippines and this island was located between the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It’s also near Batanes island wherein typhoons are aplenty.

We were thankful that we were met by a beautiful weather that I finally had time to soak up the sun and lounge on the beach even for a little while – something I was longing for during summer.

palaui cove
Palaui Island Cove

Travel Blogger Companions

Having a good set of companions really made the situation far better. When you know that all of you have the same passion for traveling (and some even beyond), you don’t have to seek for explanations or request for approval from each other.


with Gael, Angel, Jerome, Darwin – Pinoy Travel Bloggers at the fence in Palaui
photo credit: Jerome

Gael kept on asking if the view was alright. She wanted to make sure that everything was worth it and that our climb wasn’t put to waste. Angel, our responsible leader, was ever-accommodating; apologizing every now and then for not having enough food or drinks during the trek. They had NOTHING to worry about; this was the their trip after all. Witnessing how concerned they were of our welfare was a testament of their kindness.

All of us had day and night jobs, but we still made time and we didn’t have to force each other on this adventure. It just goes to show that words are too trivial especially when one settles to complain – something that neither of us newbies (Jerome, Darwin and I) did.

jump palaui
another one for the yearbook.
photo by Gael

Going to a distant place made me understand how I missed traveling. Only 3 months of being away made me realize that I need to get out of the office cubicle more often.

How to Get to Palaui Island:
Palaui Island Travel Guide by Lakwatsero
Palaui Travel Guide by The Pinay Solo Backpacker
How to Get to Palaui Island by SuperTikoy

Guide/Boat:
Contact Kuya Edwin Tabucol: +63 926 906 4657


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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


{ 48 comments… add one }

  • toffee June 17, 2011, 10:02 am

    sows wa magpahibalo…mao pay nagmika rako dre ana nga weekend lolz.

    Reply
  • Cherrey June 17, 2011, 10:23 am

    uh-oh, another one for my list of places again…

    Reply
  • Micamyx June 17, 2011, 10:49 am

    Three months ka di nakagala? parang unbelievable LOL 0_0 I'm glad that you had fun with this trip. Sana next time kasama na ako hehe =)) Hopefully, makapag-Ilocos and Pangasinan ka rin :) 
     
    Teka, Bakit wala ang mga half-naked pics dito? =))

    Reply
  • tina June 17, 2011, 11:28 am

    wow! Ganda! Sana next time makasama ko din kau mga PTB mg-travel :D

    Reply
  • darwin June 17, 2011, 11:54 am

    nice post Ed. Be posting my article soon.
    I really had fun in this trip kahit nakakapagod!hahaha

    Reply
  • flip June 17, 2011, 12:24 pm

    bakit walang head stand?

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 17, 2011, 12:26 pm

    @toffee: kalit-kalit ra ni. was in Manila for a business trip when this came about.

    @cherrey: another one indeed! I should explore Cebu more!

    @mica: di halata na 3 months noh? hehe. dami kasing backlogs! yeah, inaantay ako ng windmills sa Bangui! wala nang ibang pics. for PTB Bagets’ eyes only yun. lol

    @tina: next time! hope to meet other PTB members too!

    @darwin: sipag magpost kasi antagal nang di nakapagblog! looking forward to your article darwin!

    @flip: may headstand yan, fail yung headstand ko dyan. muntik na kasi akong mahulog (muntik na akisdente na naman! haha) but sa may lighthouse, i have one. hehe

    Reply
  • Supertikoy June 17, 2011, 2:25 pm

    nice one ed! meron ka pa atang mga headstand sa photos ko…nice meeting you guys again! I like the photo with the trees…ganda ng angle! you already!

    Reply
  • dong ho June 17, 2011, 4:46 pm

    this island has its charm and the dos hemanas island as seen from palaui island seems to be isolated. havent seen someone feature it yet while they're there.

    Reply
  • olan June 17, 2011, 5:04 pm

    3 months? nakayanan ng bug itchy feet mo? tsk tsk tsk. :) but nice to see you back ED. :)

    Reply
  • chris June 17, 2011, 6:40 pm

    oo nga bakit walang headstand?dapat may ganun,trademark mo na yun e…

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 17, 2011, 8:08 pm

    @supertikoy: haha. dami ko ring headstand sa album ko. will post them later. hehe.

    @dong ho: I plan on creating a separate entry about Dos hermanas island in the future. I hope to visit the actual island one of these days.

    @olan: haha, 3 months indeed. busy sa trabaho. thanks olan!

    @chris: will post my headstand photos with the lighthouse once i blog about it. this was supposed to be a teaser post but it turned out to be more than that. :D

    Reply
  • Kai June 17, 2011, 9:00 pm

    Ninduta sa lugar ui! :)

    Reply
  • Mike Masangya June 18, 2011, 4:03 am

    Wow! Dos Hermanas Island is really beautiful. Missed your posts, bro. Eager to see more….

    Reply
  • thepinaysolobackpacker June 18, 2011, 4:53 am

    thank you for the company, thank you for the links and thank you for the kind words Ed! =) sorry ha, had to ask you from time to time if ok sau, just wanna make sure worth it ang re-booking. Sayang, if you're still in Manila now isasama pa din kita sa Bangui, oh well, till our next trip…I'll see you in Davao or Cebu maybe! =)

    Reply
  • chyng June 18, 2011, 5:09 am

    alam mo Ed, I was expecting to meet you last Friday, ayun pala same night yun ng lakad nyo. sayang..
    TSE pa din kay gael. pinagpalit nya kami for this trip. hehe

    Reply
  • thepinaysolobackpacker June 18, 2011, 5:09 am

    P.S. wala bang mejo malayo na pix? yung d ako maxado kita. alam mu na conservative online. haha 

    Reply
  • thepinaysolobackpacker June 18, 2011, 5:13 am

    hahaha Chyng,  believe me, our heart was broken when the plan to meet up changed to 8pm, ayt Ed? =(  We all wanted to meet you esp Ed, gusto nya ma-meet si Nene at ang mga bagets. ;) Naka-pantalong pa nga yan at nag-dress din ako for the videoke, kaso yun ang trapik tlga. Bawe kame next time dear. 

    Reply
  • pinaytraveljunkie June 18, 2011, 8:41 am

    Awesome you were able to make the most of your Manila trip, though you actually went out of town. Sayang we weren't able to see you nung Friday :( Hinahanap ka na ni Luna!

    Reply
  • Happy Sole June 18, 2011, 12:38 pm

    ayayay! another one to add to my LIST!! hihihihi di na nababawasan listahan ko kasi nadadagdagan palagi.. tsk tsk
    thanks for the info!

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 18, 2011, 1:45 pm

    @kai: teaser pa lang na. hehe

    @mike: thanks! wanted to visit the place if I had time! will post more photos soon!

    @thepinaysolobackpacker: lam mo gael, kahit di naman ganun kaganda, masaya na rin ako kasi nakapagbonding with fellow PTB outside the city. saya nga nun kasi exercise. hehe. wow, kahit alam kong sayo lang talaga yung trip sa Bangui, appreciate ko pa rin na isasama mo ako kahit odd number na. oops. hehe. Hope to see you soon din gael! about the pic, yeah, papalitan ko yan, tatanungin ko si jerome kasi maraming set sa kanya na group shots sa fence. hehe. 

    @chyng: hi chyng, I was also expecting to meet you din. at least may artista na akong nameet– oops. joke. waaa gael, mag-usap kayo. lol. seryoso chyng, sayang talaga yung panahon. pero di bali, mami-meet pa rin kita soon! :D

    @pinaytraveljunkie: ey gay! yeah, needed to get out of the city for awhile since I didn't enjoy summer as much. miss ko na si baby Luna! yaan mo, papadala ko na lang yung message ko sa kanya! papascan ko :D

    @happysole: another one indeed! dami ko nang backlogs! hehehe. no prob! :D

    Reply
  • lakwatsera de primera June 18, 2011, 11:45 pm

    Astig ang last hurrah of summer getaway nyo, I'm sure kahit di ka nakapagtravel for 3 months, madami ka pa ring backlogs to write about. :)

    Reply
  • leah June 19, 2011, 4:28 pm

    kanindot ba diri oi Edcel! 

    Reply
  • JeffZ June 20, 2011, 5:21 am

    almost a day na travel?? whoah.. siguro I'll still wait for the time na I'm very encouraged to travel for that long.. hehe Hats off to all of you!..  :)

    Reply
  • Pandeliciois June 20, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Weeeeeeeeeeeee. What a fun adventure with the supah-star bloggers!!! :D
    So much fun it made me jealous hehehe. :P I want to go back to Palaui as well and maybe just maybe we could charter a boat all the way to Batanes! :D

    Reply
  • Angel June 20, 2011, 4:54 pm

    Woah! Thanks for the kind words Ed! Ulitin ko lang yung sinabi ko before, this trip means a lot to me and Gael, and the three of you were the perfect people to be with! Thanks for adding spice on this trip. Hope to travel with you guys again someday soon :))

    Reply
  • Angel June 20, 2011, 5:06 pm

    astig nung trees on beach photo!

    Reply
  • AJ June 21, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Wow, the photos are spectacular!

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 21, 2011, 6:48 pm

    @lakwatsera de primera: haha, indeed! another one to the set of backlogs! :D

    @leah: adto nya leah! hehe.

    @jeffz: thanks, I never knew I'd get used to these types of travels but I've grown to love them despite the butt-numbing hours. You just have to find a way to busy yourself. I prefer talking.

    @pandelicious: yeah, so many superstar bloggers there! :D Let's pray for a beautiful weather if that happens!

    @angel: haha, thanks good luck to our photos splattered all over FB. hehe thanks!

    @AJ: the place is even more awesome, AJ. You should check it out!

    Reply
  • Steve June 21, 2011, 6:55 pm

    Wow, the view of Dos Hermanas island really is beautiful.  Reminds me of some islands I saw off Vietnam.  I think your experience here just shows that when you have the chance to do some traveling, take it.  Time away from the cubicle is well spent.

    Reply
  • The Nomadic Pinoy June 22, 2011, 2:32 am

    Looks like an epic trip. Murag isa na ni sa pinaka-remote nga area sa Luzon, right?  Don't worry about missing travel for a few months – this helps build up anticipation and at the same time earning more mullah!

    Reply
  • Pinoy Adventurista June 22, 2011, 4:46 am

    I like the group photo… cool!

    Reply
  • Cedric June 22, 2011, 5:45 am

    The place looks fantastic. Well worth it nga yung ass-busting ride. Haha. Inggit. :)

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 22, 2011, 2:06 pm

    @steve: you should see it yourself, steve. Really amazing! I also want to go to Vietnam to check those sights. I'll definitely make the most out of every chance I get to travel. :D

    @thenomadicpinoy: yeah, didn't realize that we were at the tip of the map until I Googled it. hope I can retain my travels though :D

    @pinoy adventurista: hope to meet you and other ptb members soon, mervin!

    @cedric: worth it sya. dapat lang kasi matagal rin ang 12 hours sa bus! haha

    Reply
  • Tripper10 June 23, 2011, 1:38 am

    Ganda ng mga shots…:)
    9 hrs nagtrek sina Ms.Gail pero di sila naka abot sa tunnel? bakit po?

    Reply
  • Miranda June 24, 2011, 6:44 am

    I'm so jealous of your trip Ed. The pictures and the view are incredible. What a great looking light house too.

    Reply
  • jam June 25, 2011, 4:15 am


    I'm from Cagayan and been reading your blogs. I am just soo happy that you featured Palaui Islands! Explored the place last April 2011 with relatives! :)

    Reply
  • chris June 25, 2011, 7:41 pm

    sayang naman nasa dulo na kayo ng luzon di pa kayo nagpunta ng batanes.mukhang maganda naman ang place,i first read about that island sa travelife magazine

    Reply
  • phingtravels June 27, 2011, 8:36 am

    Nice post & great pictures especially the last one :-) 

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 27, 2011, 5:44 pm

    @tipper10: they didn't reach the lighthouse after 9 hours because they didn't hire a guide. :D this was their 2nd trip and we had a guide already.

    @miranda: incredible view, you should drop by the Philippines, Miranda!

    @jam: thanks for dropping by! I hope to blog about Cagayan soon. :D

    @chris: kasi wala na kaming budget papuntang Batanes. didn't realize na nasa dulo na pala kami ng mapa until I was there!

    @phingtravels: thanks! :)

    Reply
  • Tripper10 June 30, 2011, 2:44 am

    Importante po pala talaga ang guide… 
    Sakit po sa paa non.. 9 na oras.. hehehe… :)
    Thanks po ulit… 

    Reply
  • soloflightEd June 30, 2011, 3:26 pm

    @Tripper10: Yeah, especially when you're in a new territory. Really amazed by the quest for adventure of Angel and Gael. They didn't even reach the lighthouse with that 9 hours! No problem, thanks! :D

    Reply
  • ian | going places July 6, 2011, 5:41 am

    Palaui Island Cove looks wonderful… its seems hidden and far from the town proper.

    'Liked the last shot of you… so adventurous and playful =)

    Reply
  • soloflightEd July 8, 2011, 6:05 pm

    @ian:  it's definitely hidden! you should check it out, it's very near Batanes island already! :D thanks, had to post the last shot. :D

    Reply
  • Mike March 12, 2012, 1:15 am

    i hate the fact that your website is called soloflighted when 98% of your travel time are together with either travel buddies/ friends/"cameraman". there's a sense of poniness in there. go real solo backpacking. otherwise, just stop misrepresenting your blog as solo traveling. 

    Reply
  • soloflightEd March 19, 2012, 4:11 am

    @Mike: I appreciate the effort of you 'hating' the website and calculating the percentage of how I travel. I didn't/don't intend to mislead you (or anybody) but I NEVER said that I represent myself as a solo traveller. soloflightEd is more of our journey in life as an individual.

    If you've been to the About page, and if you've read my blog before, you'll understand better what I mean by soloflightEd. Here are some references if you have more time to read: http://soloflighted.com/i-call-myself-a-travel-blogger-but/ and http://soloflighted.com/about/

    Thanks again for dropping by this site and leaving a comment.

    Reply
  • Jules Domingo April 4, 2012, 2:00 am

    Hi Ed!..you did a great job on your shots!..its really amazing!..I wish I could also join on your trips one day…I'm also an aspiring blogger (I wish! :D)…please see my page http://www.julesprettywild.wordpress.com..(nothing much interesting yet since it's just a new blog page and I don't have much time for it yet)…I wish I could be a part of pinoy bloggers too..:)..God Bless us all!…again, kudos for a job well done!..these are all so inspiring!

    Reply
    • soloflightEd April 6, 2012, 8:49 am

      @Jules Domingo: Hey Jules! I appreciate the feedback! Thanks for the kind words. It’s alright, that’s where we all start. Just keep blogging and then continue writing about your passion. If you can check my first posts… walang kwenta. haha. but really, it will evolve in time. Keep it up! :D

      Reply

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