Cagayan + Ilocos Norte 2012 || Going from Cagayan to Pagudpud

I seriously loved our stay in Cagayan! I have never felt as energized when I woke up that morning, partly due to the comfortable bed which was a slightly better version of mine. Haha!

We started the day with our complimentary breakfast in the resort’s “western” restaurant. They also have a Chinese restaurant in another part of the resort that we did not get to visit since no one was really in the mood for it. Here’s the only shot with the interior of the restaurant.

Unfortunately, Tin’s breakfast wasn’t free as we only had four complimentary breakfast. She got the same plate for Php 200. The serving left a lot to be desired for the price.

Eyebags! Tan and I stayed up watching movies in our room. Tin and mom did the same in theirs, and dad was left to watch in the living room. Haha!

We checked out of the resort by 12 PM. Next stop: Pagudpud! Mom actually checked the map and saw how Cagayan and Pagudpud seemed nearby. However, she was not able to count on the fact that there weren’t any public vehicles’ routes aside from the one that leaves at 2 AM, that goes directly to Pagudpud from Cagayan.

OFF TOPIC: See that green bag beside me? That’s where all my stuff was. One more thing I loved about our recent trip is that my parents finally deemed my siblings old enough to carry their own stuff. I used to hate travelling with them since Tin and I often end up sharing a bag which was my burden alone.

The villas on the left side are the Ocean Front villas that costs Php 17,000-18,000++.

Goodbye, Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort. I will surely come back for more. We might also go back for Anguib Beach, the “Boracay of the North”. Rumors of pristine white sands have reached us and dad met one resort owner at the casino who offered us free accommodations. We already made reservations though, hence, we were not able to take on the offer.

We took the tricycle back to the market and then rode a van headed to Tuguegarao. Unlike shuttle services in Manila, the van leaves exactly on time, much like the GV Florida bus. The van left by 11 AM, and we were told to get off at Magapit City which is two hours away from Sta. Ana. It was funny how we arrived almost exactly by 1 PM. While we were getting off the van, the bus to Laoag was already starting to leave. We started running to try to catch it, but we were not so lucky. Hence, we started to decide to eat here while waiting.

Thankfully though, we didn’t have to wait long! A bus soon came in around 20 minutes and we were able to get on another three and a half hours bus ride. Mom already made arrangements with our tour guide and tricycle driver extraordinaire, Mang Rene, and he informed us that we have to get off at Baduang where he will pick us up and bring us to where we will be staying for the night. Mang Rene also made the reservations for us at Cathy’s Homestay at the “end” of Saud beach. Honestly, I had a “back to basics” feeling when we got to Cathy’s Homestay. We didn’t have a television here, and we just got back from the fabulous Cagayan and Holiday Leisure Resort. However, we weren’t really going for luxurious accommodation in Pagudpud since we’re only going to sleep in it and leave the morning after. I don’t have photos of the room, but it had three queen-sized beds in it, air-conditioning and a decent shower and toilet. Plus, Ate Cathy is nice and the rooms are clean and decent. You could also ask Ate Cathy to cook your breakfast.

By 5 PM, we still haven’t had any decent lunch so we went out to eat. If you want pricier accommodations during your stay in Pagudpud, a lot of hotels and resorts line Saud beach such as Terra Rika..

Ate Cathy pointed us to the direction of Evangeline’s Beach Resort to eat. She told us that she observed that most guests find it filling and worth the price.

View from our table

Some kind of Bagnet which was so tasty!

Chopseuy

Grilled platter

The serving doesn’t look a lot in photos, but we were not able to finish everything! 🙂 While we were eating, the sun had started to set and the staff distributed this cute lamps in each table.

Saud Beach before sunset..

..and during sunset.

I didn’t get any nice photos during sunset. Kain muna! bago mag-picture! Haha!

..and that’s it for Day 2! Day 3 and 4 is much more jam-packed, so watch out for that. 🙂

 

Cagayan 2012 || Hello, Cagayan! :)

It took me a while to post this since we had more than a thousand photos from our five-day trip, I had to scroll through more than a hundred and twenty pages to back read and me, unfortunately, got sick for two days. I got food poisoning from vegetable rolls (lumpiang toge) we bought from a street vendor. I was nauseous and vomited more than I have ever done in my entire life in the span of two days, accompanied by frequent trips to the toilet. It was exhausting, as even alcohol nor crazy roller coaster rides can’t manage to make me puke.

Anyway, for summer last year, we went to Zambales (Anawangin Cove, Nagsasa Cove and Capones Island). This year, mom wanted to have a Cebu-Bohol trip. Dad chanced upon a Cebu Pacific airlines promo, however, it was for a one-way flight from Laoag to Manila. Haha! Mom researched, made our itinerary, did the necessary reservations and pre-booking. She decided on going to Sta. Ana, Cagayan first before proceeding to Laoag. It’s like going through Luzon, all the way from Cavite. Haha! We were informed that it was a 16-hour bus ride from the GV Florida Bus Terminal (which is located along Lacson Ave., perpendicular to Espana Blvd.) to Cagayan a week before we planned to leave. I prepared myself mentally for the 16-hour bus ride, as I might go crazy! GV Florida Buses has daily trips to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. The first bus leaves by 12:30 PM and the last (and only other trip) leaves at 3 PM. Mom bought tickets for the 3 PM trip during Palm Sunday that coincided with April Fool’s Day.

I’m a notorious sleeper on any kind of transportation. Even C is amazed at the fact that I can sleep in any vehicle. I guess it’s a useful skill since my travel time to and from the university is around two hours. I also went to a high school which is an hour away from home. Sufficient to say, I slept most of the time. The times I did wake up, I find looking outside scary. It was super foggy, and the road had so many curves that I can’t help becoming paranoid that the bus might be driven straight to a cliff. Thankfully, it was not. So kudos to the amazing bus drivers! For some reason, the 16-hour bus ride was reduced to only 14 hours. We arrived at  Sta. Ana by 5 AM. We rode a tricycle, which does not even look like a typical tricycle as it can accommodate a lot of passengers. Unfortunately, though, we were a little cheated with the tricycle fare. We were advised that it only costs Php 15 per person and that the driver will bring us to the gate of the resort. But the driver did not only drop us far from the resort, he also managed to increase his fare. Come on, man.

Look at this cute guard dog, Scooby Doo! He’s a Labrador Retriever and I got to play with him while we were waiting. He’s too adorable. I’ll take you guys on a virtual tour of Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort. It used to be exclusive to Chinese citizens, but now it’s open to the public. You can still see traces of that, though, as most of the guests and resort managers are Chinese and their convenience store is full of Chinese products. We actually had a bit of problem with the reservation, though. Mom made the reservation a month prior to the date of our check-in and she was told by Jernalin (the receptionist) that the villa will cost Php 5000. Hence, mom was confused when she found out she had to pay more for the villa. Oh well. To somehow alleviate my mom from her annoyance, Jernalin gave us casino credits. Mom still thinks the rate is cheap for their facilities and the extremely attentive staff, but she just didn’t like that the price agreed upon was lower during their phone conversation. I love the fact that you could ask to use the golf cart anytime you want. There was a guard stationed near our villa, and all you had to do is ask him to request one for you.

Our home for two days and a night. We stayed in a 2-bedroom villa, complete with a living room, a master bedroom, two bathrooms, and another bedroom with twin beds. I personally love the shower in the common bathroom! My love for a nice shower stems from the fact that the shower in my own bathroom does not work. Haha! But seriously, though, there are showers that makes me want to spend more time taking a bath.. and this shower is one of those! It makes up for the fact that the toilet does not have a bidet present. I was in dire need of the bidet when we were here due to a stroke of bad luck that my cycle decided to start while I was on vacation. Seriously, my body is annoying. Tan and I shared the other bedroom, with two single beds in it. I liked sharing the room with Tan since we watched the same shows on the television and we both loved to turn the air-conditioning to the lowest temperature it could achieve. Haha!

We had our lunch outside because the menu at the resort’s restaurant was too limited and too pricey. It just wasn’t worth it.

After lunch, we decided to hit the swimming pool! It kind of feels Bali inspired, is it not? 🙂

Both of the siblings enjoyed the pool as they were the only people utilizing it.

..and all I got to do is dip my feet in it.

Even the parents went for a swim!

My sister is growing up to become a real pretty teenager. That’s also a dress of mine that she is wearing. This girl has been getting things from my closet!

 

Sun City Spa. Mom and I wanted to avail of foot spa, but they were closed until 2 PM. We planned to go back once it opens, but we forgot to do so. Haha!

Sun City Gym

On our way to the beach! I wanted to take photos with those seats, but a girl was already sitting in it. Haha!

I don’t even remember what I was laughing about. Haha!

My signature pose. Haha!

I just could not capture that sunset. It was beyond mesmerizing when those last rays of the sun hit us while our toes were on the sand.

So there, that’s it for our first day! After dinner, Dad went to the casino to use the credits, and he was lucky! No details on that, though. *wink*