Petra | Jordan. A rose-red city half as old as time
San Vicente | Palawan. Counting solitary strides.
Taj Mahal | India. A teardrop on the cheek of time
Catanduanes Island. Postcard-pretty slideshow.
Keep Kalm (at Kalanggaman Island | Leyte).
Nikko | Japan. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil in this UNESCO heritage town.
Counting temples in Bagan | Myanmar.
Chasing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.
Where to Stay? | Luxury, Backpacking & Glamping
Inaul Festival | Maguindanao. In homage of a weaving tradition
Rishikesh | India. a morning walk inside the Beatle's Ashram
Cairo | Egypt. a surreal moment at the great pyramids of giza

If These Waves Rocking our Boat Could Chill for a While | Anguib Beach, Cagayan

 

Prayers often trumps all. Indeed, ours was answered after a day of failed incursion to Callao Cave due to heavy rains. A glimpse of the blue skies appeared. This means our sea voyage to Anguib beach and Palaui Island is greenlighted and thumbs upped by the Coast Guard. Yet, what they say about "Be careful what you wish for", since unbeknownst to us that time, the weather still has a trick up its sleeve to surprise us.


Klara Iska Anonuevo, Kara Santos
Still unaware of what's waiting for us

The water was calm when we boarded our small wooden boats by groups of six excluding our boatman. We sat two persons per row in a cramped space wide enough to tuck our knees together. "It's just a short ride", our boatman assured us in Tagalog before a gust of wind blew in our direction from the ocean.


Out there, the waves are wild

True enough, five minutes and we're already in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean. Marveled by the long shoreline of Sta. Ana, I already saw our destination. This is going to be a brief ride, I guaranteed myself.


Lakbay Norte
Finally, land!

Then the waves started kicking the bottom of our boat, kicking it higher in the air before dropping it violently back on the water. At first, we were wiggling our butts on our seats like little pranksters riding a roller coaster in Enchanted Kingdom, yelling "whooooo" at every battering of the growing waves.


Sara Abdollahi


Our #LakbayNorte group was composed of more than 35 people and including our hosts from the tourism office of Cagayan, we went out to the sea aboard 6-8 boats. Like a miniscule armada of a wartime Navy invasion fleet, the other boats lined my sight as we sailed further to the open seas.


However, as the waves became even bigger, I started to worry once I stopped seeing the other boats each time we would go down with the wave as another one - probably, as tall as a two-story house - would block our line of sight. It occurred to me that this is shaping up as my wildest sea voyage, more tempestuous than the waves I encountered on my first trip to Calayan Island a few years back.


Soon, our ecstatic faces morphed into a state of worried look. I started reminiscing about fond memories while reciting a short prayer in between. "Please God, make the waves chill for a bit". I muttered to myself and hopefully, to a listening heaven.


Marky Ramone Go


The battering continued throughout the duration of our almost an hour sea voyage wavering little by little, until the bucolic terrain of Anguib’s mangrove forest and jagged hills appeared from afar. As we slice the violent ocean further, I started catching a glimpse of the cream-colored sands of Anguib Beach as well.


Heaving a sigh of relief, the dead silence present in our boat throughout the sea journey was replaced by cheers and admissions of bracing for the worst of fate; such as a capsized boat. Fortunately, our boatman has seen many days like it before and he knew just how to steer our boat to contradict the forceful pounding of the mighty Pacific Ocean swell.


A Feast to Calm our Nerves


Our reward for going through such a scare on the high seas? Well, a feast of the freshest catch and some meat and vegetable dishes that proved to be one of the best beach-side meals I’ve ever had.


Tina Punzal and Karla Ramos

As we enjoy our giant lobsters and shrimps with non-stop chewing, one of our hosts from the tourism office of Cagayan warned us not to eat a lot as “We’re going to encounter another set of huge waves en route to Palaui Island”, she told us in Tagalog. “You might just give it back to the ocean”.


Moha Barakat

Much like war veterans who has seen it all in the battlefield, nobody heeded her warning as we went on chowing down the sumptuous food served on the table. What’s there to be scared anyway? Them Pacific Ocean waves got nothing on us, was like the collective belief of our #LakbayNorte group.


After a smooth cruise that took us knifing through the mangrove forest near Anguib Beach, we reached another strip of white beach with a long wooden jetty and boarded anew to another set of fishing boats — this time, larger ones. Having conquered fear, I felt more prepared this time and eagerly anticipated another face-off with the battering waves going to Palaui Island.