I wanted to post all my backpacking travels in this blog in chronological order, starting with my first-ever backpacking trip around Negros back in 2014. But I have just gotten back from Cagayan and my excitement from the trip is still overflowing, I have to purge it out of my system and into this blog first. (And anyway, I have to review my Negros trip – I really have bad memory).

P1040657.JPGMy first ever backpacking trip in Negros taken in Mambukal Mountain Resort.


I’ve just recently resigned from my previous job and had a full month off before starting with my new employer. I was deadset on going on a trip but wasn’t sure where to go. My last two trips were up north so I thought maybe I should go South this time. My options were to go Roxas or Bicol.

But for some reason, while I was doing my research, I ended up reading about Palaui. I read from several posts online that the entire island was used as a location for Survivor – I immediately added it to my list of options.

As I continue with my research (and weighing my options), I came across Calayan Island in the Babuyan Group of Islands.

Let me tell you something about myself:  I hate crowds. Ever since I’ve gotten into backpacking, I always prefer going “off the beaten track.” The less information about it online, the better! The longer the bus ride to get there – even better! Seeing that there were less than five articles about Calayan Island and that it’s 5-7 hours away from the edge of Luzon sealed the deal for me. I’m going up north! Again.

Since I was passing through Cagayan to get to Calayan and Palaui anyway, I decided to include Tuguegarao in my itinerary as well. I have 11 full days after all.


I had no expectations about the place, nor did I know anything about it except for the famous Callao Cave. I mean, what else do you expect to see in a valley aside from vast fields of rice? Apparently, a lot (as you will see on my posts soon).

Also part of my itinerary is Sta. Ana, a coastal municipality in Cagayan that serves as  a gateway to Palaui Island. Like Tuguegarao, I had no idea what to do here. But surprisingly, it is the most immersive leg of the entire trip. #LoveLocal #LiveLocal

There are also a couple of other municipalities that were not part of my itinerary but ended up being highlights of the trip. Cagayan offers so much to discover to travelers that it comes as a surprise for me that I didn’t see any tourists around – which was both a good and bad thing. Good because I hate crowded places and bad because that place is just one good spot after another – it’s truly worth the pilgrimage! Most of the time, it was only me and my companion enjoying the isolated beaches or hiking through densely forested mountain trails.

So if you come across this article because you are considering Cagayan as your next travel destination, I hope my posts convinces you to do so. 🙂

For the mean time, check out this video:

Ingat and see you on the road!


Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at











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