TRAVEL: CAGAYAN CHRONICLES – CLAVERIA

After our awesome two-day spelunking and river adventure in Peñablanca, we travelled back to Tuguegarao to head to our next stop. We got lost looking for the van terminal and had to do a bit of waiting under the scorching heat of the sun before we finally boarded the van that would take us to the coastal town of Claveria.

We left Tuguegarao around 3pm – the perfect time for a Cagayan roadtrip I must say. I’ve always thought that sunsets are best viewed by the beach. Who would’ve thought that the colors the setting sun casts over vast rice fields is just as dramatic –  maybe even more? My nose was just stuck to the window, my eyes just drinking in the pinks, oranges, and reds of dusk throughout the duration of the entire trip. I mean, look at that:

A video posted by Lovel Aniag (@lovelaniag) on Apr 20, 2016 at 6:49am PDT

 

Claveria wasn’t originally part of the itinerary. But after finding out that a relative of my sister’s mother-in-law lives there (hi, Aunty Delia!) and is offering to host us for a night, we decided to pass by it before heading to Calayan.

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The Agonoy family: Julianna, Auntie Delia, Uncle Jess and Kuya Jed.

We arrived at our destination around 7pm. We couldn’t see anything outside of the van, and there was not a single soul in sight. Fortunately, in small towns like Claveria, everyone knows everyone else and our van driver knew the family we were staying in. My friend and I were the last passengers aboard and the driver kindly dropped us off right in front of the house. Thank you, kuya driver! 

After sharing a delicious meal with our foster family and playing with their adorable grand daughter Julianna, my friend and I decided to call it a night. We wanted to get up early to catch the first boat out to Calayan.

Riding Uncle Jess’ tricycle, we set off for Fish Landing early the following day. Seeing the town in broad daylight, we were captivated to say the least. The wide cemented road were lined with tiny houses with front yards filled with blooms and shrubberies.

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The last lampitaw or outrigger boat bound for Calayan in Fish Landing.

 

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View of the Cordilleras

We missed the lampitaw leaving for Calayan at the Fish Landing. Fortunately for us, there was another passenger boat leaving for Calayan from another port. We rushed to the Bllue Lagoon, a beautiful beach where the mystic rock formations of Apo Lakay-Lakay and Apo Baket-Baket stand proudly.

The rocks are considered sacred. In local folklore, the rock formations were husband and wife who got wealthy from fishing. However, their wealth made them greedy. One day, an old beggar asked the couple for food to eat, but they sent him away empty handed. The old beggar turned out to be the sea god, and cursed the couple by taking their son.

The husband and wife searched and searched for their son, only to see his stone remnants across the sea. The husband and wife blamed each other for what has happened until they themselves were turned into stones.  The child’s rock formation now known as Ubing-ubing is found in Sentinela Beach across Claveria.

To make up for their mistakes, Apo Lakay-lakay and Apo Baket-baket now stand as guards of the fishing village against storms. Fishermen who need to pass by the mountains have to offer sacrifices, otherwise their boats will capsize or get crushed by the waves.

While the mountains are open for hikers, Auntie Delia told us to be careful and be respectful of the sacred grounds. She told us stories of tourists who failed to do so: some where poisoned, while others even ended up dead.

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Mts. Lakay-Lakay (Old Man) and Baket-Baket (Old Woman) as seen from the boulevard going to the Blue Lagoon.

In between going from port to port, we were able to see the town proper – thanks to Uncle Jess for allowing us to hitch a ride on his tricycle. Claveria is a quiet town along the pristine blue waters of the Babuyan Channel. We spent less than 24 hours in this place, but its beautiful scenery deserves a post of its own.

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The Blue Lagoon.
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Apo Lakay-lakat and Apo Baket-baket
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lampitaw heading for Calayan.
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A fisherman jumps off our boat to take out the anchor.

I plan to go back in December and spend at least three days here. Care to join?

Ingat and see you on the road!

Up next: Calayan, the Babuyan Islands.

Know a place I should discover? Or want to travel together? Email me at emaileatpraylovel@gmail.com

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