“In my life I’ve learned that true happiness comes from giving. Helping others along the way makes you evaluate who you are. I think that love is what we’re all searching for. I haven’t come across anyone who didn’t become a better person through love.”
One of the most memorable experience I had when I went to Calayan Island aside from the amazing beaches was to be on topmost of the Nagudungan Hill. Surely, the memory was priceless and the view is incomparable. I am not a climber nor have joined mountaineering but I definitely know that feeling when you are at the summit. The serenity, calmness and tranquility was worth it after hours and hours of travel.
How to get to Calayan Island
From Manila, you will need to ride a bus via Junction Luna going to Claveria, Cagayan. The fare is php850 and make sure to reserve you seats because there are a lot of passengers going to the north. Travel time is roughly between 12-13 hours, so prepare yourself and make sure you don’t get bored. There are two stop overs, one in Tarlac (TPLEX) and in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. No need to worry because the bus is secured with a comfort room and their seats are comfortable enough designed for a long travel.
Once you arrived in Claveria, Cagayan town proper, you will need to take a tricycle going to Fish Landing Port for php20 per head. You next trip will be a 5-6 hours boat ride from Claveria to Calayan. A ferry boat will bring you to the island via the South China Sea (Philippine Sea) about 83.9 KM Northeast with a fare of php500. The best months to go to the island is from April to first week of June.
Where to Stay in Calayan Island
The island does not have any hotels or beach resorts. Most are Homestay business wherein it a form of hospitality and lodging whereby visitors stay in a house or apartment of a local. The prices vary depending on what type of services the homestay offers. I personally recommend Pagdagusan Homestay because aside from accommodation, part of their service is to provide complete meal to their guest. Take note, it’s not the typical everyday meal. For more information, you can visit their facebook page.
How to get to Nagudungan Hills, Calayan
A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. It often has a distinct summit, although in areas with scarp/dip topography a hill may refer to a particular section of flat terrain without a massive summit and is universally considered to be less tall and less steep than a mountain. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill
From Centro I where Pagdagusan Homestay is located, you will need to ride a tricycle going to a wood bridge in Brgy. Dadao about 4KMs then trek towards Caniwara and Sibang Coves for another 4KMs within 30-45 minutes. Trekking towards the site is not difficult because the road is not dilapidated and you get to experience clear air and all you can hear is the sound of nature.
Once you read the end of the road, you will need to pass by Caniwara Cove then trek uphill towards the summit of the hill. The hill is not that difficult to climb because it is only 2, 922 meters above sea level. It won’t be much of a challenge for non- experience climbers as well. When you reach the summit, there is a light house but not functioning anymore which serves as a center point of the area.
When you are at the peak of the hill, you get to see top view of Caniwara Cove, Sibang Cove and the rock formations of Dadao. Its breathtaking scenery will surely captivate your heart and will be thankful of the gift of nature.
It is also the best avenue to reflect and relax your mind from all the negativities you have been through in your life. You can also shout your heart out from the pains you encountered and let the hills be your listener. The hill is also a nice venue for pre-nuptial shoots because of its amazing rock formations which will serve as you’re true to life back draft.