darkness, little natural light, and spotlight effect inside Callao Cave
Due to our 9-day company shutdown, I made a spontaneous decision to organize a 3days-2nights trip to Palaui. Together with 5 of my kaladkarin travel buddies, we booked a flight to Tuguegarao for this year-end getaway. Thanks to Cebu Pacific's last minute P188 promo, we got Manila-Tuguegarao roundtrip tickets for only P1,175.
Actually it was really my travel buddy Sol who created our Callao Cave-Palaui itinerary. She knows better, she's born and raised in Cagayan.
Since we're 6 in the group, we decided to hire a van for 2 days. This made our trip very convenient. Okay, so from Tuguegarao airport, we took the van and proceeded to an old restaurant that serves Pancit Batil-Patong, the famous local delicacy in Tuguegarao. batil = mixing ; patung = piled on top
distinct ingredient of Pancit Batil-Patung is the Carabao Beef
Maybe because of the Cara Beef, this tastes different compared to our pancit here. What's more memorable are the Cara Beef Tapa and the Carabao Chicharon! Ang sarap. How I wish I bought a lot of these as pasalubong for my family.
Moving on, we went back to the van and started the 45-minute travel to Callao Cave. The weather was not really fair that day. Nevertheless, it wont be a big factor as we're only going to explore a cave. We arrived in the location and paid the minimal entrance fee. Two kids were assigned to us which will serve as our tour guides.
welcome to Callao Cave
Beside this area is a body of water, they say it is a part of Cagayan river.
a part of Cagayan river
The guides lead us to this 180-step staircase. And before we burn calories, one of the guides volunteered to take our group shot.
Meet my travel buddies: all of them are solo joiners. We just introduced ourselves to each other on the day we arrived in Tuguegarao. =)
Carla, Sol, Ivy, Doni, our guide, me, and Peng
thank you for joining!
thank you for joining!
After the not-so-challenging 180-step climb, we had a glimpse of Callao Cave. It is made up of seven chambers and formations: the Column, Chapel, Skeleton, Elephant’s Head, Praying Angel, Rocket, Lion’s Head and Dog’s Head Formations.
first glimpse of Callao Cave
Exploring different chambers inside this cave could have been easier only if the flooring is dry. Due to rain showers, we ended up walking in a slippery and muddy cave. At first it was all fun, specially after seeing the Chapel.
dramatic effect of the light made this Chapel more spectacular
according to the guides, some weddings were already held here
To be fair, it was the guides who taught us where to take nice shots.
seek the light - by Doni
We proceeded to the next chamber. The way became more slippery and steep. And because most of the time our slippers got stuck in the thick mud - we ended up walking barefooted.
Carla's feet in the thick mud
Reaching this next chamber is still fun. It was really nice to see the rock formations despite not having enough source of light.
one of the chambers in Callao Cave
What's a visit without having a photo op?
thank you Carla for this stolen silhouette shot. i like it!
It got harder as we reached the next chambers. The floor became even more slippery. As for the young guides, well what can we expect - they were just kids and they cant even manage to assist us. They dont even have a flashlight to start with. We struggled by using our cellphones to light the path.
getting out of the cave was another story
Callao Cave is really a spectacular tourist spot but it is best visited in the morning, or as long as there's enough sunlight. Tourism authorities should train their guides (kids or young adults) about the safety of each guest. For sure everyone will agree to pay a little more to have a guide that's well skilled, informed, and ready as well.
Thank goodness all of us got out of the cave unbruised and unharmed.
Originally, we plan to travel to Sta.Ana right after we visited Callao Cave. But Sol advised us it could not be safe to travel anymore. Safety comes first. We all agreed to spend the night in Tuguegarao City instead.
lamp post in Tuguegarao
For the accommodation, Sol recommended Hotel Roma. Room rate is affordable, we got a super spacious a/c room with 8 single beds and it only costs P4,000. This room has 2 shower rooms, tv, fridge, dining area, and veranda. Nice.
Hotel Roma's lobby
big and spacious room Hotel Roma
We ended the night by exchanging crazy stories to each other. Like "Anong mga kalokohan ang ginawa mo nung bata ka pa?" Example - drugs, shoplifting, etc. LOL
That way, we became more at ease with each other. ^_^
how about you, anong kalokohan ang sinubukan mo nung bata ka pa?
next post: 5-hour barefoot trek in Palaui
○ Thank you Carla and Peng for providing these awesome pictures. Sorry kasi ang tamad ko na magpicture. ^_^