Let’s literally go beyond what North Luzon is mostly known for. Go past the borders of Ilocos Norte and step into the neighboring town of Claveria in Cagayan. I was awed by the raw beauty of Claveria even under gloomy skies on my first visit that I immediately planned a return trip soon after I got back to Manila. I was able to spend a few days here with my friends and found it as a destination in itself. Here you can find a dedicated video, the itinerary and travel budget chart for claveria and a side-trip to Tuguegarao.
Spending the morning at Taggat Lagoon we decided to spend the afternoon on the eastern side of Claveria where the legendary rock of Ubing-ubing can be found at Sentinela Beach. We took the services of Mang Pedro again after lunch and his tricycle zoomed through the hilly road taking around 15 minutes before we left the paved road to head to the beach. We reached Sentinela Beach and was pleased by its rugged beauty.
The good thing about taking time on a destination is that you have the leeway to go back to certain places again within the trip. While we enjoyed the afternoon catching the Parambolan and the boatmen settling down at Taggat Lagoon, we were wondering what it is like in the morning when the fishing boats are sent out to sea and brought back to shore with their fresh catches. Nope we didn’t wake up before the sunrise to shoot landscapes but to see the people go around doing their daily chores.
The afternoon spent chasing waterfalls has gone. After seeing Portabaga, Macatel and Mabnang Falls it’s time to head back to Claveria. We know the town shuts down early so we had to get back to catch the eateries in the evening. It was a timely arrival in front of our inn as the sun was about to set over the distinct landmark of Lakay-lakay, a legendary group of rock formations at Taggat Lagoon clearly seen from the beach of Claveria. Among the delighted crowd playing along the waves of Claveria Beach, I remember the tale Mang Bong told us about Apo Lakay-lakay during our Parambolan feast.
We were a lot more positive that the last falls to visit would be also a good one after seeing Macatel Falls. Mang Pedro had to do another round of queries with some locals on the road to find Mabnang Falls. Some locals didn’t even know there was a falls nearby but Mang Pedro was able to get the right information and we got off the main road again into a wide open unpaved road lined with trees and a bunch of kids playing.
A bit disappointed with Portabaga Falls our tricycle made our way back to the direction of the town centro hoping that the other two falls would be better. Mang Pedro made a few occasional stop to ask or greet some people on their native Ilocano language. Just a few minutes of drive from Portabaga Falls we left the main road and entered a dirt road along the rice fields. The drive seemed longer on the rocky road but it was only 15minutes from the highway. We have now reached Macatel Falls.
Our second day in Claveria is all about chasing waterfalls. Taking it easy in the morning we started our exploration almost mid-day after having lunch. We initially scooped around first for information about the three falls we intend to visit from the local. There isn’t much literature about the falls yet so we had to get an idea on their distances and locations. We got to meet Mang Pedro, a 60+ driver with his bright yellow tricycle. We got a really good vibe from his and decided to hire him to check out the falls.