Buguey’s seafood buffet was more than enough to fill us during the two hour journey to Claveria, the last town in Cagayan next to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. I was enjoying the view from my window despite the rain while sliding sideways from our seats as we traverse the twisting highroads to the town of Claveria. A coastal town where the river flows, numerous blue boats parked on the shore and people in their blue rain coats were tending their nets were seen. It was really interesting.
There seems to be no sign of the rains stopping on the 3rd day of Lakbay Norte 2. Checking out of Eastern Hawaii Hotel at Sta Ana, we boarded a new bus this time on our way to our first stop at Buguey (boo -gay), a small coastal town mid-north of Cagayan province. I was seated on the right side of the bus watching the gloomy landscape pass by my window. In a couple of hours we reached the El Presidente Resort Conference Hall where the locals there prepared meals for our lunch and some cultural programs.
For a while there I thought I was in a land somewhere in China with all the facilities and style of architecture similar to the ones found in the mentioned country. It doesn’t help that the cable channels are mostly Chinese with only a couple of English speaking channels in line. If not for the, tropical climate, Filipino staffs and their hospitable vibe here, I’d be lost at this high-end Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort (Sun City) in Sta Ana Cagayan. They’ve been up here in Cagayan Valley for years now and was enjoyed exclusively by tourists from Mainland China and Hong Kong. Now they are ready to open the doors to Filipinos as well.
If you have lived to witness the explosion of Mt Pinatubo in June 1991, I’m sure you wouldn’t forget the devastating effect it had on a global scale. Almost 2 decades since then, from what seem to be start of creation on this land, it has evolved into another nature masterwork but now with an added human touch to its surroundings. It’s so fitting to name this this mountain “Pinatubo” which also means, “To make grow” and sure it grew after the years, and here are my observations from each visit within those 2 decades.
The afternoon was easing down from the height of activity early morning. From the Patupat factory at Pozorrubio, we drove to neighboring town of Manaoag to visit its famous church. I’ve heard about the Manoaog Church ever since I was little since it is one of the most visited churches in the country due to its many miracles. It’s about 400 years old since the arrival of the original Ivory Image of Our Lady of Manaoag which was brought in from Spain via Acapulco. We were given at least 15 minutes to go around the church.
It’s downtime after a few hours of extreme activities from PUGO Adventure in La Union. Indeed everyone seemed to have fun on that stop as our bus was a lot quieter this time with people snatching some sleep as we head to Pangasinan. Our next stop was the Patupat factory in Pozorrubio. Patupat is a native sticky rice Pangasinan Ilocano delicacy. It’s much like the other glutinous rice made as snacks or desserts like suman and tupig but on a different form and preparation.
I think the Filipinos are getting more adventurous these days and have a growing number of adrenalin junkies. The sudden emergence of numerous zip lines all over the country can attest to this. If a place is capable of installing one, no matter how short or low it is, they’ll put up one just to satisfy and attract people for that whiff adrenaline rush. I’ve been through several good zip lines but they are found in the Visayas and Mindanao. And with this Lakbay Norte 2, I was pleased to find a new adventure destination in La Union that offers another scenic zip line and more.