Monday, April 4, 2016

Travel Diary: PAGUDPUD, ILOCOS NORTE [Casa Consuelo Island reef Resort, Timmangtang Rock, Saud Beach, Bantay Abot Cave, Maira-ira Beach, Dos Hermanos Islands]

A muffled sound made through my senses; a sliding door being opened and followed by a gentle thud of the screen door. I caught the golden light seeped through the sheer curtains and found my side of the bed empty. I was half-awake, half sleepy to realize that my husband was gone to catch the sunrise. He went alone to capture the rising of the sun from the Southeast. It was our first morning in Pagudpud; the northernmost tip of Ilocos Norte. Though my body aches for another hour of sleep, I decided to get up and join my husband outside.

I went to the reef shoreline which was just stones away from our Cabana and greeted by the beautiful sunrise. The sun beamed at me and it shone brightly I couldn't stand the glare. I squinted my eyes to see the Dos Hermanos Islands stood stunningly at the reefs from afar and I couldn't wait to experience a trek to those islands. I spotted my husband who's so engaged in photographing the scenery. He waved at me the moment he saw me. He walked towards me and the happiness on his face was priceless. I muttered to myself: "My husband is back!" If you have read my previous post, you probably know what I meant. 

"It's so beautiful here!" my husband said. He beamed like a kid and it put a smile on my face. Nothing will make you feel better after a tiring, long drive to get to Pagudpud but to stay in a resort like Casa Consuelo Island Reef Resort. A thorough research on the Internet pays well because we had an awesome stay at the resort. We chose Casa Consuelo over the many hotel & resorts in Maira-ira Cove (or Blue Lagoon) because of the very good reviews and knowing Dos Hermanos was just a couple of minutes trek from the resort, I am sold. The owner was very hands-on everything and he always made sure we had a good time during our entire stay. 

Cabana Uno

We stayed at Cabana Uno. This small hut was our shelter for three nights & four days. At night, the waves crashing on the shoreline was soothing to the ear and slumbered our nights away. The laid-back life we experienced in Casa Consuelo was worth the long drive. We relaxed, had a slow day and DID NOTHING. 

This is the Gazebo where my husband and I spent most of our time in the resort. We did nothing but lounge around here cracking jokes, uploading our photos from our GoPro to my laptop, and order foods. If you want to use the gazebo, you have to book in advance, though, but since guests are very few (because of the typhoon devastation on the Region), we ate breakfast and dinner here all the time. It's so quaint, rustic and really a breather. By the way, we stayed at Casa Consuelo last September 2015 and the owner informed us that they had a plan of putting infinity pool before 2015 ends. I am after the developments of the resort and I can't help myself but miss the place badly. Their infinity pool is finally finished and is really inviting. I just can't wait to go back! Also, this Gazebo had bid goodbye as of December 2015 because they tore it down and made way for a beautiful Pavillion. 

We headed out around 11:00 a.m. Pagudpud will make your eyes feast on a beautiful view of the hills that screams how beautiful nature is. My mind and soul have been soothed by the green surroundings. Every time we passed on the hills, we couldn't avoid gasping again and again. Richard, the owner of Casa Consuelo, had a quick chat with us over breakfast and told us about fertility folklore in Maira-ira Cove. He said that couples that have a difficulty of bearing a child should try it. My husband and I aren't really desperate on having a baby. Don't get me wrong but I believe that a baby is a special gift from God. If He hasn't given you that gift yet, then He has reasons. 

Timmangtang Rock

We found ourselves pulling at the side of the road a few steps down to Timmangtang Rock. I stared at the sketch map given by Richard (he actually drew that map and photocopied it for their guests as an itinerary for sightseeing) and I released a burst of controlled laugh before I put it back to my bag. I asked myself: "Are we really doing this?" Timmangtang Rock was the first place to visit according to fertility folklore and we did it. I guessed there's a little desperation on us to have a baby then. What? Wait, there's no harm in trying. No, we did sightseeing. The folklore says that Timmangtang Rock is known as the "head" of a man's penis. I was grinning when I tick it off on the list. Yes, one down.

Patapat Viaduct

I know what you have in mind. No, Patapat is not the second place nor related to the fertility folklore. Lol! Patapat Viaduct is a concrete coastal bridge 1.3 km long that connects the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. I simply define this bridge as the borderline of the two Regions. The lush Patapat Mountains, blue skies and the blue waters of South China Sea was breathtaking. I have seen only three vehicles passing by while I look out for my husband who was busy taking pictures. As much as we wanted to do jump shots in the middle of the road or do silly poses, we return to our car immediately because the midday sun was unforgiving. 

Saud Beach

Saud Beach has a long stretch of white and fine sand beach. It has clear waters but be careful with your steps because the beach has sudden deep hollows and wavy. I think it was high tide when we went there. On the far left side is the Bangui Bay and I can barely see the windmills due to sun's glare. It was far, though, but I still managed to recognize the erected wind turbines. 

We swam near the Polaris Beach Resort where we paid P50 each as entrance fee. There are cottages for rent but we opted to lay towels under the tree. There were no people swimming on the beach but only us. We could have stayed longer and enjoyed the beach if not to a man who stared at me all the time. I saw him through my sunglasses that he literally followed all my moves. My husband who had his sunglasses on spotted him, too and that spoils our mood. I thought staring is rude but I realized it is creepy, too. 

Bantay Abot Cave is not hard to find. Once you see that short bridge with a bush behind it and before you do the last turn going down to Maira-ira Cove, slow down because you are a few steps down to the cave. We took the narrow concrete stairs from the bridge and landed to a rocky shoreline. The path to the cave is a bit dangerous; you have to watch your step all the time. 

Can you spot Timmangtang Rock from afar? There is the "head"!

Bantay Abot Cave

Contrary to its name, Bantay Abot Cave isn't really a cave. It's a huge rock with a hole in the middle. And yes, the fertility folklore continued here because it's the second place to visit after Timmangtang Rock. If you are smiling now, then you are probably getting the picture. Am I right? This hole is the "passage" - the vagina. We climbed up to the hole and gasped at the sight.

Can you spot the Timmangtang Rock again? 

Back side of Bantay Abot Cave

I was really awed by it. It was so beautiful; it feels like I'm in the other country. Though I'm scared of the big waves crashing on the rocky shoreline, the sight calmed my senses. I kept my eyes on my husband who was fearlessly stepping on huge sharp rocks. He could have gone far and take a good shot but I scolded him. I was so worried he might slip any moment or something would out-balanced him. Yes, I worried too much because I'm paranoid.

It started to rain so we decided to leave. The hills from afar started to disappear due to rain and we hurried climbing back to the road where our car parked. Then, we drove down to Maira-ira Cove and when I glanced back, I realized that we just passed the uphill right after Bantay Abot Cave. The hill where we came from was the "bump" - it signifies the pregnancy. I fished out the sketch map from my bag and muttered: "Oh, three down". I secretly count the remaining; there's three left. I wondered why I'm excited. Oh, you'll never know. God's gift came with any shape and form and only Him knows how. 

Maira-ira Cove (Blue Lagoon)

I was debating with my husband if it was the perfect time to drop by at the Blue Lagoon. The rain might pour hard at any moment. But when we spotted a space along the road where we can park our car, it was silently agreed on. The beach in Maira-ira has milky-white and sand was finer compared to Saud Beach. 

The beach waves are strong and just like in Saud Beach, the shoreline has sudden deep hollows. My husband kept on telling me not to get far. He got scared I'd be washed away by the big waves. I wondered if the water gets tranquil sometimes. The water wasn't blue as I expected because of the gloomy weather. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed the beach but when the rain started to pour hard, we had no choice but to leave.

Dos Hermanos Islands

As soon as we arrived at our resort, we checked the tides at the shoreline. It was the perfect time to trek to Dos Hermanos Islands because tides are low. Luckily, the rain didn't continue and the clouds clear out from the sky. It wasn't a good idea to trek with just our flip-flops on but we don't have aqua shoes. It took us a little longer to reach Dos Hermanos than expected. The mixed of corals and rocks have sharp edges that cuts. Don't be fooled by the shallow clear waters, you'd thought nothing sharp under but there are many.

First islet

Right, there is the second islet.

 Dos Hermanos consists of two islands, thus, the name "Dos" meant two and "Hermanos" meant brothers. I've read on the Internet that the folktale of these islands was about the two brothers who promised to stay together no matter what. One day, they went fishing but got lost in the sea because they were hit by a storm. After that, a pair of islets grew near the shore. 

If you're approaching down to Maira-ira Cove, you will see the islets like a twin. But when you're in Casa Consuelo, you can only see one islet. We explored the first islet with careful steps because the path was dangerous. My husband wished to cross to the second islet but I didn't let him. Dos Hermanos is the "breast" and the fourth place to visit according to the fertility folklore. Click here to see the photo of it from afar. Now, that's four down; two more left.



  1. Wow! I was mesmerized by the beauty of the place. I've heard about the place but never visited it yet. I think this will be on my bucketlist.thanks for sharing sissy!


    1. It's really far from Cebu but dear, it's worthy to visit!

  2. It's totally amazing and drop dead gorgeous, a must visit for me..^^ love the photos.


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