I’ve always dreamed of having a vacation in Batanes, but the sad reality is that I can’t afford it. Now, there’s a place that offers almost similar experience to that; barely 3 hours travel time from Manila and damage is less than Php 1,000 (20 USD).
On a beautiful Sunday morning, we went to Aurora to witness Dingalan’s Batanes of the East. Aurora is also known as one of Luzon’s prime surfing spots.
Dingalan, officially the Municipality of Dingalan, is a municipality in the province of Aurora, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 25,482 people. Dingalan has several caves, of which the Lamao Caves are the best known.
Area: 304.6 km²
Location: Dingalan, Aurora
28°C, Wind NE at 14 km/h, 79% Humidity
Zip Code: 3207
Mayor: Sherwin Taay
WHAT TO DO / ACTIVITIES
WHERE TO EAT
You can bring packed lunch and have your lunch at the Tanawan Falls. There are no restaurants or carinderia in the area. Bring all the food that you need for this trip.
how to get there
Dingalan, Aurora is a 3 – 4 hour drive from Manila plus 30 minutes trek to the summit and another 30mins trek to Tanawan Falls (side trip). If you hate long walks, you may also take the boat ride from Dingalan Feeder Port to reach the white beach but you have to pay P700 per boat.
• Fare is P185 per person
• Travel time is 3 – 4 hours
• Fare is Php 100 per person
• Travel time is 1 hour
• Located at Bgy. Paltic
• Fare is Php 20 per person
WHERE TO STAY
This activity is good for day tour where you can leave Manila early in the morning then get back at night time. But if you have a day to waste, you may pitch your tent at the white beach, or rent a cottage from P200- P500.00
0230H – Departure from Manila
0500H – Bus to Cabanatuan City
0600H – Van to Dingalan Port
0610H – Start Trek
0640H – Summit; Photo Ops
0700H – Breakfast
0730H – Start descent
0800H – Trek to Tanawan Falls
0835H – Swimming; Cliff Jump
1130H – LUNCH
1300H – Pack up
1310H – Trek to Dingalan
1400H – Bus to Manila
The beaches are quite rocky. Don’t expect a white sand beach. The trail to the summit is an easy one; you actually don’t need guide for it BUT YOU HAVE TO BECAUSE THIS IS REQUIRED. Just follow the rules.
All the way up, you’ll be greeted by plants and flowers. It is so mesmerizing especially on early morning when sun is just about to come out.
Upon reaching the summit, I was in awe. It was so beautiful. I have never been to Batanes, but this one looks quite the same with the pictures – the mountain view, hilltop, beach view, light house, the cold breeze in that early morning.
Anyway, the day is still young and we got one more spot to visit. So after a little photo op, we went trekking and headed to Tanawan Falls. It was a muddy trail due to the rain a day before we arrived. You’ll see the Cordillera Mountains on the way to the falls. There’s even a view deck but you have to pay a few bucks (which I obviously didn’t take bec I’m not fan of photo op) hahaha I am always after the experience. But a little won’t hurt, and documentation for the blog. So there.
- GUIDES ARE REQUIRED GOING TO THE LIGHTHOUSE/SUMMIT
- Bring at least 1 L of water per person
- Bring sunblock.
- Wear long sleeves, arm band whichever is comfy
- Cellphone signal is available in most of the area
- Boat ride is available from Dingalan Feeder Port to the lighthouse
- Observe proper courtesy when passing by the homes
- Clean as you go! Don’t leave your trashes
- Ideal climb for beginners; mountain for everyone
EXPENSES (DIY TRIP)
Bus Fare MNL to Cabanatuan RT – Php 370.00
Cabanatuan to Dingalan own Proper RT – Php 240.00
Tricycle Dingalan Feeder Port RT – Php 40
Guide Fee – Php 100
TOTAL – PHP 750.00 PER PERSON
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.