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. 

Hello there!

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.

QUICK FACTS

Area: 304.6 km²

Location: Dingalan, Aurora

Weather:

28°C, Wind NE at 14 km/h, 79% Humidity

Zip Code: 3207

Mayor: Sherwin Taay

Province: Aurora

The beautiful scenery from the summit

WHAT TO DO / ACTIVITIES

  • 30 - 45 minute trek
  • Viewing at Lighthouse
  • Sight Seeing
  • Photo Ops
  • Swim at iced cold Tanawan Falls (side trip)
  • Cliff Jump at Tanawan Falls (side trip)
Iced-cold water in Tanawan Falls

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.

VIA DIY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

• 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

OR BOOK HERE

If staying in Manila or Zambales

ITINERARY

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. 

PERSONAL NOTE

  • 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.