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Hi! I'm Gretchen, a travel writer based in the Philippines. I created Filipina Explorer in 2009 to document my journeys through places, parenthood, and word weaving. This blog is a collection of those stories and everything in between. (Photo by Martin San Diego)
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Hiking Mt. Gola with a Kid (San Miguel, Bulacan)


This trek was nearly postponed. I crammed work till 2:45 am and was dead tired. But by 6:30 am, Lia woke me up, saying she wants to hike. I asked her thrice if she really wants to, hoping she'd say no. Every time, she said yes.

We headed first to the Kalawakan barangay hall in Dona Remedios Trinidad - San Miguel's mountainous neighbor - to inquire about a yet undocumented mountain. It turns out at 1 pm, no guide was around. We had already spent P600 on fare alone and dealt with a four-hour ride, traffic, and a whiny tricycle driver. We weren't going waste all those by taking a ride back home.


We asked the trike driver to turn back and drop us off at Sitio Madlum - a good 30 minutes away from Brgy. Kalawakan - so we can hike Mt. Gola instead. We weren't able to complete it in 2017 as I was severely hyperthyroid then.

Mt. Gola is the sister mountain of Mt. Manalmon. It''s visible on the other side of the river, just across the latter. You use the same trail for hiking, but after the stream crossing, a left turn on a prominent bifurcation will lead you to Mt. Gola (and a second river crossing. Mt. Manalmon only involves one river crossing - after Madlum cave). A right turn on this bifurcation leads to Mt. Manalmon. Twin hikes can be easily done in half a day, often starting in Mt. Manalmon.

Without asking which mountain we wanted to climb, the old guy manning the registration area wrote down "Mt. Manalmon" on our sheet. Calmly, I said, "Sa Gola po kami aakyat." He gave me that look as if I was a daft to even request it.




"Sigurado ka? 2 o' clock na." he asked, still not crossing out Manalmon on the paper. I nodded.

He beckoned a guide. The guide, a 40-some year old stern-looking male, repeated the question. "Gola? Sigurado ka, ma'am, kaya ng anak mo ang Gola?"

The registration officer butted in. "Eh sinusulat ko na nga sa papel Manalmon, pinigilan ako."


"Nakaakyat na po kami sa Gola. Nakaakyat na rin kami ng Manalmon," I replied.

A few more male guides in the background yelled out, "Gola? Hindi kaya nang bata yon. Porter ka. Papabuhat 'yan sa 'yo."

The apprehension is not unfounded. At 196 meters above sea level, Mt. Gola is 36 meters higher than Mt. Manalmon. Its trail is also a kilometer and a half longer each way. The trail to Mt. Manalmon's two peaks is mostly on flat terrain.



While two-thirds of this terrain is shared by Mt. Gola, the remaining one-third is a different beast. Hikers would have to negotiate rocky, uneven, and steeper surfaces for about 30 to 40 minutes on the last leg toward the summit, with one segment featuring a 30 to 40-degree incline. This short section, completed in around three minutes, may require the use of your hands and a rope.


Our guide didn't seem excited about the idea either. He never talked to us - not even to provide the obligatory pre-hike briefing about the mountain - unless I asked something. The one exception he did so was to only reconfirm if we've previously hiked the mountain. I told him matter-of-factly that I hiked Manalmon thrice already and Gola once, and three of those, Lia was with me.

In one instance, he distanced himself, brought out his walkie talkie, and remarked to another guide (who kept telling him we should have gone to Manalmon instead of Gola), "Nakapunta na daw sila diyan tatlong beses. Dapat nga diyan na lang eh."


I kept mum. As a woman, in the long run, you develop a sense of comprehension when people say things out of genuine concern and when they say it because they underestimate your gender. For six years that Lia and I traveled together, it's mostly the second one, and often, the remarks come from men.

For six years too, I've tried to explain that I don't encourage challenges with calculated risks for superlatives but for the experience. For our collective enjoyment. For her to develop a better appreciation of nature, judgment, problem-solving skills, and patience. For her to learn that if she wants to get something nice (i.e. a good view, trees to hug, and a dip in a river), she has to work her ass off for it.



But I've grown weary of explaining. I'd rather Lia show them what she can do than tell them. And I think she did.

Except for two knee-deep river crossings, our guide didn't carry her, nor did she ask to. Barely stopping for breaks, our entire hike lasted only three and a half hours. We made it back down before sunset. Through all of this, Lia didn't complain. And I didn't even have to say a word.


HOW TO GET THERE



FROM MANILA

From the Cubao bus terminal, take a Baliwag Transit or Golden Bee bus to San Miguel, Bulacan. Tell the conductor to drop you off at the intersection going to Sibul. This is after Camias. You should see a police station on the right, and on the left a huge red horse signage.

Walk to the tricycle TODA/ terminal (sometimes a tricycle is already parked at the intersection where you'll alight), and tell the driver to drop you off in Madlum. The registration area is located from the parking lot just across the bridge.


FROM OTHER POINTS IN BULACAN
(Bocaue, Norzagaray, Balagtas, Meycauayan, Marilao, and Sta. Maria)

Take any jeepney that plies the Sta. Rita exit via NLEX (It has to be via NLEX). Alight at Sta. Rita exit, right after the tollgate. Baliwag and Golden Bee buses regularly pass by (the signage will read San Miguel, Madlum, Gapan, or Cabanatuan). Tell the conductor to drop you off at the intersection going to Sibul. This is after Camias. You should see a police station on the right, and on the left a huge red horse signage.

Walk to the tricycle TODA/ terminal (sometimes a tricycle is already parked at the intersection where you'll alight), and tell the driver to drop you off in Madlum. The registration area is located from the parking lot just across the bridge.


TRAVEL EXPENSES (GOOD FOR SOLO HIKER OR ADULT WITH CHILD)

Bus to San Miguel from Cubao and back - P234 (P117 per way)
Tricycle to and jumpoff point in Madlum - P480 (P240 per way; can comfortably fit 3 people)
Entrance fee to Madlum - P20
Environmental fee - P10
Guideship fee - P300 (for every 5 persons)
Use of bathroom for washing up - P20

TOTAL EXPENSES = P1,064 (one adult or one adult and a child)


ITINERARY


5:00 am  Take bus from Cubao to Manila

8:00 am  Arrive in San Miguel; take tricycle to Sitityo Madlum

8:30 am  Arrive in jumpoff point; take footbridge to registration area

               Register, get guide, briefing

8:40 am  Start hike

10:40 am  Mt. Gola summit

                    Photo ops

11:00 am  Start descent

12:00 pm  Back at Madlum river

                    Swim; lunch

2:00 pm  Leave for Manila

6:00 pm  Back in Manila


The Top 3 Museums In and Near La Mesa, California

La Mesa, California is often noted for its beautiful weather, stunning scenery, and abundance of outdoor attractions. However, it's also a great place to learn more about history, art, and culture. Here are the top museums located in and near La Mesa where you can see impressive artifacts from around the world or discover fascinating facts about the city's own history.
La Mesa Historical Society
Want to learn more about the history of La Mesa? Be sure to visit the La Mesa Historical Society. This group helps to collect and preserve important documents to help educate community members and visitors about La Mesa's past. The historical society has three fascinating options for learning about the city's unique and interesting history:
  • McKinney House Museum: Tour this period-finished home to see what life was like for La Mesa residents in the early 20th century. 
  • Historical Society Archives: Visit the Palermo Building Research Reading Room to see the society's impressive archival collection with documents, newspapers, photographs, artifacts, and video and oral history records focused on the history of La Mesa.
  • Annual Historic Home Tour: Sign up for this yearly event, and you'll receive transportation via Old Town Trolley Buses to see some of the city's historic homes which have been beautifully restored.
La Mesa Depot Museum


Image via Flickr by ARG_Flickr

The La Mesa Depot Museum is conveniently located right in the heart of downtown near many of the top-rated hotels in La Mesa. It's actually the city's oldest building in its original form and the only San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway Station still in existence. This stop on the Southern Pacific Railroad was constructed in 1894. 
Though the stop has been out of service for decades, the original building has been carefully restored. Visiting this museum is like taking a step back in time. Pass through a ticketing and waiting area before exploring the telegrapher's station and the baggage room. View a steam locomotive and a string of freight cars on the nearby tracks. Be sure to check out the exhibit inside to learn even more about the station's history.
Heritage of the Americas Museum
Located just outside La Mesa in El Cajon, the Heritage of the Americas Museum features the prehistoric and historic art and culture of the Americas and the natural history of the world. The Natural Wing contains a vast collection of meteorites, minerals, gems, and fossils from around the globe, while the Archeology Wing focuses on pre-Columbian artifacts from the Americas. 
There is also the Anthropology Wing which is filled with artifacts from the last two centuries after the arrival of the Europeans. Finally, don't miss the opportunity to fully explore the museum's Art Wing, which features a vast collection of Western art along with a unique collection of Chinese artifacts, including a 2,000-year-old jade burial suit from the Han Dynasty.

Make your visit to La Mesa more enriching by visiting some of these local museums. With attractions that will interest kids and adults alike, any group can enjoy a fun and fascinating outing at these museums.

Santa Cruz Experiences You'll Never Forget


Vacations should be about making memories, and there is no better way to make memories than by trying new and exciting experiences. If you want to make your next vacation memorable, look for extraordinary activities. If you happen to be planning a trip to Santa Cruz, California, consider these four unusual ideas that will provide you with an unforgettable experience. 
Take Professional Surf Lessons
Image via Flickr by Tim Green aka atoach
California is known for its surfing, and travelers who are looking to immerse themselves into the culture of Santa Cruz need to look no further than the crashing waves of Monterey Bay. Regardless of your skill level, surf school instructors are equipped with the experience and knowledge to help you. From swimming with your board to balancing techniques, surf lessons will have you riding waves in no time. This fun and immersive activity will give you an unforgettable memory of your Santa Cruz vacation. 
Go Whale and Dolphin Watching
Do you want a truly life-changing experience? Find a whale and dolphin watching cruise. These incredible charters will take you out into the Monterey Bay where you can come across majestic sea creatures in their natural habitat. The list of sea life that you can encounter on a whale and dolphin watching cruise in Santa Cruz includes:
  • Humpback Whales.
  • Blue Whales.
  • Gray Whales.
  • Dolphins.
  • Porpoises.
  • Sea Otters.
  • Sea Lions.
The marine life you can come across while in Monterey Bay will depend on the time of year — so keep that in mind as you book your stay in Santa Cruz. 
Tandem Skydive
There is nothing more exhilarating than jumping out of an airplane 10,000 feet above the ground. You will freefall thousands of feet before releasing your parachute in a burst of excitement and then gliding safely to the ground. During the descent, you'll have unbelievable views of California and Monterey Bay. Skydiving over Santa Cruz is an experience that you will never forget, and one of the best ways to see the Bay area. 
Ride Thrill Rides at the Boardwalk
The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is one of the must-see destinations while staying in Santa Cruz, California. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an amusement park with free entry for locals and travelers alike. You will have to buy tickets if you want to enjoy the rides — which you definitely should. 
Thrill seekers will have no shortage of ride options, including one of America's most famous wooden roller coasters, the Giant Dipper. You can also enjoy the oceanic views from 12-stories up before freefalling on the Double Shot tower ride. The memories made at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will bring a smile to your face long after you return from vacation. 
Going on vacation is a fun and exciting experience. You are able to step out of your daily routine and immerse yourself in a new environment. To help you make your Santa Cruz vacation even more memorable, try the four activities above. Not only will you enjoy each experience in the moment, but you'll keep that memory for many years to come.


Cagayan Travel Guide: Where to Stay, What to Eat and Do, and How to Get There


A trip to Cagayan is not for the fainthearted. Located roughly 500 kilometers from the Philippine capital, this massive coastal province in Northeastern Luzon entails a butt-numbing 10 to 12-bus ride, plus an additional hour or two to reach its islands off coast - a journey that is no less nerve-wracking.

Travelers sometimes choose not to visit the province due to distance, but for the brave, coming here proves to be one epic adventure filled with gastronomical delights, natural and man-made wonders and a rich history that make the long travel time truly worth it.

WHAT TO SEE

BEACHES AND ISLANDS

  • MAPURAO BEACH

Located in San Vicente, Mapurao Beach can be visited on the way to Anguib Beach and Palaui Island or vice-versa. The beach houses Jerolynda’s White Beach Resort and Restaurant and has white sand and clear, kid-friendly water. Boats pass by a lush mangrove forest to and from the beach. On site, you will be served toothsome seafood dishes that are cooked straight from sea to table.

  • ANGUIB BEACH

Anguib Beach’s agoho-lined cream shore spans around two kilometers long, with one tip ending in a forested hill. Guests can enjoy glamping, swimming, or just lazing around in a hammock by the trees. The beach is accessible after a one-hour boat ride from the port, depending on water conditions.

  • PALAUI ISLAND

Palaui Island is arguably the most famous of Cagayan’s attractions - and for good reason. Entailing a two-hour boat ride through the Philippine Sea’s tempestuous waters, this remote 7,145-hectare island in the Philippines’ extreme northeast boasts several hiking trails through rich forests, including one that leads to an 18th -century lighthouse on a hill. Considered a National Marine Reserve, the water surrounding the island is home to 21 fish species and 50 hectares of unspoiled coral reef.

It is also home to several species of wood, shrubs and other endemic flora and migratory birds. Because of its raw beauty, the island has served as a location for the TV series Survivor and is one of CNN’s 100 Best Beaches Around the World.

Below are noteworthy sights in Palaui Island.

1) PUNTA VERDE



Resting on Palaui Island’s southeastern tip, Punta Verde serves as a boat dock and camping ground for visitors who would like to stay the night. From Punta Verde, the nearly six-kilometer hike to Cape Engano takes around three to four hours. There is also a waterfall nearby.


2) CAPE ENGANO LIGHTHOUSE





Opposite Punta Verde, Cape Engaño Lighthouse - or Faro de Cabo Engaño - sits on the southwest tip of Palaui Island, accessible after a scenic 15-minute hike up a 229-step hill. Built in 1892, the lighthouse is an acclaimed National Cultural Treasure. From the lighthouse, guests enjoy a bird’s eye view of the island’s westerly cove, Dos Hermanas Islands and Babuyan Island north of the cove.

CONTACT FOR PALAUI ISLAND TOUR
Sta. Ana Motorized Boat Association
Address: San Vicente Port, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
Contact Number: +63915- 4670964

Island hopping rates: P500 to P3,500 per boat (maximum of 8 passengers)
Crocodile Island – P500
Pugo Moro – P500
Punta Verde – P1,000
Anguib Beach – P1,500
Siwangag Cove – P1,500
Cape Engano – P1,800
Puzurubo – P1,800

IMPORTANT LANDMARKS AND STRUCTURES

  • BUNTUN BRIDGE
The Philippines’ second longest bridge (after San Juanico Bridge), Buntun Bridge spans 1.1 kilometers and serves as the gateway to Tuguegarao. Made of 240-foot Japanese steel, it connects Tuguegarao to Apayao. Built in the 60s over the mighty Cagayan River, the bridge offers an unobstructed vista of the country’s largest river basin.

  • CAGAYAN STATE UNIVERSITY FARM

Apart from being the “largest station institution of higher learning in the Cagayan Valley Region”, Cagayan State University (CSU) is also recognized for its extensive farm in Piat. At the CSU Farm, visitors can mingle with friendly sheep and goats and learn how to milk cows firsthand.

  • LYCEUM OF APARRI
Lyceum of Aparri is considered one of the most competitive institutions in the entire Cagayan Valley.

  • MAGAPIT BRIDGE

Like Buntun Bridge, the Magapit Suspension Bridge runs across the Cagayan River. Also called the Golden Gate of Cagayan, it links the river’s eastern and western side.


  • CAGAYAN PROVINCIAL CAPITOL
Cagayan’s provincial capitol is home to the provincial museum, capitol building and administrative seat.

  • POTTERY AND BRICK-MAKING

Barangay Atulu in Iguig is known for its beautiful churches and pottery crafted by local artisans, the Itawis. They barehandedly shape vases, garden wares and ornate pieces using clay from the Cagayan River and simple implements such as wood blocks, kilns, carabao dung (for fuel), and makeshift stoves.

  • CAGAYAN MUSEUM

Take a trip back into time at the Cagayan Provincial Museum and Historical Research Center. Situated within the provincial capitol and about five kilometers from the city center, the museum houses local artifacts, heirloom pieces and wares from the valley, as well as fossils of animals that once inhabited the region. It also details the discovery of the Callao Man, whose 67,000-year old remains were discovered in Callao Cave in Peñablanca.


CHURCHES

  • ST. PHILOMENE CHURCH
Address: Maharlika Highway, Alcala, Cagayan
Contact number: (078) 848 1917


Twenty meters long and 12.5 meters high, St. Philomene Church is Tuguegarao’s biggest brick church and the Philippines’ widest. Built by Spanish friars in 1881, its distinct features include its red brick design, a newly refurbished tile floor, and a belfry situated next to St. Philomene Academy.


  • BASILICA MINORE DE NUESTRA SENORA DE PIAT (OUR LADY OF PIAT CHURCH)

Named the “Pilgrimage Center of the North”, Piat Church is one of 12 minor basilicas in the country and features a beautiful four-level belfry. It houses a 407-year old Black Virgin Mary that is said to be miraculous. Also called Yena Tam Ngamin (The Mother of Us All) and Apo Baket (The Venerable Matriarch), the church’s icon was transported from Macau in the 1600s.

  • ST. PETER METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL PARISH (TUGUEGARAO CATHEDRAL)

Dating back to the 18th century, the Tuguegarao Cathedral is known for its “Cagayan-style” pediment, which is distinctly crested like many other churches in Cagayan Valley. This baroque church is one of the largest in the region and serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuguegarao.

  • ST. JAMES PARISH

St. James Parish is fashioned with three brick flying buttresses – the only one of its kind in the Philippines. The facade showcases a stone pillar while said to be inside is the Jubilee Cross, replete with the relic of the True Cross.  There is a centuries-old well on site too.

WHERE TO STAY

  • BALAI CARMELA

Only three kilometers from Tuguegarao Airport, Balai Carmela is an ideal base for families, big groups and couples who plan on seeing the capital and adjacent towns. The hotel offers spacious Balinese-inspired rooms, suites and dorm-type accommodations with air conditioning, TV and free WiFi. After a tour, rejuvenate with in-room massage, take a dip in an outdoor pool, or indulge in sumptuous Asian dishes at Troy’s Bar and Cafe.


  • RIVERVIEW ROYALE HOTEL

A new player in Aparri’s budding hotel industry, Riverview Royale Hotel is praised for its clean, well-furnished rooms and impeccable service. Only 2.5 kilometers away from the city center, this three-storey hotel puts you close to Aparri’s best dining facilities and important landmarks, such as CSU. Rooms are equipped with air conditioning, cable TV, en suite shower, towels, and free WiFi.


  • HOTEL DIAN
Suitable for both business and leisure travelers, Hotel Dian features plenty of recreational facilities: a fitness center, karaoke, coffee shop, bar, restaurant (with 24-hour room service), massage, and spa. Pet-loving guests will be happy to know that pets are welcome in the property too. All rooms are non-smoking and are fitted with a mini bar, plus complimentary WiFi access.

WHAT TO EAT AND WHERE TO GET IT

  • CHELSEA'S DINER
Address: Cagayan Valley Road, Aparri, Cagayan


For traditional Filipino flavors, head to Chelsea’s Diner in Aparri. Seated along the highway, this cozy 70-seater restaurant serves Western and Filipino specialties, including sumptuous crispy pata and sweet and sour fish. Offering cocktails and beers, it is also well-suited for unwinding after work or tours.


  • JAJA'S RESTO GRILL
Address: Brgy. Centro, Santa Ana, Cagayan


If you prefer traditional Filipino cuisine cooked and served in a rustic space, visit Jaja’s Resto Grill along San Vicente Road. Serving both Ybanag and traditional Filipino meals, it is well known for its papaitan, pancit batil patong and sisig liempo.


  •  WIN-MAE PANCITERIA 

When it comes to Cagayan’s culinary wonders, there is nothing more famouS than pancit batil patong (sometimes spelled as patung). This unique noodle dish is made using Tuguegarao’s
signature pancit miki noodles, sauteed in beef and thick egg broth. Toppings, including ground carabao beef, vegetables, and poached egg are added last, along with a second round of broth. Add a tablespoon of chopped onion and special vinegar for a truly authentic pancit batil patong experience.

Various food stalls in Gattaran, Aparri, and Tuguegarao, such as Win-Mae Panciteria sell the
dish. Some carinderia in Lal-Lo use sotanghon instead of miki.


  • PAWA STALLS SURROUNDING PIAT CHURCH 

Another Cagayan kakanin worth noting is pawa, a glutinous rice cake with sweet ground peanuts.
Available in bite-size pieces, you can find this steamed delicacy in modest stalls around Piat Church in Centro, Piat.


  • LAL-LO AND ALCALA MILK CANDY STORES
Drop by the towns of Alcala and Lal-lo for a taste of their signature milk candies. Crafted using carabao milk, these bite-size candies can be extremely addicting.

  • SEGURO SNACK HAUZ 
Address: Aguiguican, Gattaran, Cagayan
+639262111226


Tuguegarao's version of puto, putoflan is a rice cake that uses flour and egg yolk for the muffin and a soft leche flan base.  Seguro Snack Hauz in Gattaran sells one of the best in the province.

  • FOOD STALLS SELLING SINANTA
Pancit batil patong not your cup of tea? Try sinanta. An Ybanag soup,  it consists of sotanghon and miki noodles, chicken, clams, pork, and fish sauce. Best eaten alongside a warm cup of coco and a rice cake called pinakufu. Food stalls across Cagayan sell this wonderful dish.

  • LIGHTHOUSE COOPERATIVE YBANAG FOOD PRODUCTS 

If you prefer your chicharon lean, grab a pack of chicarabao. Airy, light and fat-free, this delicacy is made by deep-frying square cuts of carabao skin. Choose from three awesome flavors: garlic, hot and
spicy, and onion and vinegar. You can get it from  Lighthouse Cooperative Ybanag Food Products in Tuguegarao.

  • JEROLYNDA WHITE BEACH RESORT

As a coastal province, there is no shortage of edible seaweeds in Cagayan. A popular one is lumot, so called for it algae-like consistency. It is often paired with grilled or fried fish and seafood.

Jerolynda White Beach Resort in Sta. Ana serves this dish.

  • YBANAG LONGGANISA IN PUBLIC MARKETS AND GROCERIES 

Tuguegarao’s take on the famous Pinoy breakfast favorite, Ybanag longganisa is made from pork or
carabao beef mixed with garlic tidbits. Bring home some and slowfry to a crisp. Various public markets and groceries in Cagayan have this longganisa in stock all year-round.


HOW TO GET THERE

BY LAND

Five Star , GV Florida, and Victory Liner buses ply the route to Tuguegarao daily from Manila. Victory Liner also has buses going to Aparri and Tuao, while GV Florida also serves the Aparri and Sta. Ana routes.  Travel time to Tuguegarao takes 12 to 14 hours, depending on the traffic.

Aparri and Sta. Ana are at the northern tip and take longer to reach. If you are going to Palaui Island or beaches in Sta. Ana,  take a local bus or van from Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana. Travel time is around three hours. Otherwise, you can take a GV Florida bus direct to Sta. Ana.

At Sta. Ana, hail a tricycle to take you to San Vicente port 10 minutes away. Boats can be rented at the port to the island of your choice. Palaui Island is around 20 to 40 minutes away from the port, depending on weather and sea conditions. Be ready for huge waves, since the island faces the Pacific.


  • FIVE STAR 
Five Star buses going to Cagayan can be found at the Cubao bus terminal.  Please refer to the bus schedules below. Rates and schedules are subject to change.

CUBAO TO TUGUEGARAO

5:30 am      Regular aircon     P695
8:30 am      Regular aircon     P695
11:30 am    Regular aircon     P695
2:00 pm      Deluxe                 P790
4:00 pm      Regular aircon     P695
7:00 pm      Deluxe                 P790 
11:00 pm    Regular aircon     P695
11:59 pm     Deluxe                 P790


  • VICTORY LINER
Victory Liner has buses going to Tuguegarao, Aparri, and Tuao at the Kamias bus terminal. Please refer to the bus schedules below. Rates and schedules are subject to change.


KAMIAS TO TUGUEGARAO 

5:30 am      Regular aircon     P695
6:30 am      First class             P930
9:30 am      Deluxe                 P810
11:00 am    Regular aircon     P695
1:00 pm      Regular aircon     P695
2:00 pm      Regular aircon     P695
3:00 pm      Deluxe                 P810
5:00 pm      Regular aircon     P695
7:45 pm      Regular aircon     P695
8:15 pm      Deluxe                 P810
9:00 pm      Deluxe                 P810
9:15 pm      First class             P930
9:45 pm      Regular aircon     P695
10:30 pm    Regular aircon     P695
11:30 pm    Regular aircon     P695


KAMIAS TO APARRI

3:30 am     Regular aircon     P841
6:30 pm     First class            P1,130

KAMIAS TO TUAO

4:00 pm     Regular aircon     P748
6:00 pm     Deluxe                 P890
7:30 pm     First class             P1,010


  • GV FLORIDA
GV Florida buses bound for several municipalities in Cagayan, including Aparri, Baggao, Gonzaga, and Tuguegarao can be found at the Cubao bus terminal. In addition to those routes, the GV Florida terminal in Sampaloc also offers trips to Sta. Ana, Buguey, Lasam, and Ballesteros.

Please refer to the bus schedules below. Rates and schedules are subject to change.

SAMPALOC TO TUGUEGARAO 
(WITH STOPS AT LASAM/ BALLESTEROS/ STA. ANA/ BAGGAO/ GONZAGA)

11:30 am 
12:30 pm (stops at Tuguegarao, then goes to Sta. Ana)
2:00 pm
3:00 pm  (stops at Tuguegarao, then goes to Sta. Ana)
3:30 pm
4:00 pm (with stop at Ballesteros)
4:30 pm (with stop at Lasam) 
4:45 pm (with stop at Ballesteros)
5:15 pm (with stop at Ballesteros)
5:45 pm (with stop at Aparri)
6:00 pm (with stop at Ballesteros)
 6:15 pm (with stop at Aparri)
6:30 pm (with stop at Gonzaga)
6:45 pm (with stop at Baggao)

CUBAO TO TUGUEGARAO
(WITH STOPS IN APARRI, GONZAGA, AND BAGGAO)

12:30 pm (with stop in Aparri)
1:30 pm (with stop in Aparri)
3:00 pm (with stop in Aparri and Gonzaga)
5:00 pm (with stop in Aparri and Gonzaga)
6:00 pm (with stop in Baggao)
7:30 pm
7:45 pm (with stop in Aparri)
8:00 pm
8:30 pm
9:00 pm
9:30 pm
10:00 pm
11:00 pm (with stop in Aparri)

SAMPALOC TO STA. ANA

12:30 pm (with stop at Tuguegarao)
3:00 pm (with stop at Tuguegarao)


SAMPALOC TO APARRI
(WITH STOPS AT BUGUEY AND GONZAGA)

5:00 pm (with stop at Buguey)
5:30 pm (with stop at Gonzaga)
5:45 pm (with stop at Tuguegarao)
6:15 pm (with stop at Tuguegarao)
6:30 pm (with stop at Tuguegarao and Gonzaga)
7:00 pm (with stop at Gonzaga)

CUBAO TO APARRI

12:30 pm (with stop in Tuguegarao)
1:30 pm (with stop in Tuguegarao)
3:00 pm (with stop in Tuguegarao and Gonzaga)
5:00 pm (with stop in Tuguegarao and Gonzaga)
7:45 pm (with stop in Tuguegarao)
11:00 pm (with stop in Tuguegarao)

BY AIR

Cebu Pacific flies direct from Manila to Tuguegarao, with two daily at 8:05 am and 12:05 pm.  The flight takes an hour and 15 minutes, thereby taking nine to 12 hours off your travel time.

Philippine Airlines offers five flights per week from Clark to Tuguegarao (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at 12:20 pm. The flight takes one hour.


This trip was part of Lakbay Norte 6, an annual media familiarization tour organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB), in partnership with the NLEX Corporation - concessionaire of NLEX/ SCTEX - Victory Liner, Inc., Nueva Ecija Convention and Visitors Association (NECVA), and Cagayan North Convention and Visitors Bureau (CNCVB); and sponsors - Department of Tourism Regions 2 and 3, the provinces of Nueva Ecija and Cagayan North, Petron Corporation, Jollibee Foods Corporation, and Prifood Corporation.

This article was first released in Northbound Magazine Issue 20. 

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