Northern part of Aurora (Dinalungan, Casiguran, Dilasag) has several unspoiled beaches that we don’t know where to start. Not that we have no sense of direction or plan; it’s just that there are too many choices. Kulong kulong or tuktuk, our service for a day arrive and yet we have no clear plans on hand so we ask our guide to guide us in all the sense of the word. He nodded and reckoned that we don’t have much things with us either so he said leave it to me.
After few hours we’re in Canawer beach. It’s ideal for picnic as there’s manicured bermuda grass before you set foot on a beach front as if it’s a lawn but there’s no shelter whatsoever except for the huge balete tree.
I was thinking it’s a private property as it is well kept but looking to both sides there were no cottage. It’s a slope-y descent to the beach front. Crushed coral that over times was pulverized to become sand on our feet and feels therapeutic. The blue Pacific ocean is a sight to behold.
Kids got bored from rolling the slope and didn’t enjoy the water as we kept on shouting at them not to go beyond the marker we set for them because it is a steep dive; you will fall sharply on some parts without warning so we didn’t let them to swim. It’s ok with adult supervision but we are not in the mood to swim really so kids kept asking what’s the rocky formation on the other side. It might be a good place to play. We can see it protruding like an islet. The guide told us it is Dianao beach, only few minutes kulong kulong drive from Canawer so we packed our bags and off we go.
The kulong kulong had an easy cut through the unbeaten path as we enjoy the music from a Mac portable speaker. I can’t see through the lush vegetation covering the sea but i can hear it rushing to shore that we didn’t notice we are already there.
We stop to a gap between lush vegetation as if we’re coming from a dense forest and coming to a clearing at last as we pass a bent tree growing horizontal. We sat on it for a while admiring rock formations big enough to break water but not too much that we caught a glimpse of Canawer beach.
We found lots of red brittle sea star in all stages of development underneath rocks. It must be their breeding ground or something like a turtle would burrow their eggs to the sand though I’m not sure if those sea star were hatchlings. I don’t know how red brittle sea star breeds for that matter but those smallest squiggly tentacles squirm and wriggle at the slightest motion they detect and can easily grow their tentacles back had those stealthy crabs chose to cut them. Thank God there’s a fisherman nearby we can ask him. It turned out he is to go out to the Sound and not interested in any squiggly queries. We excitedly ask him if he can bring us with him. He said yes upon eyeing kids were propped up with life jackets.
From afar, we could make out a beach of Dalugan .We held onto the outrigger of the boat as it swayed wildly against the harsh Pacific current.
Looking at the expanse of Pacific Ocean from a boat was nauseating it churned out our stomach of acid as we didn’t take any food early in the morning. We know we’ll throw up if we take any and it’s worst without. The made up mast of banderitas from the summer festival streak blindingly under the sun it added to nausea we already dreaded. We diverted our attention to the wooded Peninsula of San Ildefonso that somehow gave us distraction from the assumed peril we created for ourselves. The annoyed boatman said it will only take us few hours to circumnavigate toward Casiguran if we amuse ourselves with the breathtaking scenery. I was tempted to say ‘If this is only a bigger boat then you don’t need to ask us to enjoy.’ I mean i definitely enjoy RORO (Roll On Roll Off) even if storm caught us in the middle of the ocean devouring the starboard side of the ship with walls of wave; i don’t mind. I prefer it over planes traveling from Manila to Visayaz.
Throughout the day, we satisfy ourselves admiring Casiguran’s fine beaches as we sail along the shingly beach of Dalugan. The rocky Peninsula of San Ildefonso excites us to sweat out our athletic prowess. From this point one can easily admire the majestic Sierra Madre ranges which stretches far and wide as if it wants to embrace the Pacific Ocean. I caught myself gaping as i realized that we traversed its dense forest looking out by the van’s window to the vast Pacific Ocean. Views are magnificent both ways. But for now I’d like to see it from an open sea perspective. The boatman was waving to the fishing boat that we now see coming from an inlet. It was not moving, we assumed it was moored or something as the place Casiguran Sound is a perfect place for a fisherman’s break. We were told it provide refuge for any fishermen caught in the midst of storm. The boatman then segued to have us transfer to a bigger fishing boat which we gladly welcome.
The bigger fishing boat ushered us to Casiguran Sound. It made sense now how it become a refuge for all fishing vessels. It’s indeed a safe haven with its kilometer inlet as a natural fortification and barrier against Pacific wind and waves. The boatman regale us with histories of how Spanish missionaries landed there and took refuge from the storm and how Japanese landed there during the war. He went on telling the place to be crowded with ancient Spanish Galleon moored around the Sound but my mind imagined it being crowded with Cruise Lines anchored around with tourist worshiping the sun on its fine beaches. As we cross the Sound toward the shore, it’s rather peaceful you could easily transcend into a meditative state.
The fisherman jovially entertain us the whole time in great contrast to previous boatman who was back to the open sea. He went on talking about his bountiful catch and eventually selling us those from Styrofoam chest. He pointed out that those with close lids were pre order. He was supplying nearby resorts and restaurants of fresh catch.
Finally, we reach the shore loaded with fresh catch as if we fish them ourselves.
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