We woke up to a grey morning, and immediately, we started wondering if we will push through with the morning’s itinerary. Two hours after the original call time, we were out in the docks and boarding the banca (outrigger boat) for the nearly hour-long ride to Palaui Island.
Lying off the coast of Sta. Ana, Cagayan is Palaui island, a protected area teeming with wildlife and timber. Though there is a small community living in the island, it is still largely uninhabited.
The island has a total of 20.6 kilometers of shoreline. This means gorgeous stretches of sand caressed by lapping waves from the blue green waters. The best view of the island is from the Cape Engano Lighthouse. As you go up the hill where the lighthouse is perched, you are treated to an amazing view of the landscape below, making you forget about the physical exertion and the boat ride to and from the mainland.
Lying between the South China Sea and the Pacific meant that the ride to Palaui is one that is guaranteed to land in either your best or worst boat ride you’ve ever experienced list. Due to the strong winds from the amihan (northeast monsoon), the waves were rough, leaving us alternating between screaming (partly in excitement and fear) and shivering in the cold.
But as Dr. Bob Kelso once said, nothing worth having comes easy. That is one boat ride I’m willing to face again, if it meant having the chance to set foot in Palaui again.