Discovering Dingalan, Aurora: The Batanes of the East

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 Dingalan, Aurora, Philippines

Dubbed as Batanes of the East, Dingalan, Aurora is covered with its magnificent mountains and vast sea that you just can't get enough of. To be honest, when I hear the word Aurora, Baler comes in mind first, but I didn't know that something as beautiful as Dingalan also exists in the province.

Boat from the Dingalan Feeder Port

If you are looking for a place to relax and at the same time a place to be adventurous, Dingalan might be the perfect place for you. I had the opportunity to travel to Aurora last December 26-27, 2019 together with a few of my blogger friends and it was definitely enjoyable. Our whole familiarization trip was prepared by the Department of Tourism - Central Luzon (thank you also, Ma'am Pia Manabat) and Sir Peter Lising of M.A.G Travel and Tours. We arrived at Dingalan on December 26 and stayed at Coastal Cove Resort for the night. 

Orientation at the Dingalan Feeder Port
The next day, we headed to Dingalan Feeder Port for the boat hopping activity and to see the different tourist spots the town has to offer. Make sure that you coordinate with the people in charge at the port for your ride. You can also hire a tour guide from the Tourism department of Dingalan for you to fully enjoy your stay. They usually just charge 200 pesos per destination, so if you're a group of 10, imagine just paying 20 php per destination! At the Dingalan Feeder Port, you will also be oriented by your tour guide and life vests will be provided.

The tour started with the boat hopping activity. During the time we went there, the water is a bit chaotic but nothing scary. After about an hour, you will reach Lamao Cave. We weren't able to go inside the cave but I would definitely try it the next time we go to Dingalan.

White beach at Dingalan, Aurora
After boat hopping, our next destination is the White Beach. Our tour guide said that the sand on the beach used to be white, but due to a typhoon, the white sand was washed away and replaced by gray sand. Here at White Beach, you can pitch your own tent if you want to rest or you can buy fresh Coconut Juice (buko juice) to be refreshed! There is also an area where you can play volleyball with your friends. In fact, when we went there, a group of students was having their camping and some of there were playing in the area.

Trek to Mountain View
From White Beach, it takes about 30-45mins of trekking to get to the Mountain View. For me, it was supposedly an easy trail but what makes it hard is the rocky and steep path going to the summit. You also need to bring off lotion because there are lots of insects and mosquitos in the area. Also, it is advised to wear trekking shoes so that you won't slip or hurt yourself while hiking.

Region III Bloggers trekking to Mountain View
You actually have three options: you can trek to Mountain View, View Deck or the Lighthouse. In our case, we went to Mountain View and then headed over to View deck which was close. We weren't able to go to the Lighthouse anymore since we were really tired and it would take another hour to get to the destination. After almost 45 mins of trekking, you will be welcomed by the amazing view of Dingalan.

Sir Jan of Kapampangan Traveller having his photo op at the Mountain View
The first stop was the Mountain View which already showcases what Dingalan has to offer. There's a resting area there where you can sit and breathe for a few minutes before going to the View deck. The trek going to the View deck was also challenging because it was really slippery and steep but we couldn't pass seeing the view from above.

Batanes of the East
From the view above, it really looks like Batanes. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a beautiful masterpiece after an exhausting climb. This is my second climb after hiking Mt. Ulap in 2018. To be honest, I did not expect much out of this climb, but I really was in awestruck when I saw the view. I knew then that my efforts were paid off. Though Dingalan is most commonly called Batanes of the East, truly it is still unique in its own way. 

Tired but happy feet.
If you want to visit Dingalan, Aurora, you can book a tour from M.A.G Travel and Tours by messaging their facebook page or through sms at +63 927 486 2597.

I hope you get to visit Dingalan soon! 

PS: This is in collaboration with the Department of Tourism Central Luzon. All photos are post-processed in Lightroom.

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