When Philippines was colonized by Spaniards, Cape Engaño is one of the four lighthouses built. Spaniard seafarers were captivated by its deceptive beauty that they called it “Cape Engaño.” The construction started in 21 September 1888 and finished in 31 December 1892.
Engaño (masculine noun) – act of deceiving
My college friend who is now living in US took a visit here in the Philippines. She invited us to come over to their province Cagayan. It is at the north of Luzon and we came to visit Cape Engaño!
Cape Engaño is a historic lighthouse located at the Palaui Island in Santa Ana, Cagayan. Palaui Island was the filming location in 2013 for Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan.
Our boat transfer route is: San Vicente Port – Cape Engaño – Anguib Beach – San Vicente Port
The Pasamoba Cooperative’s standard operating procedure is to travel by 8 people per boat but because my friend Danicca has connections, we were able to travel even if we’re just three.
While sailing, we were able to see these beautiful islands. It took us 45 mins. – 1 hour to get there.
Touch down. Cape Engano.
We were approached by a tour guide to help us reach the top easily and paid an entrance fee/conservation fee.
At the starting point we were oriented that Palaui Island is a National Marine Reserve in 1994 making it a haven for different species of plants and birds.
We trekked because Cape Engano is located atop the summit of a hill. 92-m above sea level!
The view is getting more and more beautiful as we reached the top but it was not an easy climb.
The hill is not steep and high but the sun is screaming hell that exhausted us easily because it was a smoldering 12 noon.
If I am not mistaken, it would only consume 30 minutes of our time going up, but because we can’t help but not to stop in awe of the breathtaking view, it took us 1 hour to reach the lighthouse.
Cape Engaño is composed of the housing pavilion, the service buildings and the 11-meter octagonal tower which houses the crown and the copper lantern (but was now a solar-based lighting mechanism) that is visible in all angles of the lighthouse.
We had full of sweat as we reached the top.
Cool down a little bit on these seats.
Here’s Sandayal that serves as a compass.
The 14-hour by land trip from Quezon City to Cagayan is butt-numbing (if there’s such a word). We left at 11 PM and had our 2-hour stop in Vigan. I thank God that if it weren’t for the father of our friend, it’s close to impossible that I’d set foot and see this very virgin island. Before, a tour to Palaui is very difficult to arrange. One must be a true-blooded adventurer to witness this paradise. However, the locals are able to manage a centralized tour. Reach them out by calling their local tourism office: 0905-497-8379 or 0999-758-7079.
HOW TO GET THERE:
By land: Commuting, you may take Florida bus (terminal near UST) going to Santa Ana, Cagayan and travel for 15 hours. After reaching Santa Ana’s town center, take a tricycle (P15 each) to San Vicente terminal. You will be guided accordingly in your boat transfer once you get there.
By air: Take a flight bound to Tuguegarao. From Tuguegarao, have a van transfer going to Santa Ana for around P200. Then take tricycle for P15 each going to San Vicente terminal for your boat transfer going to Engaño.
My trip going to Cape Engano is like the struggle I’m facing in my career and passion – choices like I can go by air or go by land. And I chose to take my trip by land. It was a long ride. The long ride is daunting and tiring. The more roads I take, the more I doubt if the destination is still right. Every time I think that I have traveled longer with no other people to see in a dark road, I feel left out and unsure. Sometimes I can’t help but ask myself, “what if I just took the same journey just like the others, how far have I already reached?”
But maybe I was not meant to have a trip by plane. I was meant to travel the long road, sail the boat, and climb the hill… because there are no shortcuts to a place worth traveling.
Okay. I maybe talking figuratively here but taking the literal side, going here is very sulit. Imagine going to one place but it takes you to a lot of views – beautiful coastline, scenic greenery, a white sand beach, and a historical piece. Could you ask for more?
And we had our halo-halo after going down served as our trophy. LOL
Cape Engaño Lighthouse
Palaui Island, San Vicente, Cagayan, Philippines
local tourism office: 0905-497-8379 or 0999-758-7079.