In this era when everyone appears to be entitled to everything one can think of, don’t you think you, too, deserve even a short yet fulfilling getaway, quick yet liberating weekend? Breathe. Take a break. Let Dingalan, a gem in the east, carry you in her bosom, fill your senses, and make you believe once again that you are son(s) and daughter(s) of the universe.
Being so, wander even when you aren’t really lost. Feel the breeze brushing against your cheeks and entangling your hair as you trek to Dingalan’s lighthouse and viewdeck. It is 165 meters above sea level, estimates the tour guide. The terrains are just enough to excite you and provide simple cardio exercise. Here, you get the view overlooking the Philippine Sea.
Hop from one beach to the other. You will love the feeling of freedom as you ride the motorized banca. Moreover, you will be amazed to feel that you are just a speck in the Divine creation and yet you see your burdens as something bigger than you. Isn’t this conflicting? The boatsman and the tour guide provide life vest(s) and you, like me, would be tempted to jump off the boat. But hey, save the plunge for later. The tease, the excitement, the practice of patience – they remind you how human you are.
Explore the caves. OMG! Did you know that I took a plunge at Lamao Cave and I jumped into the mini death pool from a not so very high cliff at the Rock Formation? The mini death pool slapped me so hard that I realized fear brings me nowhere. While it was such an epic fail, the plunge and the jump were absolutely like going out of my comfort zone. It felt really good!
Chase waterfalls, such as Tanawan, Abungan, Laktas, Tabi and Iyapit. Tanawan is beautiful in her own way. Its waters gave chills to my spine. Here, you can swim, enjoy a plunge or two, chill the moment , and/or see the panoramic view of the town at the Tanawan View Deck.
Also, you can windsurf at Aplaya and Butas na Bato; pass time at Lipit Picnic Area along Ibona River; or head to Baler, the capital of Aurora.
Dingalan is one among the eight (8) municipalities in Aurora. A laid-back town, which caters extreme activities, it only offers inns, lodges, resorts and cottages that provide basic accommodation. However, you can set camp at White Beach or at Matawe Inter-Tidal Beach for the whole package of thrilling experience.
You can go to Dingalan alone or you can join groups to cut the cost and to double the fun. Dingalan is three to four hours away from Manila, and located in Central Luzon. It may be reached by bus or van. Then you will need to charter a boat from the Feeder Port that will carry you to White Beach. The boat will also serve as your getaway vehicle (like being extreme is a crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code).
I dubbed Dingalan as A Gem in the East because it is what it actually is. A paradise you will adore. Thus, I should provide the proper description and avoid making it a copycat of Batanes. In sum, Dingalan is sui generis, a class in itself. By the way, did you know that I availed this fun through a group tour? I was amazed at how organized and courteous the organizer, the driver and the tour guide had been. I felt special. See? This is how our weekend should be!