If I had a chance to visit Isabela tomorrow, these are my top 10 Things I Would Love To Do Again In Isabela. And again. And again. And again.
1. Eat Seafood (…especially the fresh lobsters)
When we organized the Random Road Trip #7, we asked everyone to bring 2 cans of sardines. Everyone asked us why they need to bring cans of sardines. Everyone assumed that it will be one of our food for the trip. To everyone’s surprise, the local tribe of Isabela – The Dumagats, still practice barter trading. You can trade a can of sardines for freshly caught lobsters. Yes, you got it right. LOBSTERS. I would have never thought of eating so much lobsters in one meal. Sadly, only prawns were depicted above since by the time we could manage to take photos of the lobster dish, it was all gone and eaten by my fellow road trippers.
2. Sunbathe in Honeymoon Island
Honeymoon Island is one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in the Philippines. No doubt it belongs to the top beaches in the country. Its crystal clear waters teaming with live fishes and corals is a sure haven for sea folks like me. At around 3:00 in the afternoon, a major low tide affects the area which reveals crazy rock formations, small basins of corals and live fishes. Next time I visit this place, I want to spend overnight just watching the stars in its white sandy beaches.
3. Enjoy Another Ride in a Cessna Plane (aka Indiana Jones plane)
I am an Indian Jones movie fan. And I have always dreamed of riding a Cessna Plane. I did not realize I would be able to do it in Isabela. One of the modes of transport to get to the coastal towns of Isabela is to take the 19-seater plane of Sky Pasada or the 3 to 6 seater Cessna plane of Cyclone Air. The beauty of flying inside a Cessna plane is that you get up, close and personal with the majestic Sierra Madre mountain ranges. The view itself is well worth the plane ride.
4. Fight The Waves of Romualdez Beach
Theoretically, I think you can surf the beaches of Isabela. I did not get to try it but swimming in Romualdez Beach as it slams you near its shores, is one of my favorite experience in Isabela. Waves going up as 5 feet as you play near the shorelines sounds dangerous but definitely exhilarating. The round pebble rocks found along its shoreline does not hurt your feet. The clear wavy waters feels so good in the afternoon sun. Best part is when you lie down the pebble shore, it feels like you are getting a nice massage.
5. Play with Dumagat Children
The Dumagat Tribe is one of the oldest tribes in the country. According to a study being conducted along the shores of Palanan by Oxford University, the Dumagat tribe is perhaps the oldest living tribe in the Philippines. It was a privilege and an honor for us visitors or “dayo” to get to mingle with them up close and personal. Living as nomads, we were lucky enough to encounter them on the shores of Divilacan. Playing with these kids as they catch fishes is one of the best experiences I had in Isabela Province.
6. Watch The Stars in Palanan
Coming from Manila, you rarely get to see a clear starlit night much less enjoy the fresh evening air. Stargazing in the coastal town of Palanan is a definitely a must do. The night sky was lit up with billions of lights that you could go on staring at them.
7. Eat the Famous Pancit Cabagan
If Pancit Batil Patong is the provincial dish of Tugegarao, Pancit Cabagan is for the locals of Isabela. Pancit Cabagan is one hell of a delicious noodle dish that originated from the Isabela province, like any other noodle dishes in the Philippines its roots are of Chinese origin. This dish for me looks like a cross between the Pancit Canton and Pancit Palabok, sometimes it nearly looks similar to Hokkien Mee but had more sauce.
8. Picnic in Blos River
If you search google for Blos River, you would be greeted with a lot of pictures of the river with title such as Crystal River or Off the Beaten track. This is because not many have ventured to see this beautiful river. So eating lunch inside a transport raft along the river is one unforgettable experience. I don’t know if it is just me but the food tasted so good while eating along the river shore.
9. Practice Diving in Brgy. Sumadag in Maconacon
If you ever want to practice your diving skills, Brgy. Sumadag along the Pantalan is a good place to practice. The waters are deep enough to showcase your epic belly flops!
10. Hang Out with the Locals
This Random Road Trip would not have been memorable and epic had it not been for the hospitality and cheerfulness of the locals of Isabela. Hands down, the kindness, the smile, and the warm hospitality of the people of Isabela makes you want to go back again to this undiscovered paradise.
Our heartfelt thanks goes to Governor Faustino “Bojie” Dy III, Echague Brgy. Captain Francis Faustino “Kiko” Dy, and their amazing staff in the Provincial Office – Jonathan Edica, Bobby Abay and Joey Tejada for making the trip exciting and memorable. We cannot thank you enough for your Hospitality. A big shout out goes to Maconacon Mayor Ma. Lucelle Kate Vicente and Vice-Mayor Jolly Taberner, fortaking time to show us around. And most especially to Palanan Mayor Angelo “Bimbo” Bernardo and Mrs. Eden Bernardo for taking care of us when we stayed in Palanan, Isabela.
However, this Random Road Trip would not have been as fun and wild if not for 12 crazy people who trusted us in joining this road trip without any idea of where to go and what to expect. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!
Thank you Evie Go, LadyAnn Tuazon Canlas,Tristan Samson,John Garcia, Lorraine Fonseca, Sam Santiago,Patricia Esmaquel, Roz Carmen, Pao Go, CeciLia Ayubo, Eunice Enriquez, Maria Del Cielo Gamboa and Tristan’s Bag for making this as the MOST EPIC RANDOM ROAD TRIP we ever had!!!
You can view our Isabela Adventure here – Random Road Trip #7 Photo Gallery
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