Packed with exciting adventure and with a beautiful landscape teeming with life, Dingalan in the province of Aurora is an ideal spot for travelers and adventure buffs! So aside from the popular surfing spot in Baler, try considering Dingalan in your bucket list and immerse yourselves in its natural wonders from the rugged cliff, beach, waterfalls, rock formations and caves.
Dingalan is a small town and is a third class municipality in the province of Aurora. It has eleven barangays with nine located on the seashore and the three on main land including Poblacion.
I am so thankful to travel group organizers for making it easy nowadays to get into exciting places. Honestly, I never heard about Dingalan until I saw pictures of my friends in their FB accounts that joined a group tour.
The itchy foot in me got so excited to see Dingalan in person so I searched on the internet a tour organizer and found RA Perrolino. I was advised he was a legit organizer so I joined his group for P899 and we added P150 for the boodle fight lunch. Our meetup place is in McDonald’s in SM Mall of Asia at 11:00 pm.
Every time I travel, I choose people I love to make the experience worthy. So for this adventure, I enjoined my office mate and a dear friend Cy Moros to be part of this exciting getaway.
Van Transfers (Manila-Dingalan-Manila)
All Entrance Fee
Cottage & ETC
Cottage (30 pesos each)
We head off to Dingalan at around 12:20 am. We had two stop-overs for bio breaks and a short nap of the driver (he was in his early fifties and with eyeglasses). We arrived in Barangay Poblacion around 5:30 am. We parked in the main drop off point of vans and buses bound to Cabanatuan fronting the Town Hall and the public market.
It was a calm clear morning. It was so wonderful to be greeted by a quaint town with a serene and laid back feel. Due to the Sierra Madre Mountains the whole town is mountainous. It was a summer month but the mountain crest was all foggy. The air was quite chilly. I was praying it will not rain.
There was a strip of carinderias in the public market where Cy and I ate a heavy breakfast: a rice, fried egg and hotdog for P50 to sustain our energy for the morning activities (P50). 3-in-1 (P15) coffee complemented it best.
The Feeder Port
From the Town Hall of Poblacion, we boarded the van and headed to the registration area in the Feeder Port. It is the main port in getting to White Beach and other areas. After the registration, we were given a brief orientation by our two tour guides before we boarded a small outrigger boat. Since we were all fourteen and the boat was small, we were divided into two groups. The boat ride took us about 20 minutes only in getting to our first destination.
The White Beach
My heart was filled with anticipation and excitement while we were on our way to the White Beach. It was a smooth twenty-minute ride only. When we docked on the shore the sun was hovering up the sky. A promise of a good day.
The beach wasn’t white but rather beige. We were told by our guide that it was a beautiful white sand way back then but due to soil erosion caused by tropical storms, Violeta, Winnie and Yoyong it became beige. It may not be the ideal white sand beach but the water was clear and the sand was fine. And there were portions along the shore with stones and boulders which is perfect for nice photo ops.
White Beach has a small community of local. It is the jump off point in getting to Mountain View and Lighthouse. This is also the resting spot after the trek and where the iconic boodle fight takes place.
If you intend to stay for the day or overnight, there are wooden cottages for rent. You may contact Ate Lourdes or Kuya Buboy with these contact numbers: 09272882560 and 09185036080. Tents are allowed to be pinched in this area.
The Mountain View
The most popular tourist spot to visit in Dingalan is the Mountain View which is dubbed as the “Batanes of the East”. It offers a grand view of rolling hills and rocky cliff that roll into deep blue sea.
I’m a casual trekker and I highly recommend the trek for beginners. Even senior citizens and toddlers can make it to the top. The trek was twenty minutes only. It was steep and muddy but don’t worry, there are ropes and small trees to cling on.
The view on the top was mesmerizing and magical. Before I snap photos, I took time to let my eyes feast at the beautiful post card view while feeling the cold breeze fanning on my face. It was so breathtaking that it will take you to ponder how God created this magnificent wonder.
I haven’t been to Batanes (I’ll be there on January next year), but somehow I already felt its magic by seeing the Mountain View. It was jam-packed by people that we have to wait for our turn to snap solo and group photos with the grand cliff. And because it was windy, we patiently managed the wind blowing effect in our photos.
Some of the group did not go to the Lighthouse anymore because of the scorching heat of the sun. But for me and Cy, we never skip anything. We went down again into the slippery and steep trail and halfway we stopped a while to eat an ice drop which we bought for P30. It was creamy and delicious.
It was already sweltering hot when we went uphill to the Lighthouse. I was told by a friend who had been here that visitors are no longer allowed to enter the premise. Why? According to our guide, the local government stopped visitors in entering the lighthouse because of a tourist who broke the solar panel. Sad for the next visitors who wanted to go inside the light house.
From the vantage point, Mountain View is seen on the left side. It was not as windy as Mountain View in this particular spot. The best two things to do here is to commune with nature and snap photos.
In getting down, we were rewarded of another awesome view that we have to stop a while and take pictures.
We were about to settle for lunch as we went back to the White Beach but majority of the group wanted to go to the Lamao Cavao first before feasting on lunch.
Suwa Rock Formation (Inter-tidal pool)
The sky turned into gray as we were halfway the boat trip. The water was getting mad and wild so we skipped the opportunity in getting to Lamao Cave. Sad for me and Cy, anyway we moved on to our next destination.
The Rock Formation is composed of unique karst limestone wall formations. What we love in this place is climbing on sharp edged rocks and does the happy photos.
The waves at the back of the stunning rock formation were too strong that if you swim on the water it will surely drag you down to the rocks. Thus, no one dares to swim. We just walked around and enjoyed gazing to the amazing rock wall formations.
The Boodle Fight
You haven’t been to Dingalan if you will not join a boodle fight especially if you join a group tour. What is Boodle Fight anyway? It is a military style of eating in which food is placed on top of banana leaves and diners will eat with the hands.
Dingalan is famous for its sumptuous food, no wonder this kind of lunch is common nowadays in this town. This is my first time to do this and I could say it was fun eating with people who are jolly and noisy. Hahaha! Mineral water is provided in this tour.
After a tasty and hefty lunch, some of the group swam on the beach. Cy and I decided to stay inside the nipa hut to take a nap with the rest of the girls.
In getting to the waterfall, one has the option to ride the tricycle for P40/head or walk for about twenty minutes. The road was bumpy, dusty and there were uphill portions hence the rate for the ride was a bit pricey.
As casual trekkers, Cy and I opted to walk from the drop off point amidst the sweltering weather. When we reached the registration area, we went downward on a cemented stairs and later we passed by the makeshift bamboo bridge.
The waterfalls is approximately 15 meters high which cascades to a catch basin of around ten feet in depth. It has two catch basins separated by a big chunk of boulders. Most of the adults stayed near the falls while the kids swam to the other side. Both were packed by bathers.
It was so tempting to swim, but since it was already late in the afternoon and its getting cold, Cy and I decided to take pictures only and stayed for several minutes savoring the peaceful moment with nature.
Tanawan View deck
Tanawan (a place of viewing) offers a grand view of the surrounding Sierra Madre, Mingan Mountains and Pacific Ocean. Never miss another fun-filled photo snapping with the two markers-Tanawan Falls and I love Dingalan in the Tanawan View deck set in a cute mini-garden creatively done by the locals.
This is located beside the main road in getting to the waterfalls.
But before that, munch on a halo-halo (P25) in a sari-sari store just beside the view deck.
Wash up time
After our happy photo ops, we went back to the drop-off point. There were locals offering their houses for wash-up with a fee of P20. We chose the farthest house from the drop off point to skip the queue.
After tidying up, we bought souvenir goodies and food for pasalubong for our loved ones. It was almost 5:00 pm when we set off for Manila. But before we end the day, we passed by the I love Dingalan marker and had our last moment capturing memories.
A group tour
When you join a group tour, expect to mingle with people with different characters, moods and personalities. You may or may not enjoy the trip, but never mind the negative vibes, set your mood on fire, tag someone who you love and make a memory.
This is my third time to join a group tour and for an appreciative traveler like me who is always thankful for having the opportunities to go places, this is another memorable adventure to cherish and I’m glad that Cy accompanied me.
- Pray first for guidance and safety.
- Dingalan has unpredictable weather that even on summer it rains unexpectedly so be ready to get wet on some part of the trip
- Bring water and snack
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Bring sun block lotion, arm warmer, shades, cap (for the trek in Mountain View and the Lighthouse)
- Wear slippers or sandals if you are planning to swim
- Its best to get early so you can enjoy the view and have all the time to take a lot of selfie or group photos in Mountain View and the Light house
- Its best to bring hi-definition cameras or SLR to capture an amazing photo
In getting there:
Take a bus in Cubao (Five Star bus) bound for Cabanatuan (P180). From there, ride a van in getting to Dingalan, Aurora (P100). Then ride a tricycle going to the Feeder port (P20).
Tourist Boat Rate:
- Going to White Beach is P800 for 8 persons and below. P100/head for or additional person.
- Additional fee of P300 to Suwa Rock Formation (the Inter-tidal Pool); P500 to Lamao Cave.
- Tour guide is P200 per destination.
- Environmental fee: P50.00/head / 20% Senior Citizen
- Exemptions – residents of Dingalan, 6 years and below and person with disability (PWD)
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