Dingalan, Aurora – Journey Up

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After virtually two years of being caught at house and driving solely to close by areas due to the pandemic, we determined to go on a motorbike street journey proper earlier than Christmas final December 2021. Social gatherings had been nonetheless restricted, checkpoints in some areas had been nonetheless strict, and borders to pick out locations had been simply easing up. On the time, Dingalan in Aurora was one of many few locations accepting vacationers from different provinces and Metro Manila with out a whole lot of necessities.

Whereas we beforehand rode to Dingalan in 2019 and stayed in a single day earlier than heading to Baler, on our second journey we took it straightforward and stayed two nights to discover lesser-visited spots. In comparison with Baler, Dingalan remains to be a bit off the vacationer radar. In case you’re planning to trip to Dingalan for the primary time (whether or not by motorbike, automobile, or bicycles), listed here are some ideas that will help you out.

Dingalan is a coastal city surrounded by mountains positioned about 183 kilometers north-east of Manila. It’s bounded on the north by San Luis, on the west by Gabaldon and Basic Tinio in Nueva Ecija and Donia Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan, and on the south by Basic Nakar in Quezon. Dingalan straight faces the Dingalan Bay and Philippine Sea on the east.

There’s at the moment just one cemented street passing Nueva Ecija to get to this city. From the primary city correct of Paltic, branching alleys result in different barangays within the south, together with Aplaya, Butas na Bato, Matawe, Ibona, Dikapanikian and Umiray. Vacationers with restricted time often go to right here on day journeys or joiner’s excursions with personal vans to go to the primary sights.

Dingalan is an easy and laid-back coastal city which you can attain inside a 4-5 hour drive from Metro Manila. It’s a great vacation spot for individuals who dwell within the north of the metro within the temper for an extended trip and get away from town for the weekend as a substitute for Actual and Infanta in Quezon.

The mountain roads and surroundings alongside the way in which are a pleasure for motorbike riders and street trippers to trip by way of. For cyclists, the rolling terrain, zigzagging roads and uphill ascents going to the city present difficult terrain to check your mettle. Whereas the primary half of the trip is flat, it will get extra enjoyable when you flip proper to Palayan from Cabanatuan.

By personal transport

Like our earlier street journeys, we simply adopted the route advised by GoogleMaps. For this journey, we deliberate to remain in Gina’s Visitor Home, in order that was our waypoint. It’s roughly 182 kilometers from Quezon Metropolis. Relying on the site visitors circumstances, your route, pace, and variety of stops, getting right here will take roughly about 3.5 to five hours by personal automobile. For cyclists, it may take about 12 hours (or extra) of saddle time.

Driving to Dingalan is fairly simple simply following the Pan-Philippine Hwy/AH26. When you’re driving a small displacement bike that may’t cross tollways, anticipate some site visitors within the service roads and main cities alongside the freeway to Cabanatuan, notably the intersections.

The trip will get higher when you flip proper to Palayan Metropolis or on the bypass street in Santa Rosa to Fort Magsayasay (higher route). You’ll take one other proper going to Gabaldon and onwards to Dingalan.

The final stretch of the route will take you thru lovely mountain views, bridges, and riverside areas in Nueva Ecija. We made a few stops at viewpoints and bridges earlier than heading all the way down to the Dingalan city correct and our chosen inn.

By public transport

It’s additionally doable to get to Dingalan by public transport. Bikers who wish to skip the extra congested areas can board their bicycles on the bus and begin biking in Nueva Ecija or Dingalan itself.

  • Experience a bus from Metro Manila to Cabanatuan Metropolis, Nueva Ecija. Buses like 5 Star Bus and Baliwag Transit depart from Cubao and Caloocan. Journey time on the bus roughly 2-3 hours relying on the site visitors.
  • On the Cabanatuan Central Terminal, switch to a van going to Dingalan (1.5 to 2 hours) or board a bus headed for Umiray and get down at Dingalan.
  • As soon as in Dingalan, switch to a tricycle to get to your chosen inn or pension home.
  • UPDATE: Efficient March 2023, a brand new bus route from Baliwag Transit goes straight from Cubao to Dingalan by way of Cabanatuan with out the necessity to switch.
  • 🗓️ 4:20 AM Dingalan to Caloocan
  • 🗓️ 3:30 PM Caloocan to Dingalan
  • 🗓️ 4:00 AM Cubao to Dingalan
  • 🗓️ 3:00 PM Dingalan to Cubao

Dingalan is a vacation spot for nature lovers and adventurers. When you’re on the lookout for luxurious resorts, a number of eating places, and nightlife, this isn’t the place to go. However it’s a good spot to go for a digital detox and luxuriate in easy joys like nature views, coastal roads, the seashore, and nice seafood that you just don’t get in busy cities.

Take a hike to the mountain view deck

Need to stretch your legs after an extended trip? Top-of-the-line views in Dingalan can solely reached by foot. You possibly can trip a ship from the Feeder Port to the White Seaside or simply stroll to the seashore from city and hike as much as attain the well-known mountain viewpoint. The view of the mountains and the rugged coast right here has drawn comparisons to Batanes. The trek takes about half-hour to an hour relying in your tempo. 

Cross the Umiray Bridge

The 2 cities of Dingalan in Aurora and Umiray in Basic Nakar, Quezon are related by Umiray Bridge, a 358 meter-long bridge that goes over the Umiray River which separates the cities.

The placement itself makes it a focal point for a joyride and good vantage level to observe the dawn.

Take a dip at Umiray River

Umiray River is a tributary of the Pacific Ocean. From the bridge, we seemed for a spot to drive all the way down to the riverside. You possibly can wade, take a dip, or take pleasure in easy picnics right here. Simply deliver your individual snacks and take your trash again with you, as there’s not a whole lot of locations to purchase meals close to the river.

Benefit from the waves at Matawe Seaside

The seashores dealing with Dingalan Bay have grey sand and the waves may be robust throughout the amihan season and if there are typhoons. To be protected, keep near the shore as there aren’t any lifeguards at this seashore.

Some areas like Matawe Seaside have rock formations whereas different seashore areas provide cottages you may lease. Simply drive round and you’ll find spots to loosen up alongside the seashore.

Climb up Zen Tierras view deck

Zen Tierras Farm, one of many mountain farm resorts in Dingalan, has a nature path to a view deck the place you may get an amazing view of the coast surrounded by all of the bushes. When you’re eating at their restaurant, you may take a stroll as much as this scenic relaxation cease earlier than or after your meal.

Feast on price range seafood meals

Top-of-the-line issues to do in Dingalan is to feast on budget-friendly seafood. There are easy eateries on the market like Arlyn’s Seafood Paluto the place you should buy contemporary seafood from fish stalls and have them cooked on the spot.

Market distributors right here promote contemporary lobsters, crabs, salmon, squid, shrimps, fish, and shellfish at a fraction of the price of seafood eating places within the metropolis. Pair your meals with greens like like pako (native fern) and beer or gentle drinks for an amazing meal.

Most inns and resorts concentrate on seafood.

If in case you have extra time, you possibly can additionally go to different factors of curiosity in Dingalan corresponding to:

  • Dingalan Lighthouse
  • White Seaside 
  • Lamao Caves
  • Tanawan Falls
  • Intertidal Zone
  • Tabi Falls
  • Makibato Falls

Gina’s Guesthouse

Ginas Guesthouse is a lodging home close to the city correct of Dingalan that provides an amazing view of the coast. Rooms are clear and trendy. They’ve an in-house grill and restaurant with an overlooking view of the ocean.

In addition they have a swimming pool and in-house restaurant. We arrived on a Thursday and had been the one company checked in, so it felt very peaceable and we acquired to benefit from the place to ourselves.

Households and teams began arriving on Friday night and Saturday morning (as we had been leaving).

Room charges begin at P2,500/evening for poolside views and P3,500/evening for ocean views & household suites. E book rooms at Gina’s Guesthouse straight from their FB web page.

Zen Tierras Farm by Cocotel

Zen Tierras Farm by Cocotel is a peaceable retreat hidden within the heart of the mountains. The farm provides an expertise that highlights the fantastic thing about nature, the calm of the mountains, and the significance of sustainable dwelling.

The farm has easy rooms, pure swimming pools, a mountain climbing path to a viewing deck, and a restaurant that serves good and fantastically introduced meals. I liked their binakol, fried garlic shrimps, and contemporary buko juice that used straws constituted of leaves.

Whereas the place is a bit distant and entails a tough (however brief) trip to get to the parking space from the primary street, it’s the form of place that international vacationers and nature lovers will wish to search out for a meal and hike or keep in a single day to get away from all of it. It’s very peaceable right here and ensures you’re away from the karaoke crowd should you occur to go on a weekend.

Room charges begin at P1,450/evening on Agoda. E book rooms at Zen Tierras by Cocotel right here.

Cave Seaside Resort

Cave Seaside Resort close to the port in Brgy. Aplaya can also be a great possibility due to its central location and facilities. Air-conditioned rooms are clear and first rate, with cold and warm showers, TVs and free WiFi.

With 10 rooms, this place provides a pleasant, personal and quiet getaway for {couples}, solo riders, households or small teams. Every room has a storage space for parking. Cave Seaside Resort has a backyard, swimming pool, picnic huts dealing with the seashore, and some desk video games like a Foosball desk and billiards for checked-in company.

For worldwide vacationers touring by public transport who wish to trip as soon as they get there, the resort additionally has a few bikes out there for lease. The resort can prepare excursions if tour guides can be found. Room charges begin at P3,200/evening on Agoda. E book rooms at Cave Seaside resort right here.

This journey kicked was our first lengthy motorbike trip throughout the pandemic period. I forgot to maintain observe of the whole variety of kilometers traveled and gasoline consumed, however the Umiray Bridge is about 201 kilometers from Quezon Metropolis, so the entire trip was over 400 kilometers backwards and forwards.

After waking as much as the view of the ocean and mountains and driving round traffic-free roads, I dreaded going again to town. We left mid-morning and had been making good time.

The climate had been truthful, cloudy, and windy for many if our trip going there and again, however as luck would have it, there was a heavy downpour as soon as we reached Caloocan. Kung kelan malapit na makauwi.

I miss lengthy motorbike rides like this. We’ve been doing much more biking because the pandemic hit, however hopefully this 12 months, I can get again into driving to new locations, even when it’s simply easy breakfast or espresso rides. There are nonetheless so many locations I’d like to discover on two wheels. Any solutions for our subsequent motorbike vacation spot this 12 months?


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