|The cove of Nangaramoan Beach|
B E A C H
G E T A W A Y
If rural relaxation means azure waters, rolling waves, and golden sugar-sand beaches, then Cagayan's Nangaramoan Beach has your name on the list of invites. Boasting more tropical vibe than any other shoreline attraction in the town of Sta. Ana, it has a little of most beaches that I've been to in the past. It's got the free spirit of Puerto Galera but toned down for lack of the party scene. It's affordable to beach bum for days with a group of like-minded revelers like in Baler but in less intimidating tiki hut lodgings. The terrain mimics that of Patar, but within a cove that provokes visitors to enjoy communal spaces. To fully imbibe what it has to offer, one simply has to forget one's beach bias and take it for what it is.
For travelers coming from as far away as Metro Manila, Sta. Ana can appear to be an unattainable vacation. However, the arduous journey adds sizzle to its attractive allure. One can either take the 14 to 15 hour-long road trip or have it cut short to just 3 hours by booking a flight and deplaning in Tuguegarao City. In my case, I opted to have layovers in Tuguegarao City and Baggao before finally reaching the town that's famous for its windswept attraction called Palaui Island.
|Nangaramoan Beach view from the hillside trail|
|At a lodging of Nenet's Inn and Cottages|
|Nenet's Inn and Cottages|
|A small cave at the coralline rock hillside|
Settlement of Agta Natives
Along one side of the end of the well-paved road, a rustic settlement of Agta natives could be spotted. Here, they are free to roam as they've done in decades past, traversing towns as far as Baggao on foot. Unlike in Boracay where island natives are forced to beg at the tourist-thronged White Beach, Nangaramoan is a paradise for all.
The vibe is so offbeat that even famous international celebrities can walk around unrecognized by locals. My friend recalled an instance one summer when martial arts and Hollywood actor Jackie Chan once came from a nearby casino and bought a souvenir from his pasalubong store at the beach and he was the only one who got excited about the encounter. The actor simply motioned for him to keep quiet as to not attract unwanted attention.
|Settlement of Agta natives|
|Marpe Loding beachfront|
Stories Behind The Name
As for the reason behind the name of the place, locals have two versions. Agta natives allude to their ancestor's tale of two young lovers who used to rendezvous at the golden sand of the cove while a few locals refer to the presence of a vanishing Japanese marker at a part of a rock formation that reveals itself during low tide.
During low tide, the scenery at the beach can be drearily dull which is why a short inland hike atop its coral stone-studded hillside can be a great alternative to pass the time. It's reminiscent of Bolinao and it leads to the neighboring beach of Anguib which shares the same shoreline with Nangaramoan. Up there, behind windswept trees, a trail can be tackled to reach a small cave. Enter at your own risk as there are no guides around for a tour since it's just a less noticeable opening on a coralline rock wall that leads to nowhere. Skid past it and you go all the way down to the rocky swath of Anguib Beach.
|View from a lodging of Nenet's Inn and Cottages|
Other than enjoying the inland side trip, the tropical charm of Nangaramoan Beach rests solely in the confines of its cove which is accentuated on one side by a mountain with a reptilian-shaped end for a rock formation. The stretch of golden sand is still expansive from the surf. Its next best asset is the set of affordable lodgings that range from rustic huts (Nenet's Inn and Cottages) to modern studio units (Marpe Lodging), all of which are at the beachfront. Lodging rates can set you back between P1,000 and P2,000 on peak season. Consider it to be lower during the rainy season.
For your next craving of tropical bliss, Sta. Ana has Nangaramoan Beach. It will take you awhile to reach it, but once you're there, you just want to linger a few days more. Leaving back for the city will not be as easy as blowing farewell kisses in the wind. Paradise can break hearts, too.
|Contact Dominador Calpito for boat rentals|
Nenet's Inn & Cottages
Contact Aling Nenet at 0916-717-5985 and
Contact Pepe Cabingan at 0917-476-7041 and 0915-906-6692
Contact Dominador Calpito of SAMOBA Association at 0936-572-4212
Check out other Cagayan-related attractions:
• Duba Cave of Baggao
• Laglagto River and Rock Formation of Baggao
• Country Inn Hotel and Restaurant in Baggao
• Country Inn By The Sea in Sta. Ana
More Photos Below: