Believe the weatherman when he says that the temperature is highest in Tuguegarao.
We woke up early morning in the island of Palaui
and after a quick breakfast, we proceeded to see the falls. The falls is easily reachable by a short 30-minute trek from the Bayanihan Hall.
A few photos here and there then we made it back to San Vicente port. We decided to eat lunch at the carinderia near the van terminal. It is interesting how there is a pancitan (noodle shop) in every corner. Cagayan is one of those places where there is a widespread love for a particular food, much like Iloilo, where I marveled at how manukan/inasal (grilled chicken) businesses prosper with each of them sitting side-by-side in every nook.
We were eating Pancit Batil Patung when a family came in. When it was time to order, all the 4 kids screamed "Pancit! Pancit!". Cagayan really is a Pancit Country!
Pancit Batil Patong
I am sure pancit lovers would enjoy both Pancit Batil Patong and Pancit Cabagan, but for someone like me who loves nothing but a good, old, moist Pancit Bihon, a huge plate is more than enough. My companion likes Pancit Canton so let's just say that our first taste of the Batil Patong made us yearn for our usual favorite pancit variety.
The first trip from Sta.Ana to Tuguegarao is at 3AM, with a van leaving every 30mins. Last trip is at 1PM. We were just in time for the last van to the city. Unfortunately, the van's AC was not working. It was filled up to its capacity of 14 persons, so imagine how hot and humid it was inside. I tried to sleep the 3-hr ride away but I kept waking up in sweat.
Finally, we made it to Tuguegarao! We checked-in at the first hostel we saw. We asked to view the rooms first but the man-in-charge said "Ok naman ung mga rooms." We should have taken that as a sign! In an attempt to quickly take shelter from the scorching hot sun, we said yes. This hostel was not the spookiest I've ever stayed at (the one in Surigao tops my list) but it was definitely creepy. I have no qualms in basking under the sun or sleeping in a non-AC room but it was unusually hot in Tuguegarao and all I wanted was to lie down and turn the AC on, full blast.
The next day we decided to check-in at Pensione Joselina. It was cheaper than the first hostel we stayed at plus it did not have a haunted house appeal to it. After watching American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance? marathons, it was time to finally brave the hot, hot weather.
First Agenda: Give the Pancit Batil Patung and Pancit Cabagan a second chance.
There were 2 suggestions for the best panciteria in town. We first went to Gretchen's but too bad it was closed on a Black Saturday. Next stop: Budyok's. Luckily, it was open for business.
Welcome to Budyok's! Very affordable!
We had a huge lunch of Super Special Pancit Cabagan, Super Pancit Batil Patong, halo-halo, and longsilog.
Pancit Batil Patong
So what's the difference between the two? Sadly, I do not have taste buds made to dissect food. I liked the itlog pugo, chicharon, and lechon. Batil Patong uses miki noodles while Cabagan is made of canton noodles. Naturally, Aaron liked the Pancit Cabagan while I stayed fiercely loyal to my beloved pancit bihon. I gobbled up all the toppings though. The Vigan longganisa was terrific. It made me wish I could take a kilo of longganisa goodness home.
Budyok's Halo-Halo is reminiscent of that of Razon's. There were only a few toppings (mango slices, corn, leche flan, and 2 Pandan Stick-Os) but the dessert was refreshing and perfect for getting through the summer heat.
It took us a while to finish our lunch. The servings were huge. Our stomachs were full until the end of the day.
By 1PM, we went off to complete the day's second agenda: visit the famed Callao Cave.
Budyok's Panciteria is located at corner Legaspi and College Avenue Extension, Centro 8, Tuguegarao City. Ride a traysi from any point in the city. Fare is P10 per person.