Not too far from Manila, a “communicable disease” spreads like wildfire primarily affecting tourists. Once caught, you will find it difficult to recover. Locals call it: “Dingalan Syndrome”—a prevalent condition in which tourists get so fascinated with the infectious beauty of the province situated in the central part of Luzon that they often catch themselves coming back again and again and again.
This week, 'Biyahe Ni Drew' stepped up and took the dare to see what’s with Dingalan, Aurora that makes any tourist deeply love it even at first visit.
How to get there:
It usually takes 3-4 hours to get to the province dubbed as “the secret paradise of the east.” For both commuters and non-commuters, travel is not much of a hassle as North Luzon Expressway is, well, very accessible.
What to do:
(1) Plunge into the clear beach for free
Matawe Beach, Dingalan, Aurora
Dingalan will never be called a paradise for no reason, that's for sure.
Enclosed by mountains, Matawe beach lies like a serene, untouched body of water that entices every visitor to take a plunge. It has four hundred meter-long stretch of fine sand and hides a secret that only unfolds during low tide-- rock formations.
The best thing about Matawe, though, is not its waters or sand or rocks. It's the fact that anyone can actually experience its heavenly beauty for free!
"As they say, the best beach in life is for free," said Arellano.
(2) Explore the wilderness of caves
Lamao Caves, Dingalan, Aurora
Dark. Wide. Mysterious. The Lamao caves are one of the best attractions in Dingalan. These caves are on top of every tourist’s -- who are looking for extreme adventures-- list of must-visit places due to the beauty and mystery that hide inside them.
One can explore the caves aboard a boat. It is advised that tourists must come in group as such activity becomes more unsafe as the distance gets farther. The water current is strong and irregular, plus the waves are solid as the waters are part of the undoubtedly huge pacific ocean.
(3) Relax and savor the serenity of nature
Tanawan Falls, Dingalan, Aurora
Dive into the waters. Lift your body up. Brush your hair backwards and tilt your head up. Blue skies. Green trees. Peaceful surroundings. The kind of experience Tanawan Falls gives to people is priceless.
The excruciating despair you accumulated from the metropolis sure will be wiped away as soon as you step here and feel the calmness of the wind and waters conniving to give you euphoric escape and relaxation.
Good thing about visiting places which remain untouched by the mainstream public such as Tanawan Falls is that you get to savor the quality time you want for yourself-- you can relax and do anything, thus this shot.
(4) Catch seafoods anytime you want
Dalampasigan, Dingalan, Aurora
The seafood sold in Dingalan are way cheaper than those in the market.
Tourists can also dive underwater to catch seafood for themselves and by themselves. One of the perks of visiting this hidden paradise is the fact that you could catch these edible sea creatures anytime you want, for free. More so, the seafood available here are no low quality. They range from fishes to shrimps, from lobsters to octopuses, among others.
(5) Pig out with the locals
Ibona River, Dingalan, Aurora
Truth be told, Dingalan is known for its stunning sceneries and sumptuous food. Just imagine the priceless pleasure we could get if we combine the two.
Ibona River is a remarkable spot in Dingalan where tourists could both enjoy the beauty of nature through swimming, sightseeing and picture-taking whilst bonding with their friends and families. Popular activity which tourists, especially those who come by groups, do here is the "Boodle fight."
The local tourism office boasts the astounding water landscape of the river and the slew of different seafood present underneath it.
BIRD'S EYE VIEW. Drew Arellano enjoys the overwhelming view of Dingalan atop the mountains.
Indeed, Dingalan embodies natural aesthetics that warms every individual's heart. Experience this "secret paradise" for yourself and find out whether "Dingalan Syndrome" really is true or just an exaggeration