The solo joiner experience…

I always wanted to try travelling alone, however, I have not had the courage to do so.

So I joined a group called DIY Travel Philippines and was browsing some of the invitation of organizers from all over country advertising their scheduled trip. I decided to join this group that had an event scheduled to go to Dingalan, Aurora, their group name was Campers and Backpackers. The trip was only for a day.

I met with the organizers together with other joiners in McDonalds Cubao around 10-11pm. Since Aurora is like far away from Manila, we needed to leave around midnight so we can arrive in Dingalan in the morning.

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Snapshot of the other participants joining the trip. Some of them were solo joiners like me.

Dingalan  is a town of the Province of Aurora, Philippines which is part of Region III. They have an estimated population of 23,554 per the 2010 Census. It was established as a municipal district on June 16, 1956 and was then turned to an independent town on June 16, 1962. (Source: https://tl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dingalan,_Aurora)

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Port of Dingalan, Aurora

After almost 6 hours of land travel, we arrived in Dingalan around 6am and had to stop for breakfast before heading down to the port. We need to take a boat ride going to White Beach Resort where the famous lighthouse is located.

The boat ride took us around 15-20 minutes before reaching the shores of White Beach Resort. It was still under developed, so it is not the usual resort type thing that you should be expecting.

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Beach front of the so-called White Beach Resort

We then settled in and left our bags with the organizers as we were about to go to the famous lighthouse. This lighthouse was initially featured on a television travel show called “Byahe ni Drew“. It was then tagged as the “Batanes of the East” because of the lighthouse facing the Pacific ocean. Since then, people from all over the Philippines, who have not tried going to Batanes, have been piling up just to see this spectacular view on top of the lighthouse. It took us around 20-40 minutes before reaching the location of the lighthouse. It was tough because it was pouring rain and since the location was uphill, mud was all over the trail.

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Waiting for our turn to go on top of the lighthouse

When we arrived at the lighthouse, it was jam packed.There was a long queue of people already. We waited at least an hour before we were able to climb up to the top.

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Long queue of people going to the top of the lighthouse

When we reached the top, the view was just spectacular. A view of Mt. Mingan will just take your breath away.

Mt. Mingan is considered to be 1st highest mountain in the Province of Aurora and 127th in the Philippines. Its elevation measures up to 6,236 ft / 1,901 m to the mountain peak.

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View of White Beach Resort from the top of the lighthouse
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The peak of Mt. Mingan as seen from the lighthouse
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A breathtaking view of the mountain range of Dingalan, Aurora. Perfect for a Facebook profile picture. Say cheese!
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View of the Pacific Ocean

After several picture taking, we then went down the steep hill back to the beach to eat our lunch. Our organizers prepared a sumptuous boodle feast on a long small nipa hut. Food was delicious.

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Organizers prepare our lunch for the day

Lunch was then followed by a short drinking session. Getting to know each other kinda thing. We each introduced ourselves, our names, where we work, hobbies etc. The organizers also gave away discounts and free packages of their next events. Up until today, I am still in contact with my new found friends during this trip.

It was definitely a unique and different kind of experience, meeting new people this way. It opened my mind to the possibility that I might actually try travelling exactly alone maybe somewhere here in the Philippines or outside.

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Dingalan Tour Wave 1 by Campers and Backpackers

For those interested in joining some of their tour events, please join their Facebook group, Campers and Backpackers(CAB). Enjoy!

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