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Thursday, July 6

Braving the Cold Waters, Swimming in Cagayan River

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Clean river in Cagayan you can go for swimming
The not so good part in swimming activities in the months of December, January and February in the northern part of the Philippines, is the cold temperature of the natural waters. It is because the northeasterly winds blow and lower down the temperature in the region. Of course, Cagayan river is one of these natural waters. It really gets cold during these months I’d rather swim in a bathtub with the water heater on.

Part 6 of The Northeast Diaries

PAUNAWA signboard
The cold river, cold ocean water only, as far as I know, apply in the northern parts of the country (we can partly safely say the region north of Manila). Meaning, even if it’s January, you can still swim the ocean when you are in Boracay or Cebu as they have a more stable climate in those parts of the country. However in the north side, we always experience a bit cooler days in the months of December, January and February, and sometimes extending up to March. I remember one time when I and my old high school friends visited Nambalan River in Mayantoc, Tarlac, the water coming from the river is also cold. That was way back in January.

Now, about 10 minutes from the entrance of Callao Cave on the same road going to it, we drove back and stop by the river of Cagayan. I am not sure if it is the Cagayan River, so I’m only saying it a Cagayan river, in other words, a river located in Cagayan Valley. I think this part of the river, local tourists usually head because there are signage that indeed, the riverbank is a picnic grounds for visitors. Heading to this river is all worth it because the river is clean. No entrance fees whatsoever.
Rugged view of the river

What I like in here is that the setting is rugged. Smooth rocks, some boulders and high cogon-like grasses adorn the river area. When we went there, some families were enjoying swimming in the river, even when the water is below 25 degrees, if not 25. The water is not really that cold like the ones you’ll feel in Baguio, but it is cold enough for you to request for a heater and actually have a body chill once you go dipping and go out of the water again. I like swimming if and only if the water is about 30 degrees or so, that’s why I liked our Itogon getaway where hotsprings are located.

We did a few dips in the river, and after sometime, we already felt the cold effects in our bodies. We were not prepared so we decided to just do it quickly because we did not bring any towels or extra shirts of some sort.
Different families of tourists going fo swimming

It was already afternoon when we left Cagayan river and it was already getting colder as the sun was not out on that day. The date was actually just before the Christmas eve so after we arrived in my friend’s house, we had a little chitty chatty night with some cold night beers and a bucket of local stories, sharing of awesome experiences and a boozed sleep where we actually need a straight more than two hours of travel time to reach Aparri, one of the farthest town in the northern Philippine countryside.

My boat shoes, so comfortable to use in these activities
The Northeast Diaries Series:

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