Dingalan: Aurora's Cul de Sac

On our way to Baler last year, we made an overnight stopover in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija to visit some relatives. From there, a trip to Dingalan was irresistible.

The municipality of Dingalan flanks the Sierra Madres to the Southeast. It is separated from the rest of Aurora province by the said mountain range. Access to its main town center is easy via the scenic Gabaldon-Dingalan road.

To reach the rest of Aurora, though, one has to backtrack as far as Bongabon before re-entering Aurora via the mountainous Bongabon-Baler road or the farther Pantabangan road - hence, a cul de sac.

Here is a map if Dingalan, Aurora:

View Larger Map

A known fish port, locals of neighboring Nueva Ecija and even Bulacan flock to Brgy. Aplaya in Dingalan carrying empty coolers early in the mornings to get their share of the day's catch.

Yellow fins, large shrimps and squids were a popular sight in the seaside fish market that day. There were also some fishes I couldn't name.

I forgot how much the going rate was but I reckon the prices did not veer away that much from Manila's. I wondered if we were getting the 'tourist' treatment.

The place indeed has a promising tourism potential. Beach resorts can be found along the coast of Dingalan bay. The sand is grayish, but the Pacific water is inviting nonetheless.

Fisherfolk offer boat tours to hidden beach coves, including the curious Lamao cave. There are also numerous waterfalls to be discovered inland.

The newly constructed (re-constructed, I believe) port is like a shining pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that is the highway. It is rumored that the area is being groomed to be the another 'Port Irene (Cagayan North)'. It left me with an impression of progress.

Our visit to Dingalan was brief and before long, we were making a u-turn to head back to Gabaldon once again.

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