Caniwara Cove, stony but enchanting

Categories Places
Enchanting Caniwara Cove as seen from Nagudungan Hill. Cibang and Cababaan Coves can be seen farther up.

Calayan Is. in red
Finally, Iโ€™ve set foot in one of the countryโ€™s hidden gems. I was on assignment in Calayan Island in the Babuyanes and in between, I got to enjoy this piece of paradise in this part of the Philippines. Though it was just a few days, it was very memorable. I’m planning a longer trip later this year. It was already three in the afternoon and the cliffs and mountains have cast a deep shadow into Cibang Cove when I awoke from my slumber as it was just such a breezy and cool place. I decided to separate from the group and do some photography in the area.

Rocks near the shore. CLICK TO ENLARGE
I walked to Caniwara Cove, trudging through the loose sand and was just awed in seeing the place. It is just so much different from where I bathed (Cibang Cove) earlier with its boundary with Cibang marked by a huge rock projecting upward. From that point to the edge of the cove, it’s all rocky.

Caniwara Cove is one of three, the other is Cibang and Cababaan that are found one after the other in this part of Calayan Island in the Babuyanes. Of the three, Caniwara Cove is closer to the town, has a sandy beach but, unlike the two, a flat rocky shore, more like a mesa, a table, shallowly and evenly submerged to a few meters to the sea marks this beautiful and enchanting cove.

Panoramic view of Caniwara Cove. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Fisherman looking for octopus and small fishes in the shallows. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Sea grass cover a small portion just at the beachfront and according to a fisherman that I chanced upon later, it’s possible to search for shells, small fishes and even baby octopus among the rocks.

A dead box fish picked from the shallows. CLICK TO ENLARGE
From a distance, the sea breaks into the rocks and a slow white wave tries to crawl to the shore. According to an Isla Biodiversity Conservation volunteer, the local NGO in the island, this area teems with migratory birds later in the year.

It’s just a perfect place to go birdwatching. To just sit at the white beach strip and gaze out into the shallows. When I was there, I saw a pair of big birds that I have seen only in that area. Behind me and at the perimeter of the cove where vegetation and trees make a buffer before the cliffs rise into the skies.

With Cibang Cove, this place just offers so much for the solitary wanderer. Its so beautiful, magical, and really heartbreaking to learn that later, cabanas will be built and a road, now in progress, will then link this pristine area to the town and tourists will mar its beauty.

Getting There and places to stay

Getting to Caniwara Cove is just the same as going to Cibang Cove. Check the details in the Cibang Cove post.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London).

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. Open for work, collaborations and inquiries for site features.

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