Cagayan Province is a bio-diverse province in the Cagayan Valley Region
Cagayan Province is a bio-diverse province in the Cagayan Valley Region (CAR) in the Philippines. Its capital is the City of Tuguegarao. It’s bordered by mountains, has plains and valleys and different bodies of water. The largest river, Cagayan River which flows’ begins in Quirino also passes by Cagayan Province. The total area of Cagayan Province is 9,295.75 square kilometers (3,589.11 mi). The vastness and appeal of Cagayan has resulted it in becoming the host of the 27th and 28th seasons of the American reality show, Survivor in 2013. The province has an extensive shoreline and boasts of activities like whale watching (Cagayan Islands), snorkeling and scuba diving as well as fishing (Palaui Island). It relies on corn, rice, peanuts, fruits and beans, fishing and woodcraft like hardwood, rattan, bamboo and other types of woodworks.
Some travelers do not plan a visit to Cagayan Valley because of the long distance, but those who strive for fun and thrill, coming here becomes a grand adventure jam-packed with gastronomical amusements, ordinary wonders, and an ironic history that make the extensive travel time actually worth it. How to get there? By Plane. Ride a plane from Manila to Tuguegarao. Outside the airport, walk or ride a tricycle heading to the highway where the van going to Sta. Ana Cagayan passes by. Van Fare, 250 pesos per pax. Travel Time, 3 to 4 hours. By Bus. By Bus. From Pasay/Earnshaw Sampaloc/Kamias terminal ride a Victory Liner going to Tuguegarao. Bus Fare, 900 pesos. Travel Time, 12 hours. From Tuguegarao City ride a van going to Sta. Ana Cagayan. Van Fare, 250 pesos per pax. Travel Time, 3 to 4 hours. Where to stay? 1st option to stay at Montana Place. Rates are Double or Triple Sharing, 1200 pessos per room good for 2 pax. Quad Sharing Room, 1800 pesos per room good for 4 pax. Address is 1A Montana Place, Brgy. Palawig, Santa Ana, Cagayan. 2nd option to stay at Marjorie Homestay. Rate 450 pesos per pax per night good for 14pax. Address is Tangatan, Santa Ana, Cagayan. If you are going to stay in Montana Place, looking for food to eat won’t be a problem. They have an eatery called Ikan Boodle House that serves a single meal and boodle fight in a very affordable price. They are also the one who prepared our seafood lunch during the island tour.
Activities to do in Cagayan. 1st activity. Visit Palaui Island. Palaui Island was listed by CNN as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It’s a certified eco-tourism area and where several water sports can be enjoyed by visitors and people who like fishing. The marine life of Palaui is very colorful and the island houses one of the two lighthouses built during the Spanish colonization, Cape Engano. This lighthouse is still functioning properly. 2nd activity. Watch Pottery Making and Blacksmithing. The Atulu Pottery Village in Iguig has natural red clay soul which is used in their pottery making. Its locals are artisans in the pottery world and they have been doing it for a long time. They make different designs and sizes. Blacksmithing in Tuguegarao City is still prospering. They still do it in Larion Bajo. They make knives in different sizes and it’s a must-have pasalubong if you pass by the province or visit. You can also ask some locals if you can watch their blacksmithing procedure. 3rd activity. Visit Callao Cave. Callao Cave is a limestone cave found in Peñablanca, Cagayan Province. It’s one of the best tourist attractions in Cagayan due to its 300 caves around the area. Some of the caves along with Callao have been properly documented by the National Museum of the Philippines. Callao Cave is accessible by car but you can ask a tricycle driver to bring you there if you don’t have a car. The cave system of Callao is made of seven chambers having gaps for the light to peek through. The chambers used to be nine but due to an earthquake in the 80s it decreased to seven. The largest of all the chambers is the first one which has been made into a chapel. Entrance Fee is 25 pesos. 4th activity. Swim in Pinacanauan River. This river is the largest arm of the Cagayan River. It’s the water source for irrigation and other purposes of the area and it’s also where the water from the farmlands goes to when it’s raining. The river can be found along Callao Caves National Park. It’s a site for whitewater rafting and kayaking since it has Class I and II rapids. Visitors can also go boating and swimming in calmer parts. Mountains surround the area which is popular for hiking, spelunking and climbing activities. 5th activity. Visit Baggao‘s Blue Lagoon. The small municipality of Baggao has a beautiful secret. It’s where you can find Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon depicts paradise with its stunning views of the water, rare plant species, wild animals and some rock formations. There’s also a cave by the area. You need to trek for two hours to rich the blue and clear lagoon. 6th activity. Visit Saint Peter’s Cathedral. Also called Tuguegarao Cathedral and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, it’s where the relics of Sts. Peter and Paul II can be found. The church was built during the Spanish Colonization period. It has an 18th-century Baroque architectural design and its belfry is one of the biggest in Cagayan Valley Region. A visit to this church can inspire strength and hope in life. 7th activity. Visit Nassiping Church Ruins. This is the ruins of a centuries-old church that is located in a spot where it’s facing both Cagayan and Chico River. Some of its parts are still intact like the stone side altars and the bell tower. This is the perfect spot for abandoned photography sessions. 8th activity. Watch Rice and Corn Planting. Rice and corn are the agricultural gems of Cagayan Province. The province is the second highest corn-yielding province in the Philippines and third place for rice-yielding. You can watch farmers plant their seeds (binhi) during the planting season and learn about the method. You can also ask some locals where you can watch coffee, mungo (mung bean) and sugarcane planting. They also plant peanuts. 9th activity. Watch Aggao Nac Cagayan Festival. A week-long festival celebrates the establishment of the province’s civil government which happened in June 29, 1583. They hold different activities for this yearly event. They held cycling events, contests, dog show, creative writing, mural design exhibits, a job fair, coastal clean-up and many more during their celebration last June. 10th and last activity. Go on a Foodie Tour. They make delicious Ybanag longganisa which is made, again of carabeef and has a load full of garlic. Their chicharabao is another carabao product but this one’s made of carabao skin that has been deep fried. Their most unique dish is lumot which is served with seafood. This is a kind of green algae and has a salty taste. They also have different pasalubong items that you can bring home to your family like carabeef tapa and carabao milk candies.
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