Project 7107

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Tuguegarao, Cagayan: Hot and Hefty!

It may have the hottest temperature in the country but Tuguegarao City in the north has an abundant array of interesting hot-spots and destinations that will surely satisfy any craving for the outdoors. Yes, you may need to bring along a fan or anything that can give you temporary air, but Tuguegarao’s sights is both hot and heavy with nature’s best blessings!

The traveler in you can choose from any tourist routes, depending on your interests. You can go the right way – the religious way that is, and visit the old churches built centuries ago. You can be the excited adventurer and go spelunking or water rafting. When you feel like taking your stomach and palate in for an adventure of their own, you can have a bite of our famous dishes. Or you can just bask in the beauty of Tuguegarao and ride the calesa around town on a lazy afternoon. Or you can try all of the above and just enjoy the sights and sounds of Tuguegarao City.

CagayanLet’s go to Palaui by Caroline Cruz

Travel options
Spiritual day tour for religious wayfarers: A number of old brick churches which date back to the Spanish times are in Tuguegarao to satiate not only your eyes but also your spirits. Visit each one and get amazed at how the old bricks and buttresses were preserved and saved after being destroyed by fire or WWII bombs.

CagayanCagayan Metropolitan Cathedral by Caroline Cruz

Hear mass at the biggest Spanish-built church in the region – the Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral. Already in Tuguegarao since 1761, it is now considered one of the most beautiful works of art in the country. Trivia: this main church has a picture appearing at the Basilica in Rome.
Say a little prayer at the oldest brick structure in Cagayan Province – the Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto. Built in Tuguegarao in 1604, the Ermita has retained its original wooden retablo, withstanding the impact of WWII bombs. Run your hands through the old and original buttresses of the Ermita, which is even older than the Cathedral.
Feast your eyes on the sights of the countryside as you take an hour-long ride to reach the church of Cagayan’s miraculous Black Mary – the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat. Get your small share of the blessed/miraculous water at the Basilica’s Bukal ng Buhay. Walk up the stairs of the Basilica and wipe your hanky on the Miraculous Lady’s statue and bring home Her blessings.
Exercise those lazy feet as you take a stroll at the 11-hectare rolling hills of Iguig’s Calvary Hills, just a few minutes away from Tuguegarao. Go from one Station of the Cross to another and see the larger-than-life size concrete depictions of the 14 Stations. Walk around the three-centuries old well. Make a wish as you visit for the first time the Parish of St. James the Greater, built of concentric bricks and still has its original buttresses.

Cagayan by Caroline Cruz

Adventure day tour for active travellers: Sample outdoor activities in nearby towns
Rappel down the mountain slope after spelunking in the Callao Caves. Ride the banca and put your hand in the water on your way to the small waterfall. Have your lunch along the shore and commune with nature, just don’t forget to offer a little piece of your food to it.
Roam the Jackpot Cave, the second deepest cave in the Philippines, and the Odessa Tumbali Cave System, the third longest cave in the country – both just beside the Callao Caves. Get ready for another spelunking adventure inside these caves.
Put your trekking and mountaineering gears in good use as you traverse through the mountains of Peñablanca and Baggao.
Steer your rafts with your assigned oars as you go river rafting / boating down the Chico River.

Half-day food trip for hungry travellers, Cagayan’s delectable dishes are just within reach and will make you always remember your visit here. You may:
Savor the extraordinary taste of the famous Pancit Batil-Patung, a concoction of ground meat, some vegetables, and fried noodles topped with a Sunny-Side-Up. Create your own sauce of soy sauce and chopped onions. Add a little more kick to your sauce with three or four pieces of red sili (chilli). Feel your sweat trickle down your temples as you drink the soup that comes with your plate of Pancit.
Taste the richness of Tuguegarao’s garlic longganisa. Best with fried rice or plain rice.
Bring your loved ones packets of the famous Milk Candy and let them have a bite of Cagayan’s flavors.
Stop at a safe part of the street and fill your stomach with your usual favorite street foods such as fish balls, chicken balls, squid balls, and the new street delicacy – calamares (fried squid wrapped in flour).

Cagayanby Caroline Cruz

Sightseeing day tour. For a more enriching Cagayan experience, drive along the coastal towns of North Cagayan and have a majestic view of the Pacific Ocean or China Sea.
Tread on the black and fine sand beaches in the coastal towns of North Cagayan.
Stand on the white sands of select beaches in the north, like Anguib Beach.
Point out where the Cagayan River meets the China Sea at the Aparri Delta.
Pass along the Magapit Suspension Bridge.
Go sailfishing at Sta. Ana town, the Philippine Sailfish Capital, and visit Port Irene also in Sta. Ana.
Visit Cape Engaño Lighthouse at Palaui Island off the tip of Sta. Ana. Go scuba diving, snorkeling, and game fishing also at Palaui Island.
Go surfing in Claveria and Sanchez Mira towns.

Relaxing day tour for lazy travelers :
Hire a calesa and sway with the horse’ trot as you pass the City’s business and commercial districts. Take your picture inside the carriage or in the kuchero’s seat up front while holding the reins. Be on the lookout for other horses pulling a full load of chattering students and take note of where Mamang Kuchero is demoted to sit in.
Pass through the Buntun Bridge in your hired calesa or any vehicle and cross the Cagayan River, the longest and widest river in the country. Take a panoramic shot of the river right on the Buntun Bridge, the country’s longest river bridge, where your view of the river is unobstructed.
Have a tangible vision of Cagayan’s history and culture through the extensive collection of artifacts, antiques, ethnographics, and tradewares at the Cagayan Provincial Museum and Historical Research Center.
Learn more about the traditions of the native Ibanag and Ilocano people, depicted by mannequins at the Pannaddamman Museum. Witness these natives’ traditions from their birth to their death.

Must learn: Basic conversation in Ilocano or Ibanag
“Thank You.” (Ilocano: “Agyaman nak.”) (Ibanag: “Mabbalo.”)
“Where are you going?” “Ilocano: “Papanam?”” (Ibanag: “Angyanammu?”)

Must try: Pancit Batil-Patung (PhP 40 – 55 / plate)

Where to stay: Hotel Roma and Hotel Lorita (for the more financially capable)
Crown Lodge, Hotel Elinas, Hotel Candice (for the more economical) (See Visit My Philippines for more lodging options.

Best take-home pasalubongs: Milk Candy (made out of carabao’s milk), Garlic Longganisa

How to get there:
By air: From Manila, Tuguegarao is 45 mins to 1 hour by air. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Air Lines fly daily to Tuguegarao.
By land: From Manila, Tuguegarao is 8-10 hours by bus (Travel route: Manila – Bulacan – Nueva Ecija – Nueva Vizcaya – Isabela – Tuguegarao). Night trips are usually shorter (8-9 hours only) and more relaxed but day trips will give you a better view of the countryside and some key cities in regions II (Cagayan Valley) and III (Central Luzon).
Several bus lines offer day and night trips to Tuguegarao: GV Florida Transport,* Victory Liner* Bus fare is around PhP 850-1,000 for deluxe aircon buses and PhP 700-800 for regular aircon buses.

Best time to go: Any time of the year


For more info email

Contributor: Anne Yu



[…] to get there: From Sta Ana, Cagayan bus terminal, take a quadcycle to San Vicente Port. Boats in this port can take you to any part of […]

  cagayan de oro resorts wrote @

This is a very nice blog, very detailed and well covered, it more like a guide but it helped in giving me ideas and information about the place. Thanks!

  ruth wrote @

Thank you! We’d love to here more about Cagayan de oro. Please email us if you’d like to share a new article =) Good day!

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