Almost a year ago my friends and I promptly plan for a trip in Tuguegarao when my good friend Brenda saw an airfare discount sale. Brenda immediately booked the flight and I, without further ado made my usual round of poking around all over the internet to find places to visit for our two days stay. Thanks to ever helpful guidebook, I checked it out for some ideas on where to start and thankfully, we were able to see the places I have listed (except for the San Jacinto Church and St. Paul University, both in Tuguegarao, we were not able to take pictures of the these places, but we were able to see it en route to the downtown proper).
I beg your indulgence with my photographs as they were taken from my Jurassic mobile phone with 2mp at that. All pictures were taken (and enhanced) by me, except for some which were taken from Brenda or Beth’s phone. Join me and my friends as we travel Tuguegarao City and the nearby towns of Iguig, Callao and Piat.
We were welcome by this wonderful sign at the Tuguegarao Airport.
I was pleasantly surprised when I was informed by the ever helpful Department of Tourism staff in the airport that the relatively small airport caters to Chinese tourists coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau via direct flights who visit the city and Batanes up north. Yes, there are chartered planes going to Batanes.
Our flight is a mere 45 minutes trip from Manila. By land you can take Victory Liner and travel time is approximately 8-10 hours. And from the airport, you can hail a cab or ride a cool tricycle like this one.
There are several bed and breakfast type accommodation in the area and our group was fortunate enough to be housed in the Dep Ed Regional Teacher’s House in Tuguegarao. We’re supposed to stay in the COA house (Thanks to Kuya Radi), but the place was booked, so we transferred to the nearby Teacher’s House. Our friend Karen (born and raised in Tuguegarao) served as our tour guide. Yes, the benefits of having good friends from all over the Philippines.
As always, I am fascinated by old churches and here it goes:
St. Peter Cathedral
St. Peter Cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao, it was built during the mid 18th century by Dominican priest Father Antonio Lobato and was destroyed during World War II. The red brick Cathedral stood at the center of the town near commercial establishments. With its beautiful facade, it is considered as the City and the Region’s must see place. It was even sited as one of the Philippines’ notable churches.
Like other old churches, it needs renovation and I hope with all my heart that most of its original facade can be retained. This is simply because, the charm and the history of these old buildings lies with its old elegance.
San Jacinto Church
Also known as the Ermita de San Jacinto de Cauili, this beautiful church was built under the direction of Dominican priest Father dela Magdalena in ht late 16th century. It was rebuilt during the 18th and 19th century. It was the headquarters of the rebels during the revolution.
Our group also visited the Cagayan Museum. It is located inside the complex of the Provincial Capitol. It holds a good collection of artifacts, antiques, ethnographic works of the people of Cagayan.
People’s Bakery and Grocery
This establishment will actually bake cakes and goodies for you for a fee. But their specialty is baked nuts. Just buy fresh nuts from the market and bring it here and they will oven roast/bake it for you. You can actually taste the freshness and sweetness of the nuts, having been baked with water and salt.
Pancit Batil Patung
A trip to Tuguegarao should be completed by this wonderful delight, their very own Pancit Batil Patung.
This delightful treat is such a comfort food, with its delicious noodles and meat cuts from pork and carabeef and it secret seasoning. Cabbage, carrots, string beans and onion were tossed, topped with poached egg (patung) and sprinkled with egg and chicharon bits. It is served with soup with a saucer of chopped onions, soy sauce, spiced vinegar and calamansi. We ate this delicious pancit at ECL Panciteria.
This chicharon is made from carabao skin and surprisingly, it is not fatty and salty. Another good pasalubong are pastillas and other pastries made from carabao milk. Their longganisa is also worth a space in your pasalubong bag. Tuguegarao’s longganisa is less “garlicky” in taste compared with the Vigan type.