As trekker’s, game fisher’s, and spelunker’s paradise all rolled into one, Cagayan facilitates never-ending adventures through offering ecotourism in the forefront. Local and foreign tourists come to trek the mighty mountains, engage in game fishing expeditions, and explore the caves. Some come to retreat at the centuries-old churches. Cagayan is gaining more popularity as a tourism destination.
There are black and fine sand beaches at the coastal sites of the province. A vast expanse of such beaches sprawls across the towns of Sta. Praxedes, Buguey, Sanchez Mira, Claveria, Aparri, Fuga, Palaui islands, Calayan, and Ballesteros. Cagayan River, also known as Rio Grande de Cagayan, is popular as a fishing, boating, and kayaking site. The river is the mightiest watercourse in Luzon and also the widest and longest river in the entire Philippines.
Cagayan province is the regional seat of Cagayan Valley Region (Region 2). It is bordered by the vast Pacific Ocean on its east, the Isabela province on its south, the Cordillera Mountains on the west, and the Babuyan Group of Islands and the Balintang Channel on the north. Total land area is wide at 9,003 square kilometers, which accounts for up to 3% of overall land area of the Philippines. The population of 1.07 million is the 24th highest in the country.
It has 28 towns and a city, Tuguegarao City, its capital, also serving as the regional seat. The city is also a center for commerce, trade, and education. Cagayan has up to 73% of the potential fishing area in the region. Fishing and agriculture are the main industries. The province’s main products include rice, corn, fruits, peanut, and woodcraft furniture.
As mentioned, many activities could be done while in Cagayan. The most common are scuba diving, game fishing, and snorkeling at Palaui Island; surfing at Sanchez Mira and Claveria; trekking, mountaineering, bonsai exploration, and bird watching at Peñablanca; and whale watching at Calayan Islands. Sta. Ana is the sailfish capital of the country. It is ideal as a sports fishing and water destination. The town is famous globally because of its abundant marine and aquatic life.
Not only is Cagayan luring because of its natural wonders. There are many festivals that attract attention and participation of both local and foreign tourists. On top of the list is the Fluvial Parade held in Aparri every May 10, this local event offers a fluvial procession that is participated in by hundreds of boats in all shapes and sizes that are gathered for thanksgiving to the town patron St. Peter Thelmo.
There is also the festival called Piat Sambali that is held during the week of June 23 to 30 and it coincides with the feast day of Nuestra Señora de Piat. The Sambali is an authentic native war dance demonstrated by the Cagayan tribes that were later converted to Christianity, this was due to the intercession of the Lady of Piat.
The passion and death of Christ – is depicted in life-size concrete stations spread on an 11-hectare terrain. Devotees come to go to each station to pray and reflect. Cagayan has an interesting commemoration of the Holy Week.
How to get there
Cagayan is linked to Metro Manila by air flights offered by Air Philippines thrice a week. By land, buses from Baliwag Transit, Victory Liner, Dangwa Transport, Dagupan Bus Company, Aladdin Bus Company, Nelbusco, and Deltra Bus Company service Manila to Tuguegarao daily.