Lakbay Norte Day 1: Tugegarao

Today, I woke up in Tuguegarao.

Cagayan Day 1 01
Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat

It was Day 1 of Lakbay Norte, a Northern Philippines familiarization tour spearheaded by the Northern Philippines Visitors Bureau in cooperation with the visitors bureau of the provinces and cities we are visiting. Together with writers and photographers from major dailies, inflight & travel magazines, and fellow travel bloggers Anton, Ivan, Ferdz, Estan and Melo, we are going on a 7-day whirlwind tour of Northern and Central Philippines to see what these places can offer travelers.

Our first stop was Tuguegarao in the Cagayan Valley. In between the usual welcomes and press briefings, we went to one of Cagayan’s biggest attraction, the Callao caves. We climbed up 184 steps to get to the first dome, where we were greeted by an impressive array of stalactites. Further in was an even more impressive sight, the second dome with an opening right above a row of pews and altar. We explored the domes, learning more about stalactites and stalagmites and taking plenty of pictures.

Cagayan Day 1 02
Anaconda vs. crocodile rock formation

From there we went down to the river bank, were we rode a boat to take us to the otherside. There, we were welcomed by one contingent of Cagayan’s festival. They treated us to a performance of their street dance, a dance performed in the honor of the Blessed Mother.

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After lunch, we headed upstream for some kayaking adventure. Well, some went on a kayaking adventure, while some of us are content to just sit around the small beach and take pictures. We were still supposed to witness the circadian flight of bats, but as it started drizzling, we decided to just forgo the bats and head back to the city for some much needed rest, hot shower.

Cagayan Day 1 04
Pinacanauan River and Callao Caves

I’m writing this from my room in Hotel Lorita, while waiting for Sol, my roommate to finish freshening up. Day 1 isn’t over — we still have diner and another round of speeches and presentations. And we’ll be doing this for the next 6 days.

P.S. Dear Rotch, your hometown is very beautiful. I regret not taking up your offer to bring us here sooner. Let’s go sometime this year, yes?

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 9 Comments
  1. Let’s see what transpires on this whirlwind 7-day trip to Northern/Central Philippines – I might follow it given the limited time I usually have whenever I’m there.

  2. bertN says:

    I visited Callao caves in the early 60’s when I was still working for the government. I remember the dome you mentioned with an opening at the top – it was a sight to see the sun’s ray shining down through that hole. The place probably is so much improved now.

  3. freeze says:

    this is another must see :)

  4. jealous!!! hahaha
    pasalubong Nina!

    Ron & Monette

  5. kate says:

    I went to Callao Caves a few years back. The Chapel inside the cave is amazing! Hope I can go back soon :)

  6. Micamyx says:

    Wow, norte trip! That is one of my goals for the year. I’ll be reading your posts Nina :D

  7. lol i’ll see when i can get time off work and we’ll spend the weekend there :D

  8. Marie says:

    great shots, thanks for sharing

  9. niamey says:

    Hi Nina! Nice blog!<3
    Do you have an itinerary or expenses track for Tuguegarao? :)

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