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Thursday, August 4

Short Stop at Tuguegarao Cathedral in Cagayan

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Saint Peter Metropolitan Church in Tuguegarao or simply Tuguegarao Cathedral
It was Amihan season when I decided to join my officemate who hailed from the capital city of Cagayan in his journey back home. He told me that he seldom visits his hometown Tuguegarao because well, the distance from Manila to Tuguegarao is hundreds and hundreds of kilometers. Since I do not have much to do in Tarlac for the Christmas season, I joined him in his trip back to Cagayan. It was Callao Cave back then that I really want to visit and of course, the ever famous flavors of pansit batil patung.

Part 2 of The Northeast Diaries

Open the door of the church please!
We took an Everlasting Bus (that’s the company bus name) to Tuguegarao. There terminal is located near Welcome Rotunda in Quezon City. Fare is around P550 to P650 (as of 2014). It is recommended that prior to your trip in Cagayan, visit the preferred bus terminal and book an early trip because it pretty gets crowded as people rush to go home during Christmas season.

The trip was a staggering 11-hour bus ride with a stop at an eatery in San Jose, Nueva Ecija. The bus took the route NLEX-SCTEX-TPLEX, exiting at Pura Exit. The trip from Manila to San Jose is roughly 4 hours, the remaining of which is dedicated to mountainous and paved wheel adventures to the northeasternmost province of the country.

We arrived in Tuguegarao City at a wee hour of 4 AM. Since me and my friend were tired during the trip (we were at the center aisle for 11 hours!), we took a nap in the morning after arriving in the city with a noticeable jacket weather (we went out of the bus and felt the aircon temperature of the surroundings). Luckily, my friend’s house was near to the drop off point of Everlasting Bus Company in Tuguegarao.

The weather was calm that time, and even though we woke up (we thought it was just a nap) at 10 AM in the morning, it was not a sweaty weather to what I was accustomed to in Manila. Temp check—it was 23 degrees Celsius. His family prepared us ‘nilagang pata ng baboy’ and it was great and enjoyable.
Tuguegarao Cathedral in downtown Tuguegarao

Bricky Cagayan church

Tuguegarao Church marker

We did not do much on that day (the 11-hour ride was just exhausting) so we waited until 4 PM when we decided to take a glimpse of the century old Tuguegarao Cathedral, one of the few remnants of Spanish descent in the city. Tuguegarao Cathedral is located in a downtown place. My friend drove his motor bike (I was his passenger) to the church.

It was close when we visited the church. So we just managed to take pictures of it from the outside. Based on its marker, the Tuguegarao Cathedral, also known as the Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral of Tugegarao, rooted its history to the Dominican priests who arrived in Cagayan Valley sometime in 1600s. It was built then by Dominican friars and became the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. The color of the church is brick brown, that you can liken to Bantay Church in Ilocos Sur. It is good to know that the Tuguegarao Church withstand the test and challenges of time. Truly it should be one of Tuguegarao’s gem.

There is nothing much to do within the area, unless of course if the church is open and you are a Catholic devotee. We haven’t taken much pictures of the inside. If I will be one of the city’s consultants in developing the area, I will recommend to the city council to revamp the surroundings, create a civic plaza with fountains where locals and tourists alike can enjoy the Tuguegarao downtown scenario. Lush greens and benches, and you will see at par a churchand plaza park similar to Vigan City.
Tuguegarao Cathedral facade

Glimpse inside Tuguegarao Cathedral

It was late afternoon already when we finished taking pictures of Tuguegarao Cathedral. After that, we decided to go to a near mini-mall to have some light snacks. We went home right after, and during the road trip, I noticed some kalesas roaming in the city. It felt like Vigan too, without the historical and Spanish streets.

To the entrance gate of the church

So that was it for that day. Tomorrow is a more exciting trip since it’s the Callao Cave in Penablanca that we next discovered.

Kalesa in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

The Northeast Diaries Series:
Part 1: To The Northeast! Cagayan Tour Tips
Part 2: Short Stop at Tuguegarao Cathedral in Cagayan
Part 3: Tuguegarao Breakfast: Dodie’s Pansit Batil Patung
Part 4: Of Chambers, Light and Darkness: Callao Cave, Cagayan
Part 5: Short (But Worth It) Mororan River Cruise, Callao, Cagayan
Part 6: Braving the Cold Waters, Swimming in Cagayan River
Part 7: Castle, Cagayan Churches and Suspension Bridge—A Prelude to Aparri
Part 8: Aparri Beach, The Park, and Sigay (Fishing in Cagayan)
Part 9: Jeff’s Pancit Batil Patong and Nueva Vizcaya’s G&B Buko Pie are the Best!
Part 10: Sta. Ana’s Anguib Beach—A Must Visit White Sand Haven
Part 11: The Secluded Gotan Beach in Sta. Ana, Cagayan
Part 12: How to Go to Sta. Ana, Aparri, Tuguegarao, in Cagayan (with Maps)
Part 13: Cagayan Suggested Itinerary (Three Days-Two Nights 3D/2N)
Part 14: Sta. Ana-Cagayan Itinerary (Two Days-One Night 2D/1N)

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