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Thursday, July 6

Castle, Cagayan Churches and Suspension Bridge—A Prelude to Aparri

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One of the oldest churches in Cagayan Valley, the Lalloc Nueva Segovia Church
Our plan a day after we toured Callao Caves, and its river, is to visit my friend’s uncle in Aparri—a town at the tip of northern Luzon. It is one of the farthest destinations by bus when coming from Manila. Our motorcycle diary from Tuguegarao, Cagayan’s Capital up to Aparri is an innate experience I felt because we thumped a chain of churches in Cagayan, a “castle” and the oldest suspension bridge in the Philippines.

Part 7 of The Northeast Diaries

An abstract sculpture in Castle in the Sky, Cagayan
Along the highway to Aparri, you will get to see some of the older churches in this part of the country. It was already afternoon when we started dring our way to Aparri using my friend’s motor bike. Vast and vast of green fields of rice and corn can be witnessed along the way, and it is a good thing to try some grilled corn sold along the road.

We stopped by some of the older churches in Cagayan like the Alcala Church. I am not sure of the history and story of the church, but one thing for sure, it is one of the historical gems that must be preserved in this part of the region. The old feels of the church is somewhat similar to churches you’ll see in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. The church is also made out of old brown bricks probably years and years older than me.
Alcala church bell tower

Alcala church

Castle in the Sky facade

We had also stopped by another old church called the Lalloc Nueva Segovia church, still in Cagayan province. Same with Alcala church, the church is also made out of old bricks which stood the test of time. Upon finishing taking some pictures of the old churches, we have passed by a “Castle In The Sky” along the road so we did try to visit also and explore it.

Castle in the Sky in Cagayan is a private building which is not really that grand or majestic. It’s more like an events venue I guess. It has an entrance fee of not less than Php 30 when we went there. When we went inside, it’s the same typical museum-like building with some artistic sculptures and painting on display. When we went there, there was an ongoing photo shoot of a wedding I guess, so we only spent a few minutes inside the “castle”.

Truss bridge along the highway going to Aparri, Cagayan

One of the good things here is that it is overlooking the old suspension bridge in Lallo, Cagayan. If you are to ask me if it is worth it to stop by this place, I’ll honestly tell you there is not enough compelling reason to stay longer or even visit Castle in the Sky. But if you want to see what’s in it, it is not bad at all to shelf out a few bucks.

Inside Castle in the Sky

Religious statue in Alcala Church, Cagayan

Photo op in Suspension Bridge of Cagayan

After visiting Castle in the Sky, we took a few pictures of the suspension bridge in Cagayan. It was like the famous San Francisco Bridge in California, USA, sans the metropolis. The bridge actually connects, when you go pass through it, Cagayan and the province of Ilocos Norte. So when you take that bridge, you will eventually get to towns in Cagayan until you reach Claveria, the last town before Pagudpud, a town in Ilocos Norte popular with its white sand beach.

Suspension bridge over Cagayan River (Photo was taken from Castle in the Sky viewpoint)

Lalloc Church bell tower

We eventually arrived in Aparri already nearing dusk. It was a bit long drive for a motor bike. The Cagayan churches, castle and that suspension bridge, plus a stopover in one of the eateries along the road to try authentic pinapaitan dish and a complimentary typical Ilocano soup already made my day. The cool winds and dampening drizzles did not stop us to experience the warm subjective feeling of traveling to the parts where it is not so easily traveled.
The golden doors of the church

Nueva Segovia church marker

Suspension bridge

A relic from the old world wars of the past
The Northeast Diaries Series:

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