April 1 to 4, 2010
Manila-Tuguegarao-Iguig – Lal-o – Calamaniugan – Port Irene, Cagayan – Aparri – Pagudpud – Burgos – Laoag – Paoay – Vigan – Manila
We left at exactly 2:30am last Maundy Thursday and took the road of Mc Arthur to Maharlika highway. It was my first 10 hour drive stint with my gorgeous and sweet ride Monty. This is also my first trip to the Cabanatuan, Isabela and Cagayan route. The ride was okay until we’ve reach the stressful Dalton Pass.
Anyway, I’m excited to blog this once in a lifetime adventure and road trip success. From the ancient bells and churches of Cagayan to Ilocos, the good foods from this region, the twin light house of Northern and southern part of Luzon, the cheerful children of Palaui Island, its virgin forest, and undiscovered Pacific ocean shoreline, the mighty waters of Aparri, and the scenic nature of Ilocos to the time warp zone of ancient Vigan!
And this is just a preview of this ultimate road trip series 🙂
St. Mattias Parish
Built in 1783 and completed in 1805, The Parish Church of St. Mattias features a cylindrical bell tower, a one of its kind in the country. A baroque church, its façade is made of customized clay bricks stamped with finely designed ornaments like cherubs and saints, and flowers and foliage. Like the façade, the interior is also veneered with ornately designed bricks. The fence that enclosed the church complex also used ornamented bricks like the ones used in the church façade as evident in the distinguishable designs in the fence ruins. Partly damaged during the Second World War, the church was restored to its original form by the People of Tumaini. It was declared a Historical National Landmark in 1989 by virtue of Presidential Decrees 260 (1973) and 1505 (1978).
The San Pablo Church
The San Pablo Church in San Pablo town is the oldest church in the province, built in 1624. It is a church within church ruins. Its six-layer bell tower with a circular apex made of adobe is the tallest in the region. From the outside, the church looks imposing (which it was before it was razed). But as one lets himself in through the gate, one would be welcomed by what remained of what was once a magnificent church. But while the relatively new church inside the ruins is much smaller now, it commands a different kind of awe, as the ruins surrounding it have added a different kind of character to it — one that is hard to define, but good nonetheless.
Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral
The seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. The church with the belfry is the biggest Spanish built church in Cagayan Valley. The picture of the Cathedral appears at the Basilica in Rome and is considered to be one of the most beautiful works of art in the country and the world today
The Callao Caves
The Callao Caves has 7 chambers and boasts of a massive limestone formation, skylights and a chapel. It is accessible by climbing 187 cemented steps provided to reach the cave entrance
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