THE PROVINCE OF CAGAYAN is located in the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon which includes the Babuyan Islands to the north. Its capital is Tuguegarao City, bordered in the west side by Ilocos Norte and Apayao, and Kalinga and Isabela to the south side.
Cagayan used to be known as “Catagayan” that was derived from the word “tagay” which refers to a plant that grows abundantly in the northern part of the province. Later on it was changed to “Cagayan”.
In 1581, Spanish soldiers together with their families came to Cagayan Valley and converted the natives to Christianity, establishing ecclesiastical missions throughout the valley. Then between the years 1583 to 1595, the second batch of Spaniards came and friars established mission posts in Camalaniugan and Lal-lo that later on became the seat of Nueva Segovia on August 14, 1595.
The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1898 ending the Spanish-American War, The Americans took over the Philippines and enriched the culture, most notably in agriculture and education, public works and communications, as well as the establishment of municipalities.
The province has a total land area of 9,002.70 square kilometers which is 3% of the total land area of the Philippines, making it the second largest province in the region. 253,831 hectares are flat to nearly level land, composed of plains, river deltas, low wetlands, mangroves and beaches. The areas are also planted with rice and corn. Rolling land to moderately steep areas is found at the foothills of the Sierra Madre and Cordillera mountains, separating the valleys and the mighty ranges. 94,030 hectares and 222,595 hectares respectively are classified as steep lands found along the Cordilleras, in the eastern and northern mountains of the Sierra Madre range.
Currently, Cagayan has a total population of 993,580. Majority of the population are of Ilocano and Ybanags descent. However, nomadic Aetas and Ibatans have also made Cagayan their present home. Predominant languages used are Ybanag, Ytawit, Malaweg, and Ilocano. A person in places where literacy is high speaks and understands English and Tagalog.
On the other hand, climate in the province are not very pronounced. Dry season occurs during the months of March to June and rainy season from July to October.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY IN CAGAYAN
The economy of the province is based in agricultural produce such as rice, corn, peanut, beans and fruits; as well as livestock products like cattle, hogs, carabaos and poultry. Fishing is also a livelihood especially in the coastal towns. Some people are into woodcraft furniture made out of hardwood, rattan, bamboo and other indigenous materials.
ART AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN CAGAYAN
The culture of Cagayan is showcased in museums, historical buildings, churches and archeological sites spread across the province. Neolithic archeological sites in Solana yielded stone tools used as early as 20,000 years back, as well as cabarruan jar burial site. Cultural heritage includes Iron Age pottery, porcelain pieces that dates back from Chinese Ming and sung dynasty. Brick works are also evident in Tuguegarao since bricks were extensively used to build churches in the Cagayan Valley in the earlier time.
YEARLY SPECIAL EVENTS
Piat Sambali Festival & Feast of Nuestra Señora de Piat This is celebrated every June 23 to 30 annually showcasing war dance of tribes that were united and converted to Christianity through the intercession of the Lady of Piat.
Pavvurulun Festival This Festival takes place on August 13 to 17 in honor of the feast of St. Hyacinth
Fluvial Parade This Parade takes place in Aparri featuring a fluvial procession of about a hundred boats of different sizes and shapes in thanksgiving to their Patron, St. Peter Thelmo.
Semana Santa at Iguig Calvary Hills
This is celebrated every Holy Week in observance of the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
Best buys in Cagayan are native furnitures made of softwood, hardwood and rattan products which are also exported. While favorite ‘pasalubong’ or gift choices in terms of food or local delicacies are Longanisa, peanuts and peanut products, carabao milk candy, and tourists may also try the Tuguegarao Pancit or local noodles known as “Batil Patung”.
MUNICIPALITIES OF CAGAYAN
Cagayan has 1 city, 28 municipalities and 816 barangays divided into three congressional districts:
Santo Niño (Faire)
Cagayan Provincial Museum and Historical Research Center
The center is only five kilometers from Tuguegarao City. This is a general museum and houses an extensive collection of artifacts, antiques, ethnographics, trade wares, heirloom pieces and liturgical works of the province, and fossils of animals that once roamed the valley.
Callao Caves Tourist Zone
This is a protected landscape just 24 kilometers away from Tuguegarao. The Caves boast of massive limestone and other rock formations, skylights, and a chapel. Other 300 caves are also found here and can be explored with guides from Sierra Madre Outdoor Club (SMOC), Adventures and Expedition Philippines, Inc. (AEPI), and North Adventours.
The Island is a favorite spot for water and sports fishing destinations and water sports activities. The island boasts of rich marine resources and ideal for ecotourism activities.
Other places to visit:
PLANTATIONS AND CHURCHES
ANCESTRAL HOUSES /MUSEUMS / LIBRARIES AND HISTORICAL LANDMARKS
Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat
Cagayan Robina Sugar Milling Corporation
Iguig Calvary Hills & Parish of St. James the Greater
St. Hyacinth Church or San Jacinto Chapel
Sts. Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral
Magapit Suspension Bridge
Rev. Fr. Gerry Z. Fillipe Ho, Ofm Memorial Museum
St. Paul University
The Oldest Bell in the Far East
CAVES AND RIVERS
BEACH / RESORTS / FALLS / SPRINGS
Cagayan River / Rio Grande de Cagayan
Odessa-Tumbali Cave System
San Carlos Cave
Black & Fine Sand Beaches
The province is serviced by Air Philippines three times a week.
Tuguegarao is about 485 kilometers north of Metro Manila and can be reached by air-conditioned bus such as DANGWA Transport, Baliwag Transit, Victory Liner, Aladdin Bus Company, Dagupan Bus Company, Deltra Bus Company and Nelbusco. Independent motorists may take the North Diversion Road and exit at Sta. Rosa Exit.