Friday, April 25, 2014

Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana Roadtrip: Historic Road to Paradise

Tuguegarao to Sta. Ana 
Historic Road to Paradise 
Tuguegrao, Cagayan Series 3

 On our second day in Tuguegarao, we had 
a prebooked overnight stay in Sun City’s 
Cagayan Holiday Leisure and Resort in 
Sta. Ana, Cagayan, a town located about 
two to three hours away from the city.

 We had an early breakfast in the room,

 We packed a overnight bag, and left our 
huge luggage in Pulsar since we did not 
check out anymore to avoid inconvenience, 
as we  would be back the next day anyway.

 A rented van fetched us from the hotel 
and off we went to one of the most 
exhilarating road trips of our lifetime.

 Our trip took us to several 
historic towns of  Cagayan, ...

each had it’s own remarkable 
past that played an important role to what 
we are now as Filipinos, and as a nation.

 Closest to the city is the town of Igiug,

 …famous for the Iguig, Calvary Hills,

... a popular Holy Week destination as it 
had larger than life statues that depicts 
 the different stations of the cross,

 … that led to the crucifixion 
and death of Jesus Christ.

 But beyond the Calvary Hills, the town 
of Iguig had much more to offer like the 
ancient St James the Apostle Church 


that few people  know had an altar that contains
 a relic  of  the cross where Jesus was crucified,

 …and other ancient structures,


... which would be a subject  of a separate  feature
for this on going Tuguegrao blog series.

 We then passed the town of Amulung,

 …that led us to Alcala


that had the  very beautiful
St. Philomene Church,

…with a really breathtaking courtyard 
that would make you feel like  you are 
transported to a quaint European piazza

 We enjoyed the scenic countryside
 on  our way to Gattaran,

 and we found out  the this highway actually 
follows the  route of the mighty Cagayan River 
on its way out to the Aparri Delta.

 The Cagayan Valley topography reminded us 
a lot of our trip two years ago to  the valley 
resort village of Carlovy Vary from Prague.

...that also follows the trail
of Vtalva river. 

 While the rolling hills had  fertile canola plantations and 
cattle farms in the Czech Republic countryside,

...there were acres and acres of fertile 
corn, rice and watermelon plantations 
in the scenic Cagayan countryside.

 The road from Gattaran to Lallo gave 
us a pleasant surprise when the kids caught 
the sight of a castle  on the road side.

 This turned out to be the Castle in the Sky 
hotel and restaurant and a must stop for 
every tourists traveling to Cagayan for 
wonderful photo- ops with the family.

 Beside the Castle in the Sky is the
 Cagayan Breeze Food Harbor
an ideal stop for meals and toilet break,

 …and tight in front are Tinupig Stalls, 

...where my family was able to get our 
first taste of these tasty roasted rice cakes.

 Also near the Castle in the Sky is a 
suspension  bridge that looked like a 
miniature version of San Francisco’s 
Golden Gate Bridge, that apparently links 
the highway that leads to the Ilocos Region.

 We passed by the Lallo’s St. Dominic Church 
which was the former seat of the Nueva Segovia, 
one of the five original Archdioceses created by Spain,

 …and this beautiful and historic church would 
also be featured separately in this ongoing series. 

 We did not pass by the Lallo town center, we took the  Lallo diversion road,

... where  we caught  a glimpse of 
the Lallo International  Airport 
that  was undergoing construction.

 The diversion road then led 
us  to the town of Gonzaga,

 …where after passing the town center, 
we requested the driver to slow down 
as we wanted to enjoy the view.

 The Gonzaga countryside was very 
scenic and we particularly enjoyed 
the sight of  what seemed to be hundred
 of verdant  mounds dotting the horizon,

 …that looked like a greener version of 
Bohol’s very popular Chocolate Hills.

 We also wanted to appreciate the view of the  
Sierra Madre Mountains as we came  to realize 
that this  longest mountain range in the  country actually 
begins somewhere in this part of Cagayan Valley.

 Gonzaga is the penultimate 
town to Sta. Ana,

 ….our final destination, and a part of the 
Cagayan Special Economic Zone.

 When we caught the sight of Sun City’s 
Cagayan Holiday Leisure Resort,

 -we realized, we have arrived in paradise.

Watch out for my other
Tuguegarao Blog Series

Pulsar Hotel Tuguegarao



  1. amazing Doki, never even been to those parts its as if I was taking the ride with you, thanks a Mil!!!

    1. Salamat Pat for reading my blog regularly.

      I would be glad to tke you to more road trips thru SSP&F with my family.

  2. Thanks for visiting our province and appreciating what it offers. I'm from Iguig where you have seen calvary hills. I believe that your stay in cagayan is not enough to see and experience the whole province. I'm expecting that you will come back with your family and friends and will stay longer than your visit.

    1. Hi Iguig 79,

      Cagayan was a revelation for my family. A lot of people were discouraging us to travel on a summertime a week prior to the Holy Week to Tuguegarao as the place had the reputation as the hottest place in the country.

      They were right.

      Tuguegarao is one hot tourist destination with lots of red hot attractions.

      A week is not enough to enjoy the province.

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