Leaving Santa Ana we took a travel van to the bridge at the town of Gonzaga and traveled about a mile down a dirt road to arrive at Baua Beach Resort. A secluded and relaxing resort located right in the north-eastern tip of Luzon in the town of Gonzaga, province of Cagayan. Baua Beach Resort is fronting the Babuyan Channel and South China Sea, surrounded by the breathtaking Sierra Madre Mountains at the back. This time of the year during typhoon season we had the resort to our selves and had the luxury of just hanging around and enjoying the scenery and taking photos.
From there we took a motorized tricycle to the bus depot and waited a short time where we got a jeepney going direct to the city of Aparri. If you ever wanted to see miles and miles of green rice fields this is the perfect opportunity. Traveling alongside some of the Philippines largest rice plantations you can see a sea of green grass waving in the wind. Bright green rice fields in every stage of production with individual workers with large straw hats scattered among the rice fields, either planting, weeding or harvesting. Is quite impressive to witness and would be an excellent subject for a landscape portrait artist or photographer.
Arriving at Aparri we checked into the Riverview Royal Hotel located on the main road on the outskirts of Aparri. The hotel is relatively new, well-managed, has a restaurant, is clean and a favorite for travelers and businessmen. They also have a security guard who can arrange local transport and the entire staff is friendly and helpful. The hotel overlooks the Cagayan River with a view from the top floor. I told Perla the Cagayan River is the wildest and longest river in the Philippines and runs north emptying directly into The South China Sea.
The Cagayan river is also home to the most tasty and expensive freshwater fish in the Philippines and can be taken during breeding season in murky waters. A rare species of fish in the Philippines that sells for P5,000 a kilo is facing rougher waters as poachers continue to threaten its population. The lobed river mullet or Ludong, endemic to the Cagayan Valley region, is a treasured fish believed to be an annual gift of the river goddess to the Ibanags or to the people living by the Cagayan River.
Aparri is one of biggest commercial centers north of Manila has a long and colorful history. According to a legend, Captain Pablo de Carreon, a native of Spain, landed at the site of Aparri in 1581 at about dinnertime. The Vizcaya colloquial term meaning to take dinner in Aparri, thus the place was called Aparri.
The seaport of Aparri located at the north of the Cagayan River was discovered In 1581, by Captain Juan Pablo Careon, of Spain. One hundred soldiers fully equipped with arms and ammunition and other provisions, came to Cagayan with their families by order of the Spanish Civil Governor, to explore the Cagayan Valley and to convert the natives to Christianity as well as to establish ecclesiastical missions and towns throughout the valley. This was the first batch of Spanish settlers in the Cagayan Valley who introduced Spanish culture and Latin civilization, enriching primitive culture, customs, and tradition.
On June 29, 1583, Don Juan de Salcedo traced the northern coastline of Luzon and set foot on the Massi (Pamplona), Tular, and Aparri areas. The Spanish friars soon established mission posts in Camalaniugan and Lallo, which became the seat of Nueva Segovia established on August 14, 1595. The Spanish influence can still be seen in the massive churches and other buildings that the Spaniards built for the spiritual and social welfare of the people.
We hired a tricycle to take us to a local restaurant with native cuisine named Calapao Garden Restaurant situated in a pleasant outdoor atmosphere with an extensive menu. We ordered the fresh fish of the day, stir fried veggies and fresh mangoes. Good service and tasty fresh foods. We then proceeded to the interior of Aparri where we went along the wharf to witness and photograph the Cagayan River emptying into the ocean. Since it was running murky after the typhoon… it reminded me of the mighty Mississippi River from the United States during spring run-off.
The following morning we boarded a travel van and traveled approximately two and one half hours to Tuguegarao City where we checked into our reserved hotel for a couple of nights stay before heading back to Cebu.
QUOTE:”Medicine and disease cure each other. The entire earth is medicine. What is the self?” —Essential Zen
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Rice is the primary food for more than half the people in the world. It is the seed of a grass and is the staple of many cuisines from Asia to Mexico to Africa because it is rich in protein, starch, minerals, and vitamins, and low in calories and fat. It is versatile enough to be an integral part of an entrée or a dessert.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Rice!
ZENTRAVELER SAYS:Eat more rice… as there over 120,000 different varieties and makes a perfect anti-cancer micro-biotic diet. Eat your rice grasshoppers, but save some for us mortals.
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.
Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?