Leaving Aparri we took a travel van, approximately two and one half hours, which took us directly through miles and miles of rice fields… allowing you to marvel at nature and man’s ingenuity for supplying the nation’s food basket. We proceeded directly to Tuguegarao City where we checked into our internet reserved hotel and took some time to explore the city.
A fair question might be…. what are your travel goals and expectations? Basically, when I arrive at a new city I look for historical markers, churches, museums, unique architecture, wildlife,zoos,flower gardens,restaurants,
shopping malls, and points of interest in and around the city. Not a perfect guideline, but if you ask at your hotel to recommend a restaurant, a taxi driver, a tour operator… many times you can save time and money by just asking the right questions. Sometimes the internet websites show a great looking hotel, but it is located completely outside the city or in center of a crime or blighted area. If this happens to you simply chose another hotel.
When you arrive at your hotel you want to make sure it is well situated, well lighted and has general safety in and around your hotel. Ask to see the room and look for cleanliness, size and type of bed, condition of mattress etc. So many of the hotel establishments spray heavy chemicals throughout the room to cover up bad smells and cigarette smoke….as I am highly allergic to heavy chemicals smells, I will leave and look for another hotel.
We headed into the center of town where we toured a local shopping center and took photos of local churches and city life. We hired an 83-year-old man on a horse-drawn carriage to give us a tour of the city, which not only helps the tourist industry, but allows you to slow down and see the sights. We headed off for dinner at a local Chinese Restaurant named Crown Restaurant, where we ate exotic stuffed fish and thanked our lucky stars for the find.
Often overlooked by tourists, the following day we hired a motorized tricycle to take us two and one half kilometers from the city proper to the longest freshwater bridge in the Philippines. Named Butun Bridge. the 1.098 kilometer bridge spanning over the Cagayan River makes an excellent photo stop. On our hotel staff recommendation for good seafood, we took dinner at City Seafoods Restaurant, where we ate tuna sashimi, fresh fish of the day, and stir fried vegetables. Excellent fresh fish… plus friendly restaurant staff makes City Seafoods a good restaurant choice. The following morning we headed to the Tuguegarao Airport for our return trip to Bantayan Island.
There are many Festivals with Celebrations of life and abundance in and around Tuguegarao and Cagayan Valley that celebrate the activities close to Cagayano’s hearts. their means of livelihood, religious events, and anniversaries of key historical events. This would be a good time for visitors to see and experience first-hand the warm welcoming nature of the Cagayanos.
So there you have it. In a few word synopsis: Tuguegarao is a bustling economic city in the heart of the food basket with several shopping centers, many small businesses and jam-packed with literally hundreds, if not thousands of motorized tricycles..for a about ten pesos or so you can go from mid-town to outskirts and vice versa. Even if things aren’t perfect and the weather is not exactly cooperating as you would like… you can still find many things of interest and even find some good culinary experiences along the way. Yum Yum!
QUOTE:“Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: Known as the spelunker’s, trekker’s and gamefisher’s paradise rolled in one, Cagayan Valley provides a never-ending adventure. The province is now being promoted as an adventure and eco-tourism destination. Both foreign and local tourists continue to explore its caves, engage in game fishing expeditions, trek its mighty mountains and retreat to its centuries old churches.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE:Fishes of the Cagayan River…specifically the Lobed River Mullet. Because of over poaching, the highly sought after, excellent tasting fish of the Cagayan River is heading toward extinction. If something isn’t done to protect the species it will join another long list of extinction is forever. Start blogging, write letters, spend money grasshopper. If you don’t do something… who will?
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Don’t be a couch potato Grasshopper. Do the research, book your travel time, and get moving…it’s later than you think on this earthly planet. I’ve been told if you have enough passport stamps and travel time, when you arrive at the next galaxy you can travel for FREE for the next millennium.
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?