Saturday, March 12, 2011

TUGUEGARAO: 01 – So They Love St. Paul That Much


Tuguegarao serves as the capital of both Cagayan the province and Cagayan the valley also known as Region II. The said region is composed of several provinces covering the eastern coast of Luzon and extending farther north up to the Batanes group of islands, which comprise their own province. One landmark you could see within Tuguegarao City itself is the Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, although most of the province’s distinguished landmarks are scattered in neighboring municipalities such as Iguig to the north (Iguig Church and the life-size Stations of the Cross at Calvary Hills) and Peñablanca to the east (Callao and Sierra Caves, Pinacanauan River), among others.

We left NAIA 3 an hour late due to bad weather. The ground stewardess said it was foggy in Tuguegarao. There was a collective sigh of disappointment after the first announcement. The second was met with uneasiness given the freezing temperature in the terminal. Everyone was happy when we were finally called for boarding. The trip did not take an hour but it was one freaky flight. The plane was shaking and it gave the impression that anytime its engines would stop and we would all drop dead but not gorgeous. It was a good thing that I was half asleep.

The airport in Tuguegarao is small and perhaps just the same size as that of Batanes. A throng of quadsi (their local term for quad cycle) drivers would hound you upon exit of the airport like a group of paparazzi would a celebrity. They are not after your photos though but rather, they just want you to ride their quadsi. I was expecting to be ripped off, so I just walked. The road was dusty but not far from the National Highway. All the jeep that passed by were full and so I ended up in a quadsi after all. The 10 pesos I paid would have quadrupled if I came from the airport itself. I would know. I took a quadsi back to the airport when I left Tuguegarao two days after. The driver asked for 60 pesos. Six-fold!

I ate at Chowking. Why? This is one requirement I just could not complete in order to transition from tourist to traveler. Food. It is something I have always viewed with contempt. Eating for me is routine and my taste buds are not the adventurous type. After the meal, I rode another quadsi supposedly to Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. It turns out there is another St. Paul in the city, a university with its own church. The driver took me to that one because I only told him St. Paul's. Yey!



The church of St. Paul's University is a looker itself but does not seem to be open to the public. The guard kept on saying No trespassing! His tone makes it sound as if he was joking though. He probably was. Anyway, I still got a not-so-flattering photo of the facade swarming with quadsi and passersby. Another quadsi took me to the cathedral I was looking for. I used the back entrance and did not get a view of the facade right away. When I did, I realized it looked bigger in pictures, which is almost always the case for buildings seen in print.

TUGUEGARAO: 01 – So They Love St. Paul That Much

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