I guess, that was my only reason for wanting to see Tuguegarao. Not one of us knows where it is, we just say, "hey, this place is deserted, are we in Tuguegarao?" Sometimes when I'm lost, I also text my friends, hey... I think I'm in Tuguegarao... HAHAHA yes we are all geographically-challenged beings.
There's not a lot to see in Tuguegarao itself, but it's a good jump off point for different nearby caves, and beaches. You could also head to Batanes or Aparri from Tuguegarao.
|Getting lost in Tuguegarao|
I stayed at Pensionne Joselina for 3 days, they have 500php single room. Pensionne Joselina looks scary from the outside, but the rooms are clean, the staff are helpful, and security is 24 hours.
|Rooftop of Pensionne Joselina|
|Pensione Joselina from the outside|
During my second day, I told the staff that I was going to Callao cave, and they specifically instructed me to leave before 3pm because there would be no transportation available after that time. But, I had so many change of plans that day, that I got back at the pension around 2am. When I arrived, a lot of half asleep staff were waiting in the lobby, and upon entering the door, one of the guys quickly stood and said, "ma'am, nagaalala po kami grabe (ma'am, we were so worried)."
I smiled, felt guilty, and apologized. I wanted to text them that I will be back late, but I didn't get their number; I also didn't write my number in the reservation form.
Food (and everything else) there is cheap, and the servings are hefty too! I tried their famous pancit batil patung; It was tasty, but I didn't finish it because it was huge - for its price! There were also candies made from carabao's milk, and halo halo with lots of yema frosting. I bought and ate some every morning. HAHAHA
|Pancit Batil Patung|
Tuguegarao center is small, and you can walk from one point to another. However, people here ride the tricycle all the time. Even when you ask someone for directions, they'll just tell you to ride the tricycle. Be careful of some tricycles from the airport, they would quote you a hundred pesos for a thirty peso ride. I think all airports, terminals, and stations really have some crooked dispatchers and drivers.
My real itinerary for this trip was Tuguegarao center, Callao cave, and Iguig Calvary Hills, but as I said, a lot of unforeseen events happened so I ended up with Tuguegarao center, Callao cave and Baggao cave.
In Centro, there's really not much to see. However you could try visiting the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Rizal Park, and the New Valley Mall.
|Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral - the biggest church in Cagayan valley|
|Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral's interior|
If you're tired, you could also rest in Rizal Park just near the church. There may be lots of kids there though since there is a playground, and I think the stage in the park is a popular spot among kids practicing for their school activities. It's a lively place.
The New Valley Mall is considered their city mall. It is small, and there's really nothing to see or buy there, but since I like observing in public markets, I stayed there to observe and eat. The city is SOOOOO full of motorcycles, almost like in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.
Callao cave has seven chambers, but I think I was able to reach up to the 4th chamber only since I got scared of touring the cave alone (there were no guides around because they all watched Pacquiao's match with Rios). I later found out that the 6th and 7th chambers were closed because it was too slippery already.
|Boat ride to Callao cave|
|The first chamber - It can be seen at the mouth of the cave. Locals have turned it into a church.|
I don't have photos of Baggao caves because it was already too dark when I arrived there, but the place was pretty, and I can hear the gushing of the falls. I actually wanted to take a swim, but an old lady warned us of the mermaids playing tricks to tourists. We weren't in the mood to play with mermaids so we just exchanged stories throughout the night.
On our way back to Tuguegarao city from Baggao, I saw a tree with LOTS of fireflies. It was beautiful. It reminded me of Siquijor.
See you around!