Quantcast
Latest Stories

Isabela opens ecotourism front

By

THE GREAT church of Tumauni with a wedding cake bell tower

The province of Isabela in the Cagayan Valley Region is the “Queen’s Province.” Specifically, it was named after la Reyna Isabela la Catolica who, along with King Ferdinand of Aragon, liberated Spain in 1492 from the Moors who had controlled the southern peninsula for centuries.

The province is known for its Aguinaldo Trail in the Sierra Madre, leading to Palanan (where Aguinaldo was captured by the Americans, aided by Macabebe Scouts, posing as prisoners of war); idyllic coastal towns facing the Pacific Ocean and soon to be accessible by land; picturesque Magat Dam; and, among other attractions, the beautiful church of St. Matthais the Apostle in Tumauini, one of the greatest churches in the Philippines.

Unique church

The unique church was completed in 1805, partially damaged during World War II, and restored by “the faithful of Tamauini.” It is made of thousands of red clay bricks. The façade’s “exaggerated rose window and bell tower which appears like a wedding cake have no parallels everywhere,” wrote the scholars Pedro Galende, O.S.A. and Rene Javellana, SJ.

The retablo (altar backdrop) is stark and simple, almost majestic, in contrast to others found in other Spanish-era churches. And there is no pantheon of saints.

There are other interesting churches found in the towns of Alicia, also brick-laden; San Pablo, Alibago, and the capital city of Ilagan.

Another tourist attraction is Magat Dam in the town of Ramon near Ifugao. It is a pastoral, sylvan scene (if you ignore the denuded mountains nearby), the waters approximating a large lake with an isle in the middle. Down below, you can see migratory birds flying around in the dam site.

The raging waters released by the power plant flow under Camp Vizcarra, a jamboree site, with its Hanging Bridge made of steel. A stairway leads to a grotto high up.

Recreation area

Camp Samal, a military camp this time, has been turned into a recreation area, with a swimming pool and an outdoor hall for snacks, and welcomes both domestic and foreign tourists.

For the adventure tourists, there is the Ilagan Sanctuary, which has been developed into a wildlife park. There is a playground ambience as you enter, with painted rocks which resemble Prudencio Lamarroza’s Amburayan series. If you use your imagination, Santa Victoria (the cave) can substitute for the Amburayan Queen.

Zip line riders swish through the air overhead, punctuated by yells of excitement.

There is a mini-zoo, hidden falls and nine caves but you are not expected to explore all of them.

As the Sanctuary employee put it, intending (or not) a pun: “Kung pupuntahan mo ang siyam na kweba, aabutin ka nang siyam-siyam (if you explore all nine caves it will take you forever).”

Mambanti Festival

Ilagan and Cauayan and the towns (Ramon, et al) of Isabela held the recent “2013 Magical Mambanti Festival.”

Bambanti is the Ilocano word for scarecrow, and this unattractive symbol-mascot was chosen, as festival chair Antonio (Tonypet) Albano explained, “to ward off pests from the fields of Isabela and also toward off bad luck and evil spirits.”

There was a flurry of events. Each town and city tried to outdo itself in the trade fair, with its giant mascot-scarecrows (higante) and attractive booths; dancing policemen; lively street-dancing competitions, with giant props and moveable screens; and related activities.

There was cultural dancing at the Capitol grounds, student rondalla bands, a musical by the Philippine Stagers of Vince Tañada, performances by guests Jed Madela, Vina Morales, Christian Bautista, Sarah Geronimo, Jon Santos, and Bamboo.

All in all, it was a very successful four-day event. And credit should go to the young dancers and drum-and-lyre musicians (and their conductors), who gave their all for their town, city and of course their province.

The fact that many of them got wet during the sustained rainshowers did not dampen their youthful spirit.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cagayan Valley Region , Isabela , Travel



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
    Marketplace