Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cagayan: Callao Cave, Pinacanauan River and Iguig Calvary Hills

Cagayan is known for its many caves, Callao Cave being the most popular. Many of the caves can be found in the town of Penablanca, which is just a short drive from Tuguegarao City. From the entrance of the Callao Eco-Tourism Zone, it's just a few dozen steps up to Callao Cave

Callao is most known for the natural cathedral in one of its chambers that was converted into a chapel by the locals. The cave actually has seven chambers which you can explore, several with natural openings on top from which the sunlight illuminates the chambers.


Another attraction of the area is the Pinacanauan River which is perfect for a boat trip. There are boats for hire below Callao Cave. There's an area a few minutes by boat from Callao where you can have a picnic. Which is what we did.

And we came prepared with meats and fish to grill. Just make sure, if you do plan to barbeque in the area, to clean up after and not leave any trash. After relaxing a bit and taking a cat nap, we went back to the jump-off point. And just in the nick of time since the moment we got in our vehicle, it started to rain really hard.

An attraction during sundown is the gargantuan flight of bats which leaves the various caves in the area. I was told that the place used to have a several eagles which would feast on the bats as they flew out. That was a regular sight before. But for some reason, when a military camp was constructed and located in the area, the eagles suddenly disappeared. I hope they didn't have a tinola feast!

Anyway, before going back to Tuguegarao, the group decided to visit one of the Marian images which was housed in the Iguig Chuch as part of the Marian Voyage of Peace. Of course, the major attration of the town is the Iguig Calvary Hills, life-size tableaus from the Stations of the Cross scattered behind the centuires-old church building. Notice the flying buttressess behind the church, a good example of earthquake Baroque architecture.

After resting a bit, I decided to try out the local Pancit Batil-Patung for merienda. For dinner, we were served Pancit Cabagan.

Part 1: Marian Voyage of Peace in Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Part 3: Basilica of Our Lady of Piat in Piat, Cagayan
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