We came with rain the last time we were in Maddela, Quirino. The waters at Governor’s Rapids were murky and flow erratic like the weather. The recent visit this year was a side-trip from Echague, Isabela, a neighboring municipality across the provincial border. It was a smooth over an hour drive on paved roads. Friends from Isabela tourism seems to be chummy with the people here in Maddela. They knew each other. This time the sun shown bright, the waters a healthy pale green and the rapids inviting. Finally we get to experience this river adventure.
The province of Quirino in Cagayan Valley, named after the former and sixth president of the Philippines Elpidio Quirino has often been overlooked and misplaced as a destination. Maybe because they are in a land-locked area between three provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Aurora and no direct access on the main national roads or flights. This makes Quirino quite interesting alternative destination. “What’s here? What can we see and do?” Are just about some curious queries unraveled on our recent visit. But before any exploration, we made our way to Cabarroguis, the province’s town capital.
If this is how it feels to crawl out of a womb, I can clearly understand why babies cry out once their out in the open – its a cry of relief after squirming through a hole that can barely fit a person of average size there. We were at the second chamber of Aglipay Caves in Quirino Province, about half-way through our adventure in a network of chambers that let us squeeze through crack entrances, do duck-walks on low ceiling passages and negotiate slick and muddy trails in pitch black environs. But hey we’re not complaining, aren’t we here for the thrill?
Quirino, a land-locked province in Cagayan Valley is partly a mystery to me. I haven’t been in that area so I was excited to join a familiarization tour to “Discover the Undiscovered”. A fitting slogan really as there is little written about this province. Underrated perhaps? A flight to Cauayan, Isabela then a 1.5 hours road-trip took us to Cabarroguis, the capital of Quirino Province. There, the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Restaurant, was our home for three nights.
There’s a certain sense of nostalgia finding a carnival behind our hotel in Quirino province. It’s like a throwback to my early years at home. When I was a kid, I revel at the sight of a small carnival being set up just in front of our building on a vacant lot. Oh we look forward to those tsubibo (small ferris wheel) rides, horror train and table games where we doesn’t seem to win. That vacant lot in the neighborhood is long gone and has been overtaken by buildings. A walk through the Paskohan sa Quirino in Cabarroguis town awakened that good old-feeling of Christmas. Simple pleasures of being with friends and family enjoying the bazaar, the rides and the company during the holiday season.
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”
This week’s Nikon Shot was taken just last week when I was in a tour with fellow travel bloggers to explore the province of Quirino. One of the striking scenery during our tour was this Landingan Viewpoint in Nagtipunan, Quirino. Beautiful ridge and a commanding view of Cagayan River cutting through the valley. This one was taken with a Nikon D7100. I used the HDR feature of the camera since I forgot to bring my GND filter during the trip. I thought the in-camera HDR did well in keeping things natural. OF course this one already went to my preferred post processing. Thank you very much to Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), DOT, Guys from Binary Digital, and the LGU of Quirino Province for that adventurous weekend. May thanks to my fellow travel bloggers Mica, Christian, Atty Julius, Eric, Edgar, Marky, Sinjin and the one on the photo Kara for being a willing model for this shot. Watch out for the Quirino post to follow early next year.