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Philippine Culture and Tourism Geography Notes Part I:
Region I & Region II
Region I: Ilocos Region
The 4 provinces of Region I: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan
Located in the northwestern side of the country with the West Philippine Sea at its coast lines.
Language used: Ilocano (3
rd
most spoken language in the Philippines), Pangasinense or
Pangasinan.
This province is a whole area named after "asin" (salt).
How to get there:
Regional center: San Fernando, La Union
By Land: The provinces are all accessible by car: 5 hours away from Manila
By Air: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Laoag International Airport: 1 hour away
Food and Products
The setting of Ilocano food is salty because of the closeness to the ocean. It is common to find fish
preserved by drying, and of course, reduced into a paste or sauce by fermentation.
Some of these specialties are fermented fish mixed into viands like vegetables - Pinakbet and
meats - Bagnet and Longganiza.
A popular condiment: Sukang Iloko (vinegar made from sugar cane).
Chichacorn- pasalubong from tourists to bring back home.
Dinengdeng- a mix of green vegetables
Ilocos Empanada
Poqui-poqui- eggplant dish with tomatoes.
Bangus- Dagupan City, Pangasinan is known as the Bangus Capital of the Philippines
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The bangus variety has earned fame for having a large "belly". The aquaculture has grown so much
in the province of Pangasinan that they now have a festival that is celebrated annually beginning
April 3rd until the end of the month. Ilocano garlic is also one cooking staple that has grown in
reputation because of its flavor.
Festivals of the Region
Name of Festival
Location
Date Celebrated
Description
Pamulinawen Festival
Laoag City
February 10
Floral and Street Dancing
Festival celebrating the
feast of their patron, Saint
William
Guling Guling Festival
Paoay
Eve of Ash Wednesday
(Holy Tuesday)
Residents dressed in
Ilocano costume and their
antique jewelry dance and
sing around town as they
are marked with Sign of
the Cross using pounded
rice, not ash. They merry-
make before the start of
the Lenten Triduum
Farmer's Festival
Bacarra
On the 19th and 20th of
May
the feast of St. Isidore the
Labrador, patron of
farmers and fisherfolk.
They have a street dance
parade participated in by
dressed up farmers with
their produce, for an agro
trade fair and contests for
farm harvests and
livestock
Tabako Festival
Candon City
Third or last week of
March
a thanksgiving for a
bountiful tobacco harvest
Sinait Garlic (Bawang)
Festival
Sinait, Ilocos Sur
May 1 to 3
Showcases talent,
ingenuity and hard work
of Ilocanos. They have
floats, parade of the
product and street
dancing
Bangus Festival
Dagupan City
from April 3 until the end
of the month
Highlights the Bangus
Province 1:
Ilocos Norte: The Best of Culture and Nature
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Paoay Church (Church of San Agustin) is one (1) of the four (4) Baroque Churches in the
Philippines that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The traditions of pottery and
weaving still exist in the province today. Old lighthouses and other cultural landmarks can be
found around the province. In addition, many of this country's heroes and other prominent persons
on the Philippines' history are from the Ilocos Norte. There are several museums in the province
telling stories of their deeds and contributions to this country's history and culture. As for its boons
in nature: from white sand beaches, beautiful rock formations, a sea of sand dunes and picturesque
bays, it truly has natural sites to boast of.
Features:
La Paz Sand Dunes - an 85 sq. kms. protected desert and coastal sandy area which has been used
for shooting several local Filipino movies. It is an ideal place for sandboarding and adventures
riding the steep slopes on a 4x4 truck.
The Malacañang of the North- built as the official residence of former President Ferdinand E.
Marcos in Ilocos Norte, this imposing structure, which overlooks the legendary Paoay Lake, is
now a museum.
Pagudpud Beach- the beautiful white sand beaches known to as the Boracay of the North fronts
the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Paoay Church or Church of San Agustin: a UNESCO World Heritage Site built of coral blocks
and stucco plastered bricks, the architecture is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and
Oriental. Construction of the church was started in 1704 and completed in 1894.
The Bangui Windmills or Turbines lies fronting Bangui Bay- owned by the North Wind Power
Development Corporation. Phase 1 had 15 turbines installed. Phase 2 completed in 2008, added 5
more. This environmentally sound means of power generation now benefits the town's (and
neighboring areas) electricity needs.
Juan Luna Shrine- located in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, it is a building made of brick and clay which
features highlights of hero Juan Luna's achievements and works of art.
Cape Bojeador- built in 1892, it is said to be the tallest lighthouse in the Philippines. Also known
as the Burgos Lighthouse, it is cultural heritage site that was built to ensure safety of seafarers on
the coasts of the South China Sea.
The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation- located in Burgos, is known for its creamy white, sculpted
limestone formations, which have been formed by different oceanic tides and weather forces.
The Patapat Viaduct, or Patapat Bridge- is a viaduct at the municipality of Pagudpud, Ilocos
Norte, the northernmost tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines. This concrete coastal bridge is
1.3km long and connects the Maharlika Highway from the Ilocos Region to Cagayan Valley.
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Province 2:
Ilocos Sur: Heritage Village of the Philippines
As is the obvious, Ilocos Sur highlights heritage as it is home to two acclaimed UNESCO World
Heritage Sites: The Historic Town of Vigan and its amazing Calle Crisologo, still displaying its
cobbled stone street and old Spanish influenced houses lining the road and the Nuestra Senora dela
Asuncion baroque church in Sta. Maria.
The pottery traditions that can still be found in the city and the looming Bantay Bell Tower are
also among the heritage treasures that tourists can enjoy as they can opt to take a leisurely carriage
ride around town or better yet, take a walk around. Walking will allow visitors access to the quaint
stores and business establishments and restaurants with authentic Ilocano food along the city
streets.
Features:
The Historic Town of Vigan
Ancestral Houses Along Calle Crisologo- these houses have tile roofs, massive hardwood
floorings, balustrades and azoteas in varying Spanish-Mexican-Chinese architectural
styles.
Plaza Salcedo- in this elevated elliptical plaza it highlights the Salcedo Monument, known
to be the oldest in the North tripios.com
Pagburnayan - the Ilocano clay jar called "burnay" is used for storing the suka (local vinegar),
basi (local wine) and bagoong (fish sauce) and has also been used as a decorative item in household
interiors and outdoor landscapes. The production process still utilizes pre-historic methods, a
tradition passed on from generation to generation.
National Museum - Padre Burgos House- This museum is the ancestral house and birthplace of
priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos. Known as Padre Burgos House, it is one of the notable historic
structures of Vigan.
Sundial- built by the Spaniards in 1841 and 1948, these two sundials, one in front of the Tagudin
Municipal Hall and the other at the courtyard of the church, are still in use.
Moro Watch Tower- it is the oldest landmark in San Esteban. This is a vanguard against
approaching pirates.
Sulvec Watchtower- this sturdy magnificent structure was built by the Spaniards as a lookout
point for invaders.
Bantay Church and Bantay Bell Tower- standing "guard" at the entrance of Vigan is this church
which features sturdy earthquake proof baroque and Gothic-influenced architecture. Beside it, like
a sentinel, stands tall the Bantay Bell Tower which provides a scenic view over the historic city.
These were established in 1590, among the oldest in the Ilocos region.
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Nuestra Senora Dela Asuncion- one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the province of
Ilocos Sur. The Santa Maria Church is a complex art of clay bricks and mortar, located on top of
a hill. The buttresses on its side a feature similar to that of the other UNESCO World Heritage
baroque churches in the country, in Paoay and Miag-ao.
Tirad Pass- declared as a National Shrine, this is the historical site of The Battle of Tirad Pass
where the army was led by the youngest Filipino General Gregorio del Pilar.
Lapog Bay- Saoang in San Juan, Ilocos Sur, a part of Lapog Bay. In history, it reportedly had 34
Japanese warships that anchored at the Bay. Most of the warships left the Bay on October 17,
1944, close to the end of the Second World War
Province 3:
La Union: Pilgrimage Center of North Luzon
La Union, which translates to "The Union", was formed in 1850 as towns from the neighboring
provinces of Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and Benguet were separated from them and merged to form
this new province.
La Union's capital, San Fernando, is the trade center of the region and people flock here to conduct
their business transactions. But the tagline for pilgrimages stem from the droves of people who
come during Holy Week to pay homage to the image of the Blessed Virgin in San Antonio. Marian
devotees come to pray and do their prayers to Her, as well as say prayers with the life-size statues
of the Stations of the Cross.
Presently, La Union is growing in reputation for its beaches, especially in the town of San Juan,
which are ideal for surfing.
Province 4:
Pangasinan: Hundred Islands and Hundred Flavors
In Alaminos, Pangasinan one finds the Lingayen Gulf where there are 124 islands, more or less,
called the Hundred Islands. This group of islands boasts of many attractions that visitors enjoy,
such as: snorkeling above giant clams, caving, cliff jumping, zip lining and even scuba diving (for
those with licenses). Near Alaminos is the town of Bolinao where one can enjoy more white sand
beaches and explore more natural sites.
Another frequently visited town in Pangasinan is that of Manaoag. Marian devotees also come to
attend masses and light their candles at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag (Minor
Basilica).
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Features:
Hundred Islands National Park, Alaminos
Cape Bolinao Lighthouse -The light house which was built by the American in 1903 on a 300
feet high promontory at the western part of Cape Bolinao still sends signal to vessels passing by
the area.
Church of St. James Fortress -Bolinao Church was built by the Augustinians in 1609. It houses
wooden statues are now a rarity. The antique altar is flanked by two grinning tongueprotruding
Aztec visages presumably of Mexican influence and brought over by the Galleon Trade.
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag- one where many Marian devotees come
to pay homage. There are two feast days: the third Wednesday after Easter and first Sunday of
October. Devotees believe her image is miraculous and prayer intentions are heard here.
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Region II: Cagayan Valley
The 5 provinces of Region II: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino
Cagayan Valley, Region II, is in the northeastern side of the island of Luzon.
Language used: Ilocano (lingua franca), Ibanag (indigenous to the region). It is said that the name
Ibanag comes from "|" which means people and "bannag" meaning river, the "people of the river"
an obvious association to Cagayan River
The Benham Rise, renamed Philippine Rise, an extinct under water volcanic ridge can be found
250 kilometers east of the province of Isabela.
The region is rich in coastal resources and is the fourth largest region of the country accounting
for about 9% of the national land area.
Although landlocked provinces, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino still enjoy a large body of water
because the Cagayan River, which originates from Cagayan, traverses through 9 provinces, to
include these two. Also known as the Rio Grande de Cagayan, this is the longest river and the
largest river by discharge volume of water in the Philippines. Callao Cave can also be found here,
where the archaeological find on the Homo Luzonensis was unearthed.
How to get there:
Regional Center: Tuguegarao City (Capital of Cagayan Province)
By Air:
Manila to Tuguegarao: About 1 hour, 10 minutes (except Batanes)
Manila to Batanes: 1 hour, 20 minutes
By Land:
Manila to Tuguegarao: Approximately 6-hour drive
During the drive you will see…
Magapit Suspension Bridge- one of the first of its kind in Asia, it spans the Cagayan River at
Lal-lo and is 0.76 kilometers long. The hanging bridge links the first and second districts of
Cagayan going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Road on the Ilocos NorteCagayan
Inter-Provincial national highway.
Buntun Bridge- situated 2.5 kilometers from Tuguegarao City proper. Its length is 1.124
kilometers making it the longest river bridge in the country (and second longest bridge after San
Juanico Bridge) It offers an unobstructed view of the Cagayan River.
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Festivals of the Region:
Name of Festival
Location
Date Celebrated
Description
Aggao Nac Cagayan
June 23 to 29
Cagayan Province
to mark the
establishment of the
civil government of
Cagayan in 1853
Bambati Festival or
Scarecrow Festival
May 1-11
Ilagan, Isabela
to mark the
establishment of the
provincial civil
government
Panagdadapun Festival
September 7-10
Cabarroguis, Quirino
Quirino's Foundation
Day celebrated
Dibang Festival (flying
fish)
June 18-26
Batanes
celebrates the founding
anniversary of the civil
government of Batanes
marked by parades,
sports fest, trade fairs
and the presentation of
the ethnic Palo-palo
dance.
Panagyaman Festival
May 19-24
Nueva Vizcaya
province
celebrate the founding
anniversary of Nueva
Vizcaya province
Pattaraday Festival
May 1-5
Santiago City, Isabela
celebrates the founding
anniversary of Santiago
City, Isabela
Pav-vurulum Festival
Aug 10-16
Tuguegarao City
is the patronal city
fiesta of Tuguegarao
City marked by beauty
contest, pancit eating
contest and sportsfest
Province 1:
Cagayan: A True Spelunker's Paradise
Cagayan has 28 municipalities and one city divided into three congressional districts.
Present day chroniclers say that the name was derived from the word "tagay," a kind of plant that
grows abundantly in the northern part of the province. Thus, "Catagayan" which means a place
where the tagay grows abundantly was shortened to "Cagayan," the present name of the province.
It has nationally proclaimed protected areas that include landscapes, seascapes, watersheds, a game
refuge and bird sanctuaries.
Another version of the etymology place's name is Hispanicized form of the word kagayan, a native
term meaning "place near or on a river," with the root word kagay having cognates in many
Austronesian languages as a term for "river," referring to the main river of northeast Luzon.
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Known as the spelunker's, trekker's, and gamefisher's paradise rolled into one, Cagayan provides
a never-ending adventure with ecotourism in the forefront of its offering. Both foreign and local
tourists continue to explore its caves, engage in gamefishing expeditions, trek its mighty mountains
and retreat to its centuries-old churches.
The province is also home to the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport.
Features:
Callao Caves in Penablanca- noted for its massive limestone and rock formations.
Palaui Island- is a protected landscape and seascape in an island that is a declared national park
in the Santa Ana, Cagayan. The tourism development and activities are an actual practice of
ecotourism where the members of the community and their indigenous peoples operate all services
from accommodations, food and tours.
Iguig Calvary Hills: a 11-hectare complex with larger-than-life size concrete 14 stations of the
cross and St. James the Greater Church
Sts. Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, this is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao
and home to the largest Spanish-built church in the region.
Cagayan Gastronomy
Pancit Batil Patong or Pancit Tuguegarao is made out of pansit miki Tuguegarao, minced
carabao meat, bean sprouts and other vegetables topped with egg and chicharon.
Sinanta- a soup is a mix of everythingsotanghon and miki noodles, chicken, pork and clams, all
swimming on a soup flavored with patis (fish sauce).
Province 2:
Batanes: Land of the True Insulars
Created by volcanic eruptions and geologic activity, the northernmost and smallest province of the
Philippines, with 10 islands, with only 3 of them inhabited, and 6 municipalities is the island
province of Batanes. The 6 municipalities, 29 barangays, and one congressional district. The six
municipalities are Ivana, Uy Basco (the capital), and the island municipalities of Sabtang and
Itbayat.
In 1782, Philippine Governor General Jose Basco y Vargas sent an expedition to undertake the
formalities of getting the consent of the Ivatans, the indigenous people of Batanes, to become
subjects of the King of Spain. On June 26, 1783, Joseph Huelva Melgarjo became the first
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Governor of Batanes. The new province ovincia dela Concepcion. Governor Basco was named
"Conde dela Conquista de Batanes" and the capital town was named after him.
Because of the strong winds, houses are made of lime and stone with foot-thick cogon roots.
About 75% of the Ivatans are farmers and fishermen. The rest are employed in the government
and services sector. Garlic and cattle are major cash crops. Ivatans also plant camote (sweet
potato), cassava, gabi or tuber and a unique variety of white ubi. Sugarcane is raised to produce
palek, a kind of native wine, and vinegar.
Local Food
Flying Fish or Dibang- whether grilled, dried, or made into a kilawin, freshly caught flying fish
is a definite must-try.
UVUD/UVED- usually in meatball form, this dish is made of banana heart and/or banana stalks,
mixed with ground meat.
Lunis- salted pork cooked in its own fat, which can last for weeks, is similar to the more popular
adobo.
Features:
Oldest House in Ivana, Batanes made of corals
Sabtang Island
The Honesty Coffee Shop
Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country)
Tayid Lighthouse
Basco Lighthouse
Mahalao Lighthouse
Sabtang Lighthouse
Church of Tukon- the chapel atop a hill
San Jose Church Ivana, Batanes is found in Sabtang Island, standing for nearly 250 years.
Valugan Boulder Beach
Morong Beach
Nakabuang Beach
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Province 3:
Isabela: Rice Granary of the North
The province has retained its given name from Spanish times. It was named after Isabella II, the
Queen of Spain at the time the province was created in 1856. It is the 2nd largest province of the
Philippines. It is called Rice Granary of the North as well as the Corn Capital of the Philippines,
being that they produce the most rice in the region and the most volume of corn for the country. It
is home to the country's largest remaining rain forest in the Philippines.
The prominent ethno-linguistic groups are llocanos, followed by Ibanag and Tagalog, Gaddang,
Paranan and Yogad.
Isabela boasts of its lengthy range of seacoasts in Palanan, Maconacon, Dinapigue and Divilacan
Bays that are rich in fisheries and aquatic resources. The province also has rich mineral reserves
under its protected areas.
Isabela has 35 municipalities and 2 cities, Santiago City and Cauayan City.
Features:
Magat Dam is a large rock-fill dam. It is located on Magat River, a major tributary of Cagayan
River. Constructed in 1983, Magat Dam is one of the largest dams in the Philippines and has two
primary purposes: as a source of irrigation water and as a provider of hydroelectric power.
The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) was established in 1997. The park is
situated in the northern part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. It covers nearly 360,000
hectares. The area is considered as one of the most biologically rich in the Philippines. It is
managed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Dibulo Falls can be found in Dinapique, Isabela. It is the tallest falls in the province flowing from
about 100 meters high.
The San Pablo Church in San Pablo town is the oldest church in the province, built in 1624. It is
a church within church ruins. Its six-layer bell tower with a circular apex made of adobe is the
tallest in the region.
Butaka is a handcrafted chair with long "armrest" which is not used for the arms but for the legs.
Butaka is also known as the "little hospital".
Queen Isabella Park at the Capitol WORLD'S BIGGEST BUTAKA Guiness World Record 2013
Local Food:
Pancit Cabagan- is very similar to the traditional Pancit Canton, although it makes use of a special
miki noodle manufactured locally.
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Binallay- is pure ground glutinous rice mixed with water, soaked for two hours wrapped in banana
leaves.
Dinengdeng- one of the known vegetable delicacies of Isabela, since there are many Ilocanos in
the province.
Province 4:
Nueva Vizcaya: Watershed Haven of the North
Its name, Nueva Vizcaya, has its Spanish origins for "new Biscay", in honor of the province in the
Basque Country of Spain. The province of Nueva Vizcaya was named after the people living in
the coast of Mar de Vizcaine in Spain. In the beginning of the 19th century, it was a part of the
vast "Territorio de Missiones" of the Spanishcontrolled government of Cagayan, covering the
eastern half of Northern Luzon.
It is surrounded by mountain ranges: the Sierra Madre on the east, Caraballo Mountains on the
south, and the Cordillera on the west, including Mt. Pulag National Park, the country's second
highest peak. This makes agro-forestry thrive in the region with an abundance of fruits and
vegetables, thus, its nickname. Nueva Vizcaya is located in the north central part of Luzon. Isabela
and the Mt. Province bound on the north and Pangasinan and Mt. province on the West.
The products of province include tilapia, fruits (citrus, mangoes, pineapples) and vegetables,
baskets, rattan furniture, wooden furniture, tupig, walis tambo, cutflowers (gladiola,
chrysanthemum, anthurium etc.), buko pie, tamarind balls, littuco/rattan fruit, yacon crop, pottery
and dagwey (a wild fruit similar to fruits).
Features:
St. Dominic Cathedral- the first cathedral in Nueva Vizcaya. Razed by fire twice and rebuilt in
the same old site, the cathedral maintains the original façade and as such a veritable treasure, a
relic of the past for its historic and aesthetic remains of a proud Christian past.
St. Vincent Ferrer Church or Dupax Church or Dupax del Sur Church- is an 18th-century
Baroque church located at Brgy. Dopaj, Dupax del Sur. It was constructed in the 16th century. It
is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum. It has an underground
museum that houses centuries old artifacts, and the statue of St. Vincent Ferrer, the town's patron
saint.
Mt. Pulag National Park- walk through bonsai forest and on top, grassland of dwarfed bamboo
over a horizon of clouds. (the mountain itself is part of Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao)
Capisaan Cave- The 5th longest cave system in the of country
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Food and Products:
Crispy Abal-abal (Salagubang)- has crispy skin lightly salty and a meaty taste.
Dinardaraan- is the Ilocano version of dinuguan. This dish has lesser sauce to the point of
becoming dry, compared to regular dinuguan.
Province 5:
Quirino: Forest Heartland of Cagayan
Quirino's varied and extensive territory, which lies in the headwater region of Cagayan Valley, is
virtually untapped and unexplored.
Quirino is generally mountainous, with these ranges covering about eighty percent of its total land
area and is endowed with rich mineral deposits of gold, copper, limestone, silver and iron. It is
now gaining the reputation of being the producer of high-quality banana chips, peanuts, processed
meat and vinegar. Located within the Sierra Madre Mountains with croplands suitable for
industrial crops, it is hailed as the region's "Industrial Crops Producer and Agri Eco-Tourism
Destination". It is called the forest heartland because, approximately, 62% of its lands are still
forests and the leading producer of bananas in Region II.
The province is named after Elpidio Quirino, the former President of the Republic.
Features:
Aglipay Caves- is a series of 38 caves, seven of which have been developed as tourist spots.
Located in the midst of rolling hills and verdant forests, the caves boast of an underground river
and well-preserved stalagmites and stalactites. They interlink with each other and run to a depth
of 20 meters.
Bimmapor Rock Formation- is a spectacular geological landscape of massive limestone wall
nestled along Siitan River where it is a head water on Cagayan River.

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Philippine Culture and Tourism Geography Notes Part I: Region I & Region II Region I: Ilocos Region The 4 provinces of Region I: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan Located in the northwestern side of the country with the West Philippine Sea at its coast lines. Language used: Ilocano (3rd most spoken language in the Philippines), Pangasinense or Pangasinan. This province is a whole area named after "asin" (salt). How to get there: Regional center: San Fernando, La Union By Land: The provinces are all accessible by car: 5 hours away from Manila By Air: Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Laoag International Airport: 1 hour away Food and Products The setting of Ilocano food is salty because of the closeness to the ocean. It is common to find fish preserved by drying, and of course, reduced into a paste or sauce by fermentation. Some of these specialties are fermented fish mixed into viands like vegetables - Pinakbet and meats - Bagnet and Longganiza. A popular condiment: Sukang Iloko (vinegar made from sugar cane). Chichacorn- pasalubong from tourists to bring back home. Dinengdeng- a mix of green vegetables Ilocos Empanada Poqui-poqui- eggplant dish with tomatoes. Bangus- Dagupan City, Pangasinan is known as the Bangus Capital of the Philippines The bangus variety has earned fame for having a large "belly". The aquaculture has grown so much in the province of Pangasinan that they now have a festival that is celebrated annually beginning April 3rd until the end of the month. Ilocano garlic is also one cooking staple that has grown in reputation because of its flavor. Festivals of the Region Name of Festival Location Pamulinawen Festival Laoag City Guling Guling Festival Paoay Farmer's Festival Bacarra Tabako Festival Candon City Sinait Garlic (Bawang) Sinait, Ilocos Sur Festival Bangus Festival Dagupan City Date Celebrated Description February 10 Floral and Street Dancing Festival celebrating the feast of their patron, Saint William Eve of Ash Wednesday Residents dressed in (Holy Tuesday) Ilocano costume and their antique jewelry dance and sing around town as they are marked with Sign of the Cross using pounded rice, not ash. They merrymake before the start of the Lenten Triduum On the 19th and 20th of the feast of St. Isidore the May Labrador, patron of farmers and fisherfolk. They have a street dance parade participated in by dressed up farmers with their produce, for an agro trade fair and contests for farm harvests and livestock Third or last week of a thanksgiving for a March bountiful tobacco harvest May 1 to 3 Showcases talent, ingenuity and hard work of Ilocanos. They have floats, parade of the product and street dancing from April 3 until the end Highlights the Bangus of the month Province 1: Ilocos Norte: The Best of Culture and Nature Page | 2 Paoay Church (Church of San Agustin) is one (1) of the four (4) Baroque Churches in the Philippines that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The traditions of pottery and weaving still exist in the province today. Old lighthouses and other cultural landmarks can be found around the province. In addition, many of this country's heroes and other prominent persons on the Philippines' history are from the Ilocos Norte. There are several museums in the province telling stories of their deeds and contributions to this country's history and culture. As for its boons in nature: from white sand beaches, beautiful rock formations, a sea of sand dunes and picturesque bays, it truly has natural sites to boast of. Features: La Paz Sand Dunes - an 85 sq. kms. protected desert and coastal sandy area which has been used for shooting several local Filipino movies. It is an ideal place for sandboarding and adventures riding the steep slopes on a 4x4 truck. The Malacañang of the North- built as the official residence of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos in Ilocos Norte, this imposing structure, which overlooks the legendary Paoay Lake, is now a museum. Pagudpud Beach- the beautiful white sand beaches known to as the Boracay of the North fronts the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Paoay Church or Church of San Agustin: a UNESCO World Heritage Site built of coral blocks and stucco plastered bricks, the architecture is a unique combination of Gothic, Baroque and Oriental. Construction of the church was started in 1704 and completed in 1894. The Bangui Windmills or Turbines lies fronting Bangui Bay- owned by the North Wind Power Development Corporation. Phase 1 had 15 turbines installed. Phase 2 completed in 2008, added 5 more. This environmentally sound means of power generation now benefits the town's (and neighboring areas) electricity needs. Juan Luna Shrine- located in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, it is a building made of brick and clay which features highlights of hero Juan Luna's achievements and works of art. Cape Bojeador- built in 1892, it is said to be the tallest lighthouse in the Philippines. Also known as the Burgos Lighthouse, it is cultural heritage site that was built to ensure safety of seafarers on the coasts of the South China Sea. The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation- located in Burgos, is known for its creamy white, sculpted limestone formations, which have been formed by different oceanic tides and weather forces. The Patapat Viaduct, or Patapat Bridge- is a viaduct at the municipality of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, the northernmost tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines. This concrete coastal bridge is 1.3km long and connects the Maharlika Highway from the Ilocos Region to Cagayan Valley. Page | 3 Province 2: Ilocos Sur: Heritage Village of the Philippines As is the obvious, Ilocos Sur highlights heritage as it is home to two acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Historic Town of Vigan and its amazing Calle Crisologo, still displaying its cobbled stone street and old Spanish influenced houses lining the road and the Nuestra Senora dela Asuncion baroque church in Sta. Maria. The pottery traditions that can still be found in the city and the looming Bantay Bell Tower are also among the heritage treasures that tourists can enjoy as they can opt to take a leisurely carriage ride around town or better yet, take a walk around. Walking will allow visitors access to the quaint stores and business establishments and restaurants with authentic Ilocano food along the city streets. Features: The Historic Town of Vigan Ancestral Houses Along Calle Crisologo- these houses have tile roofs, massive hardwood floorings, balustrades and azoteas in varying Spanish-Mexican-Chinese architectural styles. Plaza Salcedo- in this elevated elliptical plaza it highlights the Salcedo Monument, known to be the oldest in the North tripios.com Pagburnayan - the Ilocano clay jar called "burnay" is used for storing the suka (local vinegar), basi (local wine) and bagoong (fish sauce) and has also been used as a decorative item in household interiors and outdoor landscapes. The production process still utilizes pre-historic methods, a tradition passed on from generation to generation. National Museum - Padre Burgos House- This museum is the ancestral house and birthplace of priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos. Known as Padre Burgos House, it is one of the notable historic structures of Vigan. Sundial- built by the Spaniards in 1841 and 1948, these two sundials, one in front of the Tagudin Municipal Hall and the other at the courtyard of the church, are still in use. Moro Watch Tower- it is the oldest landmark in San Esteban. This is a vanguard against approaching pirates. Sulvec Watchtower- this sturdy magnificent structure was built by the Spaniards as a lookout point for invaders. Bantay Church and Bantay Bell Tower- standing "guard" at the entrance of Vigan is this church which features sturdy earthquake proof baroque and Gothic-influenced architecture. Beside it, like a sentinel, stands tall the Bantay Bell Tower which provides a scenic view over the historic city. These were established in 1590, among the oldest in the Ilocos region. Page | 4 Nuestra Senora Dela Asuncion- one of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the province of Ilocos Sur. The Santa Maria Church is a complex art of clay bricks and mortar, located on top of a hill. The buttresses on its side a feature similar to that of the other UNESCO World Heritage baroque churches in the country, in Paoay and Miag-ao. Tirad Pass- declared as a National Shrine, this is the historical site of The Battle of Tirad Pass where the army was led by the youngest Filipino General Gregorio del Pilar. Lapog Bay- Saoang in San Juan, Ilocos Sur, a part of Lapog Bay. In history, it reportedly had 34 Japanese warships that anchored at the Bay. Most of the warships left the Bay on October 17, 1944, close to the end of the Second World War Province 3: La Union: Pilgrimage Center of North Luzon La Union, which translates to "The Union", was formed in 1850 as towns from the neighboring provinces of Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, and Benguet were separated from them and merged to form this new province. La Union's capital, San Fernando, is the trade center of the region and people flock here to conduct their business transactions. But the tagline for pilgrimages stem from the droves of people who come during Holy Week to pay homage to the image of the Blessed Virgin in San Antonio. Marian devotees come to pray and do their prayers to Her, as well as say prayers with the life-size statues of the Stations of the Cross. Presently, La Union is growing in reputation for its beaches, especially in the town of San Juan, which are ideal for surfing. Province 4: Pangasinan: Hundred Islands and Hundred Flavors In Alaminos, Pangasinan one finds the Lingayen Gulf where there are 124 islands, more or less, called the Hundred Islands. This group of islands boasts of many attractions that visitors enjoy, such as: snorkeling above giant clams, caving, cliff jumping, zip lining and even scuba diving (for those with licenses). Near Alaminos is the town of Bolinao where one can enjoy more white sand beaches and explore more natural sites. Another frequently visited town in Pangasinan is that of Manaoag. Marian devotees also come to attend masses and light their candles at the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag (Minor Basilica). Page | 5 Features: Hundred Islands National Park, Alaminos Cape Bolinao Lighthouse -The light house which was built by the American in 1903 on a 300 feet high promontory at the western part of Cape Bolinao still sends signal to vessels passing by the area. Church of St. James Fortress -Bolinao Church was built by the Augustinians in 1609. It houses wooden statues are now a rarity. The antique altar is flanked by two grinning tongueprotruding Aztec visages presumably of Mexican influence and brought over by the Galleon Trade. Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag- one where many Marian devotees come to pay homage. There are two feast days: the third Wednesday after Easter and first Sunday of October. Devotees believe her image is miraculous and prayer intentions are heard here. Page | 6 Region II: Cagayan Valley The 5 provinces of Region II: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino Cagayan Valley, Region II, is in the northeastern side of the island of Luzon. Language used: Ilocano (lingua franca), Ibanag (indigenous to the region). It is said that the name Ibanag comes from "|" which means people and "bannag" meaning river, the "people of the river" an obvious association to Cagayan River The Benham Rise, renamed Philippine Rise, an extinct under water volcanic ridge can be found 250 kilometers east of the province of Isabela. The region is rich in coastal resources and is the fourth largest region of the country accounting for about 9% of the national land area. Although landlocked provinces, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino still enjoy a large body of water because the Cagayan River, which originates from Cagayan, traverses through 9 provinces, to include these two. Also known as the Rio Grande de Cagayan, this is the longest river and the largest river by discharge volume of water in the Philippines. Callao Cave can also be found here, where the archaeological find on the Homo Luzonensis was unearthed. How to get there: Regional Center: Tuguegarao City (Capital of Cagayan Province) By Air: Manila to Tuguegarao: About 1 hour, 10 minutes (except Batanes) Manila to Batanes: 1 hour, 20 minutes By Land: Manila to Tuguegarao: Approximately 6-hour drive During the drive you will see… Magapit Suspension Bridge- one of the first of its kind in Asia, it spans the Cagayan River at Lal-lo and is 0.76 kilometers long. The hanging bridge links the first and second districts of Cagayan going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Road on the Ilocos NorteCagayan Inter-Provincial national highway. Buntun Bridge- situated 2.5 kilometers from Tuguegarao City proper. Its length is 1.124 kilometers making it the longest river bridge in the country (and second longest bridge after San Juanico Bridge) It offers an unobstructed view of the Cagayan River. Page | 7 Festivals of the Region: Name of Festival Aggao Nac Cagayan Bambati Festival Scarecrow Festival Panagdadapun Festival Location June 23 to 29 or May 1-11 September 7-10 Dibang Festival (flying June 18-26 fish) Panagyaman Festival May 19-24 Pattaraday Festival May 1-5 Pav-vurulum Festival Aug 10-16 Date Celebrated Description Cagayan Province to mark the establishment of the civil government of Cagayan in 1853 Ilagan, Isabela to mark the establishment of the provincial civil government Cabarroguis, Quirino Quirino's Foundation Day celebrated Batanes celebrates the founding anniversary of the civil government of Batanes marked by parades, sports fest, trade fairs and the presentation of the ethnic Palo-palo dance. Nueva Vizcaya celebrate the founding province anniversary of Nueva Vizcaya province Santiago City, Isabela celebrates the founding anniversary of Santiago City, Isabela Tuguegarao City is the patronal city fiesta of Tuguegarao City marked by beauty contest, pancit eating contest and sportsfest Province 1: Cagayan: A True Spelunker's Paradise Cagayan has 28 municipalities and one city divided into three congressional districts. Present day chroniclers say that the name was derived from the word "tagay," a kind of plant that grows abundantly in the northern part of the province. Thus, "Catagayan" which means a place where the tagay grows abundantly was shortened to "Cagayan," the present name of the province. It has nationally proclaimed protected areas that include landscapes, seascapes, watersheds, a game refuge and bird sanctuaries. Another version of the etymology place's name is Hispanicized form of the word kagayan, a native term meaning "place near or on a river," with the root word kagay having cognates in many Austronesian languages as a term for "river," referring to the main river of northeast Luzon. Page | 8 Known as the spelunker's, trekker's, and gamefisher's paradise rolled into one, Cagayan provides a never-ending adventure with ecotourism in the forefront of its offering. Both foreign and local tourists continue to explore its caves, engage in gamefishing expeditions, trek its mighty mountains and retreat to its centuries-old churches. The province is also home to the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport. Features: Callao Caves in Penablanca- noted for its massive limestone and rock formations. Palaui Island- is a protected landscape and seascape in an island that is a declared national park in the Santa Ana, Cagayan. The tourism development and activities are an actual practice of ecotourism where the members of the community and their indigenous peoples operate all services from accommodations, food and tours. Iguig Calvary Hills: a 11-hectare complex with larger-than-life size concrete 14 stations of the cross and St. James the Greater Church Sts. Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, this is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao and home to the largest Spanish-built church in the region. Cagayan Gastronomy Pancit Batil Patong or Pancit Tuguegarao is made out of pansit miki Tuguegarao, minced carabao meat, bean sprouts and other vegetables topped with egg and chicharon. Sinanta- a soup is a mix of everythingsotanghon and miki noodles, chicken, pork and clams, all swimming on a soup flavored with patis (fish sauce). Province 2: Batanes: Land of the True Insulars Created by volcanic eruptions and geologic activity, the northernmost and smallest province of the Philippines, with 10 islands, with only 3 of them inhabited, and 6 municipalities is the island province of Batanes. The 6 municipalities, 29 barangays, and one congressional district. The six municipalities are Ivana, Uy Basco (the capital), and the island municipalities of Sabtang and Itbayat. In 1782, Philippine Governor General Jose Basco y Vargas sent an expedition to undertake the formalities of getting the consent of the Ivatans, the indigenous people of Batanes, to become subjects of the King of Spain. On June 26, 1783, Joseph Huelva Melgarjo became the first Page | 9 Governor of Batanes. The new province ovincia dela Concepcion. Governor Basco was named "Conde dela Conquista de Batanes" and the capital town was named after him. Because of the strong winds, houses are made of lime and stone with foot-thick cogon roots. About 75% of the Ivatans are farmers and fishermen. The rest are employed in the government and services sector. Garlic and cattle are major cash crops. Ivatans also plant camote (sweet potato), cassava, gabi or tuber and a unique variety of white ubi. Sugarcane is raised to produce palek, a kind of native wine, and vinegar. Local Food Flying Fish or Dibang- whether grilled, dried, or made into a kilawin, freshly caught flying fish is a definite must-try. UVUD/UVED- usually in meatball form, this dish is made of banana heart and/or banana stalks, mixed with ground meat. Lunis- salted pork cooked in its own fat, which can last for weeks, is similar to the more popular adobo. Features: Oldest House in Ivana, Batanes made of corals Sabtang Island The Honesty Coffee Shop Racuh a Payaman (Marlboro Country) Tayid Lighthouse Basco Lighthouse Mahalao Lighthouse Sabtang Lighthouse Church of Tukon- the chapel atop a hill San Jose Church Ivana, Batanes is found in Sabtang Island, standing for nearly 250 years. Valugan Boulder Beach Morong Beach Nakabuang Beach Page | 10 Province 3: Isabela: Rice Granary of the North The province has retained its given name from Spanish times. It was named after Isabella II, the Queen of Spain at the time the province was created in 1856. It is the 2nd largest province of the Philippines. It is called Rice Granary of the North as well as the Corn Capital of the Philippines, being that they produce the most rice in the region and the most volume of corn for the country. It is home to the country's largest remaining rain forest in the Philippines. The prominent ethno-linguistic groups are llocanos, followed by Ibanag and Tagalog, Gaddang, Paranan and Yogad. Isabela boasts of its lengthy range of seacoasts in Palanan, Maconacon, Dinapigue and Divilacan Bays that are rich in fisheries and aquatic resources. The province also has rich mineral reserves under its protected areas. Isabela has 35 municipalities and 2 cities, Santiago City and Cauayan City. Features: Magat Dam is a large rock-fill dam. It is located on Magat River, a major tributary of Cagayan River. Constructed in 1983, Magat Dam is one of the largest dams in the Philippines and has two primary purposes: as a source of irrigation water and as a provider of hydroelectric power. The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP) was established in 1997. The park is situated in the northern part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. It covers nearly 360,000 hectares. The area is considered as one of the most biologically rich in the Philippines. It is managed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Dibulo Falls can be found in Dinapique, Isabela. It is the tallest falls in the province flowing from about 100 meters high. The San Pablo Church in San Pablo town is the oldest church in the province, built in 1624. It is a church within church ruins. Its six-layer bell tower with a circular apex made of adobe is the tallest in the region. Butaka is a handcrafted chair with long "armrest" which is not used for the arms but for the legs. Butaka is also known as the "little hospital". Queen Isabella Park at the Capitol WORLD'S BIGGEST BUTAKA Guiness World Record 2013 Local Food: Pancit Cabagan- is very similar to the traditional Pancit Canton, although it makes use of a special miki noodle manufactured locally. Page | 11 Binallay- is pure ground glutinous rice mixed with water, soaked for two hours wrapped in banana leaves. Dinengdeng- one of the known vegetable delicacies of Isabela, since there are many Ilocanos in the province. Province 4: Nueva Vizcaya: Watershed Haven of the North Its name, Nueva Vizcaya, has its Spanish origins for "new Biscay", in honor of the province in the Basque Country of Spain. The province of Nueva Vizcaya was named after the people living in the coast of Mar de Vizcaine in Spain. In the beginning of the 19th century, it was a part of the vast "Territorio de Missiones" of the Spanishcontrolled government of Cagayan, covering the eastern half of Northern Luzon. It is surrounded by mountain ranges: the Sierra Madre on the east, Caraballo Mountains on the south, and the Cordillera on the west, including Mt. Pulag National Park, the country's second highest peak. This makes agro-forestry thrive in the region with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, thus, its nickname. Nueva Vizcaya is located in the north central part of Luzon. Isabela and the Mt. Province bound on the north and Pangasinan and Mt. province on the West. The products of province include tilapia, fruits (citrus, mangoes, pineapples) and vegetables, baskets, rattan furniture, wooden furniture, tupig, walis tambo, cutflowers (gladiola, chrysanthemum, anthurium etc.), buko pie, tamarind balls, littuco/rattan fruit, yacon crop, pottery and dagwey (a wild fruit similar to fruits). Features: St. Dominic Cathedral- the first cathedral in Nueva Vizcaya. Razed by fire twice and rebuilt in the same old site, the cathedral maintains the original façade and as such a veritable treasure, a relic of the past for its historic and aesthetic remains of a proud Christian past. St. Vincent Ferrer Church or Dupax Church or Dupax del Sur Church- is an 18th-century Baroque church located at Brgy. Dopaj, Dupax del Sur. It was constructed in the 16th century. It is declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum. It has an underground museum that houses centuries old artifacts, and the statue of St. Vincent Ferrer, the town's patron saint. Mt. Pulag National Park- walk through bonsai forest and on top, grassland of dwarfed bamboo over a horizon of clouds. (the mountain itself is part of Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya and Ifugao) Capisaan Cave- The 5th longest cave system in the of country Page | 12 Food and Products: Crispy Abal-abal (Salagubang)- has crispy skin lightly salty and a meaty taste. Dinardaraan- is the Ilocano version of dinuguan. This dish has lesser sauce to the point of becoming dry, compared to regular dinuguan. Province 5: Quirino: Forest Heartland of Cagayan Quirino's varied and extensive territory, which lies in the headwater region of Cagayan Valley, is virtually untapped and unexplored. Quirino is generally mountainous, with these ranges covering about eighty percent of its total land area and is endowed with rich mineral deposits of gold, copper, limestone, silver and iron. It is now gaining the reputation of being the producer of high-quality banana chips, peanuts, processed meat and vinegar. Located within the Sierra Madre Mountains with croplands suitable for industrial crops, it is hailed as the region's "Industrial Crops Producer and Agri Eco-Tourism Destination". It is called the forest heartland because, approximately, 62% of its lands are still forests and the leading producer of bananas in Region II. The province is named after Elpidio Quirino, the former President of the Republic. Features: Aglipay Caves- is a series of 38 caves, seven of which have been developed as tourist spots. Located in the midst of rolling hills and verdant forests, the caves boast of an underground river and well-preserved stalagmites and stalactites. They interlink with each other and run to a depth of 20 meters. Bimmapor Rock Formation- is a spectacular geological landscape of massive limestone wall nestled along Siitan River where it is a head water on Cagayan River. 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