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Landingan Viewpoint in Nagtipunan, Quirino

The air was getting increasingly colder as our rented jeepney slowly clambered up to the Landingan Viewpoint at the town of Nagtipunan in Quirino. Like a panting dog, our vehicle put forth a burst of energy before finally stopping and letting us all go down.

And we were all rarin’ to go! From inside the jeep, we were all clicking our cameras like crazy as the view past our window went from gorgeous to breathtaking.

The Rolling Hills of Nagtipunan, Quirino

It was almost the exact same scene earlier in the day as we entered the town of Nagtipunan from Quirino’s capital, Cabarroguis. From timid sleepyheads, we quickly turned to addicted shutter freaks as the view changed from flat boring farmlands to majestic fog-capped hills.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, February 27, 2015

Siitan River Cruise in Quirino

I drifted. Flat on my back on an inflated tire tube, slowly moving across the silent waters of the Siitan River. On both sides of the bank, soaring limestone cliffs rose, flanking me. It felt surreal. Then the current started to get stronger, propelling me faster than I would’ve preferred.

Snapping out of my reverie, I looked around and found that it was just me, the rumbling river and the mute limestone sentinels.

Where the heck were my companions?

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pancit Cabagan at Nagtipunan, Quirino

With my pancit batil patong craving satiated the previous day at Akel’s Panciteria, it was time to hunt for the next best thing, pancit cabagan. The said noodle dish, famous in the town of Cabagan, Isabela, took more than two hours to find.

From Quirino’s capital,Cabarroguis, we boarded a jeepney to the town of Nagtipunan. And our first stop before rocking the Siitan River? MJ Snack and Pancit Cabagan Restaurant. It cannot be more perfect.

MJ Snack and Pancit Cabagan Restaurant in Nagtipunan, Quirino

The humble panciteria is located at a roadside somewhere in Barangay Ponggo in Nagtipunan. It seats about fifteen people and serves nothing but pancit cabagan; well aside from stray orders of inasal na manok and liempo.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, February 23, 2015

Capitol Plaza Hotel in Quirino

Besides the annual motocross competition held at the landlocked province of Quirino, the place is hardly on the tourist map. Suffice it is to say, lodgings where travelers can stay while visiting is quite limited too. Lucky for us, the provincial tourism office directed us to the Capitol Plaza Hotel, the lone hotel at Cabarroguis; Quirino’s capital municipality.

Capitol Plaza Hotel Lobby in Quirino

The Capitol Plaza Hotel has a total of 17 rooms situated inside its three floors; everything is air-conditioned and has its own toilet and bath. It has a multi-purpose hall at the ground level and is frequently used for dinner balls, wedding banquets and conferences.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, February 22, 2015

There were no motorcycles to be seen at the newly opened Motocross Mountain Track. The province of Quirino is a motorhead’s heaven, having an annual motocross competition held every June. But this afternoon, the track is quiet. I turned around and beheld a sprawling panorama, a lone brown horse, completing the bucolic beauty of the town of Cabarroguis.

With zero expectations on what to see in the province, Quirino has been surprising us one leisurely step at a time.

Quirino Provincial Capitol

It was a lazy afternoon and we really had nothing to do after arriving at the town of Cabarroguis. To pass the time, we decided to check out the nearby spots near the Capitol Plaza Hotel, our abode through our four-day stay in Quirino.

Some steps away from our hotel is Quirino’s Provincial Capitol. The two-storey neo-classical building houses former Philippine President Elpidio Quirino’s bust, which the province is named after. On the inscription, it detailed how Quirino came into its own as a province in 1971, being part of Nueva Vizcaya before its independence.

Fossilized Flowers in Quirino

From the Provincial Capitol, it was an easy hundred-step descent to the local plaza (okay, I really didn’t count but it was way, way down) where we found locals selling fossilized flowers, Quirino’s local handicraft and their One Town One Product industry.

Fossilized Flowers in Quirino

Made from the dyed and treated leaves of alibangbang trees, these colorful ornaments has been making waves not only on the local bridal market, but also on the international one as well; being exported as far as Italy.

It takes about thirty minutes to create a single bulb of flower, but these can last for years, with proper care.

Quirino Wakeboarding Site

Riding a van, we visited the latest tourism infrastructure being developed in the province, Quirino’s very own wakeboarding area. The site is set on a natural lake, larger than most wakeboarding sites in the country, and would soon see some action come March this year. Definitely something to look forward to for adrenaline junkies out there.

Paskuhan sa Quirino

We dropped by Akel’s Panciteria for a pancit batil patong dinner before resting back at the hotel. But from our room’s balcony, we saw a perya at the town’s sports complex which was only a few steps away from our place. Pretending to be true travelers, we got our butts off our comfy beds and went out into the chilly December night.

Tilanggit in Quirino

It turned out to be Paskuhan sa Quirino, an annual Christmas fair set near the capitol grounds.

There were Christmas lights everywhere and the mood was quite festive. Locals, both young and old abound, checking out each of the town showrooms where they display and sell curious local products like tilanggit, a cross between danggit and tilapia fish. I also saw a local wine made from tomato, I would’ve bought a bottle too if not for the hassle of flying it back to Manila.

Paskuhan in Quirino Perya

The perya area turned out to be exactly what I pictured it to be; a makeshift circus carnival that roams and sets up from town to town, something of a throwback from when I was a kid. One can hardly see these in the cities anymore, but here in Quirino, the tradition is very much alive. There were chubibo rides, a Ferris wheel, carousels and even a horror train ride. And yeah, we simply cannot pass on not riding that last one!

Cabarroguis Town Tour
Address: Cabarroguis, Quirino
Contact Number (Quirino Tourism): (0917) 416-5945

GPS Coordinates Map
Provincial Capitol: 16°31'25.3"N 121°31'00.8"E
Quirino Sports Complex: 16°31'25.3"N 121°31'06.0"E
Quirino Wakeboarding: 16°31'16.6"N 121°31'02.7"E
Motocross Mountain Track: 16°31'02.5"N 121°30'39.1"E

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, February 21, 2015

Aglipay Caves in Quirino Province

It was the evening of our first day in the province of Quirino and we were relaxing a bit; hanging out, passing tall tales, out-grossing each other with the crassest things we could think of, and drinking beer at the porch of the Capitol Plaza Hotel. A few minutes in and it started to drizzle.

Are you sure it’s still safe to push with the caving activity tomorrow? I asked, worried that it might get too slippery inside the cave for safe passage; we were not exactly the best example of a spelunking group. Don’t worry, we’ll go as planned. It’s perfectly safe, our guide assured us.

Well, goodluck guys, I’m sure you’ll all have fun inside Aglipay Caves!

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, February 20, 2015

Akel's Pancit Batil Patong Quirino

One of the things I was really looking forward to during our visit to Quirino Province was Cagayan Valley’s regional noodle dish, pancit batil patong. Granted, this particular pancit is really from Tuguegarao City, but it’s such a popular dish that most provinces along the region has panciterias peddling them.

One such place is Akel’s Panciteria, which is located right along the main road of Cabarroguis, the province’s capital town.

Akel's Panciteria Quirino

Quirino has such a provincial vibe that restaurants are quite hard to come by; most folks simply cook their own meals. So I was overjoyed to learn that among the few food places in town, there’s a panciteria selling pancit batil patong near Capitol Plaza Hotel where we were staying.

Akel’s Panciteria is an open-aired shed-type eatery. It has a very native feel with its unpainted wood and thatch roofing. It opens to a gravel atrium with a few huts parallel to the shed.

It’s quite basic, but I kinda like how airy its atmosphere was.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Governor's Rapids Quirino

Inside an open-aired jeepney forging through a rain-streaked road, a group of travelers huddled and tried to cover as much skin as possible. It’s a cold and gray December morning and the 500-foot elevation of Maddela in Quirino province isn’t helping ease the chill that’s creeping through our bones.

I watched, transfixed on the empty road we were traversing, contemplating on what lay ahead in the coming days.

Short Hike to Governor's Rapids Quirino

After an hour of taking in the cold wind filtering through our jeep, we got off the main road and slowly lumbered our way through a muddy trail. The jolt and shock of the uneven path awoke my companions; sleeping time’s over, we’re here, our driver announced.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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