A province in the northeastern corner part of Luzon facing the Pacific Ocean, Cagayan Province is home and the regional center of the Cagayan Valley Region. Derived from the word “tagay” a kind of plant that abundantly grows in the province it was subsequently named “Catagayan” which means where the plant comes from. ( Don’t mistake the word for its street traditional term “Tagay” which means “Your turn for the shot of drink” in a drinking session.) Cagayan Province is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the east, on the southside Which is Isabela Province, on the west is the Cordillera Mountains, and on the north by the Balintang Channel and the Babuyan Group of Islands. About a few kilometers from the northeastern tip of the province is the Palaui Island, and to the west is Fuga Island. The Babuyan Group of Islands, which includes Calayan, Dalupiri, Camiguin, and Babuyan Claro, is about 60 nautical miles north of Luzon mainland.
The Province of Cagayan speaks quite a few dialects besides English and Tagalog and literacy is high as modern facilities and ways of teaching are implemented. Some of the dialects that are spoken in this province are Ilocano, Ybanag, Itawit and Malaweg with Ilocano as the most widely used by the general population of the province. The last time I was in Cagayan was when I was in my first year high school. That was a long time ago and a lot of changes has occurred. I went to Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan but mostly stayed in Claveria, since my friend belongs to the Salvatera clan and is the son of Judge Honorio Salvatera. I ate the widely known delicacy of the province known as the Tuguegarao Pancit or the Batil Patung to just try it and experience the great flavor.
The province has bountiful mountainous treks of unspoiled mountains and forests which are well recommended for outdoor activities like trekking, mountain climbing and exploration, camping, among others. These activities are also good sources of livelihood for the rural communities as locals are the best guides. Aside from the beautiful mountains clean rivers and seas make the province ideal for water sports activities like swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, and white river rafting. The lower basin of the Cagayan River is found in Aparri, Cagayan where a fluvial parade attended by more than a hundred fishing boats is being conducted every May 10. Also, the Cagayan River is the longest and widest river in the country. It starts from the Province of Nueva Vizcaya and goes along down to Cagayan.
Since Cagayan faces the Pacific Ocean an extensive shoreline sprawls along the coastal towns of Sanchez Mira, Sta. Praxedes, Claveria, Buguey, Buguey, Aparri, Ballesteros, Abulug, and the Islands of Palaui, Fuga, and Island Municipality of Calayan. Sanchez Mira, Claveria, and Sta. Praxedes have facilities for excursion stays while Fuga Island is being developed as a world class recreation and tourism center. Whale watching at the Calayan Islands are the most sought after and scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing are the most famous in Palaui Island in Sta. Ana. The airstrip at Claveria could be used as a jump-off point to Fuga Island.
There are a lot of recreation and things to do in Cagayan for tourist and locals alike with its famous Sambali Festival celebrated throughout and in commemoration of its founding. Activities in the province are unlimited with its green sorroundings, floras and faunas, caves and historical churches. Also there are lots of nice places to stay such as the Governors Garden Hotel, Hotel Candice, Hotel Roma and Hotel Kimikarlai all in Tuguegarao City.