Naturally Vibrant: Nueva Vizcaya

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of the scenery- air, mountains, trees, people. This is what it is to be happy!
- Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
*****

I was up North again last weekend and visited my friend Chelle's place in Nueva Vizcaya. It's my first time in the Cagayan Valley region so I'm super excited.

We boarded via Florida Bus in Sampaloc around 10.20pm last May 17. It was a 6 hours trip to Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya. We arrived a little past 4am so we decided to take some more nap before exploring the place.

DAY 1 ( May 18) 

Imugan Falls and St. Vincent Ferrer Parish

IMUGAN FALLS


Imugan Falls is located at Sta. Fe. About an hour and a half from Bambang. The waterfall is a 20 minute hike from the Imugan community proper through lush foliage and streams.*

The waters were freezing cold, it was hard for me to plunge my whole body in the waters and swim. For the thick-skinned, the ice-cold water is for you! :)

There's a trail to the peak and above is another sanctuary!


You can literally feel the nature breathe as you trek along verdant forests and breathtaking views!

one with nature..ang lakas maka-diwata ng location di ba? :))
(Click here for my Imugan Falls entry)

ST. VINCENT FERRER CHURCH



St. Vincent Ferrer Church is located at Dupax Del Sur ( an hour drive from Sta. Fe). Constructed in the 16th century (taray di ba?!), it is one of the oldest unreinforced churches in North Luzon. declared by the National Museum as a "National Cultural Treasure" the church also houses an underground museum where one can find centuries- old church artifacts. *

Unfortunately, the church was closed when we visited-- we didn't have the chance to explore inside. :(

DAY 2 (May 19)

St. Catherine Parish, Tribu Vizcayano, Jose Rizal Shrine, St. Dominic Cathedral and People's Museum


ST. CATHERINE OF SIENNA PARISH

As this was Sunday, our group decided to hear the mass first. I was thinking it may be an Ilocano Mass, and true enough, it was! The earlier Mass was in Tagalog-- but we woke up a little late and did not catch that one. Good thing the priest spoke in English during the homily. :))

church facade 

the altar

TRIBU VIZCAYANO





Paraiso Tribu Vizcayano is located at Diadi (almost 2 hours drive from Bambang). This 1,120- hectare forest park has numerous endemic species of flora and fauna. Within the park are picnic groves, ethnic-inspired huts, a lagoon with fish cages, coconut plantations, firing range and a campsite.*

There's also a boat area, a mini zoo and a pool (with a separate entrance fee of P50 only). 

JOSE RIZAL SHRINE



Located in the town of Bayombong, this is the 2nd largest Jose Rizal moniment. This was a steep climb, as it it is located on top of a mountain. Surrounding Rizal's monument are 15 other heroes. 

Our driver told us, a certain Mahmoud Asfour bought the mountains and dedicated the whole place for Rizal. He also added that Mahmoud had married a Filipina. In the area, you can also have a glimpse of Mahmoud's mansion and a view of Nueva Vizcaya! Amazing!

As per further reading,this monument was made to show Mahmoud's gratitude to the Filipinos who helped him when he was once stranded in the Gulf war without food and water.

ST. DOMINIC CATHEDRAL



St. Dominic Cathedral is located in Bayombong. A living vestige of the grandeur that was the old town is the Catholic Church that was preserved to become the first cathedral in the province. Razed by fire twice and rebuilt in the same old site, the cathedral maintains the old facade and as such a veritable treasure, a relic of the past for its historic and aesthetics remains as a proud Christian past. *

PEOPLE'S MUSEUM AND LIBRARY


Adjacent to St. Dominic Cathedral is this historic building which houses Novo Vizcayano history and heritage.*

It's for free and you'll get to know more of their culture so this is a must-visit place.

Mountain peaks, magical waterfalls, and nature at it's finest. I hope to explore Capisaan caves and climb Mt. Pulag on my next visit. I had a relaxed time--thank you again, Nueva V!

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How to get there:
Air-conditioned buses (Baliwag Transit, Victory Liner and Florida Liner) bound for Cagayan valley pass by the province. Bus fare is at P300-330

Our group decided to rent a jeep for our Day 1 and Day 2 Tour. For Day 1, we rented it for P1,500 and P2,000 for Day 2. 

We stayed in my friend's place hence our accommodation and food were free! Yay! And have I mentioned that Ilocanos are one of the best cooks? The food tasted great! :)


* from the promotional material I got in Nueva Vizcaya

About Allan Bough

Allan works full time as a Recruitment Head for an IT Solutions company in Makati and juggles blogging along side. He’s fond of travelling, a certified beach and nature lover and would want to explore more of Earth’s riches. A former community theater director, a pre school teacher and a frustrated Star In A Million contestant, Allan hopes of conquering the big stage for a spotlight one day. Conversation and people are his passion.
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