5 Reasons to Visit and Stay in Isabela - The Filipino Rambler

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

5 Reasons to Visit and Stay in Isabela



A hasty web search of the Philippines’ top places to visit will not readily point to the province of Isabela in Luzon. However, this second largest province in the Philippines has sights, sounds, and opportunities that cannot be found elsewhere in the archipelago. Read on to learn of 5 reasons to visit Isabela, and perhaps make it your next home!

A Beautiful, Unspoiled Environment

Isabela is uniquely positioned along the eastern seaboard of the Philippines, facing the Pacific Ocean. The Sierra Madre mountain range, home to some of the country’s lushest rainforests, cuts through the province’s length. Isabela’s beaches and forests have unique biodiversity and are homes to some of the Philippines’ endemic and endangered species. Because of this, the provincial government has taken special steps to protect Isabela’s natural resources, all while opening the area for ecotourism to help educate locals and tourists about the environment.

Among the top ecotourism sites in Isabela is the Fuyot Springs National Park, located near the city of Illagan. The park is home to the famed Sta. Victoria Caves, which are a spelunker’s delight. Also located in Isabela is a unique “Bonsai Forest”, as well as numerous waterfalls and riverways open for day trippers and trekkers. The province also has a long coastline boasting of pristine beaches such as Honeymoon Island and Dicotcotan Beach.

Flourishing Culture

The people of Isabela have several festivals celebrating the province’s agricultural bounties as well as religious observances. These are celebrated with street parades and pageants, alongside showcases of culinary delights and colorful handicrafts. Each town has its signature commemorations, but among the must-sees are the Binallay Festival in Illagan, and the fluvial parades of the Gakit Festival along the Cagayan River. Another testament to Isabela’s culture is the Giant Butaka, an 11-foot high rocking chair dedicated to the hospitality and industry of the province’s people.

Deeply Rooted History

Isabela has its share of historical sites such as old churches that are testaments to the province’s long past. These include the San Pablo Church, the longest standing church of the province, and the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. The latter is renowned for its beautiful Stations of the Cross, which form part of the locals’ annual Holy Week observances. Other locations worthy of note are the Aguinaldo Shrine in Palanan, and Camp Samal in Tumauini. The former commemorates the capture of President Aguinaldo at the end of the Filipino-American war, and the latter was the site of the National Jamboree of scouts in 1977.

Business Opportunities


Although Isabela is known primarily for its agriculture and agribusiness industries, the province has been rapidly developing to accommodate new commercial ventures. Ecotourism oriented resorts such as the Tapj Resort and Restaurant regularly draw in both local and foreign visitors. Handicrafts, agricultural processing for crops like sorghum, as well as fishery-related industries also provide avenues for new businesses. Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing have become increasingly prominent in urban centers such as Illagan, the provincial capital. With the presence of telecommunications, investment and entrepreneurship in Isabela have never been easier


A Passage to Cagayan Valley and the Cordilleras

Isabela is strategically located near the other provinces of the Cagayan Valley, which include Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya. To the west of Isabela are the nearest provinces of the Cordillera Administrative Region, such as Kalinga and Ifugao. Connecting roads facilitate transport and commerce between these provinces and national highways leading to the rest of Luzon. Isabela is also accessible via air through daily flights to the Cauayan Domestic Airport. The Cagayan International Airport in the nearby city of Tuguegarao also provides an additional transport and commerce hub for Isabela and its neighbors.

These above reasons and more may become compelling enough to make a permanent move to the Queen Province of the Philippines. The rapid growth of the province of Isabela will soon make it more than just a spot on the map of Luzon and will make it a land of new opportunities. For the brave, enterprising, potential homeowners, or those seeking refuge away from the larger metropolises, Isabela is definitely the place to be! 

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