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The Q Place Edit

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Bernard Supetran  • Contributor
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The Q Place

A James Bond movie would not be complete without the weapons and gadget genius “Q” who have made the celebrated superspy invincible.

And just like the versatile Q, the province of Quirino has been keeping an arsenal of best-kept secrets tucked in the interiors of the Cagayan Valley region. Quaint, quiet, quintessential and other Q adjectives describe this tourism frontier.

Named after former President Elipidio Quirino, this land-locked province takes pride in its rugged topography which has gifted it with natural wonders that would lure any outdoor-loving person. Here are some of the quick and quantum reasons why this destination is of presidential quality.


Governor's Rapids

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Governor’s Rapids. A tributary of the mighty Cagayan River, Governor’s Rapids is the province’s poster image because of its voluminous water. Situated at the far end of Maddela town, locals say that you have never to Quirino if you did not swing by this riverine hideaway.

Depending on the season and weather, the Rapids can either be a leisurely boat ride or an adrenaline-pumping white-water kayaking and rafting.

Its most iconic feature is the jagged majestic limestone formations near the river bank which provides a shelter for the indigenous Dumagats and to adventurers. It has received numerous awards for being one of the cleanest inland bodies of water in the region.

Aglipay Cave

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Aglipay Cave. A must-do is spelunking in Aglipay Cave and Campsite whose hollow has fragile draws, amazing drapers, and stunning stalactites. Named in honor of Gregorio Aglipay, the revolutionary priest who founded the Iglesia Filipina Independiente in 1902, the area is a sprawling 101 hectares of forest surroundings the cave chambers that provide a refuge for vegetation, wildlife and recreation.

Eight out of the 37 caves been developed for caving tours. This spectacular formation of stalagmites was formed from minerals deposited by dripping water, attesting to the rich biodiversity of the watershed and forrestal land. Fret not if you are not into caving. Just like the number in its land area, Aglipay is ideal for Caving 101.


Nagbukel Municipal Tree Park and Nature Resort

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Nagbukel Municipal Tree Park and Nature Resort. This helmet-looking natural formation is the first geological landmark that greets you as you drive to the heart of Quirino. Located in Diffun town, this 16-hectare park takes pride in its caves, rocky limestone mountains with forest vegetation of small trees and forest trees plantation by the Ganano River. Developed by the Lamplighter religious cult, Nagbukel Cave is one of the park’s components which serves as view deck.


Maddela Falls

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Edwin Antonio Photography

Waterfalls Galore. Quirino’s rugged terrain has gifted it with a plethora of waterfalls which compensates for its absence of a beachfront. Secluded in the bosom of mountains, the trek to these waterworlds is an adventure in itself with the lush vegetation along the way.

Maddela has seven emerald waterfalls, whose fifth cascade offers a stunning view of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. Take a dip in the rejuvenating icy waters of the waterfalls of Manuela, San Pascual and Battumbaket in Diffun; Tucod in Cabarroguis; Maddela, Pensal, Victoria in Maddela; and Mactol, Tayguido and Guiyayan in Nagtipunan.

Adventure Sport Capitol. The expansive Capitol Complex in Cabarroguis town has become not just the heart of the provincial government, but also of adventure sport. For more than a decade now, it has been a mecca for motocross and 4 x 4 off-road enthusiasts in northern Luzon with its challenging man-made track.

A new compelling reason to make this your playground is the soon-to-open Quirino Tourism Complex, whose core is the Tourism Sports and Wakeboarding Complex. Other exciting components are a convention center, an upgraded motocross track and recreational facilities. A first in Cagayan Valley, this 111-hectare enclave will bolster the province’s standing as the region’s Adventure Sport Capital.


Panagdadapun Festival

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Fossilized roses

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Panagdadapun Festival. The best time to visit is on September when the Province throws out a big party to mark its foundation day in Panagdadapun Festival. An Ilocano word which means “gathering”, it showcases the convergence of indigenous peoples and ethno-linguistic groups who have made Quirino a melting pot of cultures.

Its locus is the street parade where every town takes center stage to feature their unique character as a people. Featured festivals are Pammadayaw of Diffun, Ginnamuluan of Cabarroguis, agrarian-inspired Panagsasalog of Maddela, Panagsalukag of Aglipay, Pagay-Pagay of Saguday, the Ilongot tribal-themed Penenkakasisit of Nagtipunan.

Better yet, visit the municipal fest for an interaction with the townsfolk, especially the Ilongot indigenous community which is known for their ancient tradition of head-hunting.

Souvenir shopping. “Stop to smell the flowers by the wayside,” says an old saying. In Quirino, roses are a common sight and you can stop to savor and admire the fossilized flowers which are among the province’s top souvenirs and decorative products. Painted in cheerful hues, these handicraft items have found their way around living rooms and lounges across the country. Indeed, a rose by any other name or form would smell as sweet.

There are also assorted woodcarvings, furniture and novelties sculpted by local craftsmen. Kamias prunes, peanut products, tamarind candies, ginger tea, dried fish, pickled bottled vegetables, banana chips are your best bets for the obligatory pasalubong to family and friends.

Getting There: Air-conditioned buses of GV Florida and Victory Liner, which usually leave in the evening, ply to Maddela passing through the capital town of Cabarroguis. There are modest but decent dining and accommodation establishments in the town proper, the most notable of which is the Capitol Plaza and Restaurant run by the Provincial Government. 


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