Town of Iguig, Cagayan: Where To Go, What to See and Tourist Spots to Visit

pottery making in iguig cagayan


One of the many interesting towns we visited for our Lakbay Norte trip is the town of Iguig, Cagayan. It is a very simple yet interesting part of Cagayan that depicts the local life we city rats want to experience much longer: far away from the metro, no traffic, no rush and it seems time pass so slow here.






History of Iguig

It was during 16th century that Father Ambrocio dela Madre de Dios founded Iguig. This name was derived from the word "ihig", said to be the name of the chieftain of the village which the Spaniards made it into a "pueblo" by April 16, 1608 and crediting Santiago Apostol as the patron saint. Iguig is the birthplace of Magalad, who has gone down in history with his name intentionally misspelled as Magalat, a leader of early Cagayanos who resisted Spanish colonizers and died fighting for his birthplace.

Father Francisco De Capillas, Iguig's former parish priest was just recently beatified and venerated among the blessed. Iguig is one of the 28 municipalities that comprise the province of Cagayan. Approximately 500 kilometers from Metro Manila and 1 kilometers north of the provincial capital city of Tuguegarao.



There are 23 barangays in Iguig. The locals who live here are called Itawes who are said to be descendants of Indonesian migrants 3, 000 years ago. The overall blood of Itawes in Iguig are said to be a mix of Ybanag, Ilocano and Spanish rooots.



Tourist Spots in Iguig

We only spent half-day for our brief stopover here so what we did was a town tour of the most - recommended touristy things to do in Iguig:

1. Visit St James Parish Church
This church is located beside Cagayan river. Built of stones and brick materials between 1765 to 1787, St James Parish Church is the first of its kind in Cagayan Valley to hae galvanized iron sheet roofing. It also has buttresses, a feature built that's designed to withstand earthquakes like that of Paoay Church in Ilocos.

It was really raining hard and I regret not able to take photos of the church's entirety nor we were able to get inside because there was a mass going on for the dead that time.


St James Parish Church cagayan
Credit to Levy Amosin for the pic.

2. Calvary Hills 
I know the 2017 Holy Week or Semana Santa is fast approaching. In the Philippines this is a big deal being a Catholic country. If you are looking for new churches to see for your Visita Iglesia tour in 2017, I super recommend St. James Parish Church and of course, Calvary Hills. Both of these are just beside each other. The Mount Calvary of the Far East was conceptualized by Rev. Father Rogelio Cortez. It was constructed in 1982 and located in a sprawling 4 hectares of rolling hills overlooking Cagayan River which many says resemble Jordan river. This site features 14 Stations of the Cross and life-sized concrete statues depicting Jesus Christ suffering before his death.


diy guide to cagayan iguig

3. Iguig's  Centuries - old Old Well
Just ten-minutes away from the Calvary Hills and St James Parish Church, this old well which was built in 17th century is properly preserved. Made of limestone and bricks, this well used to be the main source of potable water for the whole municipality during Spanish era.


what to see in iguig cagayan

4. Atulu Bricks and Pottery Center
The town of Iguig especially in Atulu is blessed with the right kind of soil that's perfect for pottery - making compared to other areas of Cagayan. Located near Cagayan river, it is no doubt that Iguig holds the title of bricks pottery center of the province. Established in the pre-war days, this kind of livelihood survived even from the devastation of World War 2 and now the major industry of Barangay Atulu. Today, under the supervision of the local municipality the bricks and pottery-making here in Iguig is under the One Town, One Product project.


pottery making in iguig


pottery industry iguig cagayan

Take note: They DO NOT USE any machines to produce these pottery and bricks. They only use their bare hands to do it. Imagine the tremendous amount of skills and passion they have just to produce an art they sell for a very cheap price? When you get here in Iguig, please don't try haggling, the prices are very affordable already. 


Other places to visit in Iguig, Cagayan
Half-day is not enough to get to know Iguig. If you got more time, here's another 4 places to visit in Iguig:

5. Dabbay Falls
Nestled in the rolling hills in the eastern Barangay of Gurab, you'll find Dabbay Falls just 5 kilometers away from Maharlika highway. This falls features a crystal-ike water running in abundance all through out the year. Its waters emanate from the foot of Sierra Madre and cascade down to Lalamagan Creek forming this fall. This place guarantees you a calming moment that only the rushing of the brooks and the singing of birds will disturb you.

6. Jubilee Cross
The Jubilee Cross is the authenticated relic of the True Cross of Lord Jesus Christ reminding His saving death and resurrection and the renewal of all creation through Him. This relic was a gift of Archbishop Bruno Torpigliani, the late Papal Nuncio to the Philippines to Arch. Diosdado Talamayan - the Archbishop of Cagayan. You'll find this inside the St. James Parish Chapel.

7. Bricks Staircase
This staircase made of bricks are located in between the Calvary Hills and St. James Parish. During the Galleon trade, this is where the goods are loaded and unloaded coming from Cagayan river. Also dignitaries who visit Cagayan by way of the river also uses this as an entry point. As you see, the stairs are no longer near Cagayan river which can make you wonder why. That's because the trail of the river changes over time.  Maybe climate change or mother nature's will... no one knows why.

8. St. Claire Monastery
If you are looking for a place of meditation and spiritual retreat in Cagayan, go to St. Claire Monastery. Frequently visited by pilgrims seeking the intercession of St. Claire for favors they want to obtain from the Father Almighty, this monastery is the perfect place when you visit this province.

The best time to visit. During Summer and Lenten Season. 
How to reach Iguig. You can take a bus either from Pasay or Cubao bound to Cagayan then another bus ride to Iguig. It takes 12 hours by bus and it's 517 kilometers long. Other provinces that you can also use to connect your trip are Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Caraballo mountains, Isabela and Tuguegarao.


NOTE: This NLEX-SCTEX Lakbay Norte media familiarization tour was made possible by North Philippines Visitors Bureau in cooperation with Manila North Tollways Corp., Victory Liner, DOT 2, DOT 3, Jollibee Foods Corp., Petron, Prifood, Maynilad, NECVA and CNCVB.



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