The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) partnered with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to enlist media practitioners in various regions to go on a cultural and heritage seminar with onsite immersion to educate the media about our our local culture and heritage.
It was a great idea in the first place. Better that they included bloggers and social media influencers in the tour.
Our fist stop was the farthest, Region 2- the Cagayan Valley. Form our point of origin, Pangasinan, we travelled for almost 14 hours by land to reach our destination because we went to convoy with the Cordillera group.
The Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the largest Cathedrals in Region 2. It is an 18th century baroque church which is the seat of Catholicism in Cagayan Valley. In 1982, the National Historical commission installed a marker about the brief history of he church.
As a non- Catholic, I focused on the design of the structure. Its walls and ceilings not to mention the bell tower beside it. I was wondering about how it was made, for how long and who are the Filipinos that helped in the construction. The ceiling was remarkable, they designed it so well.
Pancit Batil Patong (Potun, to some) is an experience in itself. It is made up of fresh noodles cooked in soy sauce and spices topped with almost all imaginable meat dishes. They have crunchy chicken skin, chicharron, crispy-fried minced pork, ground beef etc. On top of it is a poached egg. Served with the panic of Chinese origin is a small bowl of chopped white onions, calamansi and soy sauce with a thick egg soup.
After a brief tour at St. Paul University in Tuguegarao to check out their monuments and their chapel, we boarded the bus towards the Municipality of Lal-lo. Its far-away town but it uses to be a capital because of the Nuestra Seniora de Segovia. Now it would be the sub-capitol in the province. It also has a church, ruins and the municipal officials really wanted to invite in investors, universities and business in this town which will soon have an airport of its own.
Do you know where Camalaniugan is in Cagayan? It is the house of the oldest bell in PH. It is also where the most interesting ruins are found. And these ruins are so Instagrammable, I mean photo-worthy. If you are lucky enough, you will find Manong fisherman there at the riverbank just behind the ruins.
At the end of the day, we were housed at Claveria, Cagayan because our next stop is the Province of Ilocos Norte, Region 1.
What were our key takeaways during the trip to Region 2? That they have a lot of old churches and those who have the faith can always turn to the church not only as a structure, but also a a good example Filipino resilience.
My next blogposts will be about Region 1, CAR, Region 3 and NCR. Stay tuned folks:)