Pamplona Cagayan on a weekend
“Pamplona” to me, used to be just a city in Spain or a town in Rizal. Which also happens to be a town in the beautiful province of Cagayan. The northern most provinces were highly Hispanized. Isabela, the nearby province was named after a Spanish queen. In Cagayan, Lal-lo town used to be the seat of the Nueva Segovia before it was transferred to Vigan.
Where there is a river system, there is a town heavy of Spanish influence, Catholicism. The rivers, being the main thoroughfare during old days, conquistadores used them to reach Filipino natives.
Fast forward to the 21st century, Pamplona in Cagayan is a charming destination. A weekend with the very young lady Mayor Arnie Angelica Sampaga revealed that indeed this town has a lot of potential and is a sleeping giant ready to be awakened.
Bio-ethanol is produced in this 4th class town. It produces approximately 850 liters of bio-ethanol daily and supplies a hospital in Ilocos Norte. Bio-ethanol, similar to ethyl alcohol – is a bi-product of the nipa palm tree abundant in the rivers of Pamplona. Other products were Binarayang or nipa wine that has a high alcohol content.
We initially had the river cruise, traversed the vast river in a floating hut with karaoke or videoke while sharing stories and eating fresh grilled clams or ‘caggu‘ as they call it here. It was a refreshing cruise. We can do so much in this activity. And Masi river is apparently where Miguel De Salcedo landed in Cagayan.
Up next, tired bodies rested at Nena’s Beach Resort in Nagattatan owned by Dr. Nena Ifurung, a staunch supporter of Pamplona’s development. It was a restful sleep, it was like sleeping in my house in Lingayen in front of the beach. The food they served was sumptuous, too bad I wasn’t able to take a photo due to excitement 🙁
In the morning, we were fetched to attend the flag ceremony and witness the awarding of the winners of the official tourism t-shirt design and to rejoin the lady mayor and other municipal officials of the bustling town.
Right after the brief meeting, we were toured around again, by the Tourism Officer designate- Jernelli Ruiz, along with team Arapang Media & Consultancy other guests and locals. We went to the Malagabavi River where small basins of water from the Malagabavi falls flow freely to the Masi River.
The river cruise in itself is a visual feast, along the way we saw carabaos happily wading in the crystal clear waters. Some fisherfolks cast their nets and eagerly wait for their catch.
We were surprised to learn that some villagers were waiting for us at the dock. Lunch is being prepared there for us. It was wonderful. We experienced local hospitality, a signature trait of Filipinos. We were served a fish specie from the river, I forgot its name.
After lunch and before sleep will engulf our full tummies, we went on to continue with the river cruise towards our destination- the PIKKAN FALLS. A thirty-minute or so boat ride ensued and we dropped off to a riverbank where a tiny farm house can be seen.
After about twenty minutes of trekking, at last we arrived at the enchanting Pikkan Falls. The boat ride, the trek, the stories and the muscle cramps were all worth it. Adults survived. Kids survived. All were very happy.
NOTE TO READERS: The Pikkan Falls is not yet ready for tourists. The LGU is currently doing a tourism mapping to check on the assets of the town to be readied for mass tourism. There is no readily available boat going to Pikkan Falls. If you want to visit and go there, kindly coordinate with the Mayor’s Office or thru LGU Pamplona for assistance. The trip was LGU-sponsored and ushered us to all the sites.
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