Photo Credit: Russ Danga. A scenic view of tranquil farms taken along the way to the Governors Cottage.
If I were to come back to Quirino Province again tomorrow. These are the 10 things I would love to do again. And again. And again.
1. Enjoy a Nice Homestay.
Homestay are slowly becoming a popular alternative for travel accommodations especially if you are traveling on a shoestring budget. I guess the reason being (aside from cheaper cost) is you get to experience the local lifestyle. What better way of knowing the culture and traditions of the place you are visiting than learning it from the locals themselves.
Although, there are several homestay options in Quirino Province, we booked at CORAZON AERTZEN HOMESTAY at Diffun, Quirino. Primarily because we were a group of 23 people and it was the only homestay that could ALL of us. However, the Governor’s Cottage is another option as they only charge 100 pesos per head per night. But I still love the idea of interacting with the locals of the places we are visiting.
2. Slide and Jump Pensal Waterfalls.
Pensal Waterfalls is located in San Benigno, Aglipay Quirino. It is one among the handful waterfalls you can actually visit in Quirino Province. Travel time to San Benigno from Diffun is around 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. And then you will have to do an hour trek along massive cornfields to reach the falls. The hike can is combination of uphill and downhill climbs. I think it requires an average fitness level since the path can be very slippery.
Pensal Falls is a 3 tier waterfall with a nice slopping rock formation in the very middle. The highest point is a 2 storey drop which you can actually jump off to enjoy a thrilling adrenaline rush cliff jump. Disclaimer: I would only recommend this if you know how to swim and if you do not have fear of heights.
The last tier is another slope but too dangerous to jump off or slide down so we did not get to see the bottom part.
Apparently, there is another waterfall that can be visited called Dinatay Falls. We never got a chance to see this but it is said to be the most beautiful waterfall in the Province.
3. Explore the 8 Caverns of Aglipay Caves.
Aglipay Caves is located at the Aglipay Campsite just a good 45 minute drive from Diffun. It is a massive series of caverns of which 8 have been declared explorable for tourists. We braved 4 of those caves. Some of the portion of the caves is filled with water which is sometimes waist deep. There is an entrance fee of 20 pesos plus addition tip can be given to the local cave guides.
We missed out seeing Nagbukel Cave but it is part of my list if ever I get to come back again to Quirino. They said the best time to see it is around 4PM so you have ample to time to climb the hill to witness the majestic sunset in Quirino Province.
4. Eat Batil Patung.
Photo Credit: Angsarap.net
Pancit Batil Patong or Pancit Tuguegarao is made out of pansit miki, minced carabao meat (water buffalo), bean sprouts and other vegetables topped with egg and chicharon. Batil Patong if directly translated means “beat the egg” for Batil and “placed on top” for Patong and that explains the egg on top.
I was not able to scrutinise the taste of this local dish because I was so hungry when I ate it. And it barely took me 5 minutes to devour this dish. So I’d love to come back again to savor the meaty goodness of Batil Patung.
5. Enjoy the Scenic Ride going to Nagtipunan, Quirino.
We all know that the best things in life are usually free. Well, this is no exception when you cruise along the highways of Nagtipunan. It is impossible not to stop and admire the scenic view of Nagtipunan. From the evergreen rolling hills to hectares and hectare of corn fields to little nipa huts in the middle of rice fields. Ah. I would love to do a road trip again along that highway and breath all that scenery in.
6. Take a relaxing ride down the Nagtipunan River.
If you just want to chill out and relax and not think of anything stressful, take the boat down the Nagtipunan River. I guarantee you will forget most of your worries because the rock formation combined with the stillness of the river would sure calm any stress you might have.
7. Enjoy a sumptuous picnic along the riverside of Bimmapor.
After your cruise, relax and enjoy a meal along the picnic huts of Bimmapor. It has one of most beautiful views of Quirino and the border of Aurora Province.
8. Crawl through the Caves near Governor Rapids.
One of the most memorable and exciting experience I had in Quirino Province is when we got to crawl through 50 meters of rocks and stones inside a pitch black cave with maybe just a 2 foot height elevation. All because we wanted to see the famed cave waterfall. The verdict. Super worth it!
9. Shower at the Waterfall Inside A Cave.
How often will you get a chance to do something as crazy as this?
10. Hang out with locals of Quirino Province.
One of the best parts of this trip is hospitality of the people we met in Quirino Province. Our gratitude seems not enough to compensate for the time and effort the tour guides and the staff of the Quirino Provincial Tourism Office. They were so accommodating. There were no hassles. They genuinely enjoyed touring us and you can easily tell how proud they are of their own province.
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