Quirino Province Adventure Trip: Discovering the Undiscovered

Quirino Province? Weh? Di nga?!

I remember that conversation between me and AJ regarding a possible trip in an ‘undiscovered‘ destination. When I visited Batanes last May, I was staring at a giant Philippine Map with a portion focusing on Region II a.k.a. Cagayan region. Batanes might be one of the hardest (especially on the financial side) province to visit in that region, but that’s the first and only place I’ve been to in the area.

I had this notion that the Cagayan region (except Batanes) is ‘skippable’ since there are less known tourist destinations or activities to do. Don’t hate me on this. I know I’m not alone.

Then the opportunity to ‘Discover the Undiscovered’ came.

Together with fellow travel bloggers Kara, Izah, Sinjin, Eric, Edgar, Christian, Julius, Marky and Ferdz, we embarked on a trip to the ‘least known’ province of Region II. The fun part is that 8 out of 10 were first-timers. Let the adventure begin!

Hola, Isabela!
Hola, Isabela!

GETTING THERE

Isabela’s Cauayan International Airport is the nearest from Quirino when travelling via plane. As of writing, only Cebu Pacific Air offers flights 3x a week. From there, we rode a 2 hours private van to Cabarroguis, Quirino.

Five Star and Northern Luzon Bus Line offer daily Manila-Quirino trips. From the bus terminal station, one can take a van or jeepney trip to Diffun, Cabarroguis, Aglipay or Maddela.

 

At Quirino's Motocross Mountain Track | Photo by Libotero
At Quirino’s Motocross Mountain Track | Photo by Libotero

FIRST IMPRESSION

Being a young province, it is understandable why Quirino is not yet fully developed. It seems that the provincial government is doing its job in developing Quirino as a tourist destination especially for those who seek adventure. Did you know that Quirino Province used to be a part of Nueva Vizcaya?

I honestly like how quiet and serene the town is. Visiting this part of Luzon is a good change of scenery especially when you’re a nature lover.

05-Quirino-Wakeboarding

By March 2015, a wakeboarding site is set to be introduced to the public. I can sense Quirino’s determination and urgency to attract sports enthusiasts!

 

Our room in Capitol Plaza Hotel
Our room in Capitol Plaza Hotel

HOTEL ACCOMMODATION

The Capitol Plaza Hotel and Restaurant served as our home for four days and three nights. It may not be as grand as other accommodations, but the homey vibe made up for it. Numerous photos depicting the typical Quirinian life is scattered around the hotel which sparked curiosity. How I wish the weather cooperated the whole time we were there!

02-Quirino-Capitol-Resort-Pool

I think the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Restaurant is considered as the most preferred accommodation not only in Cabarroguis, but in the whole Quirino Province. I’m sure soon enough, a mountain resort that targets leisure travelers will soon rise either in Nagtipunan or Cabarroguis. Most tourists coming in prefer homestays. The pool area is my favorite!

You can check the list of accredited hotels/lodge/homestays in Quirino Province via the official website.


SOUVENIR PRODUCTS / PASALUBONG

Quirino Province is known for the Fossilized Flowers. Yep, they’re not paper roses! (stop singing Ate Jolens!)

Smiling vendor selling colorful fossilized flowers. Bili na!
Smiling vendor selling colorful fossilized flowers. Bili na!

Fossilized Flowers are bleached and dried butterfly leaves (alibangbang). You can buy these colorful flowers via the Quirino Pasalubong Center. You may have seen their products in display in the nearest National Bookstore branch.

Box of TUBIKOY
Box of TUBIKOY

In terms of food, I do recommend Tilanggit (tilapiang danggit), brown rice and Tubikoy, a fusion of tupig, bibingka and tikoy). Nagimas!

FOOD TRIP

Quirino doesn’t have a signature dish. As what one of our tour guides said, they’re still in the process of figuring out what or which dish shall they push. For me, the Tubikoy stands out.

First time to eat Tuguegarao's Pancit Batil Patong in Quirino
First time to eat Tuguegarao’s Pancit Batil Patong in Quirino

I’m happy because I was able to try the Pancit Batil Patong, a Tuguegarao signature pancit dish and also feasted on an authentic Pancit Cabagan cooked by an Ibanag.

Pancit Cabagan!
Pancit Cabagan!

I’m a lover of Ilocano cuisine so I enjoyed our lunch time in a local carinderia that served Igado, Dinakdakan, Monggo and garlic-y Longganisa. Β Mangan ak nga mangan ken rawet ak gamin πŸ˜›Β 

Delicious Ilocano favorites served in a carinderia
Delicious Ilocano favorites served in a carinderia


QUIRINO PROVINCE ADVENTURE TRIP PREVIEW

To give you an idea on how much we enjoyed this trip, I’m sharing the following photos. Funny stories to follow!

Family portrait taken at the Governor's Cottage. | Photo by Libotero
Family portrait taken at the Governor’s Cottage. | Photo by Libotero
Paskuhan Village in Cabarroguis, Quirino
Paskuhan Village in Cabarroguis, Quirino
Paskuhan sa Quirino: It's More Fun in Diffun!
Paskuhan sa Quirino: It’s More Fun in Diffun!
The supposed boating tour in Governor's Rapids. This turned out to be fun and wild though :P | Photo by Nomadic Experiences
The supposed boating tour in Governor’s Rapids. This turned out to be fun and wild though πŸ˜›
Travel bloggers spelunking at Aglipay Caves (when they were still "clean")
Travel bloggers spelunking at Aglipay Caves (when they were still “clean”)
Now I'm convinced that I must get my own trekking sandals. Naruget nga balasang haha
Now I’m convinced that I must get my own trekking sandals. NarugetΒ HAHAΒ 
Breathtaking view of Nagtipunan, Quirino Province
Breathtaking view of Nagtipunan, Quirino Province
Siitan River Cruise: Boating or Tubing? Look at that dog!
Siitan River Cruise: Boating or Tubing? Look at that dog!

Siitan

Enchanting Cagayan River as seen from the Landingan Viewpoint
Enchanting Cagayan River as seen from the Landingan Viewpoint

Honestly, I consider our Quirino Province Adventure Getaway one of my best trips in 2014.

Jeepney Topload in Nagtipunan. Ang saya! | Photo by EAZY Traveler
Jeepney Topload in Nagtipunan. Ang saya! | Photo by EAZY Traveler

Why was it memorable? Most of my companions were first-timers meaning we’re on the same page in terms of curiosity, my first time to do caving/spelunking and that was a dirty and slippery one, toploaded in a jeepney for the second timeand admired the scenic view of Nagtipunan, ate a lot of pancit and Ilocano dishes, participated in a night perya, survived the Siitan River Cruise and bonded with my fellow travel bloggers. What a fun bunch!

Special thanks to Sir Ian, Sir Orlan and Sir Edwin of the Quirino Tourism Office for serving as assisting us in this fun-filled adventure! Agsubli ak! πŸ˜€

Want your own Quirino Province Adventure Tour? Just visit the Quirino Province Official Website or email them at quirinoprovince@yahoo.com. You may also follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

20 Comments

  1. Great nature trip!! Pwede ka magtago dito pag ayaw mong maabala :))) Buti ka pa nakapagspelunking na!

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Haha thanks teh! Nakapag-spelunking na rin sa wakas!

      February 15, 2015
      Reply
  2. Red said:

    Did you have a tour guide. A friend and I are considering this destination for the Holy week this year. How much was your budget. I guess it’ll be more expensive for us because only the two of us are going.

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hello Red! Sorry for the late reply. You may keep in touch with the Quirino Tourism Office by emailing them at quirinoprovince@yahoo.com. They reply right away πŸ™‚

      February 15, 2015
      Reply
  3. Sounds like a fascinating and fun trip to a place I’ve never heard of before. Looking forward to your coming posts.

    January 8, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Thanks Kat! I’ll be writing more about Quirino soon. Just happened that I’m swamped with work huhu thanks for reading πŸ™‚

      February 15, 2015
      Reply
  4. Me too. I said Quirino? πŸ™‚

    But I must admit, Quirino is really an undiscovered place. Thanks for showing the beauty of this province to other travelers!

    Tubikoy looks delicious! yum πŸ™‚

    January 10, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Tubikoy is really good! πŸ˜€ Hope Quirino Province gets the recognition it deserves πŸ˜€

      February 15, 2015
      Reply
  5. misty said:

    Hi! Im a QuiriΓ±an! Thank you for this wonderful article and I’m glad to hear that you had fun in our beloved province during your visit. In the past few years, our local government has been making efforts to make people know what tourist spots we have in Quirino, to discover it’s beauty, the virgin forests, falls and caves and of course the people. Thank you for visiting and writing this good article about Quirino. This would really help promote tourism in our province. πŸ™‚

    March 4, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      Hi Misty!

      I’m glad you liked my article πŸ™‚ The Tourism Department of Quirino is doing their best to promote the province. I have more entries to write <3

      March 27, 2015
      Reply
  6. Shayne said:

    Wow thanks for the tip! I have been to Tuguegarao before and I must say that your pancit batil patung made me hungryyyy! Will take note of this destination for my future travels. Thanks senyorita!

    April 12, 2015
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      You’re welcome! πŸ™‚ Please visit Quirino πŸ˜€

      April 24, 2015
      Reply
  7. Blessie said:

    Hi!

    Planning to go to Quirino this weekend. Question for the caving, do they provide the headlamps or do we have to bring our own? Thanks!!

    Blessie

    December 9, 2015
    Reply
  8. Ruel Amoranto said:

    Quirino is a place to visit..will take an ocular tour for my tourism students activity.

    January 16, 2016
    Reply
    • Senyorita said:

      I would love to come back!

      January 21, 2016
      Reply
      • Wellany v. Valena said:

        Try to experience our Motocross activities on sept 2016( Panagdadapun festival)

        May 3, 2016
        Reply
  9. Ram said:

    Hi! Do you know if there are public transportation from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya to Diffun, Quirino? Or at least somewhere near those 2 areas? Thankies!

    April 20, 2016
    Reply
    • Cel said:

      From Nueva Vizzcaya you take a bus or a jeepney and stop at Cordon,Isabela. From there, ride a van or jeepey to going to Diffun, Quirino.

      September 28, 2016
      Reply
  10. Wellany v. Valena said:

    Pround Quirinian…Thank you for sharing your experience Ms Senyorita..A home of peaceful and simple living…Everybody is welcome to experience our Quirino pride.

    May 3, 2016
    Reply

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