At the northeastern part of Luzon, there's the Cagayan Valley region. The region consists of five provinces: From north to south, you have Batanes (which essentially covers the Philippines' northernmost islands), Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino.
Originally, Quirino was a forested area of Nueva Vizcaya, until it separated from the latter in 1966. The former was subsequently named after the sixth President of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino, who also lent his name to an avenue in Manila. Since then, Quirino has slowly but steadily grown into a tourist destination, as shown by the places below.
St. Mark's Church
Looking at the picture above, you'd think it's a spaceship. Actually, it's the St. Mark's Church (also known as St. Mark's Parish), which is located in Quirino's capital, Cabarroguis. Since Quirino was a relatively young province, it wasn't until the 1970s when parochial buildings began construction in the area.
Quirino Province Museum and Library
At Quirino's Provincial Museum and Library, precolonial Filipino artifacts are kept, such as arts n' crafts and wooden deer heads. You can also see pictures of the late President Quirino, as well as works contributed by local artists. The museum is open from Monday to Friday between 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Maria Angela Falls
Quirino is blessed with many falls, and Maria Angela is just one of them. Located at the northern part of the town of Maddela, the Maria Angela Falls is the locals' go-to destination for picnics. The greenery surrounding the falls, combined with the peaceful waters at its base, can make any onlooker feel at home.
Another one of Quirino's falls, the Ganano Falls is located within the confusingly named Baguio Village in Diffun. The stone formation behind the falls is said to be like a chair, and the nearby areas teem with fish sanctuaries.
Like other waterfalls in the Philippines, Ganano takes a bit of effort to get to. You have to drive for 45 minutes away from the provincial road, and go on a one-hour trek, to reach the falls. Once you get past the rocks, rivers and streams, however, every drop of the falls' water on your face is worth it.
Aglipay Caves and Campsite
Ten kilometers away from Cabarroguis, the Aglipay Caves consist of 37 intertwining underground chambers that are as much as 20 meters deep. Of those 37 chambers, only 8 have been explored, and they're the only ones open to tourists. Expect to find stalactites, stalagmites, insect-eating bats, and other cave-dwelling creatures within the Aglipay Caves.
Outside the Aglipay caves, there are butterfly sanctuaries and picnic facilities. You can book accommodations at nearby cottages and dormitories, or camp close to the caves if you're staying for more than a day. Since not much is known about the caves, it's best to take an experienced guide with you when you explore them.
Climb up the Landigan Viewpoint, and you'll be treated to one of the most beautiful sceneries in the Philippines. From the top, you can see rolling hills, greenery sprawled over the landscape like a blanket, and the occasional rivers and roads to break the monotony. Luckily, the viewpoint is only a jeepney ride away from Nagtipunan, which in turn is about 42 kilometers (25.7 miles) away from Cabarroguis.
Nagtipunan Municipal Park
If you're somewhat acrophobic, but you still want to be treated to the sights and sounds of Quirino province, Nagtipunan's municipal park has you covered. Peppered with falls, fountains, and 15 nipa huts open to the public, the municipal park brings you some of Nagtipunan's most breathtaking views.
One of Cabarroguis' most striking landmarks is the mountain-slash-cave-system Susong Dalaga. Because of its shape, it was named after the Filipino phrase that means "maiden's breast." Questionable naming conventions aside, Susong Dalaga is home to diverse flora and fauna, and is an ideal destination for casual and professional trekkers alike.
Quirino's Theme Park
Oddly enough, Quirino's theme park doesn't have an official name. But it is notable for the 18 picnic huts open to the public, as well as its rather fitting location at the Pagkain ng Bayan ("The Nation's Eatery") Lagoon, Capitol Hills, Cabarroguis.
Eden Hot Spring
Don't be put off by its bushy and grassy surroundings. The Eden Hot Spring is a hidden paradise tucked near the river along the boundary of Barangay Dibibi. Since it's not an official tourist spot yet, you can take advantage of its warm waters and calming views while it's still being developed.
As you can see, Quirino province is filled to the brim with tourist spots. Some of these spots, however, aren't being developed because the locals assume they have little to no potential to bring in visitors. So why not visit Quirino today, and show the locals what they're missing out on?