Quirino (capital: Cabarroguis) is a province in the Philippines named after its sixth president, Elpidio Quirino. It’s surrounded by different provinces which are why it is considered a landlocked province. Although Ilocano is widely spoken there, locals can converse well in Tagalog or Filipino and English.
With only a total area of 2,323 square kilometres and barely 190,000 residents, it may sound like there’s nothing much to do in this quaint province. But no, there are so many things to do here! Ready your backpacks!
How To Get There
Believe it or not, Quirino is rarely mentioned in travel blogs and sites. Because of its geographical location, it is generally off the tourist radar.
Your first option would be to take a bus from Metro Manila. You will have to catch the late night trip so you’ll get to the town of Maddela the next morning (yes, you’ll have to sleep on the bus). This is the most economical way of getting there.
If time is of the essence and the budget is not an issue, take an hour flight (Cebu Pacific Air) to Cauayan Airport in Isabela, a town next to Quirino. Get off the plane, and find a van that will take you Cabarroguis. This land trip will take another hour to an hour and a half.
If you are not able to book a ticket to Cauayan, hop on an hour flight to Tuguegarao (Cebu Pacific Air or Philippine Airlines) and then hop on a van to Quirino. This will take three hours.
There’s no easy way to get to this place, but it’s so worth it!
Getting Around Quirino
If you’re a laidback type of person who likes to immerse what locals do, Quirino should be on your bucket list. There are no car, motorcycle or bicycle rentals, however, you can ride a jeepney to get to your destination (yes, even to the remote mountainous areas!)
What To Do In Quirino
Eat. Eat. Eat – With all those hours you spent on travelling to Quirino, be sure to try their delicious local delicacies (this will give you enough energy for your other activities, too). Enjoy some “igado” and “Pancit Batil Patung” for lunch, dinakdakan for dinner (or anytime of the day, tbh!) and some “Royal Tubikoy” or “inandila” for dessert or afternoon snacks. And “water” them down with “tapuy.” No, we won’t tell you what they are. You have to try them!
Go spelunking – Aglipay cave has a 37-chamber cave system, 8 of which were developed for caving for enthusiasts (from basic to super challenging).
Visit Nagtipunan – Nagtipunan, a town where part of the Cagayan River is located, is not only perfect for boating and swimming. Here you can enjoy your time away from the hustle and bustle and unleash your outdoorsy side! This place is great for camping, trekking, rock climbing, fishing, and rafting.
See the waterfalls – Quirino may not have beaches, but it is definitely blessed with so many waterfalls. Before you get to bathe in these amazing falls, you have to be up for a little bit of hiking and trekking (well, maybe not a little). List down Pensal Falls, Mabo Falls, Nantugaw Falls, Sinipit Falls, Maddela Falls, Junuan Falls, Victoria Falls, and Mactol Falls on your journal for when you visit Quirino!
Sit back and relax at Landingan Viewpoint – Two words: breathtaking scenery. A view deck is available where you can see perpetual greens. That is green plains surrounded by green mountains after green mountains against the blue skies. The view is so beautiful and the air is so fresh you just want to stay quiet and be in one with nature (and maybe imagine yourself paragliding).
Visit Siitan River – Balasyan canoes will take you on a quiet yet enjoyable river cruise at Siitan River. If prefer to get your feet (or yourself) in the water, rent an inflated tube and allow yourself to be drifted away by the calm waters of this river. This place is so picturesque you’d think you’re on a movie set!
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Hello, I am Mish! I used to work as a travel expert, customer service specialist and a communications trainer in the past. After working for eight years straight since I graduated, I decided to give up my corporate job to focuses on my 4-year old son, works as a freelance writer and a real estate assistant. I am a sun-worshipper, a water baby, and an earth warrior. And oh, I’m tiny but I am an Olympic-level glutton. Let me bring your tummy around the globe! You can reach me at LinkedIn.