From Exploring Isabela to Quirino side trip. Who’s up for some fresh water action?
As if the province of Isabela is not big enough to explore, we managed to go on a side trip in Maddela, Quirino to chase some rapids. From Echague, Isabela we drove roughly for two hours to reach Maddela, Qiurino. Upon arriving, we were greeted by a humble community with a nipa hut as the information center. We then advised them that we’ll go boating, it’s just that we need to wait for our turn as guides are still assisting other guests. While waiting, some of us roamed around and took photos, and some of us were just chilling in a nipa hut cottage.
Now, if you don’t feel like chasing rapids, you can have a picnic in the cottages and enjoy the view among others.
Before boarding the boat, it’s mandatory to wear a life jacket and a hard hat for precaution and safety. And off we went chasing rapids!
Probably asking why this place is called Governor’s Rapids? According to the guides, it has something to do with happenings dated back during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines. Due to lack of road networks, river streams were their highway. However, the Japanese governor was unfortunate in coursing the rapids of Maddela, Quirino and hit the rocks and then drowned. Governor’s Rapids is a tributary of the longest river in the country, the Rio Grande de Cagayan or Cagayan River . Which was also a base for the Dumagat, indigenous people. And during severe weather, they found refuge in the caves.
This is not just historic place but also a sanctuary. From the information center down to the stone dock by the river, you’d see amazing rock formations, lush greenery with singing birds and fresh water catch like eels and fishes.
Aside from chasing the rapids, there’s a lot to do here. Like cliff diving or jumping.
Even spelunking in a nameless cave.
In just a matter of probably 10 minutes, we reached the Bisangal Waterfall inside the cave.
Plunged in a pool of refreshing cold waters from a ten foot waterfall inside a nameless cave was bliss.
If you’re up for some fresh water action, then take an eight hour bus ride from Cubao, Quezon City or Sampaloc, Manila to either Santiago or Cordon, Isabela. Now, if you don’t want to spend 8 hrs on the road, can fly from Manila to Cauayan, Isabela with one flight daily (if I’m not mistaken) via Cebu Pacific, which would take about an hour. Then en route to Santiago or Cordon via bus. From there, take a jeepney or passenger van to Maddela, Quirino. From the town proper can a tricycle to Barrio Bisangal, Divisoria Sur where Governor’s Rapids is situated.
For more guidance please get in touch with the Provincial Tourism Office. Tel no. (078) 692-5088/Mobile no.0917-416-5945
Disclaimer: My visit was part of a press trip sponsored by the Department of Tourism of the Municipality of Echague, Isabela. No money involved.