by - 11:10 PM

Photo courtesy of udak travelerAgnelli

APARRI, CAGAYAN, PHILIPPINES - Located at the northernmost part of Cagayan, near the Babuyan Channel, this small town up north of the Philippine map has a charm of its own, notwithstanding the unknown tourist sites the town can offer.

Popularized by the song on the famous Philippine television noontime show Eat Bulaga with introductory words of Mula Aparri hanggang Jolo, this town has feed the curiosity of so many travelers  including myself on what awaits on the said town.

Upon arrival at the van terminal of Aparri, with full of excitement I asked one of the locals "Kuya, anong pwedeng puntahan dito? Ano meron?" (What places can we go here?)  Looking surprised, the local answered "Wala" (None).

Is there really nothing in store for us in this small town up north?

Getting There

From San Vicente Port, we rode a tricycle to the Sta. Ana Public Market, where vans ply towards Aparri are stationed.  It takes approximately two and a half hours to reach the commercial district of Aparri.  Scheduled trips are in a thirty-minute interval, so there's no need to worry.

As I Wander

Determined to discover the town, we immediately looked for their church.  This is my usual game plan when research of the place to be visited is a fail (due to lack of time).  At the center of the town indeed stood the Cathedral of Peter Thelmo, the town's patron saint.

Interesting Fact:  It was on May 11, 1680, when the town of Aparri was officially inaugurated and granted ecclesiastical recognition having the patron saint, Peter Thelmo.

It is believed that Aparri got its name when the civil and religious authorities in Nueva Segovia (now Lallo) decided in 1604, to erect a church there for the evangelization of the natives. The many priest who celebrated the first mass there remained to supervise the construction of the church and continue their evangelization work subsequently, the natives referred to their place as "Aparrian," an Ybanag word meaning "where priests resided." 

Noting the fast growth of "Aparrian" in population and its strategic location for a sea port, the Spanish Authorities in Nueva Segovia again decided on May 11, 1682 to separate the delta from Camalaniugan and Buguey and granted it ecclesiastical recognition and at the same time to elevate the community to the status of a "pueblo" or a township, hence, the word "aparte de Camalaniugan y Buguey." It was not long afterward, the word "aparte" was corrupted into "aparri" by the natives.(source: http://cagayano.tripod.com/townapa.html)

Our wandering did not come to waste as we were able to learn the history of Aparri, just by a 3-hour tour on this small town.

The municipality holds the coveted title of "the Cleanest Town in Cagayan".  And indeed, such recognition is in order as we roam around the vicinity.  The temperature was so hot then and we decided to take our lunch in our all-time favorite fast food, no less than the Jollibee Aparri.

Being a coastal town, noticeable is the fish sculpture on the arch marker of Aparri as well as its rotunda.  Situated at the Cagayan River, the town boasts of a fish known as the Ludong, tagged to be the most expensive fish in the Philippines.  The Cagayan river and the downstream segment of the Abra River were said to be the only known habitats of the said endangered fish.

Who says there is nothing in store in Aparri? 

Travel Date:  March 10, 2013

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