Isabela Province

Our five-day Northeastern Luzon Road Trip in July 2017 included this thriving province in Cagayan Valley. And our first stop in Isabela Province, coming from the province of Nueva Vizcaya, was its capital city – Ilagan.

Ilagan Arch

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To our surprise, the world’s largest armchair known locally as Butaka is found in Ilagan City. It was built in 2003 as a tribute to the woodcraft and furniture industry of the region.

 

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World’s largest Butaka… a tribute to Isabela’s furniture industry

Isabela Province, established in 1856, is named after Queen Isabella II of Spain. Her place of honor was formally recognised in 2014 with the unveiling of the Queen Isabela Park located at the front of the Isabela Provincial Capitol Complex.

Queen Isabela

Isabela seal

Our next stop was for lunch to sample the famous Pancit Cabagan. We tried it first at Feli-cita’s along the highway in the town of Cabagan. It’s a rich noodle dish topped with chopped veggies, crispy pork and an egg.

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With my friends Rom, Lloyds and Martin, and other tourists at Feli-cita’s

We were then off to our main destination Cagayan Province passing through this super scary narrow bridge with a very tiny barrier on Cabagan-Santa Maria Road. A new bigger bridge right next to it is underway.

cabagan to enrile bridge
I was the one driving… don’t know how I got through

The provinces of Isabela and Cagayan are also both renown for their pottery industry so I was thrilled to buy a traditional ‘palayok’ for cooking stews from a roadside retailer in Santa Maria, Isabela on our way back two days later from Cagayan Province.

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Manong Tindero and Manang Tindera

And we stopped for lunch once again for a sumptuous meal of Pancit Cabagan this time at the famous Aling Kikay’s.

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We loved it so much we ended up buying the famous Miki noodles used to make Pancit Cabagan to take home and give our families and friends in Manila.

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Our Northeastern Luzon Road trip of the Cagayan Valley region and the Cordillera Mountains region was full of adventure… and the Province of Isabela was indeed a big part of it.

CoachConto – Athlete, Warrior, Statesman, Spirit

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