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Country  Philippines
Population  129,539 (2007)
Area  144.80 km2
Region  Cagayan Valley
Mayor  Engelbert Caronan
Colleges and Universities  Cagayan State University, University of Saint Louis - Tuguegarao, St Paul University Philippines, Maila Rosario College, Ateneo de Tuguegarao

Tuguegarao is a third-class city and capital of the province of Cagayan in the Philippines. It is the regional and institutional center of Cagayan Valley region.


Map of Tuguegarao

The city is located on a peninsula surrounded by the Cagayan and Pinacanauan Rivers. The Pinacanauan joins the Cagayan River in Tuguegarao. The city is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains to the east, Cordillera Mountains to the west, and the Caraballo Mountains to the south. It is one of the settlements on the southern border of the province.

Pinoy joyride tuguegarao city joyride 2014

The population of the city as of the May 1, 2010 census is 138,865 people. Most inhabitants are Ibanag, Ilokano, Tagalog, Itawes and Kapamapangan among others. Some are of Chinese and Indian descent.

Groundcatch tuguegarao philippines

The highest temperature in the Philippines was recorded in Tuguegarao on April 29, 1912, and May 11, 1969, at 42.2 °C (108.0 °F). Average temperature during March and April is 38 °C (100 °F), one of the highest in the country.


Tuguegarao in the past, History of Tuguegarao

The community was governed as a barangay established by the Dominicans as a mission until the Spaniards gave it the status of pueblo (municipality) on May 9, 1604, making it one of the political units of the province of Cagayan. The settlement was a small in terms of population but was big in territory, which then included what would later become the provinces of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino till the 1850s. As a mission pueblo and with assigned encomendero (landlord) to Tuguegarao, the inhabitants (as tenants) were made to pay taxes in the form of poultry products and other food products. Resentments later flared and the people of Tuguegarao revolted in 1605, killing the encomendero. Again, the people of Tuguegarao revolted in 1718 and then 1761 under a leader named Rivera.

Tuguegarao in the past, History of Tuguegarao

The first parochial building of Tugugarao was constructed in 1604, a chapel that became the foundation of what is now the Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto (Stone Chapel of Saint Hyacinth) dedicated to Saint Hyacinth, the patron saint of Tuguegarao. The present chapel is the latest in a process of rebuilding that started in 1724 when it was rebuilt by Fr. Bernabe de la Magdalena, O.P..


Within the past three decades, its economy gradually shifted from agriculture to secondary/tertiary economic activities such as trading, commerce and services. The shift was ushered by Tuguegaraos role as the provincial and regional government center and one of the centers of commerce in Northern Luzon. Banking, educational, commercial, industrial and tourism-related activities proliferate in the area.

Places of interest

  • Buntun Bridge is one of the longest bridges in the country at 1.124 kilometers (0.698 mi). It is 2.5 kilometers (1.6 mi) from the city proper and offers an unobstructed view of the Cagayan River.
  • Sts. Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. The Diocese of Tuguegarao was erected on April 10, 1910. Pope Paul VI elevated the Diocese of Tuguegarao into an Archdiocese on September 21, 1974. The church with the belfry is the biggest Spanish colonial church in Cagayan Valley built by the Dominicans who came to evangelize Cagayan Valley. It was constructed from January 17, 1761 to 1767 under the supervision of Fr. Antonio Lobato, O.P.. The cathedral suffered massive destruction in World War II losing its pipe organ, three wooden retablos, pulpit, wooden choir loft and the painted wooden ceiling all of which were from the early 18th century. The old convent adjacent to the cathedral church was also razed to the ground during the war and was demolished to make way for a new one. The complex was rebuilt by Msgr. Bishop Constance Jurgens who is now entombed inside the church. The Cathedral is also said to be one of the beautiful structures that stood in the land and because of that impression, its portrait can also be seen in Vatican City. The traditional ringing of the cathedral bells for the Angelus and during Mass is still being practiced today.
  • St. Hyacinth Church (San Jacinto Church) or the Ermita de Piedra de San Jacinto (Stone Chapel of San Jacinto) is an elevated historic chapel established in 1604, 100 years older than the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. American soldiers during the Philippine-American War used it as headquarters in 1899. St Hyacinth is the patron saint of the city whose feast is celebrated every August 15 coinciding with the Pav-vurulun Festival. The oldest brick structure in the city is the first parochial building built by the Dominican fathers in Tuguegarao. The current structure is the latest in a process of rebuilding beginning in 1724, in 1892 after it was destroyed by an earthquake and reconstruction after World War II. The chapel was not heavily damaged during the war and as a result retains its original wooden retablo which dates back to the 18th century.
  • Cagayan Provincial Museum and Historical Research Center is located at the provincial capitol complex. It was conceived by the Provincial Board in 1971 and became operational on its inauguration on August 15, 1973 during the traditional Aggao na Cagayan. It is a general museum that houses an extensive collection of artifacts, antiques, ethnography, trade wares, heirloom pieces and liturgical works of the province and fossils of animals that once roamed the valley. The museum houses extensive data on the discovery of Callao Man by the National Museum of the Philippines. The center is only 5 km (3.1 mi) from Tuguegarao.
  • St. Paul University Philippines is located along Mabini Street. It was founded by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres in 1907, who came to Cagayan upon the invitation of Bishop Dennis Dougherty. The school had its operation in a Spanish Convento, adjoining the Cathedral of Tuguegarao. The institution transferred to its present location in 1934 after it was acquired from the Dominican Order. The entire building complex became hospital and garrison of the Japanese forces during World War II and was bombed by the Americans during the liberation in 1945. The institution became the first Catholic University in Region II in 1982 and the first Private Catholic University in Asia and the Philippines to be granted ISO 9001 Certification by TUV Rheinland in 2000.
  • Horno or kiln is a Spanish-era brick kiln located at Barangay Bagumbayan. This was used to fire bricks to be used for various structures during the Spanish colonial era in Tuguegarao such as the Tuguegarao Cathedral and the San Jacinto chapel.
  • Festivals

  • Pav-vurulun Festival is a week-long celebration that usually ends on August 16 annually. Pav-vurulun is an Ibanag word which means get-together or a sense of belonging. It is in this context that the city annually celebrates its patronal fiesta in honor of St. Hyacinth, the patron saint of the city. It gathers Tuguegaraoenos to a week-long festivities culminating with a mass and procession of the patron saint on August 16. The week-long celebration is a festival of activities marked by parades, beauty contests, Pancit Batil-Patung eating contest, street dancing competition, music festival, sports fest, and trade fairs among others.
  • References

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