Friday, May 3, 2013
Governor's Rapids in Maddela, Quirino
The Philippine province of Quirino is a landlocked province in the northern region of Cagayan Valley and its rolling terrain virtually hides it away from mainstream tourism. The province may not have tropical beaches but Quirino has other natural attractions that are equally beautiful.
Located in the town of Maddela is Governor's Rapids which form part of a tributary of the Cagayan River. It features crystal clear waters which earned it the award of being among the cleanest inland bodies of water in the whole Cagayan Valley.
A dominating feature in the landscape is the towering limestone formation. Continuous erosion by the river formed a number of rock shelters where the Dumagat indigenous people would seek refuge during harsh weather.
Why is it called Governor's Rapids, you may ask. The tale goes back during World War II when the old province was under the administration of a Japanese governor. Road networks were not yet developed and rivers instead were used as the main thoroughfare in the valley. It has been told that the rapids claimed the life of the Japanese governor whose body was never found after the tragic accident. Since then, the river has been called Governor's Rapids.
Back to present day, visiting tourist would find the river suitable for swimming, kayaking and fishing. You may hire a boat and the fisherman will gladly give you a river cruising tour. Freshwater eels (igat) and other freshwater fishes grow in abundance in its clear waters providing livelihood to local fishermen. Governor's Rapids is also ideal for whitewater rafting during rainy season.
The provincial government is geared at developing Quirino as an adventure destination with Governor's Rapids as one of its main attractions. But more than the adventure, it is the natural beauty of the province that is virtually untouched and serene which sets Quirino apart from other tourism destinations in the country.
How to get to Governor's Rapids
Isabela province is the gateway to Quirino. Several bus lines serve daily trips to Cagayan Valley from Manila which will pass by the town of Cordon and Santiago City. Cebu Pacific serves flights to Cauayan City (still part of Isabela) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Passengers may then take any bus bound for Manila which will pass by Santiago and Cordon. From Santiago or Cordon, there are jeepneys and vans bound for Maddela. From downtown Maddela, visitors can hire a tricycle which can take them to Governor's Rapids. For bigger groups, visitors can arrange a group tour with the provincial tourism office at (078) 692-5088/0917-416-5945.