“Mula Aparri hanggang Jolo, saan ka man ay halina kayo, isang-libo’t isang tuwa, buong bansa…Eat Bulaga!” – this is the famous line from the jingle of the longest running noontime show on local television.
From the time I started singing the jingle in my younger years in the province up to this very moment that I am now half passed my life in Manila, the jingle never changed, if at all, only the arrangement did. It has left a subliminal message in me that Aparri is the farthest to the north, and Jolo to the south. The truth, however, is, they are not. There are places farther north than Aparri, and farther south than Jolo. Be that as it may, I had the chance to visit Aparri on our way back to Ilocos, not to confirm if indeed, it is the farthest in the north but to see what’s in Aparri, having become so popular because of the “Eat Bulaga” jingle.
Instead of turning left to Allacapan (going to Ilocos), we went straight to Lal-lo (or Lalloc). The Municipality of Lal-lo is a “discovery” because of its historical significance. I have learned that Lal-lo holds the distinction of being one of four cities (the others being Manila, Cebu and Naga) in the Philippines, named “Ciudad Nueva Segovia” in 1581. Other historical facts about this small town are reflected in the (Philippine Historical Committee) Marker of the church below:
“It may not be the grandest brick church you’ll see but it has an incomparable charm to other brick churches I’ve seen.”
This wooden cross encased in glass stands in a park across the church, overlooking the majestic Cagayan River.
The marker of the cross reads:
“The Evangelization Cross”
“It stands in solitary silence but an eloquent monument of faithof the Missionary activities of the Dominican Fathers who planted this venerable cross on this hallowed grounds to seal the stamp of possession of the lives of the people of Christ.This cross believed to be more than 300 years old has weathered time and endured the elements of nature sending strong message to the people of Lal-lo that their will and faith in God must remain steadfast and strong.On the occasion of the 400 years anniversary celebrations of the arrival of Our Lady of Piat from Macau, China (1604) to Cagayan Valley and in particular in Lal-lo and during the launching of the Quadricentennial celebration (January 12, 2004), this Holy Cross Park was blessed…”
After Lal-Lo, we passed by Camalaniugan, until we reached Aparri.
We just followed the road because we didn’t know where to go and what to see until we reached the end of it and halted to this place:
“Where young couples meet!”
We checked our map to confirm where we are exactly and found out that what we are looking at is the “Babuyan Channel.” Next to where we were standing are some islands still within the jurisdiction of Aparri. Next to it would be the islands of Batanes, then very close would already be Taiwan.
A view of the “Babuyan Channel”
Here are other images I have captured at the Babuyan Channel:
“Tricycle by the Ocean”
On our way out of Aparri, we saw this structure which merited my shot because of its “character.”
We may not have spent ample time in Aparri to go around and look around (for some more), but the experience of standing at the tip of the island of Luzon is one moment I will never forget. It’s worth the long drive afterall…