All photos by the old Tuguegarao City website

20 things you probably didn’t know about Tuguegarao

The Northern ForumFounded in 1980, the decades-old The Northern Forum will evolve from a sleepy newspaper to the most trusted, independent and known regional weekly newspaper in Cagayan Valley.


Are you from Tuguegarao? Great! Here are 20 of trivia you probably didn’t know about:

1. The Ibanag males are reputedly the tallest among all ethno-linguist groups in the Philippines.

2. Ibanags are the most assimmilable and adaptable among Filipinos.

3. One of the former parish priests of Tuguegarao, Father Geronimo de Zamora, O.P., was the first president of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

4. Camp Adduru was named after Cagayan’s mengal (brave warrior) Resistance Governor Marcelo Adduru of Barangay Annafunan.

5. Bonifacio Street was called Escolta until the 1970s, a good reference of the Escolta in Manila.

All photos by the old Tuguegarao City website

6. There were already three newspaper publications in Tuguegarao at the turn of the century- “Noticiero,” “El Voz del Mundo” and “Sinceridad”.

7. The main buildings of the Tuguegarao West Central School and Cagayan (National) High School are called Gabaldons. The buildings are named after Assemblyman Isauro Gabaldon of Nueva Ecija who authored what is now known as The Gabaldon Act of 1907 where the government funded the construction of 327 school buildings made from strong materials between 1917 – 1915.

8. From the 1950s to mid-1980s, Barangay Ugac Norte joins the centro barangays in the celebration of the town fiesta, August 16. Today, the Barangay joins its sister barangay Ugac Norte in the barangay fiesta which falls on December 26.

9. Barangay Buntun was originally pronounced as Vuntun (with a ‘v’) by original Ibanag residents.

10. Rizal Park in the city is a provincial government property and not of Tuguegarao as many are prone to believe.

11. The stretch of what is now Bonifacio Street was called Calle Commercio even during the pre-war days. Some of the old folks today still refer to it as such.

12. There were two monuments on both sides of the former Cagayan Provincial Library building. One is the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier. The other, fronting the side of the Cagayan State University was ae monument for the students of the Cagayan National High School who were victims of World War II. Unfortunately, during the administration of Governor Alvaro Antonio, the monument for the students was destroyed to give way to a new library building. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers remains. The Cagayan Tourism Office and officials of the new building said they weren’t aware of the significance of the monument.

An old Kalesa travelling through the Buntun Bridge

13. A concrete bust of Andres Bonifacio was erected at the triangle in front of the old Cagayan Teachers College building along College Avenue. It was then the only Bonifacio bust in the province. The bust has long been gone and nobody knew where it is now since the 1980s, not even the heirs of the Perezes who owned the school, now the University of Cagayan Valley.
14. The area where the CIADP building fronting CAGELCO collection office and water district in San Gabriel are now located was turned into a wet public market and parking area for buses and jeepneys from Itawes district and Kalinga-Apayao in the 1970s.

15. The Arranz Gymnasium inside the compound of the Cagayan National High School was the favourite venue for arts, culture, entertainment and political activities before the 1980s. It was the perennial venue for Miss Cagayan where students of Saint Paul College of Tuguegarao ruled the pageants until the Sisters banned them to join in the early 1990s.

16. In the 1960s, Snow White was not a Disney character in Tuguegarao. It was a local brand of Ice-Drop. It could be said that Villa Blanca Hotel was built by Snow White. Villa Blanca owners first ventured into ice-drop production.

Old St. Peter Cathedral

17. There were three major buildings for classrooms at the Tuguegarao West Central School in the 1960s; the Gabaldon, the Intermediate and the Bohol.

18. The Dupaya Stage, where the People’s Gymn is now located was the venue for political rallies, amateur singing contest, pageants, free movies by a medicine and milk brands and early foreign Evangelical services.

19. The Tuguegarao Carnival was usually staged in front and surrounding areas of the old Tuguegarao Town Hall. Then, the carnival was highlighted by real Flying Trapeze troupe and a magician.
20. San Gabriel was formerly a vast rice and corn area where Ugac Norte, Cataggaman, Pallua, Vuntun and Bagay residents gather saluyot, Kangkong, native cat fish, dalag and edible frogs, for free, depending on the season. Benjamin De Yro/