Monday, May 22, 2017

To Jesus through Mary, but sometimes we need a little help from the Holy Angels

Roman Catholics who come to Cagayan go to Piat to visit the miraculous image of Our Lady at the Piat Basilica Minore have various reasons.

Some pilgrims go to Piat to pray for special favors like successfully passing board exams, getting cured from illnesses, offering thanksgiving mass and many others.

Due to the increasing number of pilgrims and tourists going to the Basilica, The Department of Tourism R2 has for sometime been looking into more ways to improve the experience of visitors in this part of the province. 

And so, the Cagayan State University Dairy Farm was opened to the public to visit for a minimal fee which includes tours around the farm with animal feeding and petting as well as vegetable pick and pay. 

At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, visitors can experience manual milking of the cows. The time for milking was a recommended practice by Cherry Lou Sampayan  of the National Dairy Authority so as to humanely treat the cows and allow for a relaxing experience for them and the guests as well.

We will always be indebted to Dr. Vicente Binasoy for allowing the tourism industry. Into this very prestigious institution. The Cagayan State University.... is now a DOT Accredited facility offering tours and meals

Not one to be upstage, the Municipality of Piat through Mayor Carmelo "Black" Villacete opened its road towards Piat Park and local market on Sundays for motorists to pass through. And motorists did not just pass through but they also dropped by for market shopping at the local market where  barrio folks bring their local and organic produce like vegetables, shellfish and fruits to sell.

It is in market places that i realize and get reminded again that haggling is a way of life, but unfortunately we always forget that the poor have only their pride to keep as their wealth. And so they  (the sellers) give in to the buyers haggling just so they don't loose face  if the buyer goes away empty handed only because they didn't get the price they wish to pay for the goods.  Word of advice, don't bargain persistently with the village folks specially the poor, the children and the old folks. They are there to have some money so they can buy more some important daily needs.

The tourism office at the Basilica complex and CSU Piat Campus are offering day tour packages for  a minimal fee. Mr. Benedict Sto. Tomas, a DOT Accredited tour guide and president of the  Tour Guides Association of Cagayan undertakes the bulk of doing the promotions job. Fun farms and Faith!

About fifteen minutes from Piat is the town of Sto. Nino, a town named after its church patron. A beautiful church is being constructed all through the efforts of the local folks of Sto. Nino whose more famous name is Faire.

Food is great. No, it was fantastic! And the people, greater! This I found out las May 15 during the 1st Rio Chico Festival 2017 held along the banks of the Chico River.

People described the town as a sleepy town due to its remoteness and because if its intermittent  rough roads. 

During the trips to Sto. Nino, the bounties of the town slowly opened up one by one like a shy lass from the barrio. Fun farms and faith!

After the Sto Nino visit, travelers can go to the Holy Angels Church of Tuao.

It was a surprised  seeing the Tuao Church with 400 figures of angels, aptly named the Holy Angels Parish. The church surprisingly had a differently shaped bell tower,  a six-storey brick building, only three of which was left after its renovation.

Beside the church is a room where the blessed sacrament is exposed. The holy sacrament was framed/mounted on a retablo believed to be the retablo of the original church where the image of our lady of Piat was first enthroned in Tuao before it was transferred to Piat.

After the church visit in Tuao, motorists are invited to take  the interior roads of the town and go to the Cassily Lake. There is more here than meets the eyes with a little tinkering here and there.

Millennials will be happy to note that just by doing the Piat-Sto Nino-Tuao loop, they will be able to go through three provinces in this part of the country. Some Fun and Faith trip!

What a special surprise indeed! 

Visitors  may contact Benedict at for the Fun Farm and Faith Tour in Piat. Or you may check with our favorite DOT Accredited Tour Operations in Region 2 from Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.### pictures to follow...