Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Calvary Hills, Iguig - A Must stop on the Northern Road Trip

Less than 30 minutes away from Tuguegarao City, it's time for the first stop of the day at Iguig --
a picturesque town overlooking the wide and mighty Cagayan River.
Each year that we drive through Iguig, I invariably wish that I could find a way to live here.
Life just seems so simple and serene.
This small, quiet town in Cagayan has one major attraction -- bigger than life size statues of the 14 Stations of the Cross set amidst 11 hectares of gently rolling terrain.
Called Calvary Hills, the Stations of the Cross provide a backdrop to the centuries old church of St. James which in itself is a wonder to behold.
In remarkably good and preserved condition, the church seems like an ordinary brick structure from the front but go around the back to see the magnificent flying buttresses that surround it.
I often wonder why it has not earned a place in UNESCO's list of Heritage Sites in the Philippines.
It certainly ranks right up there with Paoay and Sta. Maria Churches in Ilocos, Miag-ao in Iloilo and Baclayon in Bohol.
We always stop at Iguig and since we get there early in the morning on weekdays,
we have the church and Calvary Hills to ourselves.
The view of the river, the green and rolling hills, the amazing church
with its flying buttresses ... I always have to
tear myself away with such regret and
look forward with anticipation to next year's visit.
It is an inspiring and uplifting part of our journey.

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