Tuguegarao City, the capital of the Province of Cagayan and the Regional Center of Cagayan Valley (Region 02) is a major urban center in Northeastern Luzon and a Primary Growth Center. Historically, it is important as the provincial capital of the Province of Cagayan, as a trading center for the Tobacco Monopoly and as the only center for the higher education in Northeast Luzon.
The original inhabitants of Tuguegarao were the Irayas and the Itawes, who built houses and subsisted on fishing, hunting, farming, and livestock raising. They wove cloth and made household and farm implements.
On August 16, 1724, Tuguegarao celebrated its first patronal town fiesta with the completion of the elevated Ermita de San Jacinto. The provincial capital of Cagayan was transferred from Lal-lo to Tuguegarao on May 24, 1839, with the division of “La Provincia de Cagayan” into the southern part called Nueva Vizcaya, and the northern part which retained the name Cagayan.
Tuguegarao’s first school was established in 1892. Formerly belonging to the Diocese of Ciudad Nueva Segovia, Tuguegarao grew to become a separate diocese in 1910. In 1975, it was made the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. The schools, the government and the church greatly influenced the development of the town- its economy, its services and facilities, and its people.
In 1975, Tuguegarao was chosen the center of Region 2. By 1985, almost all national government agencies had established their regional offices in Tuguegarao, bringing to the region varied and higher-level government services and facilities. The Department of Finance classified Tuguegarao a First Class Municipality in July 1993.
Today, Tuguegaro City (December 18, 1999) is a bustling commercial, education and government center with tall buildings, sprawling school campuses and a government center site. It is now an emerging metropolis and a backbone support to the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Free Port in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and the Cauayan City Regional Agro-Industrial Center in Isabela.
It has a total area of 144.8 square kilometers. The city is politically subdivided into 49 barangays, 26 of which are urban. In 2000. the city’s population was 120,645. Tuguegarao’s economy slowly shifted from agriculture (primary) to secondary/tertiary economic activities. By providing goods, services and linkages, Tugeugarao City allows the adjacent municipalities in Kalinga and Apayao (CAR), the coastal towns of Ilocos Norte (Region 01) and the region’s industrial centers and agricultural production areas to pursue their development functions in support to the overall regional role. Region 02 is envisioned as an “open growth area and international trade and industrial partner of the East Asian global economy”.
It is the regional tourism service center because of its accessibility to tourism attractions, spots and destinations and because of the existence of reliable facilities for land, water and air transport, communications, power, health, protective services, and finance as well as amenities for dining, lodging, recreation and souvenir shops.
Tuguegarao City is a transport pivotal point in Northern Luzon having three circumferential roads for traffic management. There are 15 bus companies, with both air-conditioned and ordinary buses, servicing Tuguegarao City, along with numerous mini-buses, vans, jeepneys, tricycles and calesas.
The Tuguegarao City Domestic Airport is a modern facility at 21.036 meters or 69 feet above sea level and is capable of servicing a 737 jet plane. Small aircrafts, helicopters and army cargo planes also utilize the airport. Cebu Pacific, Sky Pasada and Air Philippines are the available domestic airline companies which provide daily flights to and from the city.
1. BUNTUN BRIDGE is 2.50 kilometers from Tuguegarao City proper. It is the longest river bridge in the country at 1.124 kilometers and offers an unobstructed view of the Cagayan River.
2. ST. PETER METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. The church with the belfry is the biggest Spanish-built church in Cagayan Valley. Constructed under the supervision of Fr. Antonio Lobato, OP on January 17, 1761 to 1767. The cathedral suffered massive destruction in WWII and was rebuilt by Msgr. Bishop Constance Jurgens who was entombed inside the church. The picture of the Cathedral appears at Rome Basilica and is considered one of the most beautiful works of art in the country and the world today.
3. ST. HYACINTH CHURCH (San Jacinto Church) is an elevated chapel whose construction dates back from 1604. It was reconstructed after World War II. American soldiers in the Filipino-American War used it as headquarters in 1899. It is 100 years older than the St. Peter Cathedral. St Hyacinth is the Patron Saint of Tuguegarao City whose feast is being celebrated on August 15 through the Pav-vurulun Festival.
4. ST. PAUL UNIVERSITY. Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres composed of four French and one Chinese nun founded St. Paul University on May 10, 1907. The school now boasts of being the first University of St. Paul College in the country. The former names of the school were Colegio de San Pablo in 1907 starting with three classes only, then it was changed to Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. World War II heavily damaged the buildings and equipment but the college trudged on bravely changing the name of the school to Sacred Heart of Jesus Institution and transferred to where it stands today. From St. Paul College of Tuguegarao it became St Paul University Philippines in the year 1982. It is the first Catholic university in Asia and the first private university in the country to get an ISO 9001 Certification in 2001.
5. CAGAYAN PROVINCIAL MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL RESEARCH CENTER is for the culture-oriented. Located at the provincial capitol complex, it was conceived by the Provincial Board in 1971 and became operational on its inauguration on August 15, 1973 during the traditional Aggao na Cagayan. It is a general museum and houses an extensive collection of artifacts, antiques, ethnographics, trade wares, heirloom pieces and liturgical works of the province and fossils of animals that once roamed the valley. The museum houses extensive data on the discovery of Callao Man by the National Museum. The center is only five kilometers from Tuguegarao.