Santa Ana in Cagayan might be popular now for Palaui after the island became the filming location of the two seasons of the hit reality show in the US – Survivor. But more than that, the town has much to offer.
After exploring Santa Ana for a few days, we’ve been to waterfalls, rich landscapes, and rivers. One of the most memorable for me was our visit to Casagan, a small barangay with a scenic river and bridge.
This is just a 15 minutes travel from the town center, and currently being honed as an eco-adventure experience.
From our hotel, we just traveled for about 20 minutes until we reached the Casagan Barangay Hall. We were welcomed by the barangay officials and even offered us their delicious kakanin dishes.
Casagan is a rich agricultural village in Santa Ana, that was once tapped by CEZA and the Tourism office as the next tourist destination for its scenic river views and natural resources with diverse flora and fauna.
One popular festival in the village is the Takuli festival. Takuli is what the locals call for the wooden boat used to transport goods from the farm to the market.
For me, another memorable experience was the conversations, interactions with the locals.
I met there, Ate Rowena, a Barangay Kagawad. With her bubbly and accommodating demeanor, she shared with us the stories of the people of Casagan. Fishing and farming are their primary sources of income. The river is a vital source of food and livelihood for many residents, as it is rich with edible shells and fishes.
Of course, these kinds of conversations would not end without them mentioning their hanging bridge.
Years ago, the only way for people to cross the river or transport the goods is via Takuli or wooden boat, until in 2018 when the local government built this hanging bridge made of wood and supported by metal wires. The local government has also allotted funds for the yearly maintenance of the bridge.
Ate Rowena boasted that there’s an on-going project to create a more stable and concrete bridge. A permanent structure would give residences peace of mind, that they can transport their goods anytime through the more reliable bridge.
Our visit to Casagan would not be complete without experiencing the hanging bridge. It swayed a little and there were noticeable parts that needed some rehabilitation, but still, it was sturdy and reliable. We even saw some motorcycles passing through.
On the other side, we saw kids playing and swimming. They were cool enough to let us take their photos while doing some awesome stunts. like somersault jump to the river
Santa Ana is just beautiful. Anguib beach blew me away, but it is the likes of Casagan river that sealed the diversity of attractions in Santa Ana. Moreover, nothing compares with the small talks and interactions with the locals. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had an itinerary to follow.
It’s just nice that aside from the DOT, there is CEZA to support the livelihood and tourism efforts of Santa Ana. Casagan has so much potential. And just like the excitement of Rowena for their upcoming new bridge, I also look forward to more developments and investments for Casagan.
Casagan Map (Santa Ana, Cagayan)
Note: This travel to Santa Ana, Cagayan was made possible through the Media and Marketing caravan of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority or CEZA. Thank you for this opportunity.