Lal-lo, Cagayan: Santo Domingo de Guzman Church
In 1581, Lal-lo was established as Nueva Segovia, one of the first 4 cities in the Philippines, and reigned as Cagayan’s provincial capital for over two and a half centuries before the seat of power was moved to Tuguegarao. Being one of the first four cities in the country makes this quiet riverside town historically significant, not to mention their gorgeous church just along the main highway. I just can’t resist a visit, even for an abrupt moment – this is Lal-lo, Cagayan.
You wouldn’t miss Santo Domingo de Guzman Church when passing by the town of Lal-lo. The massive Spanish colonial church stands boldly, clad in red bricks, and situated just along the National Highway. The size, architecture, and the color (red really stands out) – this church would definitely catch your eye.
Have you heard of Bishop Miguel de Benavides? You’re probably from or studying in University of Santo Tomas. Miguel de Benavides, O.P. was the founder of the oldest active university in the country but before he constituted the Dominican school, the Spanish friar was elected the first Bishop of the Nueva Segovia Diocese, Lal-lo, the 4th city of the Philippines. Nueva Segovia Diocese was later moved to Vigan and still remains to this day.
Across the Santo Domingo de Guzman Church and off the banks of the mighty Cagayan River is the Evangelization Cross, a wooden crucifix planted by Dominican missionaries over 300 years ago. To prevent further deterioration, the cross is encased in glass and serves as a centerpiece on a park, reminding Lal-lo, “that their will and faith in God must remain steadfast and strong.”
I was really concerned about the last trip back to Tuguegarao, and according to the locals of Lal-lo and Calamaniugan, the last van or bus would be around 5PM or 6PM. I arrived at Lal-lo at 5:15 PM and didn’t had enough time to explore the former capital, or know more about the town. Nevertheless, my short visit gave me a glimpse on Lal-lo’s significance to Cagayan and many northern provinces.
Here are some fast facts that may help you on your trip:
1. Vans coming from Tuguegarao and buses bound for Aparri passes by Lal-lo. Travel time is around 2 hours.
2. This is my 5th post on The Road To Palaui series.
3. More destinations in Biyaheng Cagayan
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