Aparri Delta, Cagayan

The Aparri Delta is located in Aparri, in the province of Cagayan. This is where the Cagayan River meets the South China Sea, or the West Philippine Sea, depending on who you talk to.

What makes the Aparri Delta so majestic is its size. You can see the huge river’s calm waters to the left mixing with the crashing waves of the neverending sea at the far center.

The still waters come from the Cagayan River. The crashing surf is the start of the South China Sea.

The area around the Aparri Delta is treeless and can get quite hot. There are factories in the distance, ever encroaching, though a lot of people still make a living fishing and shrimping.

Fishermen sorting through the day’s catch of tiny shrimp.

In fact, a big part of the cement walkway is used for drying shrimp. This gives the whole area a rather fishy smell. You’ll probably want to stop somewhere for kare kare (tripe stew with peanut sauce) or manggang hilaw (unripe mangoes) after. You can buy dried shrimp there, if you want. It’s cheaper, not to mention more fresh, than if you get them at the market.

Tiny shrimp being dried on the cement walkway near the Aparri Delta.

The walkway is fascinating because when you are standing on it facing the horizon, you have the river on your left and the sea on your right. Turn to the left and you see fishing boats. On the right, you have a shoreline filled with children happily playing in the surf.

Children playing in the South China Sea.

If you’re in the area, the Aparri Delta is worth a short visit. It may not have much in terms of a conventional tourist attraction, but just the idea of a river on one side and a sea on the other can be enough to blow your mind.



Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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