Visiting Kabugao, Apayao

Located at the center of Apayao, Kabugao is covered in dense woodland forests with virgin stands along its perimeter. At the southern perimeters of the town, several streams and brooks tumble down the mountain slopes. Given the abundance of nature in town, it’s no secret then that Kabugao is home to several wildlife, such as deer, wild pig, wild chickens, monkeys, squirrels and different kinds of birds.

The climate of Kabugao, like some of its neighbors in the north, tends to be cool. In fact, the climate is characterized by a long, wet season and a short, dry one. The coolest months are from July to February while March to May serves as the driest.

The Isnegs are the native inhabitants of Kabugao and they comprise nearly 95% of the total population. The remaining five percent are Ilocanos, Igorots, Tagalogs and other ethnic groups.

Given the mountainous area, the main source of living in town is upland farming. The principal product of Kabugao is rice while crops like corn serve as secondary crops. Rattan craft and bolo making are also industries found in town.

River in barangay of Dibagat, in Kabugao, Apayao photo by: Andrew Garnett/CC
River in barangay of Dibagat, in Kabugao, Apayao photo by: Andrew Garnett/CC


The oldest among the seven municipalities of Apayao, Kabugao became a township as early as 1913, which was during the American colonial rule in the Philippines.

Although various experts – historians, anthropologists and missionaries – give various years as to the exact establishment of Kabugao, the Battle of Waga in 1913 is used as a starting point. During this time, the Isnags were hostile towards military rule but the battle convinced them that their spears were no match to the weapons used by soldiers.

Formally, the municipal district of Kabugao was formed in 1914 when Lt Governor Blas Villamor of the American government appointed Manuel Rugrug as the first president of Kabugao.


Apayao is a stunning place to explore and those who are inclined towards outdoor activities will enjoy the sights to see here, while simultaneously enjoying the cool climate too.

That said, here’s a look at some of the places of interest in Kabugao:

Anag-Sicapo Wildlife Sanctuary – where you can see various wildlife local to the area. While it offers the temptation of seeing different animals in their own environment, the hike to the sanctuary takes quite a while. To be exact, it’s about a ten hour hike. Plus, there’s the four hour trip down to see Mt Sicapo. So if you have the time and truly want to see Kabugao wildlife, then the trip will be well worth it.

Mt Sicapoo Photo by:
Mt Sicapoo Photo by:

Bayugao Lake –  located in Dibagat.

Ladda Pond – found in Musimut. 

Apayao River – a 15-minute walk from the town proper. 

Balasig Falls Resort – located in Badduat and is a 20-minute drive from Poblacion. 

Awihan Falls – located in Bulu. 

Aguibay Cave – features an underground river and hot springs. 

Gololan Falls 

Gololan Falls Photo by:
Gololan Falls Photo by:

Malabisin Lake and Underground River 

Malabanag Hot Springs 

Anganupang Cave


From Manila 

Board a bus bound for Tuguegarao. Take note that this is going to be a rather long trip – in the upward of ten hours or so.

Once in Tuguegarao, find vans and buses headed for Kabugao. If you want to take a van, they can be found at Pengue Terminal while the buses can be found at Magno Terminal.

From Tuguegarao, it’s another four to five hours land trip to get to Kabugao.

Given that you’re traveling almost an entire day and the fact that there are no afternoon trips leaving Kabugao to Tuguegarao, you have no choice but to stay the night. There are several accommodation options available like Ukkong Lodging House.


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12 thoughts on “Visiting Kabugao, Apayao”

  1. Hi! May contact details ba yung Ukkong Lodging House o madali lang sya mahanap pagdating sa Kabugao? Is there anyway I can contact you?

    • Head towards the gymnasium, once you pass rotonda, (the roundabout with two statues dancing on top, it’s like a quarter mile away on your right side. If I were you I’d take the best commute bus young bros tours, ask them and they’ll take you there.

  2. Trip to kabugao apayao.. A warning note for future visitors , as the apayao festival is being held in kabugao…

    The usual price (i stayed before) at ukkong lodging house was p150, which is about right for the rooms there. Last week i visited and whilst initially told it was P150 was later told it would be P500, more than 3 times the price for the same room previously used.

    With no alternative that i was aware of at that time of night and no more vans or buses that evening i was forced to pay the new price demanded. I asked for an oficial receipt (see pic below) so i guess its an official price hike as BIR will be in the loop now.

    Anyway, the next day i found a much better place to stay, in a beautifully restored ancestral home, with a friendly, helpful family who gave good service and good value at P300 per night for spacious, clean, well decorated room. The lady who runs it is called Liezel and the cp is 0936-488-9970 if ever you visit Kabugao that would be my recommendation from now on.

    • Thank you Steve for that nice review of UnoCasa… as we will be calling the newly restored ancestral home.

      I hope you can come by and stay with us again. The Ancestral house is owned by the Marquez family. Our family had great history in the development of trade and commerce of the Municipality and is proud of this. Hence, the restoration of the house to develop it and promote Kabugao as one place to go and visit to local and foreign tourist.

      Again, our warm thanks to you!


    • Good to confirm the price first for multiple (even 2) occupants and request a text of the price that will later be demanded. Be Aware..

  3. Good day!
    If ever provate vehicle yung gagamitin papunta kabugao apayao, ilang hrs po ba ang byahe from tuguegarao or from Kalinga…hoping for ur rply..thanks..


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