Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ilagan City : Butaka and Other Tales

At first, I didn't know what Butaka means. I actually thought it was an animal when I heard before that the largest butaka in the world can be found in Ilagan! And so I know now I was really mistaken for I discovered that it actually refers to an armchair - only, Ilagan's armchair is a gigantic one.   

World's Largest Butaka. Ilagan, Isabela.
This giant butaka was built in April 2003 by 25 craftsmen in 29 days. Christened as the "Butaka ni Goliath", it is made of premium narra woods and rattan and measures 11 ft. 4 in. high, 20 ft. 8 in. long, and 9 ft. 7 in. wide. At least 15 people were needed to carry the chair's feet and arms during assembly! The Guinness Book of World Records officially recognized "Butaka ni Goliath" as the largest armchair in the world the same year it was built. It currently can be found at Barangay Alinguigan, along National Highway, beside Bonifacio Park (Rotunda). 

But Ilagan was not all about this giant butaka, that I immediately discovered upon visiting the city. There is a lot of things the city can offer, some of them I experienced and visited, some of them I plan on coming back for. 

1. BONIFACIO PARK. This pretty park can be found just beside the giant butaka, and is also located along Ilagan Rotunda, Maharlika Highway. 

Bonifacio Park. Ilagan, Isabela.
 2. ILAGAN PLAZA. Rizal's monument erected in this plaza dates back to 1925 when a resolution filed by all Isabela municipal mayors then calling for the erection of a monument in honor of the national hero was approved, and consequently implemented. The plaza, located in Barangay Bagumbayan (the old Ilagan proper), is well-maintained.

Rizal Monument. Ilagan Plaza, Isabela.
 3. THE OLD ST. FERDINAND CHURCH. I also visited this beautiful old looking church which can be found just some steps away from Ilagan Plaza. Parts of this church was actually built in 1870's (and some parts, later) though older churches occupying the same place was built earlier but was devastated by typhoon and other natural disaster. This was the former Cathedral of the Diocese of Ilagan ( a newer, larger cathedral was built in Upi, Gamu town, Isabela)

Old St. Ferdinand Church. Ilagan, Isabela.
 4. ILAGAN CITY HALL. Formerly located near the Old St. Ferdinand Church in Barangay Bagumbayan, it was transferred to a more spacious and higher barangay of San Vicente. 

Ilagan City Hall
 5. LOCAL FOOD. I've got no description for these except "binnalay" and "........." (I don't know what the dish pictured below is called... hehehe). It was heaven... for a foodie like me who really likes beans and vegetable. I actually call myself "the gulay boy!"... :)

6. ILAGAN SANCTUARY. Also known as the Fuyot Springs National Park, this is a popular destination for hikers, mountaineers, spelunkers and birdwatchers. Many caves, rock formations and trails can be found in this park. I was not able to visit this park but this is one place which makes it a must for me to come back to Ilagan.

Sta. Victoria Caves, Ilagan, Isabela (credits to interaksyon.com)
7. MAMANGUI FESTIVAL. This is another Isabelino Festival I am planning to attend this year. It is a festival created to celebrate the abundance of harvest of "mangui" or corn of the Ilagan people. This festival is almost always celebrated 30th of May every year.

Aside from what I have enumerated above, there maybe other spots or things Ilagan can offer to visitors, just waiting to be discovered. Budget and time considered, I am definitely coming back for more... :) 


This is part of my Isabela-Cagayan tour last August 20-21, 2012. For more on Isabela, you may also visit:

author image

About the Author

I am ROMEL RAFOR JAIME, the man behind San Josenyong Gala. My travel blogger name came about because I am a proud resident of the City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. In real life, I am a licensed librarian who works in a college in Gapan, Nueva Ecija as a librarian and teaches general education subjects from time to time. My goal is to visit all the 81 provinces of the Philippines before visiting other countries. As of 2017, I have already visited 73... :)


  1. This is my beloved hometown! You readers have to visit us soon. :D

    1. Thank for visiting sir/ma'am! Yes, Ilagan is worth visiting! :)

  2. ang laki ng butaka hahaha ilan tao mauupo jan hehehe

    1. Oo nga eh... anlaki talaga... hehehe... siguro, mga 10 katao, kasya jan, me puwang pa... :)

  3. Butaka pala tawag nila dun. I wonder sino umupo doon. haha

    1. Hahaha... Oo nga... So Goliath daw eh... Eh ang alam ko, si Goliath, nasa Middle East... hehehe...

  4. Butaka is actually a birthing chair