the world as I see it

Sanchez Mira, Cagayan

Posted by BCS on January 5, 2009

Kilometer marker in Sanchez Mira

Kilometer marker in Sanchez Mira

Peaceful and calm are the two words that come to my mind whenever I’m asked to describe the place.

The air is fresh (very fresh) and equally so are most of the things sold at the market. So much so that refrigerators are not so much of a necessity there as they are in other places (like here in Metro Manila)… well, that is as far as my in-laws’ ways are concerned. My in-laws never stock up on meat and vegetables that would last them for more than a day unless there’s a special occasion. The market (and the business district for that matter) is just about five minutes away from the house (by tricycle) anyway and sari-sari stores (variety stores) are everywhere. The market, by the way, may not be pretty physically, but it is by far one of the cleanest I’ve seen (if not the cleanest), particularly the area where wet goods are sold.

Wet section of the Sanchez Mira public market

Wet section of the Sanchez Mira public market

There are no traffic lights, no malls, and no cinemas/theaters. Well, there used to be a cinema (in Claveria, I believe that is), but it’s no longer operational. The building (which looks very much like a typical three-storey apartment building) is still there though.

Only the highway and a handful of streets are paved with concrete or asphalt, the rest are dirt roads.

Main road in Sanchez Mira

Main road in Sanchez Mira

The beaches, which are just a few kilometers away from anywhere, may not have white sand or hotels or any modern amenities (they’re nearly void of any type of cosmetic development), but you’ve got the shores of the South China Sea as your playground. However, the water is not really well-suited for swimming since the waves are quite huge and the currents are really strong.

At the Mascoop training center and resort, Masisit, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan

At the Mascoop training center and resort, Masisit, Sanchez Mira, Cagayan

The town has only two major banks, namely Landbank and the Philippine National Bank (PNB) with one office/branch each, and it is only at those banks that you’ll find automated teller machines (ATMs). Other than that, there’s only one other bank (I think), a rural bank, situated about a block or two away from the town hall.

Philippine National Bank (PNB), Sanchez Mira branch

Philippine National Bank (PNB), Sanchez Mira branch

Tricycles are the primary mode of public transport in the town. Jeepneys, which are quite rare, are used like buses, transporting people (and perhaps goods as well) over long distances (i.e., from Sanchez Mira to other municipalities/towns such as Junction Luna, Aparri, Claveria, etc.) and as such they don’t weave through the streets of Sanchez Mira like they do here in Metro Manila and other considerable-sized towns/municipalities.

A tricycle passing by the Sanchez Mira Town Hall (seen in the background)

A tricycle passing by the Sanchez Mira Town Hall (seen in the background)

A jeepney going plying the route of Junction Luna-Aparri, parked across the Rizal Park

A jeepney plying the route of Junction Luna-Aparri, parked across the Rizal Park

Privately owned vehicles are quite few but not altogether uncommon… they can be seen as frequent as kuligligs or maybe a tad bit less but, as I’ve said, they’re not that uncommon.

A kuliglig

A kuliglig

One thing I notice that Sanchez Mira has a lot of are schools/educational institutions (both public and private). For a small town such as this (21,475 people in 4,139 households, according to the 2000 census), it’s almost surprising. There’s the Cagayan State University (CSU), the Thoburn Memorial Academy, and the Sanchez Mira Central Elementary School, just to name a few. I’ve seen two or three others when I went around town with my brother-in-law, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get their names. And, I believe, there are a few more I did not see.

The Cagayan State University Administration Building

The Cagayan State University Administration Building

The town also has its own Rizal Park but, quite sadly, it seems to be all but neglected. I am hopeful though that it will be revived along with the planned development of the adjacent lot (which I heard was going to be made into some sort of an extension of the Town Hall. The Town Hall, by the way, is situated just a few meters away from the park, it is scheduled to be demolished to make way for a new Town Hall).

The Rizal Park in Sanchez Mira

The Rizal Park in Sanchez Mira

There are a lot of houses in Sanchez Mira that still have thatched roofs, wooden walls, and capiz windows even though, in recent years, the use of hollow blocks and concrete as well as corrugated galvanized iron sheets for roofs have become quite popular. However, the use of paint has not caught up yet as many concrete-built houses sport a bare gray cement plaster finish, and my mother-in-law’s place is no exception.

Thatched roofed houses in Centro II, Sanchez Mira

Thatched roofed houses in Centro II, Sanchez Mira

Speaking of my mother-in-law’s house, one thing I really enjoy seeing (and getting my hands on) there is the poso (deep well pump) in the bathroom. There are two faucets there with running water, but I’ve always opted to use the pump. The wonderful thing about the water coming from the pump is that, even when it’s cold (like when we went there last month, we had temperatures of about 18 to 20 degrees Celsius inside the house), the water remains relatively warm, warm enough to not make you shiver while taking a bath. And when it’s hot, the water is satisfyingly cool.

My son, pumping away to his heart's content

My son, pumping away to his heart's content

It’s truly a wonderful and lovely place, that Sanchez Mira, and I love it!

If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life, from the dirt and grime of the concrete jungle, and from the pretentious smile of corruptive progress, this unassuming paradise can and will give you peace.

Sanchez Mira, this post is my tribute to you and your wonderful people. Thank you, thank you all!

By the way, a brief history of Sanchez Mira can be found at the official website of the Municipality of Sanchez Mira, Cagayan.


27 Responses to “Sanchez Mira, Cagayan”

  1. enzovalrigo said

    Good job Bry!!

  2. wew para akong
    naka libot
    sa Sanchez Mira, Cagayan

    ^^ thx~

  3. D' Claudio sisters in Maryland, USA said

    Dear tito Bry & family,
    Your photoblog of Sanchez Mira made us more homesick! I wish we could have a vacation there again soon. If i had a choice, I would like to live there with my family and all of you rather than here in the United States. I miss Sanchez Mira and all of you! Regards to all my cousins there!!!!!!!
    Hugs and kisses,
    athena claudio

    • BCS said

      We miss you all too, Athena. There has never been a week that passes without any mention of any of you guys in this house.

      I am very sure that you’ll get to visit us and Sanchez Mira again someday, there’s no doubt about that. For the meantime, just focus on your studies, be good, and be all the best you can be (and that’s for both you and Sophie, Amy’s still too young to be told that, hehe). 🙂 I’ve heard really nice things about you and school, keep up the good work. 🙂

      By the way, thank you very much for the comment! 🙂

  4. rodney said

    The thached roof house is ours Bry. Thanks for featuring it. nakakamiss nga talaga ang Sanchez Mira pagnakikita ko tong mga picture na ito.

    • BCS said

      Hehehe… Yeah, Ethel told me that that’s your family’s house. 🙂 It saddens me, though, that the house that used to stand at the corner (the remains of which are shown at the foreground of the picture) is now gone. It’s really sad that I never got to take a picture of it.

  5. magacaneo said

    will be there in december 09, looking forward to it!!

  6. rodney said

    Bry, i’m taking a look at my collection pix in my brief stay at SM during the wake of my late papa and i found out that i took picture on uncle dante’s house. i would like to share it to you so you will have comparison in the future. it will be another “then and now” series. you may give me your e-mail number so i can send it you.

  7. pagunuran said

    this is the place i grew from. Whenever i hear or see just anything about her, i feel goosebumps all over because it quickly brings me back to great yesterday i spent in this wonderful paradise. This place is incomparable in my heart. Ive seen quite a few but really…there is no place like home….I can’t wait to set foot in my hometown again. Count me in as a Sanchez Miranian forever…..

  8. pagunuran said

    it’s been over a year but i feel that it equates to over a decade already. That’s how i sorely miss this place….

  9. […] my first ever post on Sanchez Mira, I posted this photo to show what some houses in Sanchez Mira look […]

  10. edmar cabitla said

    Hi there, I am from Dacal. I was a Freshman at Thouburn Memorial Academy in 1983. I left the philipines in 1987. I am currenly residing in Indio California. I am a Public Safety Sgt. at the Tribal Indian Nation in Coachella California. I want to thank you for showing those memorable photographs in your blog. I surely missed the place. I will be on vacation this coming year. so wait for me…

    • BCS said

      You are very much welcome, edmar. 🙂 Thank you for visiting and thanks for the comment. 🙂

      • edmar cabitla said

        If ever you visit Thouburn Memorial Academy again, please take photographs on some of the faculty members there and include them into your blog. I owe you a big favor for doing this for me. When I left the philippines, I left without saying goodbye to any of my advisors and I felt miserable. Best wishes to your family circle, I know that Cagayan Valley had been battered by Typhoon “Pepeng” and it makes me worried because people from Dacal are my relatives. Hope everybody is OK. again, thank you for hearing me.

      • BCS said

        I will see what I can do… though, I won’t be going there ’til December, probably. The good news is, Sanchez Mira is not badly affected by the storm (Pepeng)… I just don’t know about Dacal. 😦

      • edmar cabitla said

        Thank you for your quick response. If ever you visit Masisit or Dacal, please take some photos there and include them into your blog. Thank god if Sanchez Mira was able to survive from typhoon “Pepeng”. Once again, thank you so much!


    My Wife of 25 Years [ Presie] is a Callangan The family reside in Sanchez.
    I also attented the Wedding of Mr and Mrs [Mrs I believe Teaches In the State University] Daughter Karen who is now working in Guildford Hospital in the UK some 25 Miles from us,We will be comeing to Sanchez the latter part of 2011.
    Thank you for permitting me to download these as they are really good
    Kind Regards Peter Torkington

  12. analea said

    hello everyone,

    why is it called sanchez-mira? is it because of the sanchez clan that lives there?

    i’ve been wanting to meet my biological father (alex sanchez) and my tita said that he grew up here.

  13. tagalog movies…

    […]Sanchez Mira, Cagayan « tanawin.wordpress.com[…]…

  14. i love and miss my hometown…..

  15. we will be attending the first quarterly meeting of Pleases in this town on FEbruary 23-24 and may i just be informed if how many hours does it take us to travel from Tuguegarao to Sanchez MIra.

  16. my father was from there, mateo d. mangosing, i hope soon i can go there,we lived in phoenix. arizona, where we had a trucking co. and my father hosted president Garcia from the philipins on his visit there.

  17. Marcelino “Marc; Mark; Marcing; Bobot Abrincia
    I was born to this place.

  18. diane said

    Would greatly appreciate if anyone can give me contact numbers of Sanchez-Mira Municipal Hall. I’m having a very hard time checking the website.

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