The Cagayan River is the longest and widest river in the Philippines, running for 220 miles from the mountains of central Luzon to the Pacific Ocean at Aparri in the northeast. It is navigable to small oceangoing vessels for 15 miles upstream.

Its basin is home to a large Catholic population, known as Cagayanos, and much of its water is used by these people for tobacco farming. Lately the lush forestland and beaches around the mouth of the river have become a draw for tourists as well.

Some parts of Apocalypse Now were filmed on the river, and the caribao sacrifice ritual at the end of the film was inspired by the rituals of the Ifugao people living there.

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