When I first wrote about Bamban Bridge almost eight years ago, I considered it then to be the most beautiful bridge in the country. That made me curious to know if there are any suspension bridges in the Philippines since suspension bridges, like the famous Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area, are definitely beautiful.
Based on my research, there are two currently existing and two former highway suspension bridges in the country. The two former bridges were the Puente Colgante (literally “hanging bridge”) in Manila where Quezon Bridge now stands, and one that was located in Pantar, Lanao del Norte and which was replaced with a truss bridge. Of the existing suspension bridges, one is Candaba Bridge in Pampanga, and the other, the longest of the four, is Magapit Suspension Bridge in Lal-lo, Cagayan.
Magapit Suspension Bridge (Wikipedia) is one of only two bridges that cross the mighty Cagayan River in the province of Cagayan. (There are other bridges across the river but in other provinces.) While Magapit is much shorter than Buntun Bridge in Tuguegarao, Magapit is better known and is a tourist attraction simply because it is a suspension bridge, earning it the nickname of the “Golden Gate of Cagayan”. The bridge was once painted red to mimic the Golden Gate Bridge.
The bridge is located 714 kilometers north of Manila and has a length of 449 meters. The main span, which is the one suspended from the hanging cables, has a length of 257 meters, making it the longest suspension bridge, current or former, in the Philippines. There are some websites that say that Magapit is the oldest suspension bridge in Southeast Asia, but that distinction belongs to Manila’s Puente Colgante which was completed in 1852. Magapit is not even the oldest still-existing suspension bridge because Candaba Bridge was built during the American Period while Magapit was only opened in 1978.
Still, despite now knowing about Magapit Suspension Bridge, I still think that Bamban Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in the country.