Piat is a fourth class municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,961 people. Piat is now dubbed as the "Pilgrimage Center of Cagayan Valley" because of the thousands of devotees and tourists who come here to pay homage. It is the home of Our Lady of Piat which continues to be the source of inspiration and object of devotion of many Catholics in the region.
The town is located in the southwest part of Cagayan Province in what is known as the Itawes Region, along which the Rio Chico runs west, south, and northwest of the town until it debouches into the Rio Ibanag somewhere near Nassiping.
There are quite a few conjectures on how Piat got its name. One has it is that it derives from "piyas," an Ilokano word, in Ibanag "addulu" and in Tagalog, "kamiyas." Another has it that the word comes from "aggapiya," meaning "healer, masseuse," and a more credible version has it that it is derived from the Ibanag and Itawes word "piya" which means "goodness, kindness, health."
The original people were the Itawes; at present, there are many Ibanag. Ilokano, Tagalog, Kapampangan and other dialect speakers. There are also families of Spanish and American descent. The head of the family was called "urayan" or "baruwang" and the council of elders "Kammaranan." There were also war leaders and braves called "mengal," and priestesses called "anitera" from the Spanish word called "anito" or "minangilu" in Ibanag, "mangilut" in Itawes and "baybaylan" in Bisayan; there were few priests among the ancient people.
In 1596, the Dominican Provincial, Fr. Miguel de San Jacinto named Piat as a mission in the Itawes region comprising the towns of Tabang, Malaueg, Tuao and Piat. The encomenderos then were Pedro Barreda, Juan de Arranda and Isabel de Cardona. In 1604, the Bishop, Diego de Soria, negotiated for more missionaries for the Itawes region. To help in the pacification and evangelization of the region, the Dominicans introduced the devotion to Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary: in 1604, they brought the images of Our Lady from Macau and first enshrined it in Lallo, later bringing it to Piat 1622.
A site visited by Roman Catholic pilgrims, believed to show miracles. The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat is one of only 12 minor basilicas in the Philippines. It is distinguished as the home to the venerated Black Virgin Mary. The interiors is of curved ceiling made of wood with historical images and accounts at the top of the walls. On the altar lies the Blessed Virgin Mary covered with a glass. There are also verandas inside the church which makes the shrine elegant. At the back of the church are staircase leading to a window exactly located at the back of the Virgin Mary wherein devotees can touch the dress of Our Lady.
Bukal ng Buhay
A spring that allegedly gives miracles and blessings. On April 2005, the spring started to draw crowds of devotees tagged along by the lady who dreamed of the Miraculous Lady of Visitation of Piat, insisting in her dream, while she was working abroad 10 years earlier, to go personally to Piat to look for the hidden spring just near the sanctuary on the hill where this Miraculous Lady is being enshrined. From that day on up to this day, this spring has become a crowd drawer even people from the medical fields. These devotees when would share stories on how they would get healed of their ailments, on how they would get over their surgical operation schedules after they drink and wash themselves with the miraculous water they draw from this “Bukal ng Buhay”. The bukal was featured on several television documentaries in the Philippines such as Rated K and Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.