Alcala is an old town situated in the middle of Cagayan some 38 kilometers north of Tuguegarao.
Alcala was originally called "Fulay", an Ybanag word for red, because of the distinct reddish color of the soil. When the Diocese of Nueva Segovia (at Lallo) was established in August, 1595, Fulay fell under its jurisdiction and it was not until July 20, 1789 that it was officially proclaimed a township. It was renamed "Alcala" in honor of Don Francisco Paulo de Alcala sometime in 1843.
It is noteworthy to mention that the brick church built by Fray Casimiro Gonzales proved to be the biggest church within the Diocese of Nueva Segovia (30 meters in width and 90 meters in length) and it was in this church shortly before the fall of the Spanish regime to the Americans in the late 1800s that Bishop Gregorio Aglipay, then a Catholic priest and then later founder of the Philippine Independent Church, was proclaimed Ecclesiastical Governor of Cagayan.
With the establishment of American Military Government in the Philippines at the turn of the century, the people of Alcala geared themselves in adjusting to a new ideology under democracy.
Alcala has 25 barangays and has a total land area of 18,720 hectares. It is located on a plateau overlooking the winding Cagayan River. Its original Ibanag inhabitants were from Cabagan, Isabela, Tuguegarao and Tuao.