[Licuan-Baay] ► Challengingly Sweet Journey to Baay, Abra

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"No complaints. I am loving it not that I want to do it so that I have something to write but because it activates my brain cells to think, analyze and think again."

And the memorable journey to the remote Cordillera town of Licuan-Baay continues. Taking the main road, it is Licuan at my left side and Baay at the right. Do not be confused, because Licuan and Baay are two recognized subdivisions of the town but these two subdivisions join together as one to form the town of Licuan-Baay. It is a unique case for such a town in the Philippines.

I just have seen the Chocolate Mountains and I am still at the back of the pick-up that I enjoyed the most while traveling along a road that might become impassable during heavy rains. But never mind about that because I have learned many things in this town. In the long run, the main reason why I travel is not really to relax, but to learn and discover. Our life is an unending course syllabus and the places we go are unlimited sources of knowledge.

As I continue the journey, I wondered how the people survive in this town and their strategies to survive in a remote town like this is another lesson worth studying for. I live in the city where trade, commerce and financial institutions thrive so for this subject, I must say I am dumb yet. I know studying these strategies requires living in this town. However, a day trip to Baay already gave me many information and it surely did give additional knowledge to me.

I don't mind the effort reaching the place because our life is a matter of adaptation. If you can adapt with what is uneasy, then moving to an easier life would be a bonus. It is your edge because you have been trained to dwell in a simpler town. That is, the townsmen of Baay are more resilient in terms of rural survival and that is their edge. They are well-trained to adapt to such situation and as I was saying, it is another life lesson we might want to learn.

And it was undeniably a long off-road riding. No complaints. I am loving it not that I want to do it so that I have something to write but because it activates my brain cells to think, analyze and think again. It keeps the brain functioning. Everything I see was a great subject to think on.

A lot of questions linger in my mind. It was a jigsaw puzzle on how could I reconcile the things. Why the mountains are brown? Why eucalyptus trees are planted atop the hills? How do the people mine gold? How often they go to market to shop? How does the road look like when it is raining? How come there's gold in those mountains? Uh... endless questions. It keeps my brain functioning. Visiting this town is a quest for knowledge.

My trip to the town is indeed unforgettable. I am just lucky that I was allowed to hitch on a car for free. Everytime I share my experiences to my friends and relatives, they would say "Nagtured kan! (You're brave!)" - thinking about the bad publicity people hear about Abra. But that's not the point. Abra has a different side that people overlook onto. It is a province where hidden natural wonders are left untouched (or less explored at least), thus, the original beauty may remain.

I am still at the back and I asked someone beside me if we're near. The man who is a resident of the town and who was with me said, "We're near," and after an hour, we're still on the road. So that is how he defines near. Just imagine how huge the size of this mountain town is, that the time you have to consume traveling within the town speaks about hours. Well, this is the case at the Baay side and going to the barangays of Licuan side is another story. Huge town!

I can sense that we are gradually descending and at a point, I am now seeing a river streaming down the valley. Yup! We're heading to a valley which is the heart of the Baay side. There are schools and houses already -- a community veiled by the mountains!

So I reached the heart of Baay - very raw! [Almost] everything I see is a work of nature. The brown mountains have turned green. The place is very laid back yet nostalgic. It feels like I am really lost!

The shallow river is teaming with natural resources. At the banks of the river is an edible fern called pacpaco and a main stay river fish called palileng. These are gifts of nature that the people of Baay are harvesting.

A mini-waterfall along the road

Crossing the river

Pacpaco or Paco (Pako) - the edible fern I ate in Baay

...reached the town under a beautiful sunny weather

...met the town mayor, Hon. Christopher Millare (middle) at his house

For security and safety purposes

For self-defense purposes, lols!


Finally, finally, finally. I have reached the heart of Baay. I have endured the exhausting ride but it was all of worth because of the new discoveries I learned.

But wait, the sweet journey isn't over yet because I have to leave the house of the mayor for a separate adventure. Sharing my experience going to that surprise destination might make this blog post a multi-chapter book so I am omitting it. For the second time, I have to trek without a footwear again. I have to do it because my guide did it so I thought it was a must. Below is my guide trekking in barefoot. To be continued...

My guide, trekking in barefoot

Location of Licuan-Baay, Abra on Map


Click the map above to load all posts about Licuan-Baay or you can follow the series below:

Licuan-Baay series: Part 1 | Part 2 | You are Reading Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 6 | Part 7

comment 4 #TownFolks Commented :

Dong Ho on January 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM said...

yan talaga yung mga gusto kong puntahan. remote na talaga. aabangan pa rin namain ang mga di mo naisamang kwento dito sa post na to.

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on January 25, 2013 at 7:21 AM said...

Dong Ho | Salamat sa pag-aabang kuya Domz :)

Bonzenti | Con Tour Blog on January 26, 2013 at 5:21 PM said...

abangan sa susunod na kabanata....bitin edmar. Kala ko yong pag kembot ng guide mo ang nakunan mo ng photo when I scrolled down this post. So bumalik ako sa taas para mabasa ko lahat, at ayun, naka bare foot pala. hehehe. Layo na nito cguro ano. 4 x 4 lang ang makapasok. At ang mayor, simple lang ang bahay.....

EDMARATION #TownExplorer on January 27, 2013 at 12:22 AM said...

Bonzeti | Con Tour Blog | oo kuya, simple lang life dito pero marami pong natural wonders. Kaya naman po ang pick-up d2 kuya. Pero mukang mahihirapan ang byahe kapag low clearance ang car :)

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