BAYYO RICE TERRACES
[BONTOC] The village is adjacent to the rice terraces
BAYYO RICE TERRACES
[BONTOC] Bayyo Rice Terraces and Waterfalls - Highland Paradise LivingTEASER: "The presence of the rice terraces is an evidence of the engineering expertise of the Igorot ancestors..." in Bayyo, Bontoc is a worthy stop-over along the Bontoc-Banaue road. This breathtaking vista can be seen when going to Banaue from Bontoc. If you have your own car, much better, because you can stop anytime. This view can be seen along the road. No need to hike or trek.
[BONTOC] Bontoc Museum has pointed roof
[BONTOC] Museum and the Traditional Bontok VillageTEASER: "It is a place where I found the authentic answers to my questions.", a 15-minute walk from the Bontoc town hall. This is a must-see place even if Sagada is your destination-of-choice because it provides interesting information about the way of living of the people in the province, their culture and heritage. It will make you appreciate the things you are seeing in this province -- the rice terraces, the burial caves, the people, etc.
KADCHOG RICE TERRACES
[BONTOC] Chico River is at the foot of this mountain-turned farmland
Kadchog Rice Terraces is located across the Chico River in Bontoc. This towering rice terraces is located near south of the town center. You can also see this on your way to Bontoc via the Halsema Highway. It is just one of the many rice terraces you can see here in Bontoc.
[BONTOC] Climbing Mt Gotong
[BONTOC] Hiking the Mountains of Myths and Urban LegendsTEASER: ...there is still a little regret in me that I didn't just even notice the summit of the first real mountain I ever climbed." is a great leisure climb when you are in Bontoc. The mountain is located in Alab Oriente Village. The villagers require that you must have a guide when climbing this mountain. For newbie mountain climbers like me, this is a good start. There is a 1000-step stair that will lead you to the top. But of course, you also need to hike on dirty trails because that stairway is just a part of the whole trail.
If you want more thrill, there is another trail going up without the stairway. But you will descend in the same stairway though. There's no way we can get rid of that stairway - talking about the safety of mountain climbers.
Moreover, Mt. Gotong is just a prelude for the great adventures you have to see in Alab Oriente Village. It requires that you have to climb this mountain first for you to see the best kept secrets of the Bontok Igorot's heritage.
PALALI RICE TERRACES
[BONTOC] Start of the planting season
[BONTOC] Palali Rice Terraces: Of First-time Penetration, Pain and Pleasure
TEASER: "As I reach the peak, which is the climax of everything, my eyes bulged in pleasure brought by a feast-to-the-eye-destination with a little bit of brain clouding. I have just reached the point of no return.". If you have a guide, ask him/her how you switched from one mountain to another. I forgot to ask and until now I still can not figure out how.
[BONTOC] Carvings that are hard to decipher
First look at the photo you might ask what is this. Well, don't underestimate what you are seeing because these are rock carvings at the top of the mountain that have been carved sometime in 1500 B.C.!
[BONTOC] Alab Petroglyphs: Prehistoric Etchings, Mind-Boggling Patterns
TEASER: "It was carved inside a space of time from another dimension of civilization even far from the dawn of Christianity..." according to UNESCO: The other set of Petroglyphs are those found in Alab, Mountain province carved on boulders on top of promontories. The configurations are those of pudenda. The dating is relatively later and placed at not earlier than 1500 BC or even later.
[BONTOC] Low-rise ceiling
[BONTOC] Ganga House, the Ruined Pig Pen and Goodbye Mystical Mountain
TEASER: "Still, it is significant because it is an ancient mark, an evidence of prehistoric civilization. The trek continues..." is a mysterious stone house made up of massive stones with pointed top and a space of about 3 feet from the ground to the ceiling.
It is said to be the hiding place of the locals during the world war and an abode to ancient Igorots (prehistoric).
GANGA BURIAL CAVE
[BONTOC] Selfie inside the Burial Cave
[BONTOC] Ganga Burial Caves: Mystical Grave, Mysterious People
TEASER: "I experienced goosebumps upon entering this area of dead bodies that made me feel I was in a different dimension." is probably the most interesting burial cave in the Cordilleras because of the presence of jars where the dead is placed.
[BONTOC] The village as seen from the Halsema Highway
TRIBAL ELDERS IN TRADITIONAL CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES
[BONTOC] The Bontok tribe elders of Bontoc
[BONTOC] The Last Generation of Overt Igorots in the Cordilleras
TEASER: "Each second counts, and each second that has passed means losing another second of their generation." who still wear their traditional clothes and accessories at home.
[BONTOC] Long and winding Chico River
ALAB ORIENTE VILLAGE
[BONTOC] Alab Oriente Village
[BONTOC] Alab Oriente: An Ancient Village with Sacred Grounds
TEASER: "Prehistoric mountain dwellers inhabited this place leaving a mark that became an evidence of their existence." is an ancient dwelling of the Bontok Igorots and one of the evidences is the presence of the Petroglyphs. Enjoy the Burial Caves and the three sacred spots of the village. Ask your guide about it.
[BONTOC] The tribes of Mountain Province gather in Bontoc
[BONTOC] Lang-ay Festival: Cultural Extravaganza in Mountain Province
TEASER: "...a lowlander can still witness their way of living, their traditions and everything a lowlander needs to know about their culture." is a province-wide cultural festival that happens in Bontoc every first week of April. The highlight of the festival is the street dancing and the cultural performances after the street dancing.
[BONTOC] Like the Chico River, the Halsema Highway is long and winding
The Halsema highway, a road that connects Baguio City and Bontoc, is in itself a tourist attraction. It winds through the Cordillera mountains and provides every voyager an astounding view of the highlands.
JEEPNEY TOPLOADING IN BONTOC
[BONTOC] Toploading from Sagada to Bontoc
If you are a thrill seeker, one of the adventurous things to do in Bontoc is to topload on a jeepney. This is the best way for you to enjoy the beautiful view of Mountain Province.
FAST FACTS: Due to it's high altitude and cool weather, Baguio is the Summer Capital of the Philippines. The city is also the home of the Ibaloi Igorots.
PHOTO: Wearing traditional Igorot clothes at the Mines View Park in Baguio.-Bontoc route include D' Rising Sun and GL Lizardo.
LA UNIONFAST FACTS: This Ilocos province has coastline that garnered the title "Surfing Mecca of the North".
PHOTO: Trek to Intake Dam in Sudipen town, a WWII landmark. or to anyone who wants to get rid of Baguio traffic. Here's how:
- (1) Drop at Bitalag Junction in #TAGUDIN
FAST FACTS: This town, dubbed as the Pearl of the Amburayan River serves as your gateway to the Ilocandias.
PHOTO: Tagudin Sundial: The oldest surviving in the Philippines, ILOCOS SUR
ILOCOS SURFAST FACTS: This province has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Sta. Maria Church and the Heritage City of Vigan.
PHOTO: Pinsal Falls (taken during dry season): Said to be the largest in Ilocos Region.. Be sure to be here by 7 am to catch the earliest van trip to Cervantes - 2 hours trip. Fare is 150 pesos.
- (2) From Cervantes, go to the Cervantes plaza and wait for a Bontoc-bound van. If you can not see a van there, ride on a tricycle and go to Bulaga rather after the Aluling bridge. Tell the driver you are going to catch the Bontoc-bound van. Fare is 40 pesos per trike (not per head) from #CERVANTES
#CERVANTESFAST FACTS: Cervantes is Ilocos Sur's summer capital due to it's cool weather. The town is the last stronghold of the Japanese forces during WWII..
PHOTO: Aluling Rice Terraces in Cervantes plaza to Bulaga. Fare from Cervantes to Bontoc by van is 130 pesos per head. Trip is 2 hours.
- (3) In case you didn't catch the van from Cervantes to Bontoc (last trip is around 1-2 pm), you can stay overnight in Cervantes, available lodging houses have rates of 200/pax (Bessang Traveler's Inn), 300-500/pax (Greenfields Lodge) and 1000+/pax (Villa Maria Inn). While in Cervantes, catch the jeep at 5:30 am in Bulaga. You can ride a tricycle from the Cervantes plaza. The owner of Greenfields can also take you to Bulaga as early as 5am to catch the jeep bound for Bontoc. Warning: This jeep is not available on Thursdays.