"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."
It's been about 6 months (as of this writing) since I had my last premarital affair with the Palali Rice Terraces but the memories still remain as fresh as the cool air of Mountain Province. I cheated my hometown when I decided to establish an intimacy with this place that gives extreme pleasure for the eyes.
Start of Planting Season
Based on what I was seeing that moment, the Palali Rice Terraces was made up of mirror-like rice paddies reflecting the bright sky piled ingeniously one over the other signifying that each terraced rice field has been intentionally flooded to turn these mountains-turned-arable-paradise to a colossal rice bowl, as the rice paddies extend down to the Chico River as the basin.
It is the start of the planting season in #BONTOC
#BONTOCFAST FACTS: The capital town of Mountain Province, #Bontoc hosts majestic ancestral rice terraces, a prehistoric village, burial caves and the melting pot of culture in the province. / Photo: Palali Rice Terraces @ Alab Oriente, Bontoc when I had the chance to experience a love at first sight with her (Palali Rice Terraces) beauty. Her ancestral engineers and architects are those that I consider the realest of the real men during the time Palali Rice Terraces was still evolving to a farming paradise.
Love at first sight
But of course, this first time eye pleasure I experienced has to undergo a painful exploration to the pine-clad mountains as I penetrate this pine jungle for the first time where her beauty resides. It was a heterogeneous mixture of thirst and cardiovascular work-out.
Heart beats faster as my energy is depleted little by little. Muscles at my legs contract as I push harder beyond the regular limit of my strength as I climb the mountain with steep trails just to see the beauty of the Palali Rice Terraces.
Penetrekking Mt. Data (Penetration + Trekking)
Reaching a destination that is my first time to visit has to let my feet to ache with mud and soil elements in between toes. My feet was able to endure the first time penetration of Mt. Data in ALAB ORIENTE
[BONTOC] Alab Oriente: An Ancient Village with Sacred GroundsTEASER: "Prehistoric mountain dwellers inhabited this place leaving a mark that became an evidence of their existence.", Bontoc but my thigh did most of the work.
My thigh muscles have to coordinate well with my joints for me to push more, harder and faster to make it quickie. Well, I have to do it quick because I don't want to get back to my hotel room late (since I have to catch the last trip going to the town). Pushing harder could mean muscle aches and back pain thereafter.
Beautiful Sight to Behold: way to Palali RC
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. I mean, there's no going back and my thigh and leg muscles need to push some more hiking until I reach the top spot where the best vantage point is situated -- and the rest was epic: explosively ineffably semi-permanently locked jaw-dropping scenery. Do I need to describe more?
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This was my short-time affair with the Palali Rice Terraces. Aside from the many first times, reaching the top of the mountain just to see to see rice terraces will never be the last. It's a genesis that knows no bound, no end, as long as I'm still alive and strong.
This was an unprotected affair that is productive. It will multiply and bear new produces after the pleasure. Products such as unforgettable experiences, people I met on my travels, happy memories and new discoveries are the fruits of this first-time penetration to Palali Rice Terraces, and I know more shall come to my next love affairs in traveling. It has made me crave for more and I want to do it again and experience the pleasure in the name of adventure. /end
HOW TO GET HERE + TRAVEL GUIDE AND TIPS
1. From Bontoc Downtown you can hire a tricycle for 120 pesos (one way). Tell the driver to drop you to Alab Oriente drop-off point which is the location of a waiting shed overlooking the Chico River and the footbridge leading to the village. You can also alight to a bus going to Baguio like Sunrise Bus and G Lizardo bus for around 30 pesos (one way). Just tell the driver to drop you to the same place I just mentioned.
2. If you think you can't find the direction to the village via the footbridge, ask any individual at the jump-off point regarding the way to Alab Oriente. You have to cross a footbridge over the Chico River and that's a hint you're now entering Alab Oriente.
3. After crossing the bridge, head to the Barangay Hall and register. Just ask the locals where is the Barangay Hall. You can actually see the hall from the drop-off point.
4. From the Barangay Hall, and if you don't know how to go the Palali Rice Terraces (meaning it is your first time), never attempt to go on your own. Get a guide from there. The journey to the Palali Rice Terraces is just a part of the package. Your destination would be the MT. GOTONG and MT. DATA
[BONTOC] Mt. Gotong, Mt. Data | 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. which are the location of the interesting spots you'll going to see including Palali. The other points-of-interest you can enjoy along the trail are the GANGA BURIAL CAVES
[BONTOC] Ganga Burial Caves | Mystical People, Mysterious GraveTEASER: "I experienced goosebumps upon entering this area of dead bodies that made me feel I was in a different dimension." and the ALAB PETROGLYPHS
[BONTOC] Alab Petroglyphs | Prehistoric Etchings, Mind-Boggling PatternsTEASER: "It was carved inside a space of time from another dimension of civilization even far from the dawn of Christianity...".
5. The whole trail is 3-6 hours depending on your pace. So start early. Bring a minimum of 2 liters of water. Eat a heavy breakfast and bring snacks.
6. Wear something that could protect you from bushes and/or other elements that could trigger skin allergy you could obtain along the trail. The clothes you wear should be comfortable. Wear hiking shoes. If you're planning to prepare for the clothes you should wear, Zalora Christmas Bazaar would be a convenient place for you to shop online. Don't bring unnecessary stuff. Hike as light as possible. Now you're ready to experience the pleasure of adventure!