That day when I set foot to the land of the last generation of folks where the evidence of centuries-old tradition of tattooing is still evident, I was welcomed with nothing less but this breath-stopping view that is pupil-dilating and retina-protruding. If this is a fairy tale, my straight eyelashes could have knelt down in awe and respect without the help of an eyelash curler used by some girls in flirting, not here in Kalinga please. Pretty girls will forget they are pretty upon seeing this prettier-than-pink marvelous view of the Bugnay Rice Terraces.
Bugnay Village with the Rice Terraces all around, how cool is that?
This is the grand welcome I experienced in Kalinga for that first-time I landed within its frontiers, on its rugged terrain, within the bounds of its own identity and beauty.
Based on the words of non-traveler friends I know, Kalinga is a dangerous place, and for that, I should not risk my life getting into the territories of headhunters protecting their ancestral domains from invaders. That's what these people are thinking about Kalinga.
This awful mindset could have emanated from the fact that the province is not easy to reach due to poor road conditions, so there is a few knowledge and documentation as to the beauty and intrinsic culture it has to offer that could surely gain an authority within the grounds of socio-cultural tourism.
How nice is to live in this village?
[CORDILLERA] Bontoc-Tabuk Road: Mt. Province-Kalinga Boundary CrossingTEASER: "My blunt brain due to being deprived of sleep was instantly reset to sight-seeing mode after it hibernated for a while when I started seeing this wonderful view that temporarily locked my jaw.". The rice terraces that decorate the village into a cultural landscape is also very visible beyond fiber glass windows of every mini-bus and/or any vehicle that traverses the road.
KALINGAFAST FACTS: Kalinga is believed to be the home of the last headhunters of the Cordilleras.
Photo: Bugnay Village @ Tinglayan, Kalinga is dangerous until I experienced it by myself, backpacking solo where I applied the idea of "stay calm and get lost" on which I don't know where to go next because of this unplanned trip.
How big your mouth is when you said WOW!?
CORDILLERAFAST FACTS: A mountainous region in the Philippines' Luzon island composed of 6 provinces with distinct people and dialect namely Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province.
Photo: Abra River in Pidigan, Abra trips for a lifetime! The view of the village itself is already a warm welcome you would never think headhunters used to live here.
How come this place is so cool?!
The Road, the River, the Rice Terraces - T3
Footbridge to Bugnay Village
While waiting for someone (a local, if I will be the lucky guy to find one) to help me find the direction on my way to Buscalan Village (another village located in a higher altitude accessible only on foot), I didn't let the opportunity to just pass by without me absorbing every single beautiful memory I can collect in this wondrous destination I never thought I would ever see.
How marvelous is that?
Uh! I can marvel with that!
The Kalinga prima facie evidence in terms of beauty should not be a subject for debate because if I were to be the judge, the evidence is too strong for further argument.
When all the cities have come to the point that slums are rampant, the people here will just stay calm and be rich for possessing towering mountains and ancestral lands that are truly their wealth. That has made me realize that richness is not about lifestyle, possessing gadgets and big houses. It is something that will never cease, even after death. /end
NOTE: This trip is via Bontoc
2. As far as I can remember the first trip is around 5-6 am (depending upon the volume of passengers). The second trip is around 9 am.
3. If you have your own motorbike (or should you wish to drive an SUV or a posh car - goodluck!), just follow the road northwards. It could take up to 1 hour before you reach the site. If you choose to commute, the fare (as far as I remember) is around 80 pesos (as of this writing) up to Bugnay Village in Tinglayan.
4. Alight in Bugnay drop-off point. The rice terraces and the village can already be seen from there. Enjoy!
*EN ROUTE: BONTOC-SADANGA-TINGLAYAN SUB-SERIES: 1