September 6, 2014

Up in Kalinga, You can See Forever

It won't be easy, but it is going to be worth it.

Sagada, Mountain Province

The road to Kalinga was extraordinary in itself - almost 11 hrs of freezing cold and cramped bus ride, 2 hrs of overpriced van ride, and 3 hrs of bumpy-topload jeepney ride along the edge of the cliff - with a dead buffalo and live chickens for companions. Phew. I almost lost my breath (literally.)

Topload all the way

All the while I was thinking that if ever this bus, or van, or jeepney I'm riding  is going to be another count in tomorrow's news on vehicle accidents, then I wish that all will be instant and peaceful. Que sera sera (whatever will be will  be.) No regrets.

But thankfully, I arrived one whole in Kalinga - uninjured and happy.

Mountain province is beautiful. There are clouds surrounding the mountains, and mountains surrounding you. The sun is warm, and the wind is cool. You look up and you see the infinite blue  sky. You look around and you see the horizon. It was as if staring staring at forever.

A. Getting There

There are Ohayami buses from Manila to Banaue. Check their website for schedule of trips. Upon arriving in Banaue, make sure to ask around for the schedule of trips to your other destinations as well. Sometimes only 1 trip per day is made for some places. Better be sure than stranded.

B. Nearby Points of Interest

Sagada - check out caves, hanging coffins, Mt. Kiltepan, and Bomod-ok Falls.
Bontoc - mostly a transportation hub for the travelers, not much to see around
Baguio - relax and stroll the Philippines's city of Pines.
Banaue - trek and wonder at the beautiful rice terraces.

C. The People

Traditions and  stories come to life because of the people that keep them alive. While in Kalinga, I've heard of interesting traditions and stories on coming of age, courting, marriage, divorce, the original meaning of headhunting, etc.

Witnessing love stories of people who are almost a century old is such an inspiring thing. Being welcomed to someone's home then being served breakfast and coffee is heartwarming. Being offered a ride by a complete stranger after missing the only trip back to the city is also a great blessing.

Obviously I had a wonderful time in Kalinga.

On my way back to Manila, I was all smile - thankful for everything. I realized that I'm not ready to be a casualty. I'm not ready to be another count in the statistic on deaths due to vehicle/travel accidents. No que sera sera please. I want to live long enough to see bits and pieces of forever.


"Sometimes I'm afraid of my heart. Its constant hunger for whatever it wants - the way it stops and starts "

See you around!


  1. Oooh, you went to Kalinga!

    Gorgeous place, yeah? There's something about the north that makes it worth coming back to - I don't know if it's the fresh air, the distance from Manila or the weather.

    It's just so..different up there. It's like when you get back to Manila, you feel alive again.

    1. I can feel the emotion of your statement! And yes, it is gorgeous!

  2. Kalinga? Or Mountain Province? I believe you're referring to Mountain Province where Sagada is. Kalinga is a totally different province which is farther north of CAR (cordillera Administrative Region).

    1. Yep, referring to Mountain Province in some parts of the blog, and Tinglayan, Kalinga in some parts of the blog. Sorry if it's misleading. I wasn't sure if I should specify each. Thanks for the clarification!


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