Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WaLks oF LiFe : Cabbage Harvesting at Mt. Osdung area

"Late afternoons, nights and early mornings are very cold in these mountains of the Cordilleras. Up there, one can see many distant places even when not going but just by looking"

If you find this story/blogpost interesting and/or had helped you in any way (in your researches, works, travels, blogs, adventures, homeworks at school, a personal project and more), I'd like to hear a word or two from wonderful people like you or simply Like "pagnapagna" in Facebook. I'd be very thankful. It gives me inspirations. Cheers!

-my pagnapagna-

From La Trinidad, Benguet, we rode a passenger van bound for Abatan, Buguias and we went down about a kilometer before Sinipsip proper.
From the Halsema highway we walked on an uphill road. 

The entry point going up to the site along the Halsema highway

Upon seeing the entry point, I thought we were going deep inside the mountain forest but upon reaching midway to the top, there were no trees but terraces planted with cabbages.

Short cut to the shack led by my two companions
 along the terraces of vegetable gardens

I can not see farther behind as "libo-o" or fog blurs the vision.

Fogs along the way as afternoon deepens 

We arrived at a locked shack with walls of corrugated galvanized iron sheets. 
It was their "Kampo" or their quarters for their whole stay as workers on the vegetable gardens. 
They have been there before. 
They just went for a vacation during the holidays and now they were back for work again.

There were no people around, so we waited for their employer or the vegetable garden's owner to arrive whom they had texted earlier.

yes, that's the rest room with an overlooking view and naturally air-conditioned :-)

After some few minutes their employers arrived. There was two of them (brothers) and one of them was holding a big white chicken by its legs. 
They opened the shack and they let us in.

The shack or workers' quarters
potato for planting at the other half of the shack

At first, they thought i was a new recruit as worker on the vegetable gardens for they will be harvesting cabbages at the nearby garden tomorrow which is owned by their relative but my companion clarified that i was just there to "take photos".

they also cooked birds for dinner that night

The night came and it became colder as wind blew once in a while.

inside the shack (no electricity)

At about 7:30 in the evening, we slept and the lights went out at 8 o'clock.
We woke up 5 o'clock in the morning and had a hot coffee.
By 6 o'clock, we were walking on the upper garden terraces and there they began to harvest heads of cabbages. 
At first, I helped in the gathering but i had many mistakes doing it, so i just contented myself as an spectator and camera man.

tying the cabbages in place with a rubber

After taking photos and videos, nothing to do, I took my pen and paper, sat on a nice place at the edge of one of the vegetable terraces and began to do a sketch.
The view was panoramic and at times i stop sketching to just enjoy the view of the distant mountains while they continued harvesting on the upper terraces.

The distant mountains of Pulag and Timbac as seen from the vegetable gardens 
while one of the workers passed by carrying the cabbages

As i was sketching, one of the locals came to me and introduced himself as "McGuire" who owns the garden i'm sitting on. 
He was very friendly and we had some conversation about the probable tourist spot in the area and other things such as the differences of when an Ilocano new comer comes to their place vs. an Igorot new comer comes to the lowlands.
After a few minutes he excused himself and went to tend his garden on the upper terraces.

My sketch

The harvesting and transporting of the cabbages continued. 

They lay as much cabbages as they can carry

While four of them were harvesting cabbages, the others carry them from the upper terraces going down to the parked truck along a rough road.

After a long walk from the upper gardens, they finally arrive at the truck

By noontime the work stopped as the truck was already filled with cabbages.

We went back to the shack and had our lunch. 

"Pinikpikan" with cabbage from the garden
Red rice

Afterwards, the other workers left and the two brothers followed after giving instructions to my two companions of what they will do tomorrow on the garden (They will be spraying the potato plants with insecticides/fungicides and making a new plot/terrace for planting new seedlings).

The three of us were left on our own at the shack.
Around 2 o'clock in the afternoon when we went down to Halsema highway and walked until we arrived at the neighboring place called Sinipsip. There I recharged my cellphone battery as well as the camera battery at a local store. We also had some unwinding nearby.

photos taken at Sinipsip proper, Buguias-Bakun
Silly me, i flagged down "manang" with her bunch of flowers.
She was friendly though and said that she is going to sell them in Baguio City

It was 6:30 in the evening when we were back at our shack.

I must add, along the way, going back to our shack, I just sat down on the edge of the terraces and quietly enjoyed the moonlit distant mountains, the lights of few houses that looked like stars and contemplated with the stillness of the cold mountain night.

Clouds shrouded low  at a distance on a cold moonlit night

The next day, early morning, we cooked and ate the eggs the two brothers left for us.
Later on, my two companions went to spray the potato plants while i took a bath outside with the water mixed with heated water from a kettle otherwise i go dead stiff on the cold icy water from a drum. 
I did still shivered as the cold wind blew.

I packed all my things and readied to go when i saw "McGuire" outside. 
He told me that he did saw my blog on the internet but the signal in the area was a little bit craggy.

"Ket nu datuy met ti maysa a kangangatwan nga bantay ditoy, datoy diyay Mt. Osdung nga kunkunada" (This is one of the highest mountains in the area, it is called Mt. Osdung), he added.

Above is the summit of Mt. Osdung

That was a great thing to know. 
All the while, I never knew that I was on one of the significant mountains in the Philippines.

With "McGuire" a farmer and vegetable garden owner

We had a short meaningful conversation.
I thanked him and said goodbye as well as to my two companions who went there as workers on the gardens.

It was a sunny crisp morning as I walked my way down from the vegetable gardens into the road and into the highway below.

The road from the vegetable gardens 
on my way down towards the Halsema Highway

Along the Halsema highway, I headed towards Sinipsip proper to get me a ride.

One of the many roadside parks serving as rest stops along Halsema Highway
 by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways)

There i rode a passenger van going to La Trinidad where i will be riding a jeep going to Baguio City and ride again on a mini-bus going down to La Union that will finally lead me to Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

Subject   :
Location  :

How to get there:

© All original content copyright sparkPLUG, 2012-2015. Please ask permission for content use.

No comments:

Post a Comment