"The overlooking view was more imposing than that of Mt. Kalugong"
We have a meeting later that afternoon with the Baguio Museum for an Art Exhibit and I just decided to get to Baguio earlier that same morning to visit another mountain at nearby La Trinidad.
(October 25, 2015 a Sunday)
It was early in the morning as i rode a jeep bound for Tomay, La Trinidad. The jeep was waiting for passengers at the upper northern side of the Rizal Park which is just below the Baguio City Hall. We passed-by the La Trinidad Market, Municipal Hall, Benguet State University (BSU), and towards the Provincial Capitol it turned right. It also passed-by the road entrance to Mount Kalugong which is the Baguio Memorial Service.
"Paki baba nak man idiay intersection mapan Tawang" (Please get me down at the intersection going to Tawang), I said to the driver as I paid my fare which was around 17 pesos.
I started walking on that uphill road going to Barangay Tawang proper.
signboards at the entrance of the road at the intersection
Walking further, I passed by the Tawang Stone church.
a little-bit dark early morning at the Stone church
Walked until I reached the Tawang Elementary School which I knew that the trail was somewhere in the vicinity. I asked the man standing at the school's entrance.
He said, "Ditoy ka laengen nga magnan tatnu han ka agbaybayad tani ada ag agsingsingir ditanay entrance dita baba ya" (You just walked on this trail so that you will not pay because there is a collector down there at the entrance). Hmmmm, I did not know there was an entrance fee and so, I went on that trail going up to the mountain side that he told me.
The trail started along a small patch of grassland that ascends into the thick bushes and it seemed that it was not much walked on. Since it was still too early in the morning, the grass and shrubs ground cover were still wet with heavy morning dew. The lower part of my long pants (denims) until the knee part were soaking wet made from the brushings on those wet leaves. My steel-toe leather shoes were also soaked as i felt my socks were getting wet.
I finally reached the clearing on top and a communications tower was just nearby and that there were hikers/visitors before me. They were now enjoying the overlooking view of the La Trinidad Valley.
Then from a distance I saw this man holding a logbook and he went from group to group of visitors. That must be the man who collects fees the man from the elementary school was talking about. He then walked towards me.
I paid 35 pesos as "environmental fee/entrance fee" and noticed that if you are just from the area you won't pay. I jokingly said "Kasatnu ak ngay met Filipino ak mut" (How about me, I'm Filipino also). I heard the others say "Apay nga agpabayad da ket bagi ti Goshen datoy" (Why do they collect fee, this is owned by Goshen). I later learned that most part of the area is owned by an Estate Land developer and I think the man who was collecting can not do anything if one will not pay.
with the collector who is also a barangay tanod.
Anyway, back to the area's ambience. The area looked like a small Mt. Pulag's peak. It was a grassland with rolling mounds. The overlooking view of the La Trinidad Valley was more impressive than that of the Mt. Kalugong's. The only difference with that of Mt. Kalugong is that there were no facilities up there. There were no trees to take shelter on from under the sun.
I texted my friend Engineer "Ruben" who was from the area and he did came. As we were talking together with the collector, "Ruben" noticed something and pointed on my lower legs and asked "Apay nasugat ka?" (Are you wounded?).
As I looked down to my denims, to my surprise, there was a patch of fresh blood stain on my long pants. "Oh?", I was really puzzled that I did not felt anything and I'm wounded. I rolled up my denims to see the wound and came out crawling was a small brown leech about an inch long. It crawled away and I removed my pants just to be sure there were no other leech crawling on me.
I had to removed my pants to see if there were other leeches and also to dry them out under the sun
We cleaned the small wound with alcohol and put pressure on it to stop the bleeding but it never stopped, it just kept on bleeding. I just wipe it off from time to time.
It was getting hot as noontime got nearer.
We went down at another trail which was the "usual" and main trail.
We went to the residence of "Ruben's" relative just nearby and it was just overlooking the Mt. Kalugong.
Our lunch at my friend's relative was chicken with "wombok". I think, Chicken is the most popular food in this part of the country.
Afterwards, We left and walked our way to the residential area until we reached the Highway near the Municipal Hall and rode a jeep going to Baguio City proper.
At Baguio City, because of my long pants were still wet and with blood stain, I walked my way to the Baguio Museum and attended the meeting in my shorts and slippers.
-end of pagnapagna-
For the other mountain top views overlooking La Trinidad Valley: These are just short hikes (10 to 30 minutes) to the top from the road.
Subject : Mt. Yangbew aka Mt. Jumbo / Mt. Yangbaw Location: Barangay of Tawang Municipality of La Trinidad Province of Benguet How did I get there: At Baguio City, I rode a jeep bound for TOMAY, La Trinidad (you could also ride jeeps bound for Shilan & Acop but get down at the intersection going to Tawang). I get down at the intersection going to Barangay TAWANG. Walked my way up to the Tawang Elementary School and asked for the trail going up to the summit. Read the blogpost for more details. Thanks.