Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Heritage Houses at Sitio Cayoco, Tinongdan, Itogon

"I do not know what to expect as I went down
 from the jeep fronting the Municipal Hall of Itogon. 
I just knew it as a mining town"

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-my pagnapagna-
(December 9, 2015 a Wednesday)

Early morning, around 7:30 am, at Lakandula St. Baguio City, I rode a jeep going to Itogon.
I do not know what to expect as I went down from the jeep fronting the Municipal Hall of Itogon (8:34 am). The Municipal Hall looked so crisp and brand new.
I talked to Nestor Amado, a tourism officer-designate at the second floor and inquired on the different tourism areas of their municipality. They offered me Mt. Ulap but I was not ready for a whole day adventure besides they said that I should have started trekking earlier that morning. 
I was only there for that morning or half day for I will be attending the Closing Ceremony of the Baguio Museum Arts Festival 2015 later on that afternoon. They suggested that I go to Barangay Tinongdan and inquire there for their tourist spots.
I rode a jeep bound for Baguio City but went down at the intersection at Twin Rivers. At Twin Rivers, I rode a tricycle going to Tinongdan Barangay Hall and the fare didn't came cheap.
Seated in front of the Tinongdan Barangay Hall was Punong Barangay Benjamin Medino together with one of his officials. They accompanied me inside and offered me hot coffee as ma'am Evelyn Balbino acquainted me of their tourist destinations in their barangay.

With Punong Barangay Benjamin Medino at Tinongdan barangay hall
Mt. Ugo hike, Binga Hydro Plant tour, the waterfalls and the Heritage Houses were among the most popular ones in their tourists destinations list.
I've learned that their Barangay Hall has an accommodation facility (Bedroom) for 10 to 15 persons for 150 pesos per day per person. In which one can cook at their kitchen at the ground floor or buy food at a nearby mini-grocery.

Overlooking the Sitio Cayoco area

Ma'am Evelyn said that they filmed some scenes of the movie "You to me are everything" and "Nasaan ka nang kailangan kita" at Sitio Cayoco.

Below is a scene from "Nasaan Ka nang Kailangan Kita"
(This is not my video, I do not own its rights. Rights are of ABS CBN)

"Ma'am, adayu ba dayta Heritage Houses?" (Ma'am, are these Heritage Houses located far?), I asked Evelyn Balbines.
"Dita agpababa, ngem dapat ada kuma lugan mu marigatan kanto nga ngumato" (Down there, but it would be better if you have a car , you'll get tired coming back uphill), she answered.
Punong Barangay Benjamin Medino let one of his men (named "Ambot") drive me in a motorbike to the place near Sitio Cayoco and from the drop-off, I walked my way to a mountainside trail which is also the primary trail to Mt. Ugo then left the trail going to the other side of the river through a hanging bridge.

At Sitio Cayoco, I inquired as to where were the old houses.

The Heritage Houses of Sitio Cayoco
There are some four of these old houses with varying dates of construction.
Basing from the dates which can be seen, such on drawings on the walls (1932) and ornament on the fascia (1940 & 1966) these are around 50 to a hundred years old.

At one of the house... 1940

Although some additional renovations were done (such as concreting a post or two and corrugated galvanized iron sheet roofing), the oldest one generally uses no nails or metal bolts in its main connections.

Above is a close-up of its nail-less connection

Elder Damolo Cabson & family and relatives own, if not all, some of these old houses.

Probably the oldest among the houses.
After seeing these old houses, I went back to the main road where the motorbike had left me earlier.
Near noontime, the sun was at its hottest. I got tired just by looking at the uphill road leading back to the Barangay Hall.
I texted "Ambot" to fetch me.

At the Barangay Hall area, I waited and waited some more  for some private cars to hitch a ride. Finally, I caught a ride at the back of a pick-up truck of National Grid Corporation and I went down at the intersection at Twin Rivers where I got a jeep ride going back to Baguio City and finally got to the Baguio Museum  to attend the Closing Ceremony of the Baguio Museum Arts Festival 2015. 

-end of pagnapagna-

I'm Thankful for the Hospitality of the men and women at:
Tinongdan Barangay Hall - led by Punong Barangay Benjamin N. Medino
 with Evelyn Balbines and "Ambot" 
The people I met at Sitio Cayoco - led by "Marife" at the Heritage Houses

For the Baguio Museum Arts Festival 2015 CLICK HERE 

Subject : Sitio Cayoco
Location:  Sitio of Cayoco
                 Barangay of Tinongdan
                 Municipality of Itogon
                 Province of Benguet
How to get there:

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