Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bay-yo Rice Terraces: Along the way and beyond the Viewpoint

"It is not only the beautiful view but also the knowledge and experience we gain from it. So get down from the viewpoint and be intimate with it"

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-my pagnapagna-
(March 6, 2016 a Sunday)
Continued from the previous blog post 
"A walk around Bontoc and to nearby Kadchog Rice Terraces"

After having a coffee at a cafeteria in downtown Bontoc, we started walking (4:47 am) along the Samoki bridge (the one going to Banaue) with dogs barking at a distance and with almost no street lighting.
At the other side of the bridge, we went to inquire at a store and found out that we will be walking for some three hours to get to Bay-yo.

The view of downtown Bontoc as we looked back from where we came from
while we walked early in the dark morning

It was still dark as we kept walking along the road. We used our lights from our cellphones for most of the times there were complete darkness.

After a long walk, still dark, soon there were two joggers who passed us by. Somehow that made us feel safe walking on that road.

at dawn with two joggers passed by. Can you see them?
This photo was brightened (edited).

We kept on walking as slowly the light of dawn was becoming bright. We passed by the two joggers who had stopped and were resting at one of the roadside parks made by DPWH (Department of Public Highways).

At a roadside park

We kept on walking and  passed by the Talubin National High School  and eventually we were at Barangay Talubin proper.

At a road sign in Barangay Talubin, Bontoc

At the intersection, we turned right going to Banaue as the one to the left was to Barlig.

Signboard at Talubin junction

I smiled as we came across a man walking and he asked "apay papanan yu kadi?" (where are you going?).
I replied and asked, "Ediay Bay-yo manong. Adayu pay ba?" (To Bay-yo sir, Is it still far?).
"Mga 6 kilometers pay" (About 6 kilometers more), he replied. Now, that's something to look forward too.
Along the way, we had to do a mandatory stop as I saw a roadside waterfall. Although small, it was something to behold as I have love for nature's waterfalls.

Roadside waterfall

Walking further more, we went to buy some refreshment at a store just after the Ab-ab bridge. The store owner seemed surprised as he was smiling when he had known that we walked from Bontoc town proper going towards Bay-yo.
After around four hours of walking from Bontoc town proper, we finally arrived at the roadside viewpoint (9 o'clock).

The viewing deck is made of concrete and circular in plan with roof overlooking the Barangay of Bay-yo and the Bay-yo Rice Terraces.
It has a pay comfort room nearby.

The signboard says:
Bontoc, Mountain Province
This is a part of the "Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras" as inscribed by UNESCO which showcases the engineering feat and ingenuity of the Igorots depicted here as master planners and astute agriculturists. 
Gawis ay Mountain Province

There were already some tourists at the viewpoint, enjoying and having their selfie with the rice terraces as their background.

After some few minutes, we went down from the viewpoint and walked along the secondary road going towards the residential area.
As a protocol in going to a village, we have to let someone such as their barangay official know our presence and our intent visiting their village. In this case, we can't find their Barangay Hall, instead we came across to what I believe to be a daycare center.
There were children working on their drawings inside the daycare center as we talked with what I believed to be their teacher.
The teacher gave us the go signal and assured us as she said "Apan kayo lang ediay, no question" (just go there, no question).
We thank her and went on to the labyrinth of trails inside the tight residential area.

I have a fear that I will be looking at a dry untended terraces just like what I've seen at the Kadchog rice terraces near Bontoc town proper just the other day but to my delight, Bay-yo rice terraces was a waterworld. The terraces was saturated. All of its paddies were filled with water.

Unlike most of the rice terraces where there is a continuous one level of terraces following the contours of the sides of the mountain that followed by another continuous upper level, this one was of random levels of terraces as if piled one to another. At a distance , it looked like piled slate.

Everybody were so busy tending the terraces. Some of them were planting rice, most were tilling the soil using "kuliglig" (hand tractor) and then some were cleaning the walls of the terraces. 
The "kuliglig" (hand tractor) was manually carried to be used from one terrace to another terrace. They disassemble the main parts from one terrace and then carried and reassemble it at another terrace. 
We just became observers as we don't want to disturb them.

At the Rice Terraces which are ready for planting

At that time, we observed that as the plowing and tilling of the soil were done by the men, the women do the rice planting.
We also visited their chapel which was being renovated at that time.
After about an hour at the terraces and the village, we went back to the roadside viewpoint.
At the viewpoint, we had some photo shoot with the man in his Igorot costume complete with spear and shield who was also the comfort room attendant..

Part 1 of the photo shoot was the regular "friends pose" or "with an Igorot pose"
Part 2 of the photo shoot was "Action scene" He said. So action it was!

Since we should get to the hotel on or before the check-out time at noon and also have an ample time going to Maligcong Rice Terraces, we decided to just wait for a chance to get a ride going back to downtown Bontoc.
As we waited, once in awhile tourist buses and vans had their stop-over at the place for selfies.
A jeep with tourist (looks like balikbayans) dropped by and we tried to hitch a ride saying that we will pay and just sit on top but we were not granted.
We waited some more. 
We finally got a ride on a private jeep at 11:23 am. "Ediayak lang Talubin nya" (I'll just go to Talubin) the driver said.
Along the way, the jeep had to stop to help a stalled truck (11:30). He lend his tools to the driver of the truck and we waited until they finished fixing it. A good Samaritan he was.
We parted ways with the jeepney at Barangay Talubin where there was a passenger jeep waiting (11:53 noon). We rode on that passenger jeep and arrived at Bontoc town proper at 12:25 noon.

Video clips from along the way

Although it was half an hour passed noontime, we were able to take a bath at the hotel where we had checked-in and checked-out with no additional fees.
We decided to cancel our visit to Maligcong Rice Terraces and just roamed around town a little bit.
At 2:04 in the afternoon we rode a passenger van going back to Abatan90 in the municipality of Buguias (Benguet) then rode another passenger van to Baguio City and finally rode the last trip going back to Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

To the people of Bay-yo, 
the people we met along the way 
and the jeepney driver with plate number ADF 460 
- Many THANKS and God Bless!

Video clips taken at Barangay Bay-yo and the Rice Terraces

Subject : Bay-yo Rice Terraces
Location:  Barangay of Bay-yo
                 Municipality of Bontoc
                 Province of Mountain Province
How to get there:

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