Wednesday, January 30, 2019



"It was a road to the towers and to a great view"

Please, let us practice the "LEAVE NO TRACE" (LNT) outdoor ethics.
Let us not vandalize, etch or write on its natural surfaces such as rocks and bark of trees.
Manage our waste products properly. Do not leave your garbage behind, bring it with you
when there is no proper disposal in the area. Do not litter!
Respect wildlife, "nature" and the local culture.
Minimize our impact!
Safety should be our priority!

-my pagnapagna-
(January 28, 2019 a Monday)

Some few minutes after 8 o'clock in the morning, I visited the Bantay Municipal hall particularly their Tourism officer at the Mayor's Office .
Everyone was very busy that day including their tourism officer since they were preparing for the "Kannawidan festival" for its opening the following day. Nevertheless, they were very accommodating and ma'am "Willie Vanne Pre" discussed and presented to me some of their tourists spots. I was eyeing for the waterfalls at the barangay of San Mariano but it looked like there will be some difficulty on looking for the trail if I will do it on my own. Ma'am "Willie Vanne Pre" offered me the Mt. Caniaw and Mt. Tupira which was closer compared to San Mariano for the waterfalls. She added that Mt. Caniaw was still closed but try to visit it. I thanked her and I went on for my adventure.
I rode a tricycle going to barangay Taleb. It was going East-southeast along the national highway and after the welcome arch to Taleb by the roadside, just some 50 meters or more, there was another branching road at the left side. I alighted  from the tricycle and paid the asking price of the tricycle driver of 75 pesos. I rode another tricycle going inside where we passed by a cemetery and the provincial jail. It was a short tricycle ride and I was at Mt. Caniaw Park entrance.
A sign says no entry and the park was closed.  The man manning the area also told me that the park was still closed and we waited for the provincial tourism officer. 
The provincial tourism officer arrived. She told me that the park was still closed and that we should wait for the announcement by February on the opening of the park which will also be announced at their facebook page "Sure Ilocos Sur".
At around 10 o'clock in the morning, I left the area and went on my way to the nearby destination which was the Mt. Tupira.
I walked and walked along that uphill concreted, two lane road.

A section of the road (lower uphill section)

Noticed that the forest area along the way was a very important source of firewood for some people as I've seen them along the way.
I was not sure what to expect at the peak. All I knew that it was the place where the antennae or communication towers were located and locally known as radars.
I kept on walking and the day was getting hotter. Although I had no umbrella with me, I was thankful for the paintings that I was carrying. I used them as shield against the scorching sun (No damage also to the paintings).
Still, I kept on walking as the road becomes steeper and winding, my pace became slower.
I passed by some 3 men resting on a waiting shed. 
Farther up there were some landslides along the road that occupied some half of the road.
noticed that pine trees grew on that part of the mountain.

Looking back at the first section where there were pine trees on top of a peak
The view looking towards the mountains of the municipality of "Santa"
(near Quirino Bridge Banaoang) from the road near the summit area

I kept on walking and seen another 3 trekkers approaching from a distance in front of me. The two went off-road to take a rest under the roadside trees and that was the only area on that section where one can rest under trees.
Their companion continued walking towards me as I was also under the shade.. under the shadow of the mountain.
He arrived to where I was and we talked. He was with a relative who just came from Canada (one of the two who went under the shade of the trees) and they are also with the same group with the 3 men resting on the waiting shed I seen earlier.  They started trekking at around 8 o'clock that morning and now they are on their way down.
I told them that we were walking for hours but if you have a car it will be just some few minutes and you are at your destination. "Wen ngem awan met ti thrill na nu kasdiay (Yes but there's no thrill in that)", he stated which I agreed. "Maymayat met lang nu pagrigatam (It is better if you take the struggle)", he added.
Afterwards, I left them to go on to my destination.
I kept on walking and going up revealed the view towards the other side of the mountain.
If I was not mistaken, those mountains were of the province of Abra and the town of Bangued can be seen from that portion of the road.
The walk continued that passed by some two peaks of communication towers.

there were many clusters of communication towers at the summit area

The road went slightly downhill after the second tower area and towards the third tower area. They (the one I met along the way and the provincial tourism officer) told me that this is where they planned to build a casino with a cable car going down to Baluarte (zoo-park).
I continued on the main road until I reached where the concreted road ends literally (around 12:50 pm). Fronting it was a fenced communication towers and besides were some small make-shift small houses made up of old corrugated sheets.
At the left side was a basketball court. I went up and few meters across the basketball court was the view of the plains. Its a bird's eye view of that part of Ilocos Sur (Vigan, Bantay, Sta. Catalina, San Vicente, Sto. Domingo, magsingal to name a few).

The view towards the edge at the basketball court area.
another view towards the backside (cropped-zoomed photo to eliminate unnecessary objects)

After taking photographs and videos, I left the area (1:45 pm). Time to take that road again but this time downhill.
It was very hot with the sun shining directly above. Still I was glad I had those paintings with me that I can put above my head acting as an umbrella. The only problem was heat was also reflecting from the concrete road. I can feel my face getting oily and thicker  as if it was being baked (to exaggerate).
I had a long sleeves on but my hands not protected that I can see it turning darker.
I cannot complain, this is what I love walking in the outdoors.
I made it down to the flat lands and passed by at the road leading to Mt. Caniaw park  (3:33pm).
Walked some more and I was at the national highway (3:51 pm).
What a relief  I made it and there was still more time for me to go for the preparation of the arts exhibit for the Kannawidan festival at Vigan City.
 Before I left, I went to eat at a roadside eatery and drunk lots of water while I felt my exposed skins were baked from that hot trek.
Just to be sure I asked the eatery owner  how much was the fare going back to downtown Bantay.
They told me that it is usually 15 pesos (per individual passenger) but they give 20 pesos (tatnu awan adu a sau- so there will be no more argument).
Afterwards I rode a tricycle going back to downtown Bantay along with other 3 passengers.

-end of pagnapagna-

One can drive all the way up by car/motorbike.
It is generally an-all road.
There is no particular designated place for viewing
 in the area wherein every peak is clustered with communication towers.
 There is also no trees to take shelter on.
We consider those communication tower areas as
individual private properties as they were fenced (no entry).

Thank you to the
Tourism Officer of the Municipality of Bantay and company

For the other posts:
Kannawidan 2019
Bantay Bell Tower


Subject: Mt. Tupira
Location: barangay of Taleb,
Municipality of  Bantay
Province of Ilocos Sur
How to get there:


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