Tuesday, October 8, 2019

KABAYAN, Benguet


"Aside from mountain peaks, there were these sacred places
to see"

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-

October 6, 2019 a Sunday
I rode a bus bound for Baguio City and alighted at the bus terminal area at around 6:30 in the morning.
It was a cold morning as I walked my way along Session road going down to Magsaysay Avenue. There, I rode a jeep and alighted at "slaughter house area" to see if there were buses bound for the municipality of Kabayan. I later found out that there were no bus bound for Kabayan and a saleslady at a stall told me that there were buses at the Dangwa Terminal area. I went too see at the other side where there were passenger vans but I can only see vans bound for Solano (Nueva Ecija).
I went to the Dangwa Terminal area just to found out that the buses for Kabayan were scheduled at 2 o'clock and 3:30 in the afternoon. Frustrated, I went back to the "slaughter house area" at the van terminals and asked again, this time to a "barker" and what a relief as it was positive. He told me to sign in and pay the fare of 180 pesos as we waited for the vans to arrive.
The vans arrived, we got inside and departed at 8:33 am.
We finally arrived at downtown Kabayan (Poblacion) at 11:40 am.

The first thing I did was to go to the Municipal Hall but because it was Sunday, it was closed and so as the nearby Tourism office.
The police officers at the area told me to just go inside the police station and register there.
At the front desk was a lady officer who let me sign in at the logbook. Later on, she handed a leaflet of the Tourists spots of Kabayan. I thanked them and went on my way.
My first stop was the Opdas Burial Cave.
From the Municipal hall, I walked my way along the highway going halfway towards the Poblacion welcome arch. On the right side was a signage for the Opdas Cave. I walked down on a narrow alley between houses and went inside the front yard of a house where 2 barking dogs greeted me. I politely called on the attention of the owners of the dogs and the house. A lady came out and pacified the dogs as I told them that I came to visit the Burial cave. She pointed me to the steps and told me that taking of photographs and videos were not allowed.

Opdas Burial Cave
Located at the residential area in downtown Poblacion, Kabayan, it is owned privately and was renovated by the Philippine Tourism Authority. The cave is a space under a big boulder where many bones rests. It is open to the public and for viewing only.

Since taking photograph was not allowed,  here is a hiking artists' -pagnapagna's
drawing (not done on site) of the Opdas burial cave.

I was alone. I removed my cap as a sign of respect to those departed, approached the steel gate and did not even bothered to open it (and it may be prohibited) as I peeked inside.
After few minutes, I left and went to see the "Kabayan weaving".
Going back and passed by the Municipal hall area, I walked my way to the weaver's house.

Kabayan Weaving
Located at the second floor (which was almost same level with the road) of a small house in downtown Kabayan. I seen one weaver at that time while others were on the sewing machines.

Few minutes later, I went to see the Museum.

National Museum (Kabayan Branch)
Located farther along the road passing the downtown area of Poblacion, Kabayan, around 100 meters after a bridge where its signage by the roadside is located under acacia trees, and another few meters walk going inside from the roadside signage is the Museum. It houses some of the artifacts of the municipality.

The National Museum Kabayan

One of the displays at the Museum is this "coffin" which was carved from a log.

After that cultural immersion at the museum, I went back to the downtown area where I took a tricycle ride going to barangay Kabayan Barrio (the next barangay).
We passed by the Museum area and many minutes later, we turned left from the main highway going down passing by a residential area and crossed a bridge. I halted the tricycle driver to stop for a while as I've seen my friend on the roadside barracks. I hurriedly talked to him, went back and rode the tricycle going uphill. Few minutes later, the tricycle stopped at a roadside trailhead that will lead to the Burial rock. I went down, paid the 150 pesos fare and went on to the trail.

Tinongchol Burial Rock
Located at barangay Kabayan Barrio. It is a big rock (boulder) wherein holes where made to accommodate coffins.
The roadside trail from the Mongoto-Kabayan road (that will also lead to Mt. Timbac) is a short one with railings overlooking down to a stream.
A gazebo and a nipa-hut type shed were constructed in the area with concreted pathways.

pagnapagna's illustration of the Burial Rock

Looking down at the pathways, hut/shed and gazebo at the Tinongchol Burial Rock

After looking around and wondered how they bored holes in that big boulder, I looked for a spot to sit down and do a sketch.
While sketching, my friend "Jerome" arrived. I continued my sketch as a light drizzle poured down.

The sketch of one of the burial holes of the boulder

After finishing my sketch, we left and went uphill to the road being concreted. After few minutes of uphill walking we finally arrived at their barracks by the roadside.
"Jerome" along with his co-workers who were his Uncle, his three co-workers (from Santol, La Union) and I had our "socials" until nighttime.
We slept and come midnight, strong winds blew with light rain that made the cold night even colder. Few hours later, the strong wind ceased. My sleeps were shallow, short and "segmented". I went outside the tent around 2 o'clock in the morning. It was very cold and I looked up. The sky was so brilliantly filled with so many stars and it looked amazingly crisp. The cold climate made me go back inside and lay down. I still can't sleep and few minutes later, I decided to go out again to take photographs of that brilliant star-studded sky but when I looked up again, the sky was covered with clouds. Haisst! Back to shallow sleep again.

pagnapagna's home for the night which was the barracks
of the workers where one was a friend who was "Jerome".

October 7, 2019 a Monday
Woke up early morning, deciding what to do that day.
I was contemplating of walking uphill that Mongoto-Kabayan road towards Mt. Timbac down to kilometer 55 of Halsema Highway and go to Atok, Benguet. If I do it early that morning, I can make it there by noontime or earlier which I have still time to drop-by and see the "Cherry blossoms".
Think and more thinking! Should I or shouldn't I? Go up towards Mt. Timbac or go down to Poblacion Kabayan? Questions that needed answers.
After a breakfast of red beans with pork meat, I thanked them all and decided to go down at Poblacion, Kabayan.

The view along the Mongoto-Kabayan road near the barracks

Looking back towards where I came from as I walked my
way back to downtown Poblacion, Kabayan.

7:05 started walking from the roadside barracks down to Kabayan Barrio proper.
7:47 arrived at the intersection at the Bugias-Bokod road
7:52 walked again towards Poblacion
8:52 passed by the Welcome arch of Kabayan Barrio
8:39 passed by the roadside sign of the National Museum
8:48 Finally arrived at downtown Poblacion and went to wait for the van going to Baguio city
9:15 The van departed downtown Kabayan. Van fare 180 pesos
10:19 passed by the intersection going to Nueva Vizcaya
10:23 stop over
10:42 depart again
12:20 arrival at Baguio City (van terminal at Slaughter house area)
From Baguio City, I walked my way towards the bus terminal for finally going back to Home sweet home.

-end of pagnapagna-


Subject: Kabayan, Benguet
Location: Barangays Poblacion & Kabayan Barrio,
Municipality of  Kabayan
Province of Benguet

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