Seeing mummies

Kabayan Travel Blog

 › entry 28 of 42 › view all entries
Rice terracces

I am getting up at a stupid hour this morning. I need to go for breakfast at 5.30 back home I am more likely to be going to bed this hour of the day than getting up. But if I want breakfast before the 6 departure for a full day hike this is the time. I also need to pick up a prepared lunch for the day. One great thing is the foresight from yesterday ordering lunch for the daytrip and asking if they would open the restaurant ½ hour early for us so we could actually get something to eat - which is very advisable if you want to go hiking I guess.

 

We start the hike following the main roads with our guide. You kind of need a guide because the roads are not clearly marked hence you will probably make a wrong turn at one stage even though there are not that many road. Hiking on an ordinary road is not really my kind of hiking.

Entrance to the cave
I prefer taking a vehicle of some sort to drive along the road and then start hiking on some sort of trail. It is a lot more interesting than this road hiking stuff. But the local transport in this area is somewhat shaky so you need to walk like the locals.

 

We walk for what seem to be a couple of hours and then reach a tiny village where there is a trail up to a cave. The guide gets the key to the cave so we can go up there. We all travel with Lonely Planet - like you do - and the trail up the hill is described in Lonely Planet like a short steep climb from the road. I guess I can do that after travelling for a while I am not really in the shape of my life but I should still be ok to do short time physical exercise.

 

Hence we start walking up the hill - and it is steep. Actually it is really step with the earth regularly caving in under your feet as we make our way up the hill. As we walk up we start to loose our faith the Lonely Planet. This hike is a killer not so much because of the length because it is not that long. But it is steep as hell and the trail is a very tricky one.

Meeting mummy number one
We are all struggling to get up and an older Dutch couple give up half way there and turn back. The rest of us proceed up the hill - and finally we are at the top and the guide opens the cave. He is saying something strange in his own language which is some sort of mountain dialect you only speak in this regions which probably mean even people from Manila would understand nothing of what he is talking about.

 

What he was doing was actually talking to the mummies in the cave telling them they had visitors from foreign lands coming to see them. This is his standard procedure when it is foreigners visiting while if it is Pilipino he will tell them there is people from the Philippines coming. Not that these mummies would know what the Philippines is given they did about 5-700 years ago way before the Philippines were created.

Welcome to the burial rock
There are many such caves in this area but they are all 500 or more years old because the Spanish managed to stop the mummification tradition when they arrived in the area.

 

We get in to the dark narrow cave where there are some coffins and the guide opens two of them so we can have a look at these famous mummies and take pictures which apparently is not some sort of taboo or anything like that - so picture, picture and picture. Then we are ready to go and the guide says salamat when we leave the cave and he lucks the door hence some words here is common with the Tagalog being spoken in Manila.

 

Then it is time to get down the hill back to the road - and if we thought it was difficult to get up the walk down is a nightmare. We are all slipping and sliding down the hill even though we take the walk down easy. Only the guide does not fall. But at least he slips a few times HA. We keep walking down the hill and falling down on the semi muddy trail. That is if you can call this a proper trail.

Entrance to the coffins in the rock
We do get down without any major injuries but pretty dirty and sweaty after all the falling. And it actually took longer getting down than walking up because the decent were that technical and I am a hopeless decenter. Both on foot and on a bike I prefer the up hill always forever.

 

After this stop we take a short break before we walk on. We walk along a lot of small path through rice fields and other farms to go to a burial rock. It takes another couple of hours to get there. On the way we pass a big high school and our guide did go to this school a few years ago. Amazingly 85 percent of the people in this remote rural area actually go to high school. This is a lot more than back home - hence once again I am amazed by this amount of education in the Philippines. It is a very well educated population which keeps me wondering when this country will take of economically. It clearly got the potential to be the next big thing but something is keeping it back.

 

We get to the entrance to the burial rock and then it is time for lunch.

Coffins
It is always great to enjoy a meal with rice. I mean it is lunch time and it is only the second time today I am having rice. I really should eat more rice.

 

After the short lunch break it is time to go to the burial rock where a lot of coffin is inside the rock where the old people have carved big holes in the rock to burry people. There is a lot of people buried inside the rock but nobody know how many but it is probably in the hundreds.

 

After the burial rock it is time to get back to the village and we walk along small trail which I would never have found without a guide. And then the trail is block by a Kalabow. Fortunately it is a peaceful Kalabow even though it is pretty big so it lets us all pass it. And we make it safely back to the Kabayan with out the rain starting to fall. That was really lucky considering how the sky had looked all day.

 

And when we get back to the hotel it is time to get a nice hot shower. Hence I walk into the first shower - it got everything you could want from a shower - you know taps to turn on the water and a showerhead to splash the water over your buddy. I try to turn on the tap - no result. Ok it is only this shower which got a bit of a problem with the tap - I just use the other shower instead no worries. I try the other shower - same result no water coming out of the showerhead.

 

I start to wonder if the buckets inside the shower actually are there for a purpose. I guess they are. I fill up the really big flat bucket and use the smaller one to scoop up the water and pour it over myself. I soon realize one thing - there is absolutely no hot water in this place.

Road block
In most places in the Philippines you don't really need hot water because the temperature of the cold water running out of the tap is not really cold and with the general temperature being high it kind of feel refreshing having the water not too hot. But this is in the mountains which mean the cold water is actually really cold. And the air is cold as well. Hence the cold shower is a bit of an endurance test of will.

 

I take the small scoop and pour the water over myself. And it is very unpleasant. I start to wonder if I really need a shower. But I soon realize after the hike my body is covered in sweat and dirt. There is no way out of this. I don't want to take a shower I need to take a shower. Hence I take the small bucket one more time and again and again - it is not getting more comfortable as I go along. Finally I call it quit - I am clean enough. Sure if there had been hot water I might have spend more time in the shower but I think I got all the dirt and sweat of my body by now.

 

Now there is not much more to do except await dinner. What should I have with my meal? Potatoes? French Fries? Pasta? No I think I go with rice.

Rice terracces
You really can not have enough rice.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Rice terracces
Rice terracces
The hills of the Kabayan region
The hills of the Kabayan region
Entrance to the cave
Entrance to the cave
Meeting mummy number one
Meeting mummy number one
Welcome to the burial rock
Welcome to the burial rock
Entrance to the coffins in the rock
Entrance to the coffins in the rock
Coffins
Coffins
Meeting mimmy nunber two
Meeting mimmy nunber two
Road block
Road block
Rice terracces
Rice terracces
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Mummy one
Mummy one
Mummy one
Mummy one
Mummy two
Mummy two
Mummy one
Mummy one
Mummy one
Mummy one
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Rice terracces
Rice terracces
Non rice field - would you believe…
Non rice field - would you believ…
Hills of the Kabayan region
Hills of the Kabayan region
Rice ready for the harvest
Rice ready for the harvest
River flowing
River flowing
Rice terracces
Rice terracces
more rice teracces
more rice teracces
Harvesting rice
Harvesting rice
Closer look at the people doing th…
Closer look at the people doing t…
Rice
Rice
More rice
More rice
The bridge leading to the burial r…
The bridge leading to the burial …
Cave made in the old days to make …
Cave made in the old days to make…
Coffin inside the rock
Coffin inside the rock
Coffin falling down inside the rock
Coffin falling down inside the rock
More coffins - they burried up to …
More coffins - they burried up to…
The rock from a bit of distance
The rock from a bit of distance
More Rice
More Rice
Small one
Small one
Road block
Road block
Road block
Road block
Kabayan
photo by: tj1777