a province called mountain!
mountain province Travel Blog› entry 52 of 106 › view all entries
April 21st, 2009 – by: lauro
actually, there is a lot of history in this area, till the 60's mountain province was really a huge province, encompassing benguet (where baguio and mt pulag are located), mt. province that is now, ifugao (where the rice terraces are), kalinga-apayao (where the headhunting kalinga tribe thrived), and abra provinces and was also called "montañosa" in spanish.
then in the 60's where corruption started in the philippines, mt. province was broken into little provinces, and left the remaining mountain province a small part of the area.
now whattafuck am i talking about?!! hahahaha i just learned this, when i was in mt. data talking to the locals over bonfire and a glass of cointreau in 2003! hahahaha.
as ive said earlier, mountain province is one of the poorest province in the philippines. but it is so different from benguet. in benguet, up until the mountains, people inhabit the areas, whether livestock grazing or farming, and the smell in the air are mostly from fertilizers mixed with wisps of pine trees. but in mountain province, the landscape is so different! it is much drier, rocky, dusty, traversed by the controversial chico river, air ism uch cleaner, eventhough it is much lower than benguet at 1000 meters average altitude, the landscape is just phenomenal! the dusty and rocky road that is always prone to landslides brings more excitement to the already exciting butt aching ride!
along the way, the peak of mt.
it is actually my favorite province in the philippines! the people are laidback, helpful and friendly! and the landscape is just utterly out of this world fantastic! such rawness with little modern civilization!
after an hour driving through mountain province from its first town of bauko, we had our first stopover, i went to the pay toilet of 2 pesos to use, not even a cent of a euro! though its really spartan, it is very clean. vendors hawk their goods, and if you say no, they would not bother you again! which is really polite!
the trip was more descending rather than ascending, then slowly we were on the chico river, the elevation is just like 600-800 meters, so its really hot! i swear i saw a coconut tree! which we havent found yet on the trip! there are other trees now except for pines like the native dapdap that changes color in the spring and some tropical trees already.
but then, after an hour of butt aching driving, we ascended again! higher and higher because sagada is located at an altitude of 1,500 meters but in between a valley. then, of all the miserable things that would happen, my cheap mp3 player broke down! arrghh it wont function anymore!!!! i was downhearted but i wouldnt let this little thing ruin a trip that i know would be the most memorable even if were just on the first leg.
ben was so excited! he talked non-stop but i wasnt listening or listened half hearted because five years it took me to go back to sagada, where everything in my life changed since i first visited the the home of the mountain spirit 10 years ago.
i can feel the wind, the wind that carried me the to the first spiritual journey i had in my life, i was only 21.
sagada, i am here.
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