Tabuk, Kalinga is a 12-hour chilly bus trip from Manila traversing the Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Isabela Route. A jacket enough to keep you warm during the trip is a significant measure to keep you from getting colds thus precluding you from bad trip. If you’ll depart Autobus’s terminal in Espana,
at 10:30 pm, you’ll arrive at the Bulanao junction facing St. Williams Cathedral at 8:00 am the next day, per my experience. A left turn after Quezon municipality in Isabela is a sign that you're entering to Kalinga and an arc that reads "Matago Tako Losan"will greet you welcome. Manila
Things to do in Tabuk:
Things to do in Tabuk:
- Chill out at the Provincial Capitol and enjoy the overlooking view of Tabuk while relaxing. The capitol is just a 7-peso ride from the Bulanao junctions bus stop.
- Visit to the mini museum. There you will find native artifacts and other memorabilia of the ancient kalingas. Very near also from the bus stop.
- Test your fear of heights in the gigantic Chico River Diversion Dam. While riding on your way, you will have the pleasure of viewing the nice landscape of mountains buffering the river neatly shaped by erosions.
- Pasalubong and souvenir items shopping at the market and in Ayatu’s Souvenir Shop. Kalinga Blend and Kalinga Brewed are best pasalubong that you can get while you can choose native kalinga crafts souvenirs in Ayatu’s that came in expensive handwoven and simulated textile products. The cordillera is home to coffee trees. And in Kalinga, Nestle has a farm.
- On accommodations, Davidson Hotel and Kalinga Hostel are the popular.
The Kalinga- Bontoc route is practically “the road less traveled”. The narrow road passable by vehicles one at a time is seldom taken by travelers. But if you’re adventurous enough to face the thrill of its deep shoulders, the route is your choice. The reward? Endless sight of rice terraces capped with fogs along Lubuagan and Tinglayan and the experience of surviving without the effort of fighting. Successfully finishing the 8-hour heart-pounding trip is like an accomplishment.
Views within Lubuagan and Tinglayan, KalingaKalinga-Bontoc trip leaves 6:00 am via Isabela-Ifugao route and every 7:00 am via Tinglayan route daily. Now if you’re run out of cash, Bontoc’s only ATM machines provided by PNB and LBP can help you out. Up in Sagada, cards are useless. So bring enough cash for your food, lodging, tour guide fee, and souvenir shopping.
Sagada, Mountain Province
Connecting ride with a jeepney for Sagada was another journey adventure. The serpentine road endlessly going up to Sagada is like an endless journey to the heaven and after 1 hour we reach its community. Last trip is at 4:00 pm.
(I may sound boring telling my stories so you can skip from reading from here. You may find the photos more interesting.)
The first thing we did upon arrival was to look for a cheap place to dine, stay, and cheap charging tour guide. While searching for a place to have our lunner (lunch and dinner), we met Manang Katrina, a tour guide, selling her lemon pies in front of a store. She helped us look for a place to eat while proffering her service at P500.00 and accompanied us to Residential Lodge which offers a friendly rate of P200.00 per person with a communal bathroom equipped with hot and cold shower. No television.
Due to a tiring journey, we were all down to sleep as early as 6 in the evening. We were not able to experience Sagada’s nightlife. As what I’ve learned, there ain’t any. Locales are implementing curfews at 9pm with all establishments shut down. Don’t attempt looking for a bar or something to satisfy your urbane desires; you’re in a place off to preserve their conservative lifestyle.
The morning after, we had our breakfast at Masferre’s Restaurant where we poked fun at the topless women in the black & white laminated photo exhibit displaying the ancient civilization of Kalinga and
After breakfast, we looked for Manang Katrina’s house. Then the trail began.
First stop, hanging coffins. Visible from afar. What I can’t imagine and I think made it amazing was the hardship of climbing a steep and sharp rock just to slip the coffin on its cliff. Take note, only dead who were married and with grandchildren during their living can be buried this way.
Second stop, burial cave. I dared not count the organized piles of coffins placed at the wide opening of the cave or touch anything there as warned by Manang Katrina. Photo op was the most enjoyable thing to do.
Our lesson: There are many tourist spots in Sagada. All these require NO entrance fees but 2-day devotion of trekking. So a 2 overnight stay for commuting tourists is advised for a fulfilling travel.
In our case, which was targeting Banaue as next destination, chasing the 12:00 noon last trip back to Bontoc prevented us from pursuing to other spots. We have to hurry back in order to catch the 3pm last trip to Banaue.
Pissed off because we were left out by the last trip, we rode the bus bound for
Autobus Liners going to
transportation rates as of December 2007:
Manila-Kalinga = 589.00 Deluxe
(Autobus) 500.00 Regular aircon