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Improvement of Chotar Communal Irrigation System
May 4, 2017

In 2013, I had the chance to travel in Barangay Tulgao East and West. My friends and I decided to find the main source of water of these two barangays. Motorbikes are the only available transportation from Poblacion to reach the community of the Tulgao tribes. The timeframe takes for about more or less thirty minutes.


As soon as you arrived in the boundaries between Barangay Tulgao East and West, the adventure starts to hike in the mountain. Then, it takes a matter of time to reach the community of Tulgao East tribes. It wasn’t easy since there are no available pathways going to the water source and see the improvement of Chotar Communal Irrigation System (CIS). It was a project wherein the local tribes of Tulgao East and West decided to have as the community project at that time.


The local tribes of Tulgao East had the chance to lead the trail going to the Chotar Mountain. It is the main water reservoir for the community between Barangay Tulgao East and West. Half-way travel in the mountain, the modern gadgets cannot have their signals from different networks. That’s the point of time to enjoy the scenery as continuing to penetrate the untouched mountains.


If water runs out while hiking to the peak of the mountain, then you can have natural water to drink coming from the running water in the mountain. It takes a few hours to reach the Chotar Communal Irrigation System (CIS). But the hiking escapade is worth to experience. It can be done if not going to hike the unpopular mountains above the Barangay Tulgao West.


There is no need to have extra effort when going down from the mountain. The unforgettable experience seeing a rainbow between the barangays. It is a place to have the best adventure for friends to experience.

Image Credit: Shavkat




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Traveling to the Sleeping Beauty Mountain
May 4, 2017

The Kalinga’s pride is to showcase the beautiful places in the Tinglayan. It wasn’t easy to get to the Barangay Poblacion of the province. The travel time is only twice in the jeepney station in Bontoc Mountain Province. If you are lucky, then you can ride inside the jeepney. That would be comfortable for the passengers. But then, if the jeepney is fully loaded with the passengers and the baggage; you can just ride on the top load of the jeepney.

It takes three hours to Barangay Poblacion by jeepney. Along the main road, you can see the mountain terrains as traveling. Some local tribes are walking along the side of the road. It seems that they are so healthy enough to have a brisk walk under the heat of the sun. If things are getting hotter and hotter, then a jeepney driver will allow the passengers to have natural drink water from the mountain. It is the source of water for the local tribes to quench their thirst while on traveling going to their respective barangays.

After two hours departure from Bontoc, you can able to see the pride of the local tribes in Tinglayan Kalinga, the Sleeping Beauty Mountain. The mountain is easily located above the Barangay Ambato-Legleg. It is so mesmerizing mountain to see far from a distance. You can even appreciate the natural beauty if seeing it on Barangay Sumadel and Belong. The clear view is so fascinating if the fogs move and uncover the Sleeping Beauty Mountain.

The local tribes have the mythological stories of the Sleeping Beauty Mountain. There are so many versions of the stories. The typical story runs into the senses of the old folk tribes. A couple had undying love and been separated during the tribal war. “Dinayao” and “Binsay” had promised to be together after the tribal war. But “Binsay” never came back and “Dinayao” had waited and died in Patukan.

Image Credit: Shavkat




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The Rice Paddies in the Mountainous Areas
May 4, 2017

People have the passion for taking all the risk in travelinmg from one place to another. It takes a lot of courage to enter isolated places. Life is not at stake if you are so careful. The best reminder for the adventurous people is to research before setting off to the desired destinations. If you are a hiker, then it is best to climb the mountain of Tinglayan, Kalinga Philippines.


The most fascinating for naïve people, they thought that rice paddies are not existing in the mountain. The wrong notion will be cleared out when seeing the rice paddies in Ifugao. The Banaue Rice Terraces is well-known as the Seven Wonders of the World. It gives life to the farmers to produce local rice breeds and distributed to different places in the country.


Rice paddies are not limited only in Ifugao. It can be seen in the Cordillera areas. In Tingalayan Kalinga, there are twenty barangays that had created their own rice paddies for personal consumption. The local tribes had their time for planting and harvesting based on the seasonal calendar. It seems too high to hike the mountains but the beauty will be found if you had tried it.


The local tribes are so accommodating for the visitors that may want to witness the beauty in the mountainous areas in Kalinga. Most of the places are having the rice paddies to sustain their lives. There are some practices and cultures that the local tribes need to follow. You might want to discover how it was done. It can be found out by going through the steep mountain and hike up two or three mountains to reach the barangays.


There is no harm if you follow the social norms of the place. You need to understand the culture and the practice to live with the local tribes. You can be amazed at how they manage to live in the mountains.

Note: Rice paddies in Barangay Belong, Tinglayan, Kalinga Philippines.

Image Credit: Shavkat




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A Backpack Adventure in Ambato-Legleg River
May 4, 2017

In 23rd of February 2013, it was the day of visiting the sub-project of Barangay Ambato-Legleg, Tinglayan Kalinga, Philippines. The River Control Project was visited prior to the closing of the community’s accountability in the local government under the umbrella of DSWD-CAR. We, as a team walked along the main road of Poblacion. It was a rainy day that time but the activity of the team needs to push through, rain or shine.



It was a bit adventure to walk through the hanging bridge to Barangay Ambato-Legleg. Along the trail, you can see the farm fields of the local tribes. The rice paddies are the main source of food in the area. The Ambato tribes had decided to have the River Control to sustain the needs of water for the rice paddies. It was implemented in the early years with the fund from the local government agency. The funded money will be allocated for the said community project.



After hiking up the rice paddies in the Barangay Ambato, you can able to reach the Ambato-Legleg River. You can see the quick rush of the water current. It has been days that the place experiencing the rain pours at that time. The accomplishment of the River Control is safe to explore how the local tribes furnished the construction of the community project.



You can see how it was being constructed according to the requirements with the effort between the local tribes and the team. It wasn’t a good thing that this is the venue to educate the local tribes for having the community project. It is also the best venue to air out the difficulties in building their own project. The team will still continue to render their selfless services for the next community projects until the local tribes would be able to carry out the process of their own.



Image Credit: Shavkat



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From Dusk Till Dawn in the Summer Capital of the Philippines
May 4, 2017

For some reason, I always take snapshots of the places I had been to. There are times that life can be the fruitful one seeing the beautiful hot spot of the places especially in the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City. It can be mesmerizing the tourist spots in the city. Whatever the place you are planning to go, take with you a camera and follow through documenting the places. These photos can bring back the memories from the past and reminisce whatever the main goal took place in the area.


When I was still working in the local government agency in the City of Pines, I took this photo while on the terrace of Hotel Veniz. I had my mobile phone with me and use the installed camera. I had seen how the sun rises in the morning and this photo showed a picture-perfect from dusk till dawn. It cannot be denied the natural scene in the mountainside.

At night, you can see the houses with lights in the mountainside. Most people described as the Christmas Mountains. The cold breeze sweeps your face can give the familiarity of the impulse that you are near the City of Pines especially if traveling from the lowland areas. People from different places flock in the city during the Summer season. It is only one thing for sure, the city is considered a tourist spot to experience the cold weather all year round.

The city has its pride of culture diversity. It has been once colonized by the American soldiers. Most of the old houses during the regime painted the same color and the style is in a uniform structure. Through the years, the structure of the houses had changed and it went along the touch of modernization. Despite the changes, the local people remained accommodating for the visitors from different places and it varies the population depending locally or internationally.

Image Credit: Shavkat



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Tips to follow when you travel alone
May 2, 2017

There are times when you have to travel alone either for business meetups or just for taking some time off from your busy schedule. Either way traveling is always fun and refreshing. Traveling not only makes you feel fresh but also makes you smarter and more open to trying new things in life. However safety is our first priority when traveling especially alone specifically for women travelers. So here are a few tips which will be helpful for you when you travel solo.

  1. When you check for reviews about a hotel check if it has good and positive reviews especially check for reviews about women safety. If possible ask some local people around the hotel about the place to get a clear idea.
  2. While getting a room make sure it is near the steps or the elevator so that in the case of any emergency you can be able to run quickly. Avoid rooms near any construction works or near the window.
  3. Dress down and dress to blend in with the people. Avoid wearing valuable jewelry. If married then that marriage ring is alone is enough.
  4. Avoid looking like a tourist with a map or guidebook in your hands. Read about the places in the map thoroughly in the room itself. Instead of maps try to use a smartphone. This will avoid unwanted attention.
  5. Pack things in a single bag or two. Don’t make it too heavy as you will have to carry it around. Don’t carry a lot of things as it will be inconvenient for you to look after and also there are chances of getting lost or stolen.
  6. As far as possible do not carry any valuable or precious things in the bag unless otherwise there is a necessity.
  7. Always go for a public transit and avoid taking cabs as far as possible especially if you are a woman. Even if you sense some danger scream as loud as possible which will alert the nearby passengers. Always have the police number on the speed dial.
  8. Have a copy of your valuable documents like passport, id, photo in a digital format in your mail. In case you lose it you can easily give that to the police to find out easily.
  9. Always take a busy and well-lit street rather than a lonely dark street. Don’t panic and keep calm when you sense some danger as it will give you time to think of solutions.
  10. Don’t carry hard cash in large amount. Try to use cards as far as possible for all the transactions. If you want to keep some money in your bag then keep the cash in between the clothes or else if you are a woman traveler then you can put the money in a tampon box for safety. But it is best to avoid having hard cash in hand.

These are some of the tips to be followed when you are traveling alone. I usually follow these tips that I have mentioned and I hope this is useful for you. Thanks for reading.

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What kind of transportation do you use in daily life?
April 30, 2017

Every country has their own way to transport passengers from one place to another. It is typical for European and Western countries uses buses as public transportation. It is cheaper and economical for the people to go to their offices, hospital, malls, etc.

In Asian countries, the local people have their own public transportation. People across the borders were so delighted and amazed how it was being created. Most of the public transportation are second-handed or used vehicle’s engines were remodeled to a more useful for the Asian people. It depends on how the second-handed vehicles will be transformed into public transportation.

In the Philippines, the local people have their own pride of using jeepneys, pedicab and tricycle are commonly used as the public transportation. It is the cheapest in terms of paying passenger’s fare. The uniqueness of the creation can always amaze foreign tourists while visiting the country.

Jeepney is a shared public transportation and available in all provinces in the Philippines. The jeepney’s framework is like a typical bus but the difference there is no compartments at the side of the vehicle. The top load was customized to use for baggage.


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Tricycle is not commonly seen in all the provinces of the country. In Baguio City, the tricycle is not being used as public transportation. This type of vehicle in the Philippines is like a taxi in some provinces. It is cheaper than riding the yellow cabs in the cities. It is a motorbike and attached with the passenger’s unit.


Image Credit: 123RF.com

Pedicab is the replica of the tricycle-type vehicle. Instead of using a motorbike, the bicycle is being used to the passenger’s unit. It wasn’t expensive in terms of fare is a concern. The pedicab drivers are innovative in designing their own vehicle nowadays. The installation of speakers, the tinted glasses, goods, etc.  At some point, it is considered environmental friendly vehicle.


Image Credit:http://images3.topgear.com.ph

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The travel bug bit us good and proper – Kashmir
April 29, 2017

Apart from visiting our folks every alternate year we got into seeing places and Kashmir was first on the list. We joined a package tour that took away the nitty-gritty of planning. It was a 10 day tour as there were other places that got included in that package

We arrived at Delhi to catch a connecting train to Jammu. The travel to Srinagar was by bus. The route was scenic with hills and dales. We got the opportunity to drink water flowing from the springs.
When we reached Srinagar it was night and when we got off the bus I regretted having taken this tour as the cold was so intense for which I was not mentally prepared. We huddled together and got into our hotel room.
By next day I felt better and was ready to take on what was lined up for us. The hotel was situated on the Dal Lake a- panoramic view. There were ‘shikara’ rides that gave us a ‘dekho’ of the city through a ride in the Dal Lake.
My husband and I would get up pretty early in the morning and go for our morning walks – hand in hand – along the Dal Lake – a walk I will never ever forget.



There were historic spots that we were taken to such as the Char Chinar





Sonmarg, Gulmarg and Chandwani Wadi. I got my first experience of a cable car ride going from one height to another with a valley in between.
The mule ride in Chandanwadi going through those precarious paths that the surefooted mule deftly maneuvered was an unforgettable experience not to forget the pain that we had to put up with having to sit on those hard wooden planks which served as seats. A hot water bath did give me some relief to be up and ready for yet another day of adventure.
Throughout our travel in Srinagar we were fed with beautiful views of flowers, and lush green pine trees that skirted the roads.
We made friends with the group that joined this package – a holiday that just made us want more and that is another story.

And thus started our interest in travel that took us to several foreign countries as well.


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Travel: The Mother of Greatness
April 28, 2017

Traveling is the best way to reboot the total being. It is tempting but people need to be relaxed and explore the other side of the world. In Sagada Mountain Province, it is worth a try to hike and walk along the path of the Poblacion area. The different restaurants, lodges and coffee shops can be found in the town proper. Most of the local food and beverages are touched with the modern restaurants in major cities. Of course, it is more idealistic to try the local cuisine.



Most tourists wanted to see the movie scene “That Thing Called Tadhana” (That Thing Called Fate). It can be seen after walking through Barangay Ambasing of the province and the end part of this is going to Sumaging Cave. The local celebrities Angelica Panganiban and JM de Guzman had a movie scene in Gaia The Mother of Greatness. At some point, it makes the local café known in the Philippines and proportionately increased their profit through the years after the first viewing of the movie in 2014. The young ladies can tell you the history of the place and read the books installed at the center of the café shop.



It is a perfect place for the tourist to feel the strong cold wind while sitting in a customized tree house. The local food is so simple and enjoyable of eating a Gaia Camote Fries and drinking a cup of brewed coffee (The local food Gaia Camote fries is sprinkled with extracted lemon juice and muscovado. The brewed coffee is the local brand in Sagada). It was an affordable to pay the bills before moving along the path to Sumaging Cave or going back to the town proper. The road is passable but it will ruin the main point of being there. That is, to walk through the roads in reaching the tourist spots in the place.


Image Credit: Shavkat




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Travel: The Hanging Coffins in Sagada Mountain Province
April 28, 2017

For backpackers, they tend to explore the world with a great adventure. In the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), there are so many beautiful places to visit. It takes a matter of time knowing the tourist attractions. It is located on the mountainside of the Philippines.

If you wanted to explore the unusual cemetery, then you can found in the Sagada Mountain Province, Philippines. It was called “The Hanging Coffins.” The local tribes had been doing this for long years back and in some cases, they still continue the old practice.

It would be a great adventure to visit the place. It needs to have a tourist guide in exploring the pathway to “The Hanging Coffins.” At present, a concrete pathway was being created for the tourists to walk through the place. For some old folks, they had shown their sentiments. They prefer the old-fashioned way of walking in the untouched ground of the mountains.

Along its trail to the unusual cemetery, you can take the chance of visiting the “Echo Valley Hanging Coffins.” It takes 20 to 30 minutes hike from the Sagada Town Proper. It was unusual and even the tourist guide will ask you to shout out loud as it reaches the mountain view.

The old practices vary from one local tribe to another in putting the dead body in the wooden coffin. They usually put the dead body sitting on a wooden chair and smoke underneath. The local tribes didn’t consider them dead if it wasn’t laid in the coffin.

Some other caves in the Sagada Mountain Province laid their coffins inside, it takes a few minutes or hours to hike to these caves. There are so many things to do in the area. Accommodations are available at a low cost on a daily basis. Foods can be provided by the local restaurants and buy some local products as souvenirs.

Image Credit: Shavkat


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