Thursday, February 9, 2017

Travel Guide to Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province

Maligcong is a remote village located in the highlands of Bontoc, Mountain Province. Previously unknown to most tourists, it is now becoming a favorite destination of avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to avoid the crowd of Sagada and Banaue. I recently traveled solo to Maligcong and I certainly love its quaint setting, cold weather and warm and friendly local folks. Based on that travel experience, I made this travel guide to Maligcong--how to get there, where to stay and eat, things to do, expenses and contact numbers.

How to Get There

Bontoc via Banaue, Ifugao

Coda Bus travels straight to Bontoc from Quezon City nightly at 9 PM. Travel time is 11-12 hours and bus fare is. Coda Bus Terminal is at Quezon City and you may book you ticket in advance through Biyaheroes.


Coda Bus during a stop-over in the foggy Mt. Polis

Another option is to take the Ohayami Bus from Sampaloc, Manila to Banaue, Ifugao. In Banaue, there are passenger jeepneys and vans going to Bontoc. Visit their website for fares and schedule of trips.

Bontoc via Baguio City

There are several buses serving the Manila to Baguio. You may visit the Facebook pages of Victory Liner and Genesis Bus Line to inquire on their schedule and fare. Travel time is about 6 hours. Once in Baguio, you may take GL Lizardo Trans which departs at  8 am, 10 am and 2:30 pm from Governor Pack Rd. Baguio City or D'Rising Sun Buses which departs at 5 am to1 pm from Slaughter House Compound, Baguio City. It would take another 6 hours of travel from Baguio City to Bontoc.

Bontoc Town Proper to Maligcong


Bontoc Town Proper

Terminal of jeepneys going to Maligcong is located near Pines Kitchenette & Inn. Schedule of departure is at 8 AM, 12 NN, 2 PM and 4 PM. Make sure to be at the terminal early as the jeepney would depart even before the scheduled time if it is already full of passengers. Fare is 25 pesos and travel time is only 30 minutes.

Where to Stay 

Maligcong is a small village and there are no hotels or inns. There are only three homestays which accept guests. I stayed at the Terraces View, the first homestay you will pass by coming from Bontoc.


Terraces View (also known as Rowena Homestay) offers basic accommodation with a daily rate of only 350 pesos per person. I was booked in a room good for 2 persons with one double deck bed. Toilet and bathroom is shared with other guest but always kept clean as I observed during my stay. They also have a common dining room and a bonfire area outside which provide the ideal setting to meet other guests and make new friends.


I did have a pleasant stay at Terraces View. Ate Rowena, the owner, was very hospitable and friendly and made sure that all her guests are comfortable during their stay. For advance booking, you may contact her at 09151881732.


The two other homestays in Maligcong are Suzettes Homestay (09155463557) and Vilma's Homestay (09057011448).

Where to Eat



There are no restaurants or fastfood in Maligcong but you may order your food at the homestay. Terraces View offer homecooked food (make sure to order in advance) at P120/meal. Viands are usually chicken or pork paired with vegetables and unlimited native rice. Instant coffee is also available for free while ice cold San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen is for sale at only P35/bottle.

Things to Do


The lovely Maligcong Village

These are the three main activies to do in Maligcong:

1. Hike to Mt. Fato

2. Hike to Mt. Kupapey



The one-hour hike to Mt. Kupapey is usually done at early dawn for a chance to see the sunrise and sea of clouds.


3. Hike along Maligcong Rice Terraces



The ancient Maligcong Rice Terraces is one of the grandest and most beautiful rice terraces in the Cordilleras. The hike is usually done as a side trip after going down from the summit of Mt. Kupapey.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to climb Mt. Fato. But I will write separate posts on my hiking experiences in Mt. Kufafey and Maligcong Terraces soon.

Sample Itinerary and Expenses 

Friday Night

9 PM- Manila-Bontoc via Banue (Coda Bus; P685)

Saturday

8 AM - Arrive in Bontoc, Breakfast - P100
9 AM-11 AM - Roam around Bontoc proper
12 NN-Jeepney to Maligcong (P25.00)
12:30 Arrive at Terraces View Homestay, Lunch (P120)
1:00-2:00 PM-Rest
2:00-3:00 PM-Hike to Mt. Fato (Guide Fee: P500/group of up to 5 persons)
4:30 PM-Back to Homestay, Rest
6:00 PM-Dinner (P120), socials with other guests
9:00 PM-Lights out/sleep

Sunday

3 AM-Wake up, prepare for hike to Mt. Kufafey
4 AM-Start of hike
5:00-5:30 AM-Summit, wait for sunset
7:00 AM-Descend from summit and side trip to Maligcong Rice Terraces
9:00 AM-Back to homestay, breakfast (P120),shower,  prepare for departure
and wait for the jeepney (P25.00) going back to Bontoc town proper
4:00 PM-Bontoc-Manila via Banaue (Coda Bus; P685)

Monday

3 AM-Arrive in Manila

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