Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Mountain Province: Wandering Around the Town of Bontoc


The Municipality of  Bontoc is straddled in the highlands of Cordillera Region and is the capital of Mountain Province. A second class municipality, it is home to the Bontoc Tribe and the Ifuntok language. Every year, the province celebrates its Lang-ay Festival to showcase the rich cultural heritage of its indigenous people.

In terms of attracting tourists, Bontoc stood in the shadows of its more popular neighbors: Sagada (18 kilometers away) and Banaue, Ifugao (about 40++ kilometers away). However, more than just a crossroad to these destinations, Bontoc possesses its own share of natural and man-made attractions. Its the excitement of setting foot on less popular places which lured me to visit Bontoc on a weekend.

My main goal was to visit the small village of Maligcong, to explore its ancient rice terraces and climb Mount Kupapey. However, I missed the 9 AM trip of the Maligcong-bound jeepney when I arrived in Bontoc that morning. With still about 2 hours to spare before the next trip, I took the opportunity to roam around and discover more of Bontoc.


Chico River slices through the town proper of Bontoc. This is the most extensive river in the Cordillera Region and is hailed by the Kalinga people as a "river of life".


My travel happened a few weeks after Typhoon Lawin. Trails of destruction can still be seen in the area. The Chico-Karayan Bridge was partly damaged and passable only by foot, motorcycle and tricycle. The powerful typhoon also toppled this house along the river.


Despite its mountainous location, Bontoc is a fairly progressive town. The town proper is bustling with several commercial establishments such as grocery stores, banks, inns, lodging houses and restaurants.


Bontoc is a jump-off to several destinations in Cordillera. This signage shows the distances to its neighboring places.


The Cathedral of All Saints, an Episcopal Church, stood along the highway, about a hundred meters from Chico-Karayan Bridge.


Since I missed the 9 AM jeepney trip to Maligcong, I decided to eat breakfast at the nearby Pines Kitchinette and Inn. Their longanisa was one of the best I've ever tasted!


The Provincial Capitol Building, an American-era structure was demolished to give way to the construction of a new building. However, heritage conservation efforts prevented its total demolition.


The Provincial Capitol overlooks the town plaza and the 4-storey Commercial Center building.


From the Capitol, I walked down to Sta. Rita de Cascia Parish, a Catholic church. I was just in time as the mass is about to start.


The church has a beautiful interiors adorned with paintings. I felt fortunate and blessed to have attended a mass in this side of the Cordillera.


I made sure not to miss visiting the Bontoc Museum. The museum houses an extensive collection of photographs, artifacts, heirloom pieces, ritual objects and other items showcasing the rich history and culture of the region. One can learn so much about the Cordilleras just by visiting this museum.


It also has an outdoor museum which recreates a traditional Bontoc village.


This prototype village gives a glimpse of the traditional way of living of the indigenous Bontoc people.


From Bontoc Museum, I walked my way back to Maligcong Jeepney Terminal. The parked jeepney was already starting to get filled up with passengers. I was able to hop and squeeze myself in, and in a little while, we're on our way to the upland village of Maligcong.

Related Posts:

Maligcong Travel Guide
Talubin Rice Terraces in Bontoc
Snapshot: Bayyo Rice Terraces

No comments :

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Infolinks In Text Ads