Sunday, July 5, 2015

Buscalan, Kalinga

It started with a broken heart.
My ex-boyfriend broke my heart into pieces.
I called my friends that I want to go somewhere very far and they agreed.
So here's the story of the first adventure as the 3 Bs



I met them in Banaue, Ifugao. (9 hours from Manila)
We took the jeepney to Bontoc, Mt. Province. (2 hours)



We had a blast at the top of the jeepney.



In Bontoc, we met 3 other tourists bound to the same destination.
We told them I had contacts and they can come with us.
From Bontoc, our guide arranged us a van where we paid only 100 pesos each.
We were lucky because the van was going there to pick up tourists where they had to rent the whole van. 2500 pesos.
It brought us directly to what they call "The Turning Point"



It took us around an hour of ride.
The Turning Point is the end of the road where no vehicles can pass anymore.

Our guide, Charlie.
If you want to contact him, it's 0998.188.8697
Honestly, he was our guide but he did not attend to us much as and he gave us to another guide.
He was nice but kinda got disappointed on that part that our interaction was very limited.

ann d explorer

While waiting at the Turning Point . . .

I always see this in the mountains. A tram to bring their things to the other end.
But they always say that it's not working.



The new friends . . .


The Buscalan kids who helped bring our things.
We really did not need any porters but they insisted.
With no charge.



The trek was short going to the village.
Most of the trail was paved.
The hardest was that there was an ascending portion where it was paved and you can't stop as it is too steep.
Though there was one part, my friend Safe felt she wasn't safe and you can see it on this photo.




Sunflowers around me.


We stayed at Kuya Charlie's guest house . . . Friendly Guest House.
Don't expect too much.
It's just one room and there are foams per person.
We were 8 inside that room. We had one light, one window, one door and 3 electric outlets.



Guess what we saw outside of their homes?



Then I realized what this hand gesture meant.
That's why a lot of organized groups would have a lot of organized trips here . . .
Sorry but not sorry for mentioning this. I hate those groups who would organize a trip here and front an outreach program.
Yes, it would help the community and the community doesn't mind.
It's just . . . not right for me how they market the Butbut tribe especially the ones from Buscalan.
I hope you get me . . .  this is just my opinion.



While resting, they served us their local coffee and it was really good.
That day alone, I had 5 cups and I started afternoon.


Our coffee party inside our room.



I then went down alone to explore the community.

The kids I met.



They showed me how to kill a live chicken which I was already accustomed to with 4 years of exploring Cordillera Region.



This was something new to me.
Pigs roaming around the village like dogs.
I saw this herd knocking on a door.
Owner said that it was time to feed them.



And so . . .  they got fed.



I met up with Teacher Glory.
Unfortunately, I did not agree to have an outreach with them because as I mentioned earlier that Buscalan is already blessed with different organizations who would do an outreach program regularly.
Instead she directed me to other Butbut tribes which was nice of her to understand D'Project's purpose.



Bonding with the locals.



It was a cold night.
Even if our room was very basic, we were kept warm.



Why did we go here?
It is on my bucket list to meet The Last Warrior Tattoo artist.
It was a long weekend when we went here so there were so many Manilenyos who came up here and we had to wake up really early to fall in  line.

This was us at 4am.


Safe was the only one who wanted to have the tattoo.
I just want a photo with Wang-Od.
We heard a lot about her in Bontoc where a local said she is very picky when it comes to having her photo taken. That she would look at your aura first before she agrees to have one. That ... that . . .  that . . . so many ugly stories about her.

Though I did not know how true this was but just in case . . .
I had a photo with her picture instead.



While we wait for her to wake up and we were falling in line already . . .

I met the notorious guide, Francis Pa-in.
When he saw me, he thought I was japanese.
So many things have been written about him in different blogs. Some would say nice and some aren't.
But one thing I noticed was true . . . he is very cocky.
I also found out that he is not from Buscalan. Some of his answers were inconsistent.
Though I got entertained because there was a long line.



I also met this Bontoc guide.
I wish I could remember his name though he gave me a card.
Amazingly, I am now learning and can distinguish the personalities of the different cultures of the Cordilleras



Behind us is the younger sister of Wang-Od. I saw her outside her house and I offered Chef Tony's popcorn (which is my favorite). She liked it, as well as her grandson. I ended up giving it to them. She was really sweet.




It took us like 3 or 4 hours from the time we woke up to get our chance.
A little frustrated here because our "supposedly guide" was not around. He was there at one point and gone the next minute so we just used his name to get in line. Though our other guide whom I forgot his name was there.
There were so many people in line and all are saying that they have a bus trip or flight to catch up and that they wanted to be first.

Wang-Od was being assisted by her intern and also grand daughter, Grace.



A photo with Grace, the youngest traditional Kalinga Tatoo artist.
Only 18 years old (2015)



They have a book of designs you can choose from.
It starts with a small design and would cost you 500 pesos then they decide how much as it gets bigger or you add more.
The centipede is the most famous one.



Wang-Od and Grace at work.



Poor Wang-Od.
She was feeling under the weather but had no choice but to work because she got so many visitors.



Then it was Safe's turn.
She was smiling at first.


Then it was painful.


A video clip of my interview with her.



Then I got that moment.
Wang-Od went to pee and when she got out, another guide asked her if i could have a photo with her.
At the time, I was praying she would say yes and that she liked my aura (based on the stories I heard)

I was surprised by what she did.
She went next to me, took my arm and clung it around hers.
She liked my aura!!!!

This was the best I can get her to smile. That might be her angle because where she was looking at, there wasn't any camera.
Sh e was beautiful.
Her eyes were very expressive.
I wish there was a time I can get to chat with her.
Those things I've heard about her aren't true.
It wasn't my aura but I think she is just sweet.

A lot feared this place because they are known as the Head hunters. The Butbut tribes were one of the strong ones too. They would chop of their enemy's heads and hang it (very Game of Thrones) Every time they win a war, they would have tattoos on their bodies. Wang-Od's body is full of them. Because of the cold weather, her age and being open to modern times, she wear clothes now. Wang-Od never married. Grace is her grand daughter from a relative. Francis one of the guides said she had lots of boyfriends in the past. She is beautiful but it makes me wonder why she did not end up with anyone. She is 93 years old (not sure if this is accurate as the people there are not accurate). They refer to her also as Fang-Od. I think it's in their dialect where they change the W to F.

wang od fang od buscalan kalinga

Though you know what I didn't like about what happened when she was working?
It was these tourists feeding her by giving her chocolates and putting it in her mouth.
She wasn't asking for anything. Tourists were feeding her like she was a very sickly woman.



We had to leave right after Safe's tattoo because we need to catch the bus or else we will have to rent a van and that is not part of the budget.
The sad part is we did not get the facebook accounts of our new friends whom we left because they weren't done yet.
The thrilling part was going back. There was a lot more adventures that waited for us.

We trekked as fast as we can on a slippery trail.

We had a fun motorcycle ride going down. Though my friend Rizza almost had an accident.
Just when we got to the area where the bus was going to pass by, the bus just arrived. The LAST bus to Bontoc!

(this photo was already taken in Bontoc but just to show you this was our ride)


We did a bus top load.

Exciting ride! The best seat is always on top!



A relaxing view on top.
It would have been perfect if the mountains would have been greener just like in Ifugao.


When we got to Bontoc, the bus going to Baguio was waiting for 3 more passengers.
We hadn't had lunch yet but if we did, we would be waiting for another 2 hours for the last bus.
So we hopped on and sat at the center seat.

A selfie with everyone.


When we arrived in Baguio, all buses were filled and the next ride was on Tuesday.
We were here on a Sunday.
As backpackers, we did not lose hope. Even if we were walking under the drizzles on a late night in Baguio. We were so close to hitch hiking because we had to get to Manila the following morning for work!


We had broken hearts.
I was with two of my Beautiful Bellas.
We were together that seemed like a week!
Every minute, every moment was packed!


The start of my adventures with a #wheredobrokenheartsgo






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5 comments:

Magkano po binayad nio sa tour guide? salamat! :)

1000 kasama na yung one night accommodation.

who whant to go at Buscalan Tinglayan,Kalinga to experience our culture and have a ink by Apo Whang-Od ... im BENJIE as a Tourguide just PM ME here my # 09480774818

who whant to go at Buscalan Tinglayan,Kalinga to experience our culture and have a ink by Apo Whang-Od ... im BENJIE as a Tourguide just PM ME here my # 09480774818

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