Thursday, July 31, 2008

maryada view - capones

for me to fully bring you around the island, i'll put names on each side of the island so that it will be easier for me to represent the areas that we've visited. names of the shorelines are completely unofficial and are certified dong's idea. i hope that this will help you by the time you visit the island.we have set camp between the beach side of Adelante and Limpyo. this side is the longest beach shoreline of the island of Capones. we were the only ones camping in the island that time. we were 14 in the team and set six tents. set up our bonfire for the night's fellowship. since it was still around 4:00pm, we decided to check out the other side of the island. we went to Maryada beach front passing by dense bushes. Maryada beach has a larger flat camp area but we still preferred to camp at Adelante because the sea is calmer on that side and the area is quite cleaner. one can just run to the shore and swim. a view of huge rock formations on both sides are impressive. these rocks separates Maryada beach shore to the Huego beach shore.the waves are larger here because it is facing an open sea. this is the South China sea between the Philippines and Vietnam. from here, you'll have a view of Kamino hills.you can hike your way up to some of the hills here to get a panaromic view of Maryada.next post will bring you other parts of the island including the hike towards the Huego hills. watch out for really good shots of Lawstude of the Great Capones island.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

islas de punta capones

the clouds was in bad mood when we traveled from Alabang to Central Luzon. we passed by San Fernando Pampanga, where the sun was up but a little cloudy. we know that typhoon Igme was entering the Philippine area of responsibility but it will just hit the Northernmost area of Luzon and was expected to be in Taiwan by the next day.after a short stop over, we traveled to Olongapo then to San Antonio Zambales where it started to rain. when we reached barangay Pundaquit, where we will take a boat ride to the island of Capones, rain came and it rained hard this time.
the weather condition gave us less chance to cross to the island. but after quite some time, the weather became better. this then allowed us to cross the sea to the island. i was with Lingkod Alabang group and our special guest and fellow travel blogero Lawstude who joined us in this island trip.the boat ride to the island was just around 20minutes. boats here are quite small compared to boats used in Batangas. so while crossing the sea, big waves caused a lot of unusual motions to the small boat. i didn't even dare to take a shot while huge waves hits our boat creating splashes.
after minutes of wave turbulence, we were now approaching the island of Capones. many climbers and hikers includes this island as a side trip after trekking Mount Anawangin which was just a boat ride away from Capones. in our case, we are to spend an overnight in the island. as we were passing by the beach front of the island, the view tends to erase the turbulent experience from the boat ride. the island with its high rising hills creates a perfect place for campers. we will explore the island in the next post. join us in this overnight stay in an island known for its beautiful natural landscape. we will use the map below as our guide around the island.

Monday, July 28, 2008

rice terraces of labueg

is it possible to visit and see rice terraces for just a short trip from Baguio?yes, it is possible if you visit the town of Labueg in the municipality of Kapangan. roughly two-hour bus or jeepney trip from Baguio. drop off point is the town of Lomon then hike to get a view of Labueg's rice terraces. i grew up seeing the rice terraces in post cards and read books about its wonders. i consider the Cordillera region to be among the most beautiful regions in the Philippines. this region has six provinces composed of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province. all of which displays its own beautiful mountain range and rice terraces.from the drop off point of Lomon, where Kapangan's municipal hall is situated, you can take a tricycle ride going to Labueg's church, school and main school. but we chose to hike as we get to see the terraces up close.the hike was just about 25minutes. you can see very few houses along the way but the rice terraces can already be seen from the unpaved road.
on one side, you'll see the houses in Upper Tomay from afar. this part of Kapangan is facing La Trinidad's Halsema highway area. the terraces are not always composed of rice patties, some of the layers can also be used to grow vegetables.
when we reached the town of Labueg, we were welcomed by the town people even though they did not expect that someone will visit them on that day. thanks to Fr. Elpidio Silog as he hosted our lunch. Labueg is a small town on top of a hill with the church and the school situated in one main flat area. people here are used to walking long distance as we noticed that the residential houses are really far from the town's center and are also far from one house to the other.you can roam around the area as they said that their town is safe even for visitors like us. so we had the chance to actually walk along rice paddies.very few people knows about Kapangan, making this a great choice to feature for byaheng noypi. Kapangan offers many other sights but we didn't have enough time since we were there for just a day trip. among the other tourist spots here are the rice terraces of Obellan, Mt. Santa Claus and Amburayan river. but the way i see it, Kapangan still offers more undiscovered spots. the rice terraces here, might not be as beautiful as the Banaue rice terraces but knowing that this is just two hours away from Baguio, it gives you the chance to easily make it a side trip when you visit Baguio city.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

highway walk - upper tomay

if you say that going to the strawberry field and the capitol is the only thing that you can do in La Trinidad, think again. i highly recommend you to do something that i discovered after roaming around its town for a day.if you have enough time, ride a jeep along the La Trinidad main road that has the sign "Upper Tomay". you can also take the same jeepney in Baguio. go to Baguio Centermall along Magsaysay road, and take a jeep with the sign "Upper Tomay".just tell the driver to drop you at the Upper Tomay jeepney station which is about 4kilometers from La Trinidad and around 9kiloneters from Baguio. you'll be going way up the Halsema highway. the same highway that'll bring you to Bontoc and other towns of Benguet.
from there, just walk your way back until you reach the Benguet provincial capitol. you'll be walking 4kilometers down. you might think that you can't make it. maybe but not until you get to see the view from there.while going down, make sure that you keep yourself safe by keeping yourself away from the road. the view on your left most of the time will be houses and green hills while on your right, you'll have a view of the mountain range covered with fog.as you continue your way down the highway, you'll see flower gardens covered to protect it from heavy rain and typhoons. La Trinidad and Baguio is known to produce the best flowers in the country.you'll see jeepneys and buses going to Bontoc, Kibungan, Kabayan and Naguey. Halsema highway leads you to other municipalities of Benguet and the Mountain province.you'll love the "A" houses built on the side of the hills. some areas are already crowded while some houses are still surrounded by pine trees. half way down, you'll pass by St. Therese chapel. a small chapel with a ground large enough for park your car. i like the simplicity of this chapel that's made up of woods.
you'll notice that there are now more and more houses as you go down. this will surely continue to expand as years come. this i hope the local officials will be able to gain control as it does not only cause crowd but it also leads to the destruction of the the trees in this area.
after some time, you'll reach the bridge of the poblacion which tells you that you're approaching the Benguet Provincial Capitol. you'll notice that it was worth the walk as the fog continues to touch the hills around you.
the walk only took about an hour and fifteen minutes since it's going down. it was just enough me to be prepared for the hike set the next day.

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