Tuesday, 17 November 2009

images of the cordillera mountains

Hiking Mainit to Bontoc.
The mountain hike from Mainit to Bontoc is one of the pleasures of life.

Somewhere along the road to Guina-ang, you turn back and gaze at the old hometown – and it reminds to come home again soon no matter how far away your feet bring you.
For he who does not look back to his origins will not arrive at his destinations. I believe that’s a Tagalog saying (bad tongues-lation though).

On the road again, wandering lonely as a cloud, and the eyes naturally taken in by beauty, and the mind floats on high o'er vales and terraced hills. All at once we saw a cloud, draped on canyons coming down the misty mountain.
One could almost write poetry like Wordsworth. Or songs like Neil Young.
Ahhh a host of golden pine-clad hills.

Just a little ways past Guina-ang, near a creek flowing down beside ricefields, we take the trail going north, up the mountains. Halfway up the hills, and suddenly you’re in the midst of greenery, the field of dreams – well it’s dreamlike these green fields of life – precious young rice shoots in full bloom, kissed by the sun.

Up on the mountain ridges the scenery changes from wonderful terraces to endless views of cloud-kissed mountains. Who has seen the wind? Indeed. But when the fragrance whiffs by and trees bow down their heads, the breeze is passing by. This seemingly taken-for-granted bounty is one of the unknown joys of mountain life. One cannot breathe in enough of the freshest air scented and filtered by pine needles.

Maligcong beckons to the north, but what that village has to offer, Mainit has it all. And more.
Of course my cousins from there will disagree, but hey – this is my blog.
So eastward Chongliyan soldier.
Marching off to earn.
With the cross of utang.
going on before.

On the western verge of the town of bontoc, at a high conical mountain peak, giddy travellers pause for one more cup of coffee (brewed from pure springwater and sweetened by inti from the vats of Mainit saknit) before they go to the valley below.

Even a singer-songwriter poet can find inspiration here.
With a heavy heart we bid the mountains adieu and descend back down to the jungles of civilization.

My travelling companion, whose name rhymes with Lourdes or Agnes, wasn’t talking to me much on this hike. She was a bit moody and touchy. But i teased her endlessly beforehand, so...
I mean three photos of her here and not a single smile.
Oh well such is life. When one’s short pale and ugly -

So in Bontoc i took her to her inn. If you know her, please tell her...
If you see her, say hello...

And that evenin’ caught up with friends at a folkhouse, listenin’ to blowin’ in the wind, while drinkin’ gin. Zimmerman said that too. or something like...


  1. lol- Lourdes...Agnes. I'll take note of that. next time I go to Bontoc, I'll ask my friends.

  2. Kristine, Her name actually rhymes with Carmencita.
    so there, good luck detecting. I think her ancestors are from buguias. but who knows where anyone comes from. i read your blogs too.

  3. The places you mentioned sound very familiar. I heard them from my grandfather, Apong Delen (Chelen), and from my mom. I've only been to Sagada twice, then a short stop at Bontoc. Hope to see more pics.

  4. Hi Kayni,
    good to see a new face visit my blog. i dropped by your cafe too. may i ask where your apong and your mom are from. i take it they're igorots.
    and what's in the name Kayni?


please leave a comment.