Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Mountain Trail, Benguet, Philippines

Sights and sites on the Mountain Trail.
The Benguet section of the 'mountain trail' traverses the municipalities of La Trinidad, Tublay, Atok, Kibungan and Buguias. Short parts of the highway also meander into Bokod, Kibungan and Bakun.
Sights on the mountain trail include Guerrilla saddle in Caliking, Mt Pulag, Ambuklao dam, the magnificent mountain ranges via the top deck in Topdac, the highest point of the Philippine highway system, the heights of Haights place, remnants of the Spanish trail, vegetable farms, etc.
Acop, Tublay.
Natubleng with vegetable farms on the mountainside in the background.
That's a picture of me as a young lad,
on the left side of the picture-
Half of the highway is for rocks only.
If you're in a ta-rock you may drive on the rocky transit lane.
But it's still in the curing stage.
A vehicle heavily laden with green gold.
Cabbages being transported to the markets.
There's too much side slope,
on the camera.

The Halsema highway winds its way around the rugged untillable rocky crags.

Side roads are just down on the side.
Where almost every mountainside nook and cranny has been cleared for vegetable farms.
Vegies. Did you have your allocation or dose today? 'Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT now. Give me holes in my vegies but leave me the birds and the trees - Please!'
"DDT is a highly toxic pesticide that was widely used. It was banned after it was proven that DDT was leading to the extinction of birds like the bald eagle because it affected the shells of the eggs and chicks couldn’t hatch. DDT was one of the first examples of chemicals introduced into the environment for one purpose ending up devastating a totally distinct, and at first seemingly unrelated part of the ecosystem."

DDT and other pesticides have long been banned in the developed world.
However, in the third world they are increasingly being used again.

Every thick jungle has been penetrated.

And every imposing Mt Rushmore has been tunnelled.
Tumpak. This is the Natumpukan half tunnel south of Sayangan.

Meat shop in Sayangan.

An abandoned irrigation channel carved out of the rock face of the mountain.
Local desperadoes waiting for the train.
The highest highway in the Philippines is way above the clouds in Cattubo.
The marker is decades old.  I used to keep it company.
In my day, I would sit with it and me and my friends would talk to it...
Abatan markets.

The sun once shone on Mt Shya-wen. Now instead of shining, it's shunning it.
These shorn mountains (above and below) were once beautiful,
thick with pines and streams flowing down from the heights.
Now they are even more beautiful, terraced for vegetables.
I'm back to hear their whisper, but the pines have been felled clear
With the summer days a-blazin’, thirstin' for some fallin' rain
Yes I am back a-weepin’, seein' bare mountains there
Trudgin’ along and longin', on the bends of the mountain trail
Mt Sia en.
One there were green hills kissed by the sun.
The scene as seen on the hills once green.
Now there are valleys where rivers refuse to run
(I'm not sure about Amburayan).
And the springs are silent, even in spring.
Rachel Carson has had us know.

It's time that government should implement more Natural Farming practices.

Sinipsip is right down the boundary of Buguias and Bakun.
The trail is dusty and the road is rough. Next time I'll catch the train.
Look out! But don't look down.
Come along and ride this trail.
Mountain Trail - Benguet section.

The  Mountain Trail (Halsema Highway) Bontoc-Baguio, Cordillera, Philippines.

1 comment:

  1. Nice photos. On way home to Sagada, Erwin(bro-n-law) and I bought a cow's leg at that market. Feeling homesick already. No place like home. Keep writing and thanks.


please leave a comment.