Tag Archives: Northern Luzon

#238 Mt. Mating-Oy Dinayao

Mt. Mating-Oy Dinayao

Mt. Mating-Oy Dinayao (also locally known as ‘Sleeping Beauty’) are the fabled mountain ranges that border the municipalities of Tinglayan and Tanudan in Kalinga province, northern Philippines. From a distance this lush forest mountain range take the form of a sleeping lady supinely lying its back, giving its popular name ‘Sleeping Beauty.

A vantage view of the profile can be seen from the Sungang view or from Basao. Mt, Mating-oy is a renowned destination for professional mountaineers, hikers and adventure travellers for its maze of jungle, ravines, small creeks, rocky mountain faces, dense forests, wild flora and fauna. Sleeping Beauty was named Mating-Oy Dinayao by the native Kalingas based on a tale about an enchanting lady called Dinayao from the village of Dacalan and her enduring love for her dead lover.

Mabuhay ang Mt. Mating-Oy Dinayao!

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#24 Baguio

Baguio City is the Filipino’s fav destination for a summer retreat. Foggy, mist-clad mountains, forests of pine trees, luscious strawberries and winding mountain trails are the main draws for the visitor.

But overpopulation, unplanned housing development and rampant deforestation are among the modern ills that have encroached and tarnished the reputation of Baguio as an idyllic summer retreat.

Still, this mountain-top city offers pleasant surprises to both local and foreign visitors, particularly its colorful main Public Market where traditional handicrafts, ethnic food and wares are to be found. Fresh flowers and vegetables are also well known products from this city, with a surprising range from sturdy and fragrant rose varieties to luscious examples of asparagus and broccolli. 

The way to (and from) Baguio is also something for the adventurous with its narrow highways that snake down past steep ravines, cliffs and zig-zagging mountain roads. For the casual tourist avoid a trip during the rainy or typhoon season when road blocks are common occurences.

But for a quick retreat from the oppressive heat in the lowlands of Luzon, or simply an escape from urban stress, Baguio can still offer some pockets of solitude, and a glimpse of what could have been a serene Philippine mountain-top city if only modernity has not reared its ugly head.

Mabuhay ang Baguio!

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#3 Banaue Rice Terraces

Known as the Stairway to Heaven, the Banaue Rice Terraces is perhaps one of the few and shining examples of collective action or effort in the Philippines that was carried out in the spirit of doing something positive for the community and not purely for individual gain (Are the people in Malacanang reading this?).

A masterful engineering feat, these more than 2,000-year-old sprawling man-made structure is carved and hewn by hand from the mountainside by the indigenous Ifugao tribes of the Cordillera mountains in northern Philippines.

Rising more than 1,500 meters above sea level, the terraces are best viewed after the rice planting season when the growing rice is greenest. The bad news is that more and more Ifugao farmers are moving to the cities in search of work, and maintaing the irrigation system and the complex network of rice paddies require not only extensive manpower but also the continuous transfer of skills and techniques to the current generation.

The next time we Filipinos go to the voting booth on election day, we should ask ourselves what the aspiring candidates are actually doing for indigenous tribes like the Ifugaos and their communities.

And perhaps if these same candidates- if elected (God forbid!)-  don’t fulfill or renege on their promises (like what many politicians are inclined to do), we should device a system for them to climb to the highest rice paddy in Banaue, face the 5,000 feet plunge down the mountainside and make them decide right there and then to either walk-the-walk or talk-the-talk.

Mabuhay ang Ifugao!


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