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Lubuagan, Kalinga – Part I: Getting There

Posted on 6/06/2010 by Vi Arboleda

This haven within the mountain ranges of the Cordillera will remind you of the roots of the Filipino people – indigenous music and dances, century-old rituals, and genuine hospitality.

This is a land of hard-working farmers and weavers who still barter their produce for school supplies, meat, and even clothing.

     Early morning scene from the View Deck at Mabilong.

Lubuagan is a place for those who need rest.  Whether it be from work, artificially flavored food, busy streets, expensive hang-out places, loud bars and clubs, and yes, even from relationships.

    Road from Manangol

Here, time stands still.  Early mornings are greeted with the fresh and cool breeze of the mountains.  Evenings are mostly quiet and cool.  Food is fresh and cheap, if not free.  People take their time with their chores.  Folks would say "Mangapi taku" or "Let's have coffee" even if they don't know you.

In Lubuagan, you can drink freshly pound coffee and freshly boiled tanglad or lemongrass tea; eat greens picked from the host's backyard or nearby farms, and for the non-vegetarians, freshly butchered chicken.

There are many beginner-friendly trails in Lubuagan.  

The trek to Manangol and uphill hike to Mabilong can get a beginner warmed up.

Climbs to the Pon-e rice terraces and limb-stretching paths to the Gapis rice terraces allow novices to tread more challenging routes.

For those seeking a bit of adventure and have been hiking for a quite a while, a climb to the protected green bowl of Tanglag would be an ideal course.

There's no need to worry about getting lost here.

The people of Lubuagan would be more than happy to 
guide you to your destination while giving you tips on hiking 101.
I'll share more about Lubuagan on my other posts.

If you're already itching to pack your bag/s, here are some tips on how to get there:   

Via Manila

  • GV Florida Transport Bus - several trips daily

  • Cebu Pacific - daily trips that leave at 12:30 PM

  • Air Philippines - daily trips that leave at 11:25 AM

GV Florida has a "sleeper" bus that allows passengers to stretch out and sleep the night away while they're taken to their destination.

For a reasonable price, you can relax on their bunk-style "seats."  With a fleece blanket, thick socks and sweater, you'll be in deep slumber during the 9-hour no stop-over trip to Tuguegarao.

Via Tabuk
         o Victory Liner buses bound for Tabuk, Kalinga – 2 daily trips. Leaves Manila at 7:OO PM and 8:45 PM.
           Fare shouldn’t be more than Php600.00. Expect 3-4 stop-overs.

        o Auto Bus buses bound for Tabuk, Kalinga – not sure how many trips they have, as I haven’t tried this before. See their contact details below.

    From Tabuk
    , you can take any of the following buses or Ford Fierra-looking jeeps:

         o Lubuagan-bound: 2-3 daily trips  leave between 10:30am to 11:30am.

         o Bontoc-bound: 2 daily trips leave between 7:00am to 8:00am.

         o Tinglayan-bound: 2 daily trips leave between 8:00am to 9:30am

    You can also hitchhike.

    Hitchhikers bound for Lubuagan usually wait for private cars and government vehicles at the bus/jeepney stop in front of Bayle’s Supermarket at Bulanao.

    Just ask around for any Lubuagan-bound folks who share your fate and ask if you can “co-hitch” with them.

    You’d most likely get an affirmative.

    If you’re out of luck, you can check-in at any of the hotels in Tabuk.

    I recommend the Davidson’s Hotel & Restaurant at Bulanao.

    Via Baguio - you can take a bus from the Baguio Bus Terminal (near SM Baguio). You can choose from Dangwa Bus, Autobus, and GL Lines. 

    Since you’ll be traveling along the winding road of the Cordillera mountains, expect travel time to be anywhere from 9 to 11 hours.

      As of this writing, most of the roads of Kalinga are still undergoing road concreting. Expect a rocky, dusty and heart-stopping ride along the ravines of the Cordilleras.  Have fun!

      For first time adventurers, I suggest bringing a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the dust.  And if you're physically and emotionally capable, try the "topload," or sitting atop the bus or jeepney.  You may end up with a sore back but it's totally worth it. 

      Notebook must-haves:
      • Air Philippines
                Tel: +63(2)8559000
                Address: AirPhil Luzon Ticketing Offices
      • Cebu Pacific
                Tel: +632 702 - 0888
                Address: Cebu Pacific Ticketing Offices
      • GV Florida Bus Lines – Sampaloc Terminal
                Tel: +632 731 – 4473
                Address: 842 A.H Lacson Ave. Sampaloc Manila
      • Victory Liner – Kamias Terminal
                Tel: +632 921-3296
                Address: EDSA, Kamias, Quezon City
      • Auto Bus – Sampaloc Terminal
                Tel: +632 740-7959 or +632 493-4111
                Address: 1455 SH Loyola St. corner F. Cayco, Sampaloc, Manila
               Website: None
      • Dangwa Tranco Company Incorporated
                Tel: +632 731 – 2879 or 632 410 - 19911600
                Address:  Dimasalang Street, Sampaloc, Manila 
               Website:  None

      Further readings about Lubuagan:

      Lubuagan, Kalinga - Part II:  Early Mornings

      Lubuagan, Kalinga - Part III:  Things to Do and See

      11 Response to "Lubuagan, Kalinga – Part I: Getting There"

      david teoxon campanero Says....

      wow! very nice Vi, parang nadala mo na rin ako dun sa place ah... =)
      il wait for ur other destinations. pwede mag request? sana my palawan din, gus2 q kc mkrting dun, thanks Vi! God bless!

      Vi Arboleda Says....

      Thanks, Dave! I haven't been to Palawan, but I'll post tips once I do.

      Which places in Palawan would you like to go to ba? :)

      Anonymous Says....

      tnx so much vi for promoting our sleepy can also recommend me as one of the tour guides (that is for free) really love to promote our culture...miss u my friend and again thank you

      Vi Arboleda Says....

      No problem at all! I wish I could do more, honestly. I'd very much like to recommend you, if only I knew your name. :P

      Please do drop me another message so I can include you in one of my Lubuagan-related articles.

      Istay chiyoy!

      rara Says....

      we went to lubuagan last 2007 for the cordillera day activity. i hope makabalik ulit ako dun soon.

      Moroni Babia Says....

      We went to Kalinga last 2004 with my classmates in UP Anthropology Field School. We stayed there for four months to conduct research. Me and three other team mates were assigned in Tinglayan, and another group was assigned in Lubuagan. But I frequently went to Lubuagan and I was able to meet Mr. Bawer and Mr. Saclag. It was a priviledge to meet these cultural heroes. I loved the culture, and I hope to be able to go back someday to attend the Bodong Festival.

      Louella Says....

      This is a really wonderful entry. I feel like I'm actually in Lubuagan while reading this. Paul has a suggestion - turn your collection into a coffee table book!

      Vi Arboleda Says....

      I'm glad you like it, Lou! I strongly believe I'll take Paul's suggestion. Thanks, Paul! :)

      Edwin Brabante Says....

      Hi Ma'am Vi, good day! I'm also a traveller and I've been to different places together with my friends. But for now, I want to try travel alone to know my limits and the first destination that I want to visit in is Kalinga. I want to experience the life of people in Kalinga. To sleep in their native house and taste their native foods even just couple of days. So your blog is really a big help for new travellers like me. Looking forward for your other posts and I would be very grateful if you can give a contact when I get there that could help me during my stay there. Thank you so much and more power :-)

      My contact #: 09052410311

      Vi Arboleda Says....

      Hi, Edwin!

      I'm so, so sorry for the uber-delayed response!

      Were you able to explore Kalinga? Here's my cell in case you have questions: 0918 635 3980.

      Vi Arboleda Says....

      Hi, Edwin!

      I'm so, so sorry for the uber-delayed response!

      Were you able to explore Kalinga? Here's my cell in case you have questions: 0918 635 3980.

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