Tuesday, January 01, 2008

a wedding in kalinga

december 28 - we were supposed to wake up at 4am so we can swim again at the other hot spring resort but we were so lazy to get up. we woke up at around 6am and had breakfast over rafael's uncle's place.

it was a very hearty meal and there i've had my first ugsa or wild deer in english. the smell wasn't really nice but it tasted really good especially with vegetables and a hot coffee. they've said that the worse the smell, the better the taste will be. we caught the first jeep from mainit to bontoc.  

we came early and the first and only jeep from bontoc to tinglayan would leave at 3pm. so we had enough time to do other things like check my email, eat donut, and shop around. at the terminal, there i first met the shirley and her husband, the very animated johhny pagada. they came all the way from manila just to attend lawig's wedding. we thought that the jeep was full so we had no choice but to sit on top of the jeep's roof. we climbed up the jeep and found ourselves a great spot. the view from the top was so different. everything looked both big and small. the fun was just starting when the rain ruined it. rafael said that the clouds that we see not so far away could be rain. so we climbed down the jeep, got in, and it started to pour. the rain slowed down the trip but the view of the mountains wasn't blocked.

when we got to tinglayan, we had to wait for another jeep to arrive to take us to tulgao. it was the longest trip of my life. it was supposed to be just a 30-minute trip but it felt like it was forever. after a two hour trek, a drizzle, thick fog, dark, muddy and rocky roads, we arrived at lawig's house in tulgao.
we were given a warm welcome and a great meal. there was no electricity but there's no need for an electric fan. the air was breezy and fresh. we were led to the multipurpose hall where we're going to stay. i was so glad to see our room. rafael was really nice to give me a good massage before we went to bed.

december 29 - we got up early. it was really cold and chilly outside. i went outside to check what tulgao looked like. it was the most astounding thing i've seen in my life. coffee was my best friend and it kept me warm that morning. later, we went to shiela's place for breakfast (lawig's wife). i was so amused with all the things i've seen. the butchering of livestock was unbelievable. i've never seen so much meat in my life. kalingas liked to be photographed though they're still a little shy. after breakfast, they've danced with their gongs (disk-shaped percussion instrument hit with hammer to create a resounding tone). we went back to our rooms and prepared for the wedding. 

ab was the one covering the events outside the chapel while i was the one that covered the inside events. it was almost an hour and a half wedding ceremony. i was a little disappointed that it wasn't really a traditional wedding but i was glad that i was there to witness it anyway.

after the wedding was the reception. guests were first to be fed, then the kids, and then the adults. kalingas are good with entertaining their guests. one problem though. our camcorders' batteries were dying so we had to find a way to charge them or we'd miss a lot of the event. there were a lot dancing, eating, laughing, and more dancing. i even had the chance to dance with a local and i've enjoyed every single minute of it. but of course, all good things come to an end. after the celebration at night, we headed back to our rooms to rest. i was thinking more about our trek tomorrow, more like worried.

december 30 - "we had to eat a good breakfast before we leave tulgao or we'd die," i've told to myself. it was the best breakfast ever. we've had fried garlic rice, eggs, and tuyo (dried fish). i couldn't remember how much rice i've had but it could be more than the usual.

after our breakfast, we prepared our things and showered before we left. it was very punishing trek. it was a little better than the other night though because we could see where we're going. but my things were heavier and all we do was go up. i thought i was going to give up shirley was very nice to share some water since my cousin forgot to bring some water for our trek. after an hour, we got to the top of the hill and walked for another hour. it felt like it was longer than that. then we stopped and decided to wait for the truck that would pick us up and take us to tinglayan. we left tinglayan before 11am and arrived bontoc at 2:30pm.

it was time for me and my cousin to say goodbye to rafael. we thanked him for all his help all throughout our trip. i told him that i would spot him some day. he had some things to do in sagada so he couldn't come with us to baguio to meet lendehl. we took the 3 o'clock trip to baguio. it was really cold in the bus during the trip and i would some times tell ab to shut the window because my bald head was getting really cold.

we arrived baguio at 9pm and met lendehl at the ressureccion church. he took us to an eatery near sm mall before we got in a saulog bus to manila. i was so sad to realized that it was the end of our trip. i'd miss all the people i've met and all the places i've seen. i would love to visit kalinga again.


LAWSTUDE said...

Another nice post biyaheng pinoy. Happy new year to you and safe travels in 2008.

NATS said...

nice one, featuring kalinga my province

rea said...

i've been to sagada twice when i was still there in the phil., i missed the place so much and i missed all my friends too who are with me on that trip.
when i have the chance to go back home....... sagada, would be the first place i'm going to visit!
thank you.