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BAKUN tetewa man na. Etek na. Etek. Toog ya hehe joke


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No one would dare contest you if you are to pronounce that Benguet is the hiking capital of the republic. After all, this humble province is home to Mt. Pulag which is probably the most climbed and the most photographed peak in the country. But be reminded that Mt. Pulag is just the tip of the iceberg. Nearly every corner of Benguet boasts of a peak or two which attracts consistent trickles of trekkers and seekers of momentary adventure.

There's Mt. Ulap, Mt. Pigingan, and Mt. Ugo in Itogon. There's Mt. Tenglawan, Mt. Lubo, Mt. Kabunian, and Mt. Gedgedayan in Bakun. There's Mt. Timbak and Mt. Tabayoc in Kabayan. Let's not forget lesser known mountains that are just starting to pique the interest of climbers. These new trekking destinations include Mt. Marikit in Itogon, Mt. Pukgong in Tublay, and Mt. Dakiwagan in Kapangan.

And then there are the utterly beautiful mountains of Kibungan. The mountain peaks in this far-flung province of Benguet are so numerous that climbing parties usually just use the general terms "Kibungan Circuit", "Kibungan Traverse," or "Kibungan Cross-Country" when describing their treks there. Naming every peak you've passed during a "circuit" or a "traverse" would eat away at your valuable time. You will need to create a list so as to make sure that you mention every single one of the peaks.

Kibungan is a hiker's paradise in every sense of the word. Of course, this is subjective and you might think otherwise. I've been hiking for years and I've come to the point where walking through the trails is more enjoyable than reaching the summit. Even more enjoyable than being rewarded with magnificent vistas at the top. For most people, the apex of their experience during a hike is when they finally set foot on the summit. This is not the case at all with me. I think of "summiting" as just the icing on the cake. It's nice but it's not comparable to the experience of hauling yourself up through the trails for hours at a time.

Moving my feet over the trails is a form of meditation, at least for me. I find it very calming. The sounds that my shoes make as they crush dry pine needles or as they disturb puddles on the road are music to my ears. The monotony can go on for hours but I don't mind it one bit. I'm most comfortable with myself and my being if I'm out there trudging through trails. Nature does something very positive to your well-being which is quite ironic because nature is the most insensitive and inconsiderate entity out there.

Planning and Organizing the Climb

You may not believe it when I say that I was supposed to climb the mountains of Kibungan seven times in the past. Since 2016, I've signed up with seven climbing events in Kibungan. However, every single one of these events got cancelled and never pushed through. The seventh cancelled event which was last year was especially memorable because our group of around 14 hikers actually made it all the way to Poblacion in Kibungan. But the tourism office there did not allow us to push through with the hike because of the rainy weather. Yup, we travelled for five hours all the way to Kibungan only to be turned down at the registration area.

But we understood the decision of the LGU there. It's been raining for several days straight and it can be dangerous at the trails. In fact, on our way to Kibungan, we encountered a landslide near the Kapangan border. We got stuck at the road for an hour or so as we waited for the backhoe and bulldozer that would eventually clear the road for motorists.

Suffice it to say that Kibungan has been very elusive for the past couple of years. Every event there that I signed up with either got cancelled or the organizer simply disappeared without a trace. So throwing caution to the wind, I decided to organize a climb there myself. It has always been my personal policy NOT to organize an event to a place that I've never been to myself. I only organize hiking activities in mountains that I've climbed already. I broke this policy of mine when I decided to organize a Kibungan Circuit trek. That's desperation, I have to admit.

What's funny is that this event I organized nearly got cancelled. Just two weeks before the climb, people who signified their interest in joining the trek started backing out. A group of seven people who were supposed to come from Manila backed out, their reason being it's been raining and that they are afraid of landslides along...

Learn more:

#Hiking #Kibungan #KibunganCircuit

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Nine Cordilleran police from different municipalities were awarded medals for their cooperation, hard work and perseverance.
Two different police medals were awarded to them. These are the Medalya ng Kalingan and Medalya ng Papuri.
The Medalya ng Kagalingan was awarded to Supt. Radino S. Belly, Senior Police Officer 2 Geofrey Langbayan, and SPO1 Benafin Dacuyong Jr.
The cops received award after a successful anti-illegal drug operation that resulted in the confiscation of illegal drugs worth more than 3 million pesos in Kayapa, Bakun and Tacadang, Kibungan, Benguet last month.

#Cordilleran #cops #PNP #PROCOR #CAR

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Several residents from Bakun, Benguet who were listed as recipients of the national government's cash aid program have voluntarily waived their slots for financial assistance.

Thirty-five residents from Barangay Gambang, including several elderlies, came forward to local authorities saying they do not qualify for the social amelioration program based on the criteria set by the Social Welfare Department despite their inclusion in the list of beneficiaries.

The Bakun Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the residents displayed honesty so that other qualified families will be accommodated and receive cash assistance.

"Such act of kindness shows that people of Bakun truly cares for others and they unite as one in this time of pandemic," Bakun authorities said in a Facebook post on Monday.

#Bakun #Benguet #SAF

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If you are planning to head over to the municipality of Bakun in Benguet to climb its mountains or explore its numerous waterfalls, be aware that there's a protocol you must follow.

#Bakun #visit #Benguet

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The Beauty of Mount Tenglawan, Bakun, Benguet

Photo: Mark Osorio

#Tenglawan #Bakun #Benguet

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