When you say Mountain Province – the first thing that comes to your mind is Sagada. Long and overlooked, Bontoc is the capital of Mountain Province and now currently gaining its popularity on social media. This is my first trip to the province – i just packed my bags and go with them. Bontoc is a town walled by mountains ranges. A unique setup where I wondered how did the people first get and settled here.
How to get there:
There are two ways to get to Bontoc From Metro Manila. We opt to take the Nueva Ecija – Banaue Route since we wanted to have our breakfast at Banaue.
1. Metro Manila to Bontoc
There are 3 options to get to Bontoc. We prefer to drop by at Banaue first for breakfast before going to Maligcong.
Option 1: Manila – Bontoc (via Coda Lines)
Coda Bus Lines has daily trips to Sagada via Bontoc. Leaving at 9PM and arriving at 7AM the next day. The bus station is at HM Transport Cubao Terminal. Fare is Php 685.
CODA LINES BUS SCHEDULE:
277 E Rodriguez SR. Avenue
Proceed between TUA and Shakey’s
0927 559 2197/ 0929 521 3229
Poblacion, Sagada, Mt. Province
0920 651 9672/ 0977 341 5295
Eyeb, Poblacion, Bontoc
Option 2: Manila – Baguio – Bontoc
- Take a bus bound for Baguio such as Victory Liner in Pasay or Cubao. Fare is Php 445.
- Take a cab to Slaughter House and catch the rising sun going to Bontoc. Travel time is 6hrs and the Fare is Php 250.
Option 3: Manila – Banaue- Bontoc
- Take Ohayami Bus to Banaue. The Fare is Php 450 and the travel time is 9 hrs.
- From Banaue, take a jeep or van to Bontoc. The fare is Php 150 – Php 250. Travel time from Banaue is 1.5 hrs.
OHAYAMI BUS SCHEDULE:
Cor. Fajardo St.,
Lacson Ave, Sampaloc, Manila
Poblacion, Marker, Town Center,
For more info visit their website.
2. From Bontoc town, ride a Jeep to Maligcong
From Bontoc, ride a jeep going to Maligcong. The terminal is near the plaza. Travel time is 30 min. and the fare is Php 20.00. If you’re in a large group, you can also rent the entire jeep for only Php 700.00.
Maligcong came from the word “ligcong” which means to level land for a rice field. After years of labor, the people had to carve the mountains and steeps surrounding the area into terraces for their fields and other crops. When the time came that the whole village was surrounded by rice fields, the people then named the village Maligcong, meaning surrounded by rice fields.
What to see
Maligcong Rice Terraces
Maligcong Rice Terraces is the pride of Maligcong. The rice terraces is made up by the stoned walls which is more stable and can stand erosion. There’s no entrance fee to see this majestic view. The best time to visit Maligcong Rice terraces is during the month of April and May when the fields are green.
Mt. Kupapey is now the main attraction of Maligcong. Famous for its sunrise and sea of clouds. When the sea of clouds is not present you can see the overlooking view of the Maligcong Rice Terraces. This is such a win-win view. Kupapey means “butterfly” on their local dialect. According to the locals the mountain coined its named because from the summit you can see the rice terraces resembling the wing of butterflies.
Aside from its picturesque view, the mountain is also famous for its hospitable guide dogs.
We arrived at Maligcong at around 3PM and Ate Rowena suggested to hike at Mt. Fato. The trail is an easy assault. It took us less than an hour to reach the summit. Just in time to reach the summit before sunset. The trail is covered with young pine trees. Compared to Mt. Kupapey, the trail is still fresh.
Fato means “bato” (rock). It’s named after its rocky summit. The summit is a 360 degrees view of its neighboring mountains and the Maligcong rice terraces can be seen from here.
Where to Stay
Ate Rowena’s Homestay
0915 881 732
What sets apart the homestay is Mountain Province is that you get to experience what the Filipino hospitality means. The meals are included on the fee and also the fresh brewed coffee. What more can you ask for?
After our hike at Kupapey we headed straight to Kalinga to visit Apo Whang Od. Special thanks to these two lovely ladies who invited for this trip. I really enjoyed this long weekend. 🙂