Kabayan has a nestled amid dramatic rice terraces slabs mountain terrain and watched over by its world famous mummies. Kabayan remains a virtually untouched jewel.
It is a nice place for hiking, stargazing, breathe in exhaust free air and marvel at the voluntary. Kabayan also the center of Ibaloi culture and Ibaloi traditions and animistic beliefs linger and especially in the surrounding hills.
This area is also known for strong Arabica coffee and a tasty kintoman.
You can get a good view of the history and culture of the region at the pint sized Kabayan Museum that 5oom west of the town.
There are two main sites where you can see mummies in the Timbac caves where so interesting and most difficult to reach, the mummies there are preserved at 700 years old.
There are 300 mummies in the two caves.
Kabayan weaving sells shoulder bags and other items woven in unique Ibaloi style.
The Mt. Pulag is considered as a sacred ground to the Ibaloi and Kalanguya is the second highest peak in the Philippines and anchors the Cordillera’s largest national park.
Sagada is a tranquil mountain top town where you can walk down the middle of the road and occasionally passing by the vehicle.
During the harvest celebration the women wear a tapis while the older men do G-string and gather in the dap-ay; chicken are scarified, gongs are played and general merriment ensues.
Sagadans are of Applai ancestry and their native language is Kankanay and the rest of the Cordilleras, Ilocano and English are widely spoken.
Sagada has a wealth of top notch and famous hanging coffins on the limestone cliffs surrounding Echo Valley.
There are many interesting and panoramic views of the rice terraces and surrounding mountain from the Kiltepan Tower.
The small Bokong Waterfalls east of the town where you can take a refreshing dip.
Mt. Ampacao south of the town beyond Ambasing is a much easier conquest that rewards the climber with outstanding views.
The accommodation in Sagada is great value.
St. Joseph’s Rest house is probably the nicest place in town with a variety of rooms that has excellent views. The restaurant is nice and its swanky lobby festooned with artifacts.
Masferre Inn the rooms here are set around the cozy and warm inviting.
Bontoc is a lively bustling market town. In this place you still see the occasional old woman with tattooed arms and an old man in a g-string and today Bontoc is known as the gateway to Maligcong, Mainit and Kalinga.
The wonderful Bontoc Museum is quiet simply the best in north Luzon. There are some grisly photos of head hunters and their booty.
Maligcong has the towering sprawling stone walled rice terraces. Mainit has some scalding hot springs and several interesting dap-ay and backyard mausoleums adorned by
Kalabaw horns a symbol of the deceased wealth.
Barlig, Kadaclan and Natoni
The east of Bontoc is a village of Barlig, Kadaclan, and Natoni that has magnificent rice terraces. From Barlig it takes only about four hours to summit this region’s highest peak a Mt. Amuyao is one of the best two day hikes in the cordillera.
Kalinga is the place where weekends is a concept and a place where the animals are frequently scarified in cañao and a place where traditional law still trumps the laws of the modern world. The people of Kalinga are for the most wonderfully friendly.
Tinglayen is the best starting point for treks in Kalinga.
The dananao hike is the best combination with the demanding trek to tulgao. There are pleasant hot spring and 30m waterfalls near Tulagao.
Tabuk is the capital of Kalinga province is a flat, dusty, sweltering university town on the banks of the Chico River. The best hotel in Tabuk is the Davidson Hotel that is near in the city with small clean doubles.
A fork off the main road takes you through hidden Balbalasang-Balbalan Park and on into Abra province. The capital of Abra is the Bangued.
Balbalasang-Balbalan National Park was established to commemorate Kalinga opposition to government- backed logging operations in the area in the 1970’s. There also a couple of good camping spots is one of the best is along the river in Balbalasang and outstanding hiking in the area.
The banaue rice terraces are part of the rice terraces of the Philippines cordilleras. These mud-walled rice terraces in North Luzon is most famous sight that have a pleasing organic quality that differentiates them from the stone walled terraces in cordillera. The rice terraces are built by the Ifugao. The Ifugao are skilled at carving wood as they were at carving terraces and their sacred wooden statues the bulol is still remain the icon of the Philippines. Banaue is still remaining the center of the rich Ifugao culture, and tourism.
The Banaue Tourist Information is located on the main square that will give you the scoop on hiking area. There are souvenirs shops at most of this point and you can get a photo taken with old Ifugao ladies.
The Banaue Museum is owned by the descendents of anthropologist Otley Beyer, it is contains an interesting collection of Ifugao, Bontoc, and Kalinga artifacts.
The Museum of cordillera sculpture is next to the spring village inn where hundreds of bulol and other Ifugao woodcarving are on displays.
There are four rive terraces that are included in the Unesco World Heritage. Batad, Mayoyao, Hapao, and Kiangan these are the rice terraces that included in the UNESCO.
The batad rice terraces are widely considered the worlds most striking because of its amphitheatre like a stone walled rice terraces.
This is a place where you can lose yourself amid stunning scenery aura of isolation. The Environmental Tour Guides Association is a network of guides accredited
Tappia waterfall hike is 40 minute walk across the terraces and a 30m high, where you can sunbathe on the rocks or swim in the chilly water.
Batad bangaan hike you can relax and enjoy the stunning panoramas of the surrounding of mountains and rice terraces.
Batad cambulo pula banaue view point, pula is the tiny collection of the Ifugao houses on a hilly outcrop. There is a waterfall and a deep swimming pool under the bridge.
Pula Mt. Amuyao hike it is seven hour climbing up and it is the highest peaks in the region.
Hapao and Hungduan
The rice terraces of this village are dazzling. It is 17km northwest of Banaue. It has the spectacular view the Bacung spider web terraces and the six hour climb up of Mt. Napulawan and also the final hiding place of General Yamashita at the end of WWII.
Kiangan is where the Ifugao and American can troops helped force General Yamashita the Tiger of Malaya.
On May 1 Ifugao celebrates the Gotad Ad Kiangan festival that performing with traditional forms of singing and dancing and also chanting.
Baguio is the disputed nerve center of the Cordillera. It is the escape of choice from the stifling heat of the lowlands for the Filipinos, and for the foreigners it is the primary gateway to backpacker bliss up north in Sagada, Banaue, and Kalinga.
Tourism is one of the Baguio’s industries; the city was constructed as a mountain by the US military forces in the early 1990’s.
The area’s that are original inhabitants is the Ibaloi and the Kankanay, long ago assimilated into Baguio city.
Baguio is airy and pleasant. There are plenty of restaurants, hotels, and bars in both areas.
Eight traditional Ifugao homes and two rare Kalinga huts were taken apart and reassembled at this artist’s village, on the northwest edge of the city. On a clear day you can see the South China Sea.
In a hill overlooking session road is the twin spire Baguio Cathedral that served as a refuge for 5000 locals during the heavy bombing in the WWII.
The bell church is consists of several ornate, pagoda-roofed temples that near the border of Baguio and the La Trinidad.
The Buddhists can also worship at the hard to find Baguio Buddhist Temple which features a 6m sitting Buddha and has a interesting views of the city market area.
The Lourdes Grotto is established by the Spanish Jesuits in 1907, sits at the top of 252 steps, in the top is has a nice view of the city’s rooftops.
St. Louis University Museum this is very good and a newly renovated museum on the campus of the St. Louis University that is run by Ike Picpican, one of the country’s foremost authorities on the history and culture of the Cordillera people that is located in the basement of the campus library.
Camp John Hay a formerly US military rest-and-recreation facility, a 246 hectare Camp John Hay has been reinvented as a mountain resort with restaurant, hotels, shops and a fantastic golf course.
Mt. Santo Tomas the highest peak around in the Baguio just south of the city off the Marcos Highway.
Balatoc Mines Tour you can do a helmet and headlamp board an underground train and pretend like a miner.
Sleeping and Eating
Red Lion the main draw of this popular choice is it bar which serves great steaks and is the preferred watering hole for Baguio expat community.
Iggy’s the best value in Baguio, peace and quite has a decent view, a good restaurant and a local art everywhere.
Burnham Hotel the old fashioned hotel in the city centre has a wonderful common area with indigenous handicrafts, antiques and old photos.
Bloomfield Hotel this is a snazzy new place that has tastefully austere rooms with duvet covered beds.
Ridgewood this is newly constructed wood and brick themed lodge.
PNKY has a gorgeous common room that decorated with items for sale from the art and handicrafts store downstairs.
Manor ones of the Baguio fanciest hotel that has gotten a superior serve and mountain side location, it has a spa, gym, superb restaurant, immaculate rooms and everything you expect in the high class hotel.
Café by the Ruins the most beloved restaurant that is remains of the former residence of the governor of Benquet.
Kusima Ni Ima Restaurant the down home place of exotic Kapangpangan specialties like the sweet and sour kalabaw, frogs stuffed with chicken and pork, frog adobo and the camaru or crickets adobo deep fried with garlic.
O’ Mai Khan is the several eat all you can Mongolian in the town.
My Diner a classic 50’s style diner with waitress on roller skates, this restaurant is decorated of Elvis photo on the walls, and a late night eats.
Baguio is a shopping Mecca known as woodcarvings, traditional weavings, baskets, silver and the temperate fruits and vegetables like strawberries and cabbages.
There you can watch also the Ifugao craftsmen that doing their thing.
Teresita’s and Sabado’s are sell similar carvings like antique and fine local arts.
Narda’s and Easter Weaving Room has genuine Igorot weavings and garments, each carry board selection of a high quality. They sell everything from hand woven bookmarks to tapis.
Mines View Park has a row of souvenir stands where you can find jam, peanut brittle and various other edibles and knick-knacks.
There are several silver shops in the town the being is the Ibay’s Silver Shop and the Pilak that both are has outlet at the Mines View Park.