A Visit in Itogon, Benguet
I was in Tuding, Itogon, Benguet. Indeed, the view was spectacular. Waking up earlier before the first break of the light peek on the horizon, was a great choice. An overnight stay had made me reiterate to myself that it needed to be a quick and relaxing break. A break that not to be spend inside the four walls. I hope I had, at least, an option to see one – a sunset or a sunrise, if both settings were not possible.
We arrived late in the afternoon, about past 3pm. It made me think that we could still go back to Baguio city and had a stroll. But when the host of the house had told me that there was a terrace with a scenic view and where sunrise can be viewed, oh, I dropped all my plans and settle to stay home for the night.
The house is owned by a subsidiary of an electric company. It is a privilege for their employees to let them stay for a couple of days on this big house for their vacation, up here on its cool mountainous province. These employees can invite their relatives on the given time of that vacation, and that is why, we were here. And the best thing, above all, is that, it had a terrace on the back, where one can witness all the wonderful things this vacation can offer.
After snacks, I sat on the terrace, drinking the mountainous range around, savoring the cool wind, silencing myself to hear nature’s sound. Meanwhile, the most audible was the chirping of the birds. So wonderful, who said, I need to go out?
I stayed until dusk. Then, I was bothered by moths, as in lots of them, diving on you and wriggling their feet on your skin. So, I decided to stay indoors and closed the screened door, and slept.
Opening my eyes, I saw from the screened door the twinkling light coming from the scattered houses on the mountain range. And there was one twinkling light, very vivid compared to other lights. And as I squint, I just realize that it was a star, that is to say, a star greeting me on this morning.
An Ache for Itogon, Benguet, making their mark in the Philippine map
The first glimpse of light here in Itogon, Benguet, struck me. And an ache I never knew had been felt, eventhough, I knew there was nothing to be sad of. Or, maybe it was because I am in Itogon, Benguet, wherein a massive landslide had just happened not a year ago. As a result, the number of deaths on this catastrophe, totaled 94 people, only in Barangay Ucab alone. It was, then, reported how everyone helped for the retrieval operation.
Itogon is one of the mining towns in Benguet. However, a typhoon named Ompong had hit the place resulting to landslide, crushing the houses of the miners.
Maybe, it was the ache I felt while looking at the start of this sunrise, and knowing that they would never had a chance to view this magnificent sunrise. But, the feeling seemed peaceful, maybe, as peaceful to those people who had passed the other line of life, yet the mountains are filled with their memories, whispering the past on voices that cannot be heard anymore, such sudden circumstance.
So, setting aside the ache, I decided to taste the longing of my inner self to witness this enchantment. And I had not been disappointed.
A light was haloing the mountain, outlining its peaks, making the whole landscape starting to wake-up and be alive. Birds were chirping, waking up their neighborhood. Moreover, even the small sway of the leaves in the trees indicated the excitement of the oncoming rising sun.
The peacefulness that enveloped the whole mountain range made me breathe freely, it just like my heart and the sunrise both beat with the enthusiasm ready to explode. Waking up to a scene like this completes one’s soul. You only need to appreciate every little things God has given to you. Oh, these little things make a grand morning. Good morning, Itogon, Benguet!
Then, the haloed mountain, moment by moment, gave birth to the light. Rays gradually going out from the night’s hiding place. The sun took all the moment, inch by inch, savoring its birth that seemed a first time in its existence.
A breathtaking view that your eyes cannot hold on, but your heart would endure. My heart had been rebirth just as the sun exploded its rays of light. Likewise, the power reminded all beings that the sun would always be up there, powerfully shining, giving hope for the whole day ahead. With all of the blessing I had received this early morning, may I also be as sunshine on someone’s day.
Then, look what I had found, a spider on its web. The spider had spun its web, maybe, just while everybody was sleeping. Working silently, spinning each side, adding its web to catch the new prey. Similarly, the spider settled exactly where I am right now, probably, we both waited for the sunrise. We both need a powerful one to give a kick on our lives, very wonderful.
This spider completed the great scenario. The sunrise, birds chirping, and a hardworking spider, represent how wonderful life is. You just need to enjoy every moment of it.
How to Go to Itogon, Benguet
Going to Tuding, Itogon, Benguet is not to be a worry. There are jeepneys that have routes from Baguio City to Tuding, Itogon. Firstly, you just need to go near Burnham Park where mostly all jeepney terminals are settled. Jeepney is one of the most common public transportation used in this place.
One alternative is to ride a taxi, the UV type taxi of Baguio City. There are lots of these taxis encircling the city proper, you just call for one nearest you, just be sure you are standing on the safe side of the road that can be the loading area, before calling for a taxi. Fare is about 150 pesos, about $3. That is, if your location is just near outside the skirt of Baguio City. But, if it is a little far, you need to prepare more bills for your fare.
Taxi vehicles here have no aircon units installed. Windows of the van are open for you to feel the cool breeze of the place. So, do not ask the driver, if you find unusual that his taxi has no aircon. Just enjoy, breathe and relax on your seat.
How to Go Back to Baguio City from Itogon, Benguet
Going out of Itogon to go back to Baguio City is a hard part. Because, waiting for a jeepney along the side of the road is difficult. There are only few jeepneys travelling and all are full of passengers, so jeepneys will not stop even if you called their attention.
Other passengers tried to ride on the other side of the road. Those are the jeepneys coming from Baguio City going to Itogon, Benguet. To clarify, these jeepneys would first go to their destination, a long travel to farther Itogon. Then, only at that time – when they arrived at their destination, they would turn back so they can go back to Baguio city. Passengers will pay their fare doubled. One fare going to farther Itogon, and the other fare is for Baguio City. The travelling time will also be doubled. But, since, it may only be the option, many passengers grab the first jeepney they saw.
You are the luckiest among the luckiest if you happened to find a taxi. Because, there are seldom of these taxis. It was such a little chance. And that we had, the chance and the luck. And so, we were able to come back to Baguio city, for our trip way home to Manila.