Besao Loop with UPM Sagada Sunday February 25, 2024 EST 
a nomad in search of...
HOME PAGE About TheLoneRider Contact TheLoneRider Web      
Cambodia Canada France Hong Kong India Indonesia Italy Laos Malaysia Monaco Myanmar Nepal Philippines Singapore Switzerland Thailand Vietnam USA
Astral Projection Caving Fitness Freediving Kayaking Meditation Mountain Biking Mountaineering Rafting Rock Climbing Scuba Diving Snowboarding Surfing Traveling Yoga
Book Review Gear Review Hotel Review Movie Review Show Review Restaurant Review
Art Chilling Out Cool Sites Community Counter Culture Food Odyssey best food recipes Lucid Thoughts Peoplescape Politics Print Media Quantum Mechanics Random Lives Showbiz Snapshot Slice of Life Thought Bubble Teaching Verbatim Wealth Building
SEO Services Web Design Services Advertising Here


Besao Loop with UPM SagadaJanuary 26, 2008

Besao Loop with UPM Sagada

National Geographic Destination
Although I've stayed longer in the Cordillera, Paul, a fellow UP Mountaineers member, has seen more of it. I was hoping he'd take me along to some of them. I've heard a few words thrown around - Tamboan, Laylaya, remote villages in Besao, some accessible only by foot. The hike there was said to be rough and long, plunging down and climbing back up. Given the place's isolation, it seemed like one of those Nat Geo destinations.

UPM Sagada
When Paul decided to go to Tamboan one more time, he invited me to come along, and better, he invited 2 UP Mountaineers sisters and Besao locals, Gawani and Adamey to join us as well. UP Mountaineers Sagada? Hey, how cool is that? Kicking it higher, the hike would go beyond Tamboan. The plan was to hike from Sagada to Besao, head towards Kin-iway, plunge down to Layugan, climb up to Tamboan, climb down the valley and up again to the other side to Dandanak, spend the night over, climb down another valley, up again to the village of Panabungan and head back to Besao in a loop, passing through the villages of Laylaya, Katengen and Bunga= - 2 days and 1 night altogether. Waaay cool!

Paul and I started out our hike from Sagada towards Besao and were joined by the 2 sisters in Besao. From the mountain top, we started our 2-hour descent into Layugan at river level. The road just went down and down with no reprieve. I was wondering...this would be great for a downhill bike run, but climbing back up? The sun was unforgiving. At Layugan, the river, with falls and lagoon, was irresistible. We spent 2 hours swimming, eating and just chilling out.

From there, we started our arduous 2-hour hike up to Tamboan. The road was blocked by landslides in many sections. It would take heavy equipment to clean it out. Sadly, the farm-to-market road which was opened in December of 2006 was only operational a few months when the earthquake causing the landslide happened. Tamboan became isolated after that. Folks would have to take the long walk to Layugan to board a jeep that would take them to the town proper, Besao.

It was nearly an hour of valley descent, river crossing and climb up before we reached Dandanac. It's a sitio accessible only by foot. This is the farthest, most isolated sitio of Besao. The road (or what used to be the road) ends in Tamboan. Dandanac used to be the rice granary shortly after WWII. Nearby villages would buy their rice from Dandanac during the leans times. The situation deteriorated over the years due to increase militarization and changes in production systems. This erosion has caused economic losses, hampering productivity and food security and leading to broader social costs. Dandanac has already lost its prestige as a food-sufficient community. Now the community depends on external supplies to feed its population during food shortage.

Crashing at Doman's
Our affable host in Dandanac was a far relative of Gawani and Adamey, Doman. Originally, we planned to camp out, but given the culture and tradition of the place, it would have been rude not to stay at a relative's place. It was a cold night despite a roof over our heads...and a much colder shower!

The bright and sunny morning hike towards Panabungan gave promise of an equally long hike, albeit rolling for the most part. Again, it was doing the now familiar hike along a mountain slope, descending down to cross the river, climbing back up again. Unfortunately, Gwen suffered an allergy episode. It was a good thing we unexpectedly met her uncle earlier. We stayed in his house while Gwen rested and regained her strength back. In the meantime, we were treated by Uncle Roman to his homemade bugnay wine...nice! It was generous of him to drive us back to Kin-iway given that Gwen was not in shape for that long hike back. From his jeep, we saw another facet of the Besao Loop from the other side of the valley.

The Disappearing Uncle
When Uncle Roman dropped us off, he said he'll just park his jeep and follow inside the house. He never did. I guess it's a cultural thing not to underscore an obvious favor. Auntie Penny, Gawani's mother, did not seem too surprised. I guess the "thank you" need not be was already understood.

Crashing Besao
We crashed in Besao and treated to a wonderful dinner and breakfast by Tita Penny (Thank you, Tita!). Paul and I were off on the morning bus to Sagada where he had to catch his 9am class.

Ending Thoughts
This trip is meaningful to me at many levels. It was my first time to venture into the inner villages of Besao, my first time to hike and enjoy the company of Paul, Gawani and Adamey, be graciously hosted by complete strangers (Doman and Uncle Roman), and lastly, I developed a sense of appreciation to Besao's natural beauty. This time, I wasn't just passing through, as I often did in the past. I experienced Besao as I walked around its loop (or at least until Panabungan) in an inviting way that begs for more visits. With Panabungan - Kin-iway still undone, that's one more reason to come back.

--- TheLoneRider

P1010194 P1010202 P1010206 P1010213
P1010226 P1010229 P1010230 P1010237
P1010247 P1010255 P1010261 P1010273
P1010274 P1260069 P1260070 P1260072
P1260073 P1260079 P1260083 P1260087
P1260093 P1260097 P1260098 P1260102
P1260105 P1260107 P1260117 P1260118
P1260120 P1260126 P1260127 P1260133
P1260137 P1260139 P1260140 P1260141
P1260144 P1260149 P1260152 P1260154
P1260159 P1260163 P1260168 P1260169
P1260170 P1260174 P1260175 P1260176
P1260179 P1260181 P1260186 P1260187
P1260188 P1270190 P1270192 P1270193
P1270195 P1270196 P1270198 P1270199
P1270204 P1270207 P1270208 P1270212
P1270216 P1270217 P1270221 P1270222
P1270223 P1270224 P1270238 P1270240
P1270243 P1270245 P1270247 P1270248
P1270249 P1270250    

Facebook Users


Full Name *
Comment *
Input field * (please enter 012608)
Email (optional, will not be posted. Do this once only - the file is retained.)
Upload your profile picture (optional, for posting. Do this once only - the file is retained.)
Pls. check if you would you like to receive the monthly newsletter (email required).

Image Verification
Please enter the text from the image:
[Refresh Image] [What's This?]

Powered by EMF Contact Form
Report Abuse

»» next story: Pranayama
»» next Mountaineering story: Top-Loading to Mainit Hot Springs

»» back to Mountaineering
»» back to Homepage

MSR SimmerLite

Copyright © 1999-2008 All rights reserved.
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy
California Wine Directory | Stereolithography Directory | Dumaguete Directory | Philippine Real Estate

Davao City

Davao Hotel
Family-Owned and Managed
Davao Hotel


Dumaguete Divers
Scuba Diving
Apo Island

Mario Scuba Diving and Homestay
Scuba Diving
Apo Island


Maricaban Bay property for sale, Coron
Coron Island Property for Sale
Busuanga, Palawan

Calamianes Expeditions And Ecotours, Coron
Island Hopping Tours
Coron, Palawan

Tribal Adventures Outdoor Adventure Tours

SandCastles Palawan Beach Resort SandCastles Palawan Beach Resort


Tribal Adventures
Outdoor Adventure Tours

Boracay Sandcastles Beach Resort
Boracay Beach Hotel

Hennessy Hammocks

UP Mountaineers

Tell A Friend!
Your Name:

Friend's E-mail: