a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Friday, March 9, 2012

Munching Around Tadian, Mountain Province

Before I hopped on a bus bound for the Cordilleras, I had announced to friends that I would be hiking and exploring Tadian. But it was Ayyoweng di Lambak ed Tadian festival that weekend and food poured all over town! Me and my ever-reliable backpacking buddy could not convince our feet to go anywhere and so our raging tummies prevailed and relentlessly led us to different booths and stalls where we gorged on local cuisine and various street foods.  
And we felt the warm welcome indeed! Variants of rice grains displaced at the food expo
 We had one day to go around so we weren't able to do much. We spent practically the entire Saturday on the road where we witnessed both sunrise and sunset from the windows of our seats. When we arrived in Tadian, after 13 hours of bonding with both paved and dusty routes, we were faint with exhaustion and our stomachs clamored for good food.
Highway to Tadian
View from our bedroom that definitely adds sunshine to mornings!
We stayed and ate meals at the home of Tadian's amiable tourism officer, Ms. Lynber who I corresponded with last year for a possible exploration in Mt. Mogao. I promise next time I come back, I will definitely test the trails of Tadian. :P I actually have more photos of food in my collection than its landscape. Hihi!

Road back to ms. Lynber's home
One of our interesting  finds is puto made from Balintataw rice which is an odd looking combination of white and black grains. The dough is soft and very tasty - like a regular puto but with more flavor (sorry for the lack of a better description as my taste buds are limited to two flavors - masarap at hindi masarap :P) . Another one is long john, a delectable 5-Peso bread with a sexy name that is served at Family Bakeshop and Cafe located near the market. 
Puto (steamed buns) made from Balintataw Rice
Pancit
Long john! I ingested a lot of these during our stay. Best eaten fresh from the oven. 
Thank you Tadian and similar to what that valient general has promised, I too shall  return! :)

How to Get to Tadian via Public Transportation:
1. Take a bus from Manila to Baguio. Victory Liner (455 Pesos from Pasay terminal where I always ride), Genesis (Cubao) and Philippine Rabbit are the popular buslines to Baguio. Travel Time : 6 hours
2. From Baguio, take an A Trans bus to Sumadel (180 Pesos). This goes straight to Tadian. It has daily but limited trips per day and I'm not even sure what time it starts because we took the "ala-Amazing Race" route to get to Tadian, which extended travel time to an hour more.  
Travel Time : 5-6 hours 
As an alternate, you can also take a Manila-Bontoc-Tadian route. Upon arrival in Bontoc, take a van to Tadian. (Travel Time : 2 hours) If you take the evening Cable Tour bus from Manila (12 hours), you should have plenty of time to catch one of the vans to Tadian. 

Tadian Tourism Officer - Lynber Micklay - 0921-5483356

Notes :
Avoid wearing revealing outfits or short shorts. If possible, wear cargo pants or capri. 
Tadian is approximately 1 hour from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur which is a great exit point . Here you can visit the historic Bessang pass. This is where the Japanese imperial forces led by General Yamashita were defeated by the United States Armed forces in 1945 which paved for the end of the traumatizing Japanese occupation in the Philippines. 

What to Do/See in Tadian: 
1. Hike Mt. Mogao -  a hill surrounded by mountains. Gawaan Lake at its foot can also be visited.
2. Singing Jar - Brgy. Kayan West owner by Mr. Resurreccion Wanget Sr. They say the jar produces different sounds even if it's rubbed the same way by different individuals. You need to coordinate with the tourism office to schedule a visit. 
3. Cagubatan Lake - Brgy. Cagubatan which is home to eels. 
4. Am-Am Observatory Rock - Sitio Am-am, Brgy. Cadad-anan. Here you can get a  scenic view of the town and of other municipalities such as Mankayan and Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.
5. Visit a weaver's home

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