WorkGoals Series: Kalinga

If I was asked before to visit Tabuk, I’d probably had second thoughts. There’s not much of a good reputation to talk about. All I knew about the place was its primitive mountain dwellers decapitating heads for sport. When I got there, I asked the locals about it. They just told me not to go wandering outside after 7 PM. How creepy.

The road to Tabuk is a long one. 13 hours max via Victory Liner – Cubao. I took the sleeper type bus from Florida – Sampaloc terminal to Tuguegarao and an hour-long FX ride to Tabuk City proper. There were mountains everywhere and new roads, with few people. The city was not as underrated as I thought it would be. Only a remaining 15% of the population kept to the old ways.

Tabuk Breakfast I
Chicken tocino, brown rice, fried bananas, and organic coffee. A perfect way to start the day!
Tabuk Breakfast II
Our Thursday meal, full of protein and carbohydrates.
The Warehouse Snack Hut
The little resthouse beside one of our company warehouses at Tabuk.

On our fourth day at business travel, we were privileged to take a stroll – did not expect it to be a long one – around the city and the mountainside. My traveling partner and I were more than grateful to our provincial office for their kindness and generosity.

Wanay's Panciteria
Wanay’s Panciteria is just a few turns inside Tabuk City, offering unbelievably affordable pancit and lomi for all tummies. That 30 pesos lomi is good for two!
Pancit ni Wanay
This single order of pancit at Waray’s Panciteria costs only 60 pesos. The best thing is it has lechon toppings.

At Talama View Deck, I asked my traveling partner to take a panoramic shot of the view with me on the center. He kept failing to make a good one, unfortunately. Anyway, this is the view. The cloudy weather was perfect. Not too much sun to sink into our delicate skin.

Talama View Deck
View over Talama View Deck

Talama View Deck II

The officer who served as our cheerful guide was also an owner of a little farm (quite big for me) in the local vicinity. He sold numerous kinds of seedlings, shrubs and many other plants. A few meters away was the Chico River overlooking a nice landscape. Perfect for shutterbug mountain lovers.

River of Life

Looking at Chico
How good does my back look. Not too much.

Aged Sign

Our Tabuk to Pasil road trip was not an easy one. Every thirty minutes or so we passed different roads that connected more than seven mountains. Sir Joseph Agustin, our provincial licensing officer, and our tour guide did not stop from telling stories of his younger days, laid with a handful of history.

Naneng Heritage Village
The Naneng Village

Kalinga is known for its high-grade coffee. Arabica, Robusta, and the premium Alamid. The Daguitan Tangkib Eco Village Farm at Pakiting has surrounding floras, all of which are mostly coffee shrubs. It also has three swimming pools, with unlimited water source from the mountain itself.

Eco Pool

Patiking Eco Village
They have a number of pools for local and foreign visitors, filled by the mountain springs.
The farm covers more than a dozen hectares of land to grow arabica and robusta plants.
Road Tunnel
A few years back during the war against the New People’s Army, tunnels like these served as ambush sites and shelter for soldiers as well.
Farming Terraces
This river was supposed to become the biggest dam in Asia, a canceled project – due to protests – three decades ago.
88 Bangyan House
This mini zoo and restaurant is famous for its Bulalo, among other relishes.
Faced with a challenge – this caged owl photo was hard to shoot.
Hanging Bridge.

We stopped last at a hanging bridge, I totally forgot what it’s called. But before going back to the office, we visited a local coffee factory and got ourselves a pack of Kalinga originals. We enjoyed a little snack, too, where I ate too many donuts at Sir Joseph’s farm before finally heading back to the office. We were welcomed back with a Karaoke party.

Coffee makes me nauseous, the last time I finished a cup was five years ago. But, during the time we were working and taking turns up and down the road, I cannot help but drink Kalinga’s brewed coffee. Primarily because I was to shy to decline their offer. But to be honest, it was different. The aroma was arousing. It did not make me feel bad and that was the first time I loved coffee.

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