Friday, July 21, 2017

Bayokbok Falls In Tuel, Tublay, Benguet

Bayokbok Falls is a waterfall located near the village of Tuel in Tublay, Benguet. If you are familiar with the Asin Hotspring in aforementioned village, Bayokbok Falls is just a few minutes away from it. Just cross the hanging bridge to the other side of the river then ask the locals for the direction of the trail that leads to the falls.

Or you can simply follow the river to the north until you reach the falls. However, before you decide to make your way through the river instead of following the trail, make sure that everyone in your group can swim. There are deep pockets and pools in the river that can be dangerous to non-swimmers. The rocks can also be very slippery (especially the moss-covered ones). If it's raining or it's about to rain, never follow the river because the current can suddenly swell to very strong levels.

How To Get To Bayokbok Falls In Tuel, Tublay
There are no jeeps that go directly to Tuel from either Baguio City or La Trinidad. At least that's what I know and what other people told me. However, there are these passenger cars commonly referred to as "garage" that ply the La Trinidad-Alapang-Alno-Tuel route. I'm not sure where they are parked or how their fare systems work. It's best that you get in touch with someone from Tublay to tell you exactly where and how you can hire a "garage" car to bring you to Tuel.

How Far Is Bayokbok Falls
When I went to the falls, I jogged and ran all the way from the Alapang Road - Halsema Highway intersection in Cruz, La Trinidad. It took me less than two hours to reach Tuel. I think the distance is about 12 to 18 kilometers. That said, by my estimate, I think you can reach Tuel in under an hour if you have a ride. The road is paved and in good condition. The road is all downhill from Cruz to Alapang, to Alno, then to Tuel.

If you are not a regular jogger or runner, I wouldn't recommend running your way to the falls. The run to the place is fine and I think most people can manage it. But the ascent from Tuel back to Cruz can be very difficult. I run regularly so I'm in a pretty decent condition but I found the ascent arduous and often difficult.

Photos of Bayokbok Falls:

Other places worth visiting in Tublay, Benguet are Paterno and Bengaongao Caves.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Job Openings At DepEd Benguet (37 Positions Available)

The Schools Division of Benguet is in need of new administrative assistants. There are 37 vacancies for the aforementioned position. Interested applicants are encouraged to complete their documents and submit them on or before August 11, 2017. All interested individuals are also required to file their applications at the DepEd CAR, SDA Benguet through the Records Section. Their offices can be found in Wangal, La Trinidad.

Applicants must bring with them two sets of the original copies of the following documents:
1. Personal Data Sheet (PDS)
2. Service Records
3. Transcript of Records
4. Performance Ratings for the last three (3) rating periods
5. Certificates of Trainings and Seminars attended
6. Certificate of Eligibility
7. Other important documents

For additional information about the vacancies, visit DepEd Benguet's website here or contact them on Facebook here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Missing Tour Guide In Sagada Found Dead By Rescuers Inside Victoria Cave In Ankileng

The lifeless body of a 23-year-old local tourist guide in Sagada was finally found by rescuers nearly two days after he was swept away by rushing waters inside a still-being-explored cave in said town. The young man has been identified as Roderick Malecdan. According to the Mountain Province Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Malecdan was spotted sandwiched between rocks in a submerged portion of the cave.

Members of the Philippine Navy sent by the Office of Civil Defense Cordillera were tasked in extracting the body from inside the cave.

Based on reports coming from the town, Malecdan, five other guides, and a lady friend entered Victoria Cave to explore it since it's being eyed as an additional tourist attraction. They entered the cave between 9:30 and 10:00 am on Sunday. An early downpour caused the water levels inside the cave to rise quickly. Except for Malecdan, everyone either made it out alive or were rescued by responders.
Rescuers heading towards the entrance of Victoria Cave. Image credit: DRRMO - Mt. Province
All caves in the town were immediately closed by the local government unit on Monday so that search and rescue teams can more efficiently scour the area for the missing guide.

According to the authorities, the Sagada Tourism Office wasn't aware of the group's expedition inside Victoria Cave.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Organic Sagada Coffee Receives Gourmet Award From International Coffee Contest In Paris, France

Here's another good reason to pack your bags and head over to Sagada in Mt. Province. Coffee grown and roasted in the tourist town bagged one of the most coveted prizes in an international coffee competition held last month in Paris, France. Bana's Coffee which comes from Arabica coffee trees raised in the town earned a Medaille Gourmet (Gourmet Award) at the third edition of the International Contest of Coffees Roasted in their Countries of Origin. This is a contest organized by the Agency for the Valorization of Agricultural Products (AVPA).

AVPA is a Paris-based non-government and non-profit association whose main objective is to contribute to the enhancement of the value of agricultural products by recognizing not only the excellence of the products but the hard work of the producers as well. Since its establishment in 2005, the organization grew its reputation by running various contests on the production of coffee, bee honey, dried fruit, and vegetable oil. The organization first introduced their coffee roasters contest on November of 2014.

At the forefront of Bana's Coffee is Gowad Sibayan, a local coffee farmer and roaster who grows his coffee trees in a sizable plot of land in Sagada. His coffee roasts were entered into the AVPA competition through a collaboration with Butch Acop, Rich Watanabe, and the Coffee Heritage Project (CHP). The CHP is "a simple movement that promotes a fruitful collaboration amongst partner farmers, scientists, soil specialists, etymologists and to any person who has the heart for uplifting the value of Philippines coffee." [Source: Coffee Heritage House]
Screen-cap of a news report on the award by CNN Philippines.
The award for Bana's Coffee was received by Consul Rapunzel Acop of the Philippine Embassy in Paris on behalf of Sibayan, Acop, and Watanabe. The awarding ceremony was held at the Embassy of Peru in Paris on June 28. This was the first time that the Philippines joined the competition. Other countries who sent entries to the competition include Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Thailand, Togo, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

If you want to have a taste of Bana's Coffee, you can go at the Bana's Cafe and Restaurant in Sagada. You can also buy packets of the roasted coffee in said restaurant.

Also read:
1) Formulated Organic Fertilizers For Safe Arabica Coffee Production And Soil Moisture Conservation
2) Formulated Organic Fertilizers For Safe Arabica Coffee Production And Soil Moisture Conservation

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Danny Kingad Of Team Lakay To Face Chinese Foe In One Championship

At only 21 years old, Danny Kingad of Team Lakay is on the cusp of fighting for the One Championship's flyweight strap. The young prospect is scheduled to see action at the GOR Kertajaya Arena in Indonesia on July 29 in an event dubbed One Championship: Conquest of Kings.

Kingad will be sharing the cage with Hexi Getu, a 32-year-old sanda practitioner from Inner Mongolia, China. Given the fact that One Championship's flyweight division is rather thin, a win over Hexi Getu will likely propel Kingad closer to a title shot.

Kingad is expected to be the favorite to win on fight night. Although he has less fights compared to Hexi Getu, he has faced much tougher opponents. Kingad has a record of 5 wins and 0 losses. Three of these wins were in the One Championship.

Hexi Getu, on the other hand, has 4 wins and 2 losses. This is his record as seen on the Tapology website. Sherdog, a more reputable website, lists 2 losses and 0 wins for the fighter. Sherdog didn't include Hexi Getu's victories, all of which occurred in the Dacheng Wuyi promotion.
Danny Kingad (right) lands a kick on Muhammad Aiman (left) during their encounter at One Championship: Kings of Destiny last April. Image credit: One Championship.
Conquest of Kings will be headlined by a rematch between Kairat Akhmetov (the reigning One Championship flyweight champion) and Adriano Moraes (the interim champion). The two fought in November of 2015. Akhmetov emerged as the winner via split decision.

Due to Akhmetov's inactivity after his win, One Championship proclaimed Moraes as the interim titleholder after victories over Eugene Toquero and Tilek Batyrov. Whoever wins this match could be a future opponent for Kingad.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Benguet State University Bags 2017 Tanglaw Award

By: Juman Kevin B. Tindo

Its significant contribution to the progress of agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources R&D in the country earned Benguet State University (BSU) the 2017 Tanglaw Award for Most Outstanding Research Institution given by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Led by BSU president Dr. Feliciano G. Calora Jr., the Tanglaw Award was conferred to the University during the awarding ceremonies on June 28, 2017 at the E.O Tan, PCAARRD, Los Banos, Laguna.

The award carries a PhP 2,000,000.00 grant for station development, capability building, and upgrading of facilities, as well as a trophy. According to Dr. Carlito P. Laurean, Vice President for Research and Extension, the Tanglaw Award is given to outstanding research institutions in the country. “This award was a dream for many years…this is a collective output of the current and previous administrations.”

Further, Dr. Calora said that this “prestigious award” has magnified the interest of BSU to conduct researchers.

“We can use this (the Tanglaw Award) to convince young researchers in Benguet State University to join a centennial research team that will participate in research initiatives and advocacies to ensure the sustainability of quality research that will eventually convert BSU to a full-fledged research university in the next five years,” added Dr. Calora during the awarding ceremonies.

Criteria for the selection of the 2017 Tanglaw Award include technologies developed/utilized, significant information gathered and applied; financial resources generated for the past five years (2011 to present); capability building; and other accomplishments such as institutional publications, awards received for the past five years, linkages forged, and projects implemented.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bakun Trio Guide: Registration, Fees, Transportation, Itinerary, Etc.

Bakun Trio is the collective nickname given to three popular mountains in the town of Bakun in Benguet. These are Mt. Tenglawan, Mt. Kabunian, and Mt. Lobo. These mountains are adjacent each other so mountain climbers usually climb all three within three days (one mountain a day). For those who are planning to climb the Bakun Trio, here's a quick guide for you. You will find here information about registration fees, where to register, how to get there, and other important details.

Before You Go To Bakun
It's important that you contact the Municipal Tourism Officer of Bakun at least a week before your trip The Municipal Tourism Officer will then refer you to whoever is in charge of hikers in the villages of Poblacion and Sinacbat.

There are two main persons you should contact prior to going to Bakun. They are as follows:
1. Arthur Tolito [09212113687 or 09053172616]  - Mr. Tolito is the Municipal Tourism Officer of Bakun.
2. Peter Diclas [09296210448 or 09062847896] - Mr. Diclas is the President of the Bakun Trio Tour Guides and Porters Association (BATTOGAPA).

Get in touch with these people before you head over to Bakun. They will inform you about everything you need to know about scaling the Bakun Trio. The mountains in Bakun are considered as major climbs so you need to be prepared especially if you plan on climbing the three mountains. Condition your body prior to your trip. Go to the gym, jog, run, climb smaller mountains, just do what you need to do to prepare yourself physically.

How To Get To Bakun
There are two main drop-off points in Bakun. One is Poblacion which is the drop-off point that most climbers use. Poblacion is where you should go if you plan on climbing the three mountains. The second drop-off point is Sinacbat. This is the drop-off point you use if you plan on climbing only Mt. Tenglawan. Or if you want to hit the Mt. Tenglawan - Mt. Kabunian Traverse. The trip from Baguio City or La Trinidad to the town of Bakun takes between 5 to 7 hours.

There are two irregular buses that go to Bakun every morning. These usually leave between 6:00 am and 7:00 am. One parks at the Petron Gas Station along Km. 5 in La Trinidad, just in front of the Jollibee branch. The other one parks at the Kenwayen Commercial Center along Km. 6 in La Trinidad, just beside the Calajo Restaurant. Bus fare is 185 pesos per head.

Registration Fees And Other Fees To Be Paid
1. Environmental fee - 100 pesos per head
2. Tour guide fee - 1000 (Mt. Tenglawan), 800 (Mt. Kabunian), 600 (Mt. Lobo)

It's worth noting here that the ratio for guide to hikers is one is to six (1:6). If your group has seven or eight people, you will have to pay an additional 100 pesos per head for the guide. If you exceed eight people, you will be required to get a second guide.

Where To Stay In Bakun
The local government unit of Bakun has designated the old municipal building as base camp for mountain climbers. This building is located in Poblacion. You can stay and sleep their at night. The lodging fee is 90 pesos per head per night. There are also blankets, mats, pillows, and mattresses that you can rent between 20 and 40 pesos each. If your base camp is in Sinacbat, you will be housed at the Sinacbat Barangay Hall.

How Many Days Will It Take To Climb The Bakun Trio
It usually takes three days. One day for each mountain. However, you need to take into account your travel to Bakun. So all in all, the trip can take 4 to 5 days. The first and fifth day will be travel days. You can cut the duration of the trip by one day if you get to Poblacion early in the first day which means you will still have time to climb one of the three mountains.