Monday, June 25, 2018

How to Get to Barangay Poblacion in Bakun, Benguet

This is a quick guide for tourists, hikers, climbers, or anyone who wants to know how to get to barangay Poblacion in Bakun, Benguet. Poblacion is the tourism center for the town for the simple reason that the barangay serves as the jump-off point for majority of the tourist destinations in the region. It’s also the base camp for hikers climbing the famous Bakun Trio (Mt. Tenglawan, Mt. Lubo, and Mt. Kabunian).

If You Are Commuting
The only public transport vehicle that goes to Poblacion is a single bus that departs from La Trinidad, Benguet between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning. If I remember correctly, the bus waits for passengers at the parking lot of Kenwayne Commercial in Km. 6, La Trinidad. For those not in the know, La Trinidad is a Benguet town neighbouring Baguio City. By jeep, La Trinidad is just 20 minutes to 1 hour away from the city depending on vehicular traffic.

Anyway, you must be at the Kenwayne Commercial parking lot before 6:00 am to make sure that you have a seat in the bus. I repeat, there’s only one bus that plies the La Trinidad – Poblacion route. Well, there are actually two buses but the other one departs from Poblacion and heads to La Trinidad. Bus seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fare is around 185 to 200 pesos per passenger. The route follows Halsema Highway until Sinipsip in Buguias, Benguet. From there, the bus takes another road that leads to Poblacion. Travel time from Baguio City/La Trinidad to Poblacion is between 5 to 7 hours.

If You Are Driving Your Own Car
If you have your own car, there are two routes you can follow. The first one is the same as the route of the public bus. From Baguio City, head to La Trinidad, follow Halsema Highway all the way to Sinipsip, Buguias. From there, look for the diversion road that leads to Bakun. It’s easy to spot because there’s a huge sign that says “To Bakun”. Or just ask the locals there. The second route is through Kapangan and Kibungan. This route is a little bit harder to follow because of the many diversions road branches along the way. If you are not familiar with the route, you will have to stop often to ask locals if you are on the right direction towards Bakun.
Layan Rice Fields in Poblacion, Bakun. Photo by Daniel Feliciano/The Cordilleran Sun

The Condition of the Road to Poblacion, Bakun, Benguet
Majority of the road is paved. Whether you are taking the Halsema Highway route or the Kapangan-Kibungan route, the road is cemented and mostly in good condition. Of course, you will encounter patches of rough road every now and then courtesy of ongoing construction and widening projects. The few kilometres going down to Poblacion itself are probably the roughest parts of the road. The road is often narrow and unpaved.

How Many Hours to Poblacion, Bakun?
The bus usually takes between 5 to 7 hours to get there. That’s understandable since it often stops along the way. Private vehicles can get there for as short as 4 hours.

Is There a Bus from Poblacion, Bakun to La Trinidad or Baguio City?
Yes, there’s a bus that departs from Poblacion every morning between 6:00 and 7:00 am. It’s the only bus trip so make sure that you catch it early. The bus stops in the town of La Trinidad. If you are going to Baguio City, you will have to take a jeep or a taxi from La Trinidad to Baguio City.

If you have further questions on how to get to Poblacion, Bakun, Benguet, feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.