As soon as the bus going to Banaue from Bontoc stopped at Mount Polis, passengers on the topload and inside the bus excitedly and hurriedly got out of the bus. It was my first time seeing eagerness over a bus stopover. Usually, people will just go out of the bus because they need to go to the comfort room or just to eat for a while.
Mount Polis is famous among the locals as having good and fresh vegetables. Though prices may not be very cheap, it is still somewhat lower than the price of the market here in Manila.
I managed to talk to some vendors there, surprisingly they were generally happy. You may find it silly, but I think that is one of the real reasons why people want to buy their vegetables here. As we conversed more I found out that the vendors were also the farmers who plant and harvest the crops. They plant just below their stalls. Unfortunately, the farm lands are not visible from the road. But as long as I know that there is No delivery charge and no middle-man, giving the producers a big percentage of what I paid for, I’m happy.
There’s also a store that sells fried lumpia for only 5 Pesos. They serve them hot, the ingredients are fresh and it tastes good. 🙂
How about the usual bottled drinks and chips?
You may think that since the bus stop in Mount Polis is isolated, they may abuse the prices and make it very high for travellers. If you thought that way, I’m happy to tell you that you are wrong. They still sell bottled drinks, chips, candies and other goods at the Suggested Retail Price (SRP).
So how high is Mount Polis?
Enough to make these plastic wrapped goods expand.
The peak of Mount Polis has an elevation of 2,100 meters above sea level (masl), while the bus stopover is about 1,900 masl.Â Since the air pressure is low on high altitudes the air expands making the sealed plastic-wrapped goods expand. And that creates problems during transit of the goods. They expand so much that sometimes they burst open making the goods unsellable. The only thing they could do is eat them.
What else is there in Mount Polis stopover?
- If you have more than 15 minutes to spare, you may want to try their coffee.
- There’s also lodging there for 250 pesos/night/person.
- Mount Polis is also popular for bird watching.
- You may notice that cellphone signals here are very strong that is because a cellular network transceiver is erected nearby.
- And where there is signal there are cellphone loading stations. 🙂
After 15 minutes, the passengers would hurry to ride the bus with their vegetables and proceed with our journey to Banaue. 🙂
More pictures of Mount Polis.
Farm lands in Mount Polis as viewed on Google Maps.