The jeepney we were riding from Sagada suddenly stopped on the roadside somewhere in Bontoc. The driver came out of the jeepney and instructed us to go down from the topload. He explained that it was actually illegal to topload inside Poblacion, Bontoc. Luckily, there were many passengers who came down that we were able to go inside the jeepney.
The jeepney stopped and the driver instructed us to go down (again!) but this time because we were in front of the bus station going to Tabuk, Kalinga which will be passing by Banaue, Ifugao.
Asking around, the waiting passengers told us that we should buy tickets for Banaue in the ticketing office. Ticket costs 120 Pesos for Banaue.
Since it was illegal to topload inside Poblacion, Bontoc we luckily found the conductor of the bus (they don’t have uniforms) and he explained how we could do topload and not break the law.
- Be one of the last passengers to ride the bus. This will make you stand for about 5-10 minutes until the bus reaches the end of the “no-toploading zone”.
- The bus will stop and you should be able to climb up the ladder on the side of the bus.
- Sit down on the right side of the bus for maximum viewing pleasure. (Left side if riding from Banaue to Bontoc)
- Hold on. There’s a high probability that you may fall if you are not well seated and secure.
When the bus started to move while we were on the topload, we were greeted by the shouts of fellow passengers such as “YUKO!”, “KABLE!” or “OOOOW!”
And after you leave the Poblacion of Bontoc, you’ll now be greeted by a very dynamic and magnificent sceneries of the Cordillera.
You do not have to be lucky to spot different species of birds on the way. You just have to be observant.
You’ll also be passing by some cracks on the road, but as long as the bus can pass by you’re still good.
One of the notable parts of the ride is a part of the road actually passes through the Rice Terraces.
And just when I thought that the bus ride only has great sceneries to offer. The bus conductor came up on the topload while the bus was still moving!
He had to check if all the passengers has tickets.
Ever wondered how high and steep the cliffs were?
We also saw the Bay-yo Rice Terraces.
More views and Rice Terraces!
We also passed by some hairpin turns.
Then we passed by a landslide.
What is good about this is that you can see that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) are really doing their job in repairing our roads.
Many times I hope that there were bigger trees with deeper roots that interlock each other so that this types of incidents would be lessened.Then came the first stopover of the ride, Mount Polis.
And the conductor could continue to do his job by collecting fees from passengers and computing if he had the right amount of money collected.
And after 15 minutes, it was again time to move on and look forward to that long and winding road to Banaue.
Not only did I see great sceneries from the top of the bus, I also saw some illegal activities such as this quarrying. This made me realize that every time I see things as these, I become an eye for the people and hopefully a solution will appear to stop these through my eyes.
I also realized that on these earth, we are just a tiny speck of dust passing by.
We were also lucky to see Ifugao’s practicing in the middle of the road for the Imbayah Festival 2011.
And after 2 hours and 30 minutes we arrived safely in Banaue, Ifugao.
So far this has been the best topload ride I’ve ever experienced and I wish to do it next time from Bontoc to Tabuk!
When we were in Banaue 4 days earlier, we had a quick conversation with a medical doctor telling us to go down from the topload because he had many cases of patients geeting injured or sometimes death because of doing topload and he do not want us to be on that list. Toploading is fun but dangerous. Be careful when doing this.
This is an entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed Travel is the Destination. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts regarding Travel is the Destination in the Philippines.
Kara Santos of Travel-Up hosts December’s Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival.
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