The biggest island in the Philippines, Luzon, is known for having lots of roads that are characterized by sharp turns. If we were to pick one well-known roadway that reifies the concept of a zigzag scenic route, there’s one that stands out: Kennon Road. This road in Benguet province connects the mountain city of Baguio to the lowland town of Rosario in La Union province. It’s the most famous road in the Cordillera Administrative Region because of its picturesque routes. On the other hand, it’s also very infamous for being the most hazardous road in the country particularly during the rainy seasons. The road is prone to closure due to landslides, which cause most of the road accidents during heavy rains or typhoon conditions.
I was fortunate to have experienced jaunting the zigzag road of Kennon that leads to an upward climb for most part back in the summer of 2009. As the bus nears the city of Baguio, the broad daylight reveals a very quaint view of the mountains and its lush vegetation like the one I snapped in the photo.
Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic nation in Asia, but there are still few Filipinos who practice aboriginal religion as there were still untouched villages during the colonial era, specifically by the three powerful nations: Spain, Japan and America.
So when I got to Mount Singakalsa a year ago, I was surprised that the Spanish conquerors were able to penetrate the ninth highest mountain of the Philippines for their God, Gold, and Glory campaign because of the church up the highland village of Atok in Benguet. I’ve always believed that the Cordilleras is one of the few “untouched” places until I have learned from delving the internet and t.v. shows that my belief was actually the opposite.
Anyway, the reason behind choosing my entry for this week’s photo challenge is, it is an absolute necessity of the Holy Sacrament for every Catholic to undergo baptism in a church like the one on the photo for entrance to heaven. So there are actually two entrances on the photo in that case.
The supposed night trek turned out to be the opposite because of God’s Act. That night (15 May 2010), it rained like a celestial bucket was pouring H2O on the place the time we’re about to step on the toenails of this mountain. We ended up renting a room to get past the crying night in the colorful Baguio City.
This climb was actually an outreach by a friend Ms. Rhovee Dadis. I must say I am blessed for taking part in its realization. My deepest gratitude to Rhovee for the invitation.
On May 16 May 2010, together with Rhovee Dadis, Paul, and Red, we successfully put the outreach into fruition.
Life Lessons Learned
Witnessing how difficult it is for the people, especially the children going to school, to get the supplies they need up the place. This prompted me to say a little prayer of gratitude to the Aura up in the sky. There’s no better way to repay the Aura’s Goodness than to give something out to our less fortunate brothers and sisters.
Seeing the smiles of the kids of Timbak while receiving their stuff is larger than life experience.
Mt. Singakalsa gave my camera truly breathtaking pictures and new perspective about life: I am more blessed than I ever thought.
- Mt. Singakalsa was my fourth subdued giant.
For more information (special concerns, how to get to the place, trivia, climbing notes, etc.), click this website: pinoymountaineer.com.