Tinglayan is a municipality of Kalinga in the Cordillera Region. It’s name was derived from the word “Tinonglay” which means the making of an earthen container where sugarcane wine is brewed. Looking at the map, the terrain is made up mostly of towering mountains and the famous Sleeping Beauty. Thanks to the gradual improvement of the highway system in this region, there are better opportunities for the residents.
I have not heard nor read about this part of the Cordillera before setting out on my North Luzon Loop trip but that’s the whole idea. I want it to be a surprise. One setback of that though is I cannot wander off to some unknown trail I see along the way. The main highway I am on has been more than enough of an adventure trail anyway. The scenery was amazing too! And what is this Sleeping Beauty you speak of?
I didn’t quite have a good night sleep in Lubuagan but it was definitely a memorable experience. No matter how traumatic it was. I left Lubuagan proper before daybreak.
The terrain here is more technical than those in Tabuk, Pasil, or Lubuagan. Occasionally, the pavement would disappear as the road narrows to a single, rocky trail. But that doesn’t stop the Kalingans with their day to day lives. Down the road, there would be a cluster of houses every few kilometers. It is near the Chico River after all.
A fork on the road confused me and I started climbing uphill. A resident confirmed my doubts and I turned back. Had I continued, I could’ve ended up off-road riding to Tulgao. Maybe I should have just played along like I didn’t suspect I was off-track. Next time, perhaps?
Once I got back on the main road, I passed by another hanging bridge leading to another community. Google Maps has low-resolution images on this part of Kalinga so I am not sure I am tagging my pictures correctly but I bet this is the Old Tinglayan Proper.
It was only 07:15 AM when I got to the Sleeping Beauty view deck in Brgy. Basao. The mountain is called Sleeping Beauty because (I’m just learning this after the trip) a mountain ridge forms the silhouette of a sleeping woman. It came out of a tale of two lovers who got separated because of a tribal war and the woman died in the mountains waiting for the return of her lover. OK…. but where is she?
I thought the ridge directly in front of me is the sleeping beauty. Like I said, I didn’t research this part of the trip so I have no idea how it should look like. Besides, at that time of the day, the sun was still struggling to get over the towering mountains of the Cordilleras so I couldn’t really see much. Too much glare!
Post-processing the pictures and with the help of Google after the trip, I realized I have actually captured the Sleeping Beauty in a shot focused at the winding Chico River.
The forehead, eyes, nose, chin and neck are well defined. The rest of the body parts protruding from a woman’s body is also obvious with a little imagination. Earlier in the post the Sleeping Beauty already did a cameo appearance on a photo of a hanging bridge. Scroll up. In a while, we will get another glimpse of her at a different location.
Bugnay was very picturesque. Aside from everything they have going – the hanging bridge, the river, the terraces, the houses, and the fresh air, I envy how they are able to stay in the shade of the mountain even if it is almost 8 in the morning! How cool is that!?
I came upon a Kilometer Post showing the road (probably a dirt trail) to smaller villages and was so tempted but I really had no idea how much farther Sagada is. I felt sad I don’t have enough time to explore but I vowed to return next time with more appropriate tires. Down the road was a cement mixer and a worker. I thought, “What the heck is he doing?!” Looking at the condition of the truck, it has probably broken down and Kuya there was mixing the cement by hand! [plausible]
The cemented road has reappeared but there were too many landslides. There were sand, rocks and mounds of dirt everywhere. And then there was this elevated portion of the highway overlooking the tip of a mountain ridge. I carefully inched my way to the edge.
After I crossed the Kalinga – Mountain Province boundary, something big welcomed me..
I took a quick 10-minute break as I take in the scenery and imagined a lot of those I just saw won’t be there had the Chico Dam Project pushed through. I also would’ve not seen most of it if I didn’t spend the night in Lubuagan. As I got ready to make the final push for Sagada, I promised Kalinga I will be back!
..and into Mountain Province! Sagada, get ready because here I…. hhmmmm… wait a minute.. Sadanga is all the way up there??!? A high-altitude ride on the next post!