Backpacking with a Book
Burping at Joed’s Lutong Hapon
January 6, 2011
Mt. Lanaya, Alegria, Cebu
Alegria: Where Mt. Lanaya Towers the Town
January 10, 2011
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Mt. Timbak and Its People

Backpacking with a Book

Because there is a certain beauty that is better appreciated than possessed.

With a diet mostly composed of fresh vegetables and fruits, it did not come as a surprise that kids in Atok, Benguet are naturally gifted with rosy cheeks, smooth complexion, and healthy eyes. With a great hope, urban or Western diet shall not reach this part of the archipelago since it might alter the pureness of their beauty and health.

The Beauty of Innocence, the Innocence of Beauty

There was a particular girl around eight who piggy-backed her younger sister. She eyed the camera with repugnance. Perhaps she felt what we did―taking pictures of the community without their permission―is an act of intrusion. Indeed, it is. Perhaps she thought we act like highly knowledgeable about their place.  One would not blame her if she did think such.

The Mini-Calvary

The evolution of mountain climbing is reversed. Instead of returning to the basics, it becomes a luxury sports designed to those who have the resources to travel and purchase gilt-edged gears.

Cloud's Territory. The town exists, the town doesn't; it all depends on the clouds.

We have completely overlooked that it is not about fancy gears rather it is about the appreciation of what we do not possess,  of what we possessed, of what we will possess, of what we possess. It is the pleasure of friendship, of laughter, of talks, of nature, of thinking, of walking, of silence. It is an act where the self is entirely stripped of  its selfness.

Everytime I see calla lillies, I think of weddings. Howdy, Breuer.

Calla lilies are pricey flowers, yet in the mountainous Benguet, they are simply wild. Flowers such as chrysanthemum, daisies, lilies adorn the mountains. With Halsema Highway as Death Road, perhaps it makes death more welcomed.

Halsema Highway is considered as one of the scariest roads all over the world.

The farmer tending the vegetation pointed the right direction toward Mt. Timbak which is signaled with three crosses―a local version of the Calvary. We noticed the two tombs in one side of the farm―right next to a house. In some cultures―local and foreign alike―burying the dead near the living is practiced. Oliver Sacks, a noted anthropologist and neurologist, noticed such culture in Pingelap―a solitary atoll in the Pacific.  It seems like an act of close kinship.  Perhaps it is an act of loneliness and reassurance―the living cannot depart from the dear departed. It seems the validation of life comes from the departed.



Driver. The one we trust our lives with.


It is better to hire a jeepney from Baguio, and please pick a driver seasoned by Halsema’s snaky personality like ours.

RELATED ARTICLE: An Act of Returning

How to Carry the Cross? This way. (Albert Masas Sabaricos) And that's not my cam. I'm a point-and-shootie.


Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at Find me somewhere else!

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  1. Aleah says:

    I love the pictures you took of the child! She seems so confident with herself.

  2. mitchell says:

    the pix of the child is truly captivating…u captured something great.
    coming from that place, it gave me a different perspective of the beauty that i have never appreciated.

  3. […] opted to linger on Baguio and experienced the Death Road ride, explored Mt. Timbak, visited the centuries-old mummies, so we could not possibly join the other group journeying the […]

  4. Sony Fugaban says:

    Been here too, BWAB. I was enlightened by your explanation on the reason behind the rosy chicks of those lucky kids — because of this post.

    Just in case you’re curious with what I had captured from the Mt. Timbak, here’s the link:

  5. Sony Fugaban says:

    Been here too, BWAB. I was enlightened by your explanation on the reason behind the rosy chicks of those lucky kids — because of this post.

    Just in case you’re curious with what I had captured from Mt. Timbak, here’s the link:

  6. Kindly “ask to join group,” Sony. One of the admins will check your site. Member rin lang ako. 🙂

  7. Sony Fugaban says:

    What is the complete name of the group?

  8. Sony Fugaban says:

    I got it! … Pinoy Travel Bloggers 😉

  9. Sony Fugaban says:

    I already sent my request. Thank you so much, BWAB!

  10. […] Timbak, Atok, Benguet, Philippines  […]

  11. Sony Fugaban says:

    It’s okay, BWAB. Your recommendation was more than enough. Besides, I’d be delighted to run after that Pinoy Travel Bloggers badge. For now, let me work on it.

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