NOVATURIENT (adj) – a desire to alter your life, the feeling that pushes you to travel.
What does traveling means to you? For some, traveling is merely a word that defines ones movement from destination to destination. Others, take it as a big step towards greater self-exploration where adventure shows them a new meaning to life, teaching their souls a higher sense of consciousness of their positions in this world.
I’ve been traveling back and forth the mountains of Cordillera and I must say I will never get tired exploring its mountains, towns and rice terraces. It’s like a sanctuary for me. Yes, traveling can be exhausting (and expensive), but just the idea of it always gives a tingling feeling in my toes and the next thing I know, I am packing my stuff to wherever my hiking shoes may take me. And there’s this one adventure that truly captivated me, the one I’ll be telling stories to my friends with undeniable sparkle in my eyes, my journey to Mt. Kupapey last September 2015.
Nestled in the mountains of Cordillera, the Mountain of Kupapey or sometimes pronounced as Mt. Kofafey is within the stretch of Barangay Maligcong in the municipality of Bontoc, Mountain Province. I don’t want to confuse you of its geographical location in my country, but know that this place boasts scenic mountain views with lushes of greens, cold and fine weather, and very accommodating locals.
The travel from Manila to Benguet via bus takes about 8 hours, depending on the numbers of stopovers but typically when you leave Manila around 9 or 10 in the evening, you’ll arrive in Cordillera mountain province around 5 or 6 the next morning. Not bad, considering you only get to sleep the entire road trip. Let’s just hope the person next to you doesn’t snore too loudly 🙂
We had our breakfast in Banaue where we were lucky enough to take in the magnificent view of the majestic Banaue Rice Terraces while sipping our coffees. It was my second time visiting the Banaue Rice Terraces, but it never looses its magic, always leaving the people in great awe. mesmerized of its ‘hagdan hagdang palayan’ which stands 5,000 ft. above sea level.
We had our lunch at Bontoc, where we also did our last minute grocery shopping and stuff. I suggest that before going to Maligcong, do your last minute shopping in Bontoc since it’s the nearest town with complete stores. After about 30mins jeepney drive from Bontoc, we finally arrived in our lounging, care of Ate Suzette’s Homestay. The place is spacious, with a beautiful view of the town and the Maligcong rice terraces, a peaceful sleep over the night in preparation for the hike the next day.
Coming to this place, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. There isn’t much information about Mt. Kupapey in the net back then but somehow, I kinda liked the idea of not knowing what lies ahead. I guess traveling often makes you appreciate spontaneous adventures like this. But after an hour of trekking atop the summit, boy, Mt. Kupapey does not disappoint!!
“Mini Pulag” as they say, though the trek isn’t as strenuous but the cold is just the same, so be prepared to bring your warmers. Bringing some breakfast to the summit while waiting for the sun to rise wouldn’t hurt as well. Be prepared when it does, because it’s freaking awesome! How the rays of the sun in oranges and yellows spread through the mountain ranges, and slowly, the sea of clouds came crawling like a blanket, wrapping the fields and small houses below the valley.
It’s a pleasure to witness such splendor of nature. A pleasure indeed.
After much hours of taking in the view and lots and lots of picture-taking atop the mountain, we finally made our descent to the rice terraces of Maligcong, the pride and glory of this town and such an astounding site to see. How they call it “The Stairways to the Sky” totally made sense.
The thing is, for me, all the places I’ve been to will leave a mark in my heart and my memory that I will surely carry with me for always. But somehow, I find it baffling and fascinating how a simple journey turned into a very enjoyable one because of the people I meet along the way. Forget the destination I always say, it doesn’t matter where you’re going, it’s who you have beside you. And true enough, as majestic as the rice terraces of Maligcong and Banaue may have been, it was made more pleasant by the stories and laughter being shared with new and awesome friends during this trip 🙂
If you are planning on visiting the Maligcong Rice Terraces and experience the summit at Mt. Kupapey, my friends and I will be visiting this place again this coming July 30-31, 2016. Feel free to join us! Here’s our itinerary to give you an idea on what to expect during the trip 🙂
Mt. Kupapey and Maligcong Rice Terraces (July 30-31)
Day 0 – July 29, Friday 10PM – ETD to Banaue, Ifugao
Day 1 -July 30, Saturday
7AM – ETA Banaue (Stopover/Photo Op: Welcome to Banaue)
8-9:30AM – Breakfast (Banaue Viewpoint)/Photo Op Banaue Rice Terraces
9:30AM – ETD to Bontoc, Mt. Province
11:30AM – ETA Bontoc, Mt. Province
12NN -2PM – Lunch/Bontoc Museum
2PM – ETD to Maligcong, Bontoc
2:30PM – ETA Maligcong Homestay
3-5PM – Rest
6PM – Dinner
7PM -10PM – Socials
Day 2, July 31, Sunday
3AM -Wake up call/ Prepare/Coffee
4AM – ETD to Mt. Kupapey
4:30AM – Arrival to Summit/Wait for sunrise/ PhotoOp
6AM – to Maligcong Rice Terraces
8AM -Back to homestay / Breakfast
9:30AM – Prepare for check out.
10AM – Check out / Early lunch
11AM – ETD: Baguio Side trip: Halsema hi-way/ Strawberry farm/ Sitio Botiwtiw (colorful houses) –
Optional 5PM -ETA Baguio
5PM – 7PM free time (Including dinner)
7PM – ETD to Manila
Day 3, Monday 1AM -Arrival Manila END OF TOUR.
You may also contact Ate Suzette for your inquiries regarding homestay accommodations at +63915 546 3557.
For more information about our upcoming travel schedules, news and many more, you may like our facebook page Trax Phils. (Travel. Adventure. eXplore). We are also on instagram @traxphilippines or you may send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Photos courtesy of my good friend Sef, you may see more of his shots on his ig account at @neosef_ and @jbryx7
So I guess I shall see you on my next travel and I hope to hear about your visit at Mt. Kupapey. Happy travel guys!