“Papaitan na kalabaw for breakfast. Morning greetings from Solana, Cagayan!” I said to my Twitter followers. Papaitan na kalabaw is carabao or buffalo stewed innards with soup. It was kinda weird to eat a carabao but I guess I’m feeling food-adventurous that day that even if I saw some blood on the soup I still finished it adding an extra cup of rice. This is like American steak- cooked rare. The 3-hour bus ride from Kabugao to Solano was much more forgiving compared to yesterday’s trip to Apayao. Now I understood more of what Kerouac said on his autobiographical novel On The Road, “But no matter, the road is life.”
Celebration of Kalinga’s Ullalim Festival 2012
I wanted to be in Tingalayan, Kalinga that day but I missed the last trip from Tabuk City, Kalinga’s capital. I have no choice but to join the throngs of people gathered together at the Provincial gymnasium to watch drum and lyre competition from different schools in the province. That day marked the 14th anniversary of Kalinga as a province separated from the former Kalinga-Apayao. The presentations were a fusion of the old and new, I saw majorettes wearing white satin outfits lined with Kalinga weaving, some drummers were the traditional g-string with matching a weaved head wear. Talk about being on the right place at the right time as as each town has their own kiosk where all agricultural and hand-crafted products are showcased. I looked into each town’s kiosk and took photos to kill time, bought freshly brewed Kalinga coffee when it drizzled to warm my body, played with the locals at the carnival perya and ate the best pinakbet I ever tasted in my life with matching pork barbeque. Maybe because the vegetables were fresh or I was just too hungry because I forgot to eat lunch.
My bed for Day 12- Kalinga Provincial Tourism’s Office couch
Slumber Challenge: Kalinga Tourism Office Couch
I looked for a cheap place to stay in Tabuk city proper but the cheapest they got is Php400 so I opted to just stay outside. I wanted to hang my hammock inside the gymnasium where presentations were held earlier or maybe inside one of the kiosk but I cannot find a perfect place. So I went to the Kalinga Provincial Capitol which is very near the gymnasium. I asked the guard if I can spend the night inside because I cannot afford to rent a room in town. He learned that I’m a travel writer and I shared with him the challenge I was doing. He brought me inside the tourism office and was offered a couch where I can lay my sleepy head. He even invited me for dinner which I respectfully declined because I’m already full of the pinakbet and pork barbeque. It was blessing because I was able to take a bath too before I slept. Good thing I didn’t have to pay anything for my accommodation that night, plus free mosquito bites too.
I thank Sirs Fertig Magayam and Martin Maymaya for accommodating me for a night at the Kalinga Provincial Capitol, I pray that your tribes increase.
Route: Kabugao, Apayao – Solana, Cagayan – Tabuk City, Kalinga
Expenses for today: Php 442
150- kabugao to solana 3hrs
80- solana to tabuk 1hr
12- tabuk to capitol 10mins
50- pakbet, bbq, rice