Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Day 2: Road to Buscalan

Read what happened yesterday

We woke up early to take a jeepney to Bontoc, which takes roughly 2 hours; and then from Bontoc you take another jeep to Tinglayan which is the town below Buscalan, that's another 2 hours.

When someone says 2 hours, I think, ok that's my drive from Quezon City to Makati, I can do that.  But then 2 hours is not really 2 hours, because when they say it leaves at 8:30, it means 10:00; Not that I prefer Manila traffic, but 2 hours in the jeepney is 2 hours of rigorous shaking, we felt like a bunch of over-shaken martinis.  When we arrived Bontoc, we were told the jeep would leave at 1PM, but only to find out that it was at 2PM, then when finally it was 2, we didn't leave until it was 2:30PM.

Several times we were offered to sit on the top load!  Seeing that we looked like travelers with our backpacks; I tell them, are you crazy? I'm too old for that shit haha maybe if I were 20 or something.  I'm not crazy enough to sit on top if there are available seats inside!

patienly waiting for 2PM
In the middle of all the waiting, I calculated the time of arrival: 2 hours from 2PM is 4PM, an hour of trekking, 5PM, it is impossible for me to stick with my original plan which was to come back to Bontoc after getting a tattoo.  I realized that it has taken the WHOLE morning, just to get to Buscalan.

Why did I want to come back to Bontoc?  It is because I was worried about spending the night at the mountains. haha I am such a city person.  I am not nature-y at all.  I have only camped once in my life, and I am uncomfortable without a clean toilet.  I have never been to Buscalan and I do not know what it is like there.  The last time I did "homestaying" was when I went to Antique with a bunch of friends.  I had a hard time because there were 16 of us crammed in 1 small house haha  the breeze that we expected to come at night, did not come and it was so hot; there was no electricity and a lot of mosquitoes.  I have been given some warning about Buscalan and that made me very worried.  But then I had no choice. My tour guide has already booked me a place in Buscalan, he reassured me that the place is nice and we get to have our own toilet.

It is very useful to hire a tour guide.  He  helped me book a spot to get a tattoo, gave me specific directions on where to go,  carried my backpack, arranged transportation upon our arrival, he also booked us a place to stay in Buscalan.  He also has alot of stories about history of the tribes.

The hike up the town of Buscalan was a relatively easier one compared to the trek towards Tappiya Falls; but for some reason, I got really dizzy and felt like puking after the climb; maybe it was altitude sickness or the steps were more steep.  but here I was 30 steps away, giving up.

I'm gonna stay here
Finally made it up!  Zara, Geoffrey (met him in the jeepney) and I were received by the host, asked us to relax and drink some coffee while they were preparing our room.

I was still a bit skeptical until they showed us our house for the night!  Oh the relief I had!  It was a beautiful house with hardwood floors.  It was spacious, clean, homey and the toilet was extremely clean.  I loved it.  I was also pleasantly surprised that they had electricity almost 24 hours a day.  Oh happy day!

We rested for a half an hour until the guide took us to meet Elyang, one of the grandniece of Whang Od.  The other one is Grace, she was the first one that Whang Od taught how to tattoo, but she wasn't around when we arrived.  We also found out that Whang Od stops tattooing after 4 or 5PM.  She wakes up early so she needs to rest early too.

There were 2 other people in line for Elyang.  So we just ended up sitting around and chatted about Whang Od, how much the tattoo hurt, and which tattoo I was going to get.

Our tour guide assured me that he was gonna wake Elyang up at 6AM tomorrow so that I can be the first one she tattoos at 6:30AM.  I apologized to Elyang in advance but she was really friendly and nice about it!

Can't wait to get my tattoo tomorrow!

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