|Buscalan tattooed elder by a fence|
At first, Fang-od seems to me an anomaly, strong and nimble for her age of 93. We chanced upon an elderly man assembling a broom by the light of a small window. The light was beautiful though the overcast condition rendered the room a bit too dim for doing such a task. Our guide, Francis, chimed in, "He's 93 years old, too." And he's not alone in the 80- something demographic in the barangay.
|93 year old broom-maker working by the light of a window|
I digress but it's a bit ironic that we had our first taste of Kalinga barako coffee here, never thinking of requesting it in Tinglayan. Poured straight from an old-fashioned thermos, it's a bit gritty owing to the boiling process but the taste is deliciously nutty. I had second and third helpings.
The family of Abu was kind enough to let us stay in the bedroom for the night, her family opting to sleep on a straw mat in the kitchen. One thing I've noticed is the ubiquitous-ness of portable radio sets. Abu's son told me the village teenagers love having the sets, pulling in country music aired from Bontoc. It's something I've grown to be familiar with when traveling in the Cordilleras. No one knows how to play the guitar so we had nothing much to do that evening but to enjoy the nippy weather.
It rained almost the whole evening and by the time morning came, it was like 27-28º Celsius. Stepping out and breathing in the cool air, I can see my exhalations. While the roosters crowed and pigs resumed their roaming, kids and adults alike were huddled talking about sundry matters like the crops, harvest, weather, Francis intimated. A fine time to enjoy another cup or two of that Kalinga coffee and a breakfast of sardines mixed with native eggs -- the better to fuel ourselves for the long hike back to Tinglayan.
|Hiking to Ngibat|
By the time we reached the barangay of Ngibat, it was already noon. Ngibat is the place where Fang-od got her tattoo when she was 16 (that was in the 1930s before the second world war and another time altogether). The free flowing spring water quenched our thirst and quelled our hunger somewhat.
|Attribution: Google Maps|
|Hiking to Butbot from Buscalan scenery|
Kalinga: Getting off the grid, ignoring the bed weather and bad rep in Tinglayan