|Dreamy, draped in fog, like a magical land emerging from the mists|
We would've liked visiting sooner weren't it for two typhoons which wreaked havoc on the northern part of the country. The Cordilleras in particular were hard hit; Bontoc and nearby Sagada were cut off from vehicular traffic for almost a month owing to the damage sustained by the bridges in Samoki and Sadanga. In the aftermath of the typhoons, we thought of doing a small outreach as Maligcong already feels like a second home to me. I was also feeling low, owing to mixed fortunes the past month or so, and felt that the mountains and nature could provide a salve.
Armed with some donations and some funds from some of our Backpack Photography participants/friends as well as some of our own monies, we decided to buy supplies for distribution to the elders of Favarey in Bontoc instead of buying in Manila and bringing it all the way there. That way, we could in our own little way, plow a little to the local economy and at the same time, spare us from lugging heavy baggage on the buses going here. But first, we knew we had to revisit Mt Kupapey. We heard the weather has been a bit rainy for the past few days so we knew we were taking our chances for a clearing. I've been traveling off-season for quite some time and has adopted a pragmatic attitude on the weather -- whatever will be, will be.
|My adopted canine, Kunig, finds Misty curled up against a tree to escape the cold|
By the time our new acquaintances, Red, Lilly and Mico, got to the summit, it was already light. The wind was relentless so much so that even Misty and Tiny would curl up behind the pine trees to momentarily escape the cold while Kunig and Maku would scramble up and down, presumably to keep warm. The three stayed until around 7am when the sun still didn't show signs of showing up behind the thick fog. Kunig, Maku and Tiny accompanied them as they descended with Tina to explore the terraces. Misty stayed with us as we lingered on, enduring the cold and admiring the scenery.
I am very fortunate to keep coming back here the past two years. I've seen the scenery in different seasons and have always found them beautiful no matter the weather. Strange statement coming from a photographer you might say but as a nature lover, I've come to appreciate the changing moods, colors, hues, permutations, of the seasons. Maybe it's my age, too, but I've come to be pragmatic when it comes to the weather. If Yahweh wants to give you foggy, drizzly, weather, just enjoy and make the best out of it. And I wouldn't call foggy weather out here less than scenic. On the contrary, the weather made the terraces dreamy, as if a magical land hiding and emerging from the mists.
|Kap, one of elders-recipients of our small outreach inside his house filled with drying rice stalks|