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Mt. Kupapey, Maligcong’s Finest Viewing Point

During my first visit to Mt. Kupapey three years ago I mentioned that it was an easy trek, 1/9 difficulty. But today I would like to say, I AM SORRY! I am not sure whether it was just I or the difficulty comes with the age as I find it really hard to reach the peak of Mt. Kupapey after my short visit last weekend. The story goes like this...

I was excited to revisit the place Kurt and I have accidentally explored 3 years ago. My visit here today was more of curiousity, thinking how the place looks like today and hoping it would still be exactly the same the way we left it before.

Though the call time was 3:30am, I was already awake at 1:30 in the morning and couldn’t find it easy to go back to sleep. So, I simply slipped out of the dormitory type accommodation of Suzette’s Homestay and stayed in the veranda, sipping a cup of coffee to ease my excitement.

My mind was wondering whether if I could still climb back, remembering the hardships we had before just to reach the peak of Mt. Kupapey. How I wish Kurt was with me this time, encouraging me that I can do better to surpass my boundary of capability coz I AM NO MOUNTAINEER! Where art thou brother?

Ross, another guest, enjoying his coffee overlooking the great rice field of Maligcong. He used his motor bike and spent 12 hours to reach Bontoc coming from Quezon City.

Glad that a fellow guest, Ross Dino was there, up on his feet also that made my time worthwhile waiting until 3:00 am. Through our whispering conversation, I was awed that the information about Kupapey had reached him through blogs.

I can see through his eyes the excitement to wander in one of the peaks of Ang Tom Faw. The cold mountain breeze could only be tone down by the local brewed coffee that was  served in advanced, placed in a thermos that Ate Suzette prepared the night before. I can’t even wash my face because of the freezing water coming out of the faucet. I was sitting on the bench with a warmer, covering my whole body hoping to keep my body temperature in check (I have a short tolerance in a cold environment).

Ezra, our local Igorot guide, a future police officer (soon).

When Ezra (our handsome local Igorot guide) came, I made sure that I have 3 sets of homemade cookies and a thermos of coffee with me. Our trek started at 4:00am with a steep climb from the jump off point. God, it was leg-breaking and it feels like I was already catching my breath just after 5 minutes of walk. According to Ross “Bumukas ang kanyang lungs!” (his lung tubules were forced to open) hahaha.

Newly wed Malou and Gerald amazed with the view before their eyes

Climbing this part of Maligcong wasn’t easy. The place was dark, slippery and I was simply sweating like a pig, trying to catch my breath every now and then. The rolling hills made it difficult for us to reach the viewing deck of Mt. Kupapey. 

At 5:00 am, we finally reached the viewing deck and I was astonished that the thick sea of clouds were already waiting for us as if it was expecting our arrival. It was a glorious moment for all of the visitors the moment a hint of light shone over. 

The morning view of Maligcong at the peak of Kupapey (July)

The dim light was enough to reveal the beauty before our eyes. The clouds were like white cottons covering a delicate treasure beneath. I couldn’t help but to jump to excitement to return to the exact spot where Kurt had taken my very first picture in Kupapey.

We were above the clouds and I couldn’t hide such nostalgic emotions, trying to hold back my tears and simply sharing sweet smiles among the guests who were also amazed with the magnificent view.

Achieved! #Shoefie in Mt. Kopapey #Merrell !

Though no sun appeared that time, the clouds were so cooperative, revealing slowly the great rice fields of Maligcong. It was a picture perfect that everyone have wished to capture the panoramic view.

I, on the other hand was simply enthusiastic to take pictures of my friends and newfound friends in the area. When I had my turn, I brought out my favorite signature “apparel” to document the evidence that I had been to this place for the second time around.

Coffee anyone?

As I promised during my last visit, I brought brewed coffee which was just so perfect to spend the the whole morning in Kupapey. I was so glad that this place brought happiness not only to me but also to other people.

My only appeal to the locals (talking to Ms. Tina) was to inform their guests the relevance of this place to their culture. Keep the place out of vandalism, garbage and disturbing activities. Keep the place away from commercialism and maintain the carrying capacity not to damage the fragile ecosystem of Kupapey. Keep it preserved for the future of the people of Maligcong!

Guests coming from Metro Manila, #squadgoals enjoying the view (Joanne, Janine, Berin, Pam and Abed).

For my feedback, I could suggest for the homestay operators in Maligcong to educate the local guides to learn to interact with their guests, giving them stories about their culture and traditions. That way, people visiting Maligcong will be educated on how precious this place is and the need to conserve and preserve the place will be instilled in their mind. I hope the local tourism office would come and help to promote, organize and extend the help to the locals in improving the tourism potential of the place.

Here is the aerial video of Maligcong captured through a drone courtesy of Daniel Sayon (with permission):

As for me, my part is done and I am leaving with a happy heart. I believe I have carried out my mission in this part of the Philippines the way my Alma matter would like us to carry as we become a productive citizen of this country: “Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts and Transforming Lives!” I don’t know when will be my next visit to Maligcong, but I wish this won't be the last time.

I say my prayer for the people of Maligcong and for the protection of this place, Amen!

Mabuhay ang Maligcong. Alagaan Nating Ang Maligcong!

Salasalamat unay!

If you are wondering on tips on how and where to stay in Maligcong, please click on this link. One link leads to another story. Enjoy!

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