B/Biyahe: Postcard from Mt. Pulag

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Photography by Japy Liwanag

At the start of 2016, BENCH BLOG emphasizes a rediscovery of domestic destinations as a grand resolution. Through the year, we field postcards from our favorite new nomads: travelers who inspire wanderlust through their itinerant Instagram feeds. This week, nomadic couple Tin Bejar and Jason Chua send us #LoveLocal all the way from Mt. Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet.

Local thing to love about this destination:  
“The locals of Benguet made sure we were comfortable in their homes and safe throughout the hiking trip. As our hosts, they provided us delicious meals including their tasty red kintoman rice. Benguet is also by far the coziest place we’ve been to. We never drink coffee and were never a fan of caffeine, but we’ll make an exception here. And then there’s the fantastic landscape. The view of the terraces, mountains, trees, and skyline was breathtaking.”

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Story behind the snaps: 

“According to the locals, a storm signal #3 was raised at Mt. Pulag at the time. Jason and Tin struggled with the cold and relentless winds at the skirts of the mountain. I was lucky enough to take photos considering that my camera wasn’t built for this kind of temperature and weather.”

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Travel tips: 

“Opt to ride on top of a jeep instead of just sitting inside. On the top load, you will get a better view of the vicinity of Benguet. Besides seeing Baguio with a bird’s eye view, you can enjoy the breeze and just laugh with your friends as you all struggle to hold on through the zigzagging uphill road. Of course, take as many photos as you can and make sure to stop by Ambuklao Dam and Jangjang hanging bridge. And then there’s Pulag. It’s not every day you get to see the beauty of nature from the summit of Mt. Pulag. It will be quite a challenge, but it’s a challenge worth the effort, even just once in this lifetime.”

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