If you like those "places at the end of the road", then you'll feel right at home in Malico or Salacsac.
While in Imugan, my travel companion and I decided to check out the pine forest in Salacsac. It was literally at the end of the road and sits on the border between the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Pangasinan (in fact both provinces lay claim to it).
There is a single road that leads up to the mountains from Imugan. The accessibility varies per season, and even locals in Imugan can only muster a guess as to whether the roads are passable or not. "We've seen the blue jeep going down to Imugan and up to Malico in the afternoon, so I guess road is better these days", said one.
So after breakfast one morning in Imugan, we headed up to Salacsac. Turned out the road was in one of its better conditions. The trip was a breeze, cool one at that, and within less than 30 minutes we were already in Malico, the barangay before Salascac. My watch indicated 1300 MASL and the wind was chilly even at mid morning.
where the clouds touch the land
We stopped by a field being planted with cabbage. Our guide said it looked like La Trinidad of Benguet before it got too populated. Here all you see are a few houses and acres of open fields. The hills at the end of the fields are softly caressed by the clouds. This is certainly paradise.
We then proceeded to Salacsac for the pine forest. Friends who visited Salacsac before said they have to walk more than one hour from Malico. Lucky us the road was OK, and within 15 minutes we were in Salacsac. We left our jeep on top on a hill and hiked down to the village.
hike down to Salacsac
If Malico was sleepy, Salacsac was almost deserted. In fact they have to close down the school there for lack of students.
perfect day for a hike
The remoteness of the place contributed to its appeal. The air was cool and filled with the sweet scent of pine.
You can sit in an overlooking place (you can see the plains of Pangasinan below) and get lulled by the rustling of the pine needles. Its one of those place you'll wish you'll never leave. I hope one of these days I can camp here.
empty shed, empty school
Here are some more of the photos I took in our short visit to Salacsac: