"Where is Buscalan?", he asked.
First you take a 16-hour drive. "Then you'll get there?"
No, no, not even close yet. Two more hours along a winding road with terrible sections, but with a consolation of very dramatic views.
"Are we there yet?". Nope! See that fire road? It only goes up to a certain point. "And Buscalan is at the end of the road?". I'm afraid not.
There is still that hike along a single track that traces the side of a mountain. In some sections, if you slip, you become the "man in the ravine". "Dead man in the ravine, I supposed". Or man with broken bones in the ravine
You go down a glen then hike up several hundred steps, the view and the climb will take your breath away, literally, until you reach a small village. That's where Buscalan is!
Buscalan may seem to be just another remote village in Kalinga in the Cordillera region, a mountainous region in Luzon. But people go there for a reason: Buscalan has one of last remaining (practicing) mambabatok (tattoo artist). We stayed at her house for a few days (watch out for the post soon).
In the meantime, here are some photos I took while going around the village:
one less log. The surrounding mountains seemed to be stripped clear of trees. It must have been a long trek to where the pine trees are.
grave marker. Its common practice for the deceased to be buried right near his or her home. So its not unusual for one to come across grave markers around the village