(Note: This was originally posted on November 17, 2014, Edits and updates will be continually made, as they come, for everyone’s reference.)
I thought it only fitting that I write something about the Adivay, which is the celebration of the anniversary of the province of Benguet. Every November, she turns a year older, and Adivay is “hotter” than ever.
Benguet has 13 municipalities that get together every November. Adivay, which is the Ibaloi word for “gathering” or “getting together” has taken on an even more festive meaning. Consider it a “party” of sorts. After all, it is a celebration.
The descriptions of the municipalities below are the “official” descriptions. If you want to know more about the municipalities, just follow the tags on the sidebar. Chances are, I’ve visited some of them and have more to say about them in their individual posts.
ATOK, “Where vegetables flourish and cacti-flowers bloom”
The hanging gardens of the Philippines are found in Atok, where the beautifully terraced vegetable gardens carved on the mountains rising above 7,400 ft. above sea level are the source of wonder and awe to motorists of Halsema Highway.
(Atok also happens to be my mom’s hometown. Famous attractions include the Naguey Rice Terraces, the Half Tunnel, and it is also where one can pass through the Highest Point of the Philippine Highway System.)
BAKUN, “Home of God Kabunian”
Basket-weaving and mushroom cultivation are two major sources of income in the municipality. It is also known as the “land of eternal springs”.
(Soon, I hope to be able to hike through Bakun Trio – Mt. Kabunian, Mt. Tenglawan, and Mt. Lobo. Read my post about Bakun here.)
BOKOD, “The Sulfur Springs of Benguet”
Experience nature’s therapeutic wonders in Bokod’s sulfur springs and enjoy inland fishing at the Ambuklao reservoir and Bued River.
(Bokod has recently figured prominently in my recent adventures. And that’s not about to change. Hopefully, next year, I’ll be there again, seeking out yet another of her gems. I had the pleasure of traversing Mt. Purgatory and Mangisi, and river-trekking to Pinagjan Falls… awesome awesome place, and awesome awesome people. Is it any wonder why we love coming back? Read my Bokod posts here.)
BUGUIAS, “Vegetable Panorama of the North”
The misty, invigorating and fertile soil of Buguias produces the best variety of carrots, potatoes and cabbages, earning the moniker “Vegetable Panorama of the North”. Processing initiatives are underway for a more value-added income from carrots.
(This is also where Apo Anno’s Cave is located. And some resorts also started cropping up. This is honestly one of the “unexplored” municipalities for me. Need to find a mountain to climb/trek here soon.)
ITOGON, “Land of Golden Opportunities”
Itogon is the water source of Asia’s second largest dam, the San Roque Multi-Purpose and Binga.
This municipality is also the “hub” for gold-mining. It has emerged as one of the top tourism destinations in the province, with attractions such as the Balatoc Mines, the swimming pools, and Mt. Ugo – a mountaineer’s favorite. I have yet to visit it, though. But from what I’ve heard, it was sooooo visited that it’s no longer as…. nice as it used to be.
Recently, though, on October 2015, they launched Mt. Ulap, which is a peak in Brgy. Ampucao.
KABAYAN, “Home of the Centuries-old Mummies”
Kabayan’s age-old tradition of preserving the dead has enriched its cultural heritage. Mummies as well as ancient relics are found in the burial caves of Koderao Pongasan and Opdas.
Gipah plants grow wild and abundantly in Mt. Pulag. With the discovery of their medicinal qualities, these are now made into herbal tea and sold in the market.
(I’ve posted about Kabayan already. It’s definitely one of my favorite places to go to in Benguet. It is home to Mt. Pulag, the 2nd highest mountain peak in the Philippines, and its Four Lakes. Read my Kabayan posts here.)
KAPANGAN, “The Cocoon Producer of Benguet”
Kapangan’s emerging industry is the sericulture with remarkable quality of cocoons being produced in the area. It is also a major producer of vegetables such as beans, bell pepper and cucumber.
Follow the Kapangan tag for my Kapangan-related posts!
KIBUNGAN, “Rocky Wall of Beauties”
Kibungan is a cool place of rocky mountains and pine trees resembling that of Switzerland. The coolest temperature could reach below 0 degrees Celsius in Barangay Madaymen. It also produces high-quality carrots, potatoes, and chayote from its fertile soil.
The “rocky wall of beauties” phrase is attributed to Kibungan’s many rocky mountains, which have now become favorite destinations among mountaineers and hikers, and even hardcore climbers choose it for their major traverses. I was lucky enough to have been able to join the Tacadang Travel Challenge, which you can check out by following the Kibungan tag.
LA TRINIDAD, “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines”
The annual Strawberry Festival is a show window of La Trinidad’s strawberry fields to domestic and foreign tourists. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the Festival’s strawberry shortcake as the world’s biggest so far.
(This is where I currently live, and also where I grew up. I invite visitors to check out its strawberry farms, the Bahong cutflowers, and the Trading Post, where fresh produce and vegetables from all over the province are sold. Read my La Trinidad-related posts here.)
MANKAYAN, “The Bosom of Gold and Copper”
The municipality hosts one of the biggest mining companies, the Lepanto Mining Corporation. It is also identified as the largest source of cabbage.
SABLAN, “Fruit Basket of Benguet”
Sablan produces banana, pineapple and other tropical fruits. It is also a good source of tigergrass, the raw material of softbrooms.
I could totally imagine myself spending a whole day sitting in one of the gardens of Sablan, doing nothing but sampling its fruits. Seriously. Recently, I spent a day there and had my stomach almost bursting with papaya, banana and kamoteng kahoy, among others.
TUBA, “Cradle of Nature’s Gift”
Tuba is host to the three national roads leading to Baguio City namely Kennon, Palispis-Aspiras and Quirino Highway. The cell sites of communication giants, the half-century-old mining company Philex and two hot spring resorts for health and wellness are located in the municipality.
It is also the major source of the rootcrop ube which is processed into jam, a most sought-after “pasalubong” item by tourists.
Honestly, the bit about the ube was new to me. See? Guests and visitors, pay heed to this fact. Ube came from Tuba, strawberries from La Trinidad. They are merely sold in Baguio City. Someone told me about Ansagan Caves of Tuba, which are worth exploring. Of course, Mt. Sto. Tomas is also part of Tuba. Oh, and the Baguio Eco-Park.
Tuba also calls itself the “Highway of Discoveries”, for obvious reasons. Read my Tuba posts here.
TUBLAY, “Land of the Fascinating Caves”
The numerous caves found in Tublay delights spelunkers. Recently, too, they opened up its highest peak, Mt. Pok-kong, to hikers.
Yes! I’ve been to the Ambongdolan Caves! And I want to go back! Then take a dip at Kamunayan River again! Oh, and this is also my Dad’s other hometown, on his mother’s side. Yep, I’m a true-blue, pure and proud child of Benguet.
Check out my foray into two of Ambongdolan’s Caves.
Looking at this post, clearly, we haven’t scratched the surface of the beautiful province of Benguet. I can’t wait until I’ve seen more of it.
Happy Adivay, everyone!!