Friday, April 08, 2016


            I have been to Bontoc, Mountain province thrice already in a span of eleven years. The first time was when I brought my assistant priests on a trip to Banaue, Ifugao  and the Mountain province.  Four years later, the vicariate priests decided on an excursion to the same places. The third time was a year ago when the new bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of  Bontoc-Lagawe was consecrated as bishop on August 4, 2015. The first two times we came from Ifugao. The first memorable sight that we saw was the Bay-yo Rice Terraces.  This was community surrounded by rice terraces near Bontoc.  Along the road there was this viewpoint where one could stop and enjoy the scenery below of the community of Bay-yo and the terraces. 

            We visited the Bontoc museum on the first two times we were there. We also visited the Bishop’s house and Pastoral center of the Apostolic Vicariate.  It  is situated just outside of the town on top on a  mountain overlooking the whole town of Bontoc.  On our second visit, just as we were climbing up the road to Sagada, our van caught fire.  We were just lucky that the driver of the  car that was following us had the presence of mind. With a liter of soda he shook it up and opening it the soda came bursting out extinguishing the fire that caught the battery of the car. We learned that the battery was just newly installed and perhaps was not well locked up so that when the car kept shaking on that bumpy road, the wires got tangled and burned. We had to return to Bontoc and had the car checked. We decided not to continue anymore to Sagada. Calling up the bishop’s house, we were fortunate to be taken in on a short notice for an overnight stay.  The following day we passed by the scenic Haselma road going to Baguio.

            The consecration of Bp. Dimoc who is a native Ifugao incorporated their native dances into the celebration.  Aside from the offertory procession which had men on g-strings and rice still in stalks from the terraces being offered, there was right after the mass a native ceremony where the elders of the people danced and also had the new bishop dance with them. Even the coat of arms of the new bishop incorporated the lingling-o, a precious pendant among the people of Ifugao and the Mt. Province.  The lingling-o encapsulated the elements of the coat of arms. 

The road going to Bontoc from Ifugao. It was not yet cemented the first two times we passed by it. 

The Bay-yo Rice Terraces Viewpoint in Bay-yo, Bontoc, Mt. Province. 

Bay-yo, Bontoc. 

The town of Bontoc. 

Stage for the program after the ordination of Bp. Dimoc just beside the Cathedral. 

The Papal Nuncio being given the welcome honors.

The staff of Bp. Dimoc made of  wood with a carving of the Good Shepherd. 

Church altar of the Cathedral of Bontoc. 

Bishop Dimoc giving his words of thanks with Abp. Peralta, the main consecrator and the Papal Nuncio listening. On top is the coat of arms of the new bishop using the lingling-o pendant of the Ifugao to encapsulate the elements. 

Offertory procession. 

Stalks of rice being offered. 

Bp. Dimoc being crowned with a native headdress. 

The new bishop joining in the native dance. 

The elders of the community doing also a native dance on G-strings. 

The Pastoral Center and bishop's house of the Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe in Bontoc. 

The chapel in the bishop's residence. 

The view of the town of Bontoc from the bishop's residence. 

The town of Bontoc as seen from the bishop's residence. 

The town of Bontoc. 

View from the Haselma road from Baguio to Bontoc. Terraces with vegetables plants abound in the area. 

Part of the Haselma road. 
Vegetable farms along Haselma road. 

From one of the vantage points along Haselma road. 

Bontoc Museum. 

One of the Ifugao houses at the Bontoc museum. 

Bontoc museum. 

Bontoc museum. 

The Anglican Church in Sagada. 

Overlooking the hanging coffins in Sagada. 

Hanging coffins clinging on the side of the mountain,

Another view of the hanging coffins in Sagada. 

Inside the Sumaguing cave in Sagada. At one point one has to take off any slippers and be pulled by a rope up. 

Seashells  calcified on the walls of the cave suggesting that this place might have been under sea water eons of years ago. 

We survived the Sumaguing caves. 

Coffins in one of the caves. 

Coming back from Bontoc after the ordination of Bp. Dimoc, we took the Tagudin-Cervantes road which led us to Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. We had to pass two mountain ranges. 

A mountain range we had to pass along the Tagudin-Cervantes road. 

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