Elders to hold rituals for Mt. Pulag

ELDERS of Kabayan want to appease spirits in the playground of the gods. Kabayan folk are seeking to administer appropriate rituals to appease the spirits of the sacred mountain following the torching of the 5.9 hectares of grasslands of Mount Pulag last month.

 

Provincial Tourism officer Clarita Prudencio said Mount Pulag, which is considered as the playground of the gods has been desecrated. "In the belief of the Ibaloy, once they passed away, their soul goes to Mount Pulag.

A desecration of our cultural beliefs has been made because we consider the mountain sacred and playground of the gods guarded by spirits called 'tinmongao'," said Prudencio. Prudencio added most of the mountains in the province are considered sacred which serves as burial and heritage sites adding these areas are off limits to drugs and liquor.

Mount Pulag National Park superintendent Teber Dionisio said a meeting was held Monday to discuss the cost of damage in the sacred ground and of the spirits have been disturbed after elders in the area have asked if they can conduct prayer and ritual within the damaged site. Dionisio added elders have sought to butcher pigs using the traditional process called 'uwik' wherein a wooden spear-like is thrust into the pig's heart, while a mambunong, a local priest or priestess acts as the medium between the offering and the supernatural.

Prudencio said an ordinance passed in 2016 identifying, preserving and protecting all heritage sites and structures located in the province was approved by the provincial board and governs mandates their protection protected which includes Mount Pulag. Mt. Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines at 9,922 ft. above sea level and home to many species of highland flora and fauna including the dwarf bamboo which covers its bald peak.

The damaged area composes 1.5 percent of the total 387 hectares grassland as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Cordillera has taken legal action against the group of hikers who allegedly caused the fire incident.

The legal department of DENR-CAR is now computing cost of damage of the 5.9 hectare area. Criminal charges have been filed in the provincial prosecutor’s office against seven mountaineers led by Ramon Kristomar Mackay, whose butane-fueled portable stove exploded.

The hikers face violations of provisions of the Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas System and the Presidential Decree 705, known as the Forestry Reform Code of the Philippines.

By By Lauren Alimondo

 

Benguet Destinations

Strawberry Farm

La Trinidad is know to be the “Strawberry Capital of the Philippines” because of the strawberry fields. Visitors can experience strawberry picking and also taste different products made from strawberry like the strawberry ice cream and strawberry “taho”.

Asin Hot Springs

Located at the outskirts of the city of Baguio, this attraction gives it’s visitors the chance to indulge in serious relaxation. Asin Hot Springs has been knwon to do wonders for the mind, body and soul because of the spring’s natural minerals like sulfates, calcium and chloride.

BenCab Museum

The BenCab museum, located at KM 6. Asin Road, houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera (BenCab) in several galleries, as well as venues for art shows and exhibitions. The Philippine Contemporary Art Galleries highlight the artist’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. The smaller exhibition rooms contain other collections accumulated by BenCab through the years.

Bell Church

The home to beautiful landscaped gardens and intricately designed arches and buildings adorned with flags, bells and dragons. Bell church holds some artifacts about Buddhism and literatures about the history of China.

Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the Philippines which is 2,922 meters above sea level. The view from the top of Mt. Pulag never fails to amaze its climbers.

Kabayan Mummies

Also know as the Fire Mummies of the Philippines, the Kabayan Mummies are from the Ibaloi tribe of Benguet. This have been included in the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World by a non-profit organization that focuses on the preservation of important historical monuments and sites.

Ambuclao Dam

The Ambuclao dam is popularly known as the biggest rock filled dam in the Far East and is considered as one of the major projects in Luzon that feeds electricity to the grid lines of Luzon.

Rose Gardens

Rose lovers will surely be pleased with Rose Gardens. A famous tourist attraction located in La Trinidad. Here, you will find a large variety of roses, chrysanthemums and other ornamental plants.

Mt. Ugo

This is considered to be one of the major destinations in the Cordilleras. It is the highest mountain located in Tinongdan, Itogon via the Benguet-Vizcayay boundary that boasts of stunning views of neighboring mountains and the great Luzon valley.

Kalugong View Point

A trek to Mount Kalugong is something that adventure seekers and nature lovers woudn't miss. The Kalugong View Point will give you a breathtaking experience and a panoramic view of the La Trinidad Valley and ther villages.
EL Kikasa