Maligcong in Bontoc, Mountain Province, 412km north of Manila, is a quiet barangay (Philippine village) that is still pretty much off the tourist radar, at least for now. Looming 4,000 feet above sea level, the mountainside community offers some of the best views of the the stone-walled Maligcong rice terraces. At dusk, the setting sun kisses the 2000-year-old terraces and bathes the fields in golden light as far as the eye can see. From Maligcong, you can hike up Mt. Kupapey for an eagle’s view of the village and the surrounding terrain. It's a one to one-and-a-half-hour’s trek to the summit, but the air is pleasantly cool at about 18 degrees celsius, the trail scenic and the reward a great panorama of the terraces spiraling below. According to Inflight contributing photographer Ferdz Decena, from the mountain top, the terraces appear like a "spiderweb with the village of Fang-Orao on top."
Maligcong —on Instagram
Where to stay
Book a basic room at Suzette’s Maligcong Homestay, +63915 546 3557. Rate per head is P300 ($6), plus P120 for a meal.
How to get there
Ride a Genesis bus from Pasay to Baguio, from where you can hop on a GL Lizardo bus bound for Bontoc. From there, Maligcong is only one jeep away. The best time to go is August to September when the terraces are green, or October when the terraces have turned golden brown. For more information, contact Bontoc Tourism Information Center or the Philippine Department of Tourism.
For more stunning photos from the top of the world, see Maligcong in focus.
For more backpacking ideas, read Experts' top 18 backpacking destinations in the country.
Cover photo by Ferdz Decena
Published July 2016