Kiltepan Peak (Where Broken Hearts Go)

Where do broken hearts go?

And so the song asks…

I could vividly remember this one conversation I had with a good friend of mine, about my plans a month after I had a major, major heart break. She, too, was a victim of this sinful crime of passion and was then, on the verge of picking up her shattered pieces.  “We” were sharing the same “spotlight”.

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So what’s your plan?” – she reluctantly asked me.

I knew I gave her a blank stare, followed by a deep sigh. I didn’t know exactly what to utter and just opted to kid around and say…

I don’t know… What do you think? Where do broken hearts go? – I smirked, only to laugh quietly when my friend started singing that line from a Whitney Houston song.

This happened long time before the now infamous movie “That Thing Called Tadhana (Destiny)” made the song and the line “Where do broken hearts go” popular again. It became tremendously popular not only for the movie’s lovely story but also because of the movie’s setting – Baguio and Sagada.

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One particular spot in Sagada that captured the eyes and the heart of the movie-goers and travel aficionados is Kiltepan Peak.

The Kiltepan Peak is considered by most people visiting the cool and idyllic town of Sagada in Mountain Province as the best vantage point to look out for the sunrise. It gives a view of the Kiltepan Rice Terraces where one stands atop a chasm that is around 1, 640 meters above sea level. What makes this place even more captivating is when the sun rises gradually as it starts to fill the sky and the seemingly floating sea of clouds with vibrant colors.

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If you want to see this beauty, one should really wake up pretty early in the morning (maybe around 4 am since it requires some lengthy uphill walk from the town center). Well, others opt to arrange a transportation to the campsite of the peak. But for me, the approximately 3 kilometers walk is a great way to start a day in Sagada. Despite the chilly walk, the silhouette of tall pine trees along the way is still a sight to behold. Plus that unsullied air that you get to breathe is very relaxing to the senses.

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Upon arriving at the peak, one will be stunned with what you’ll see.  Today, a lot of people flock their way to this now famed peak. I am just too glad that it wasn’t hyped yet when I got the chance to visit it on 3 occasions with friends. My experience at Kiltepan Peak is really remarkable, I got lost for words. The sea of clouds, the golden sun and the verdant surroundings were beyond grand.

So did I come here when I was broken-hearted? Well yes, several times. Did it really help me mend my broken heart? Somehow. But at the end of the day, when I am resting inside my room, I would still hear my heart say, “Lester, I was here all day and night long. I am still here. Still shattered. Still crying. Still asking a lot of questions.

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So where do broken hearts go? Kiltepan Peak in Sagada. Maybe.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Cachup Mountain (Benguet, PH)

Reaching the top of a mountain is, most of the time, an impressive physical, mental, and emotional accomplishment. Why? Because most mountains pose a certain degree of challenge. But not all mountains are difficult to climb. We have several reasons why we climb mountains. I have shared most these in my write-up about Mount Pulag (Read here at https://roamulofied.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/mount-pulag/.  Moreover, I climb mountains in order to relax. Read along…

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During my awesome years in Baguio, climbing a mountain or 2 during a weekend is a usual activity. You see, Baguio is blessed to have these serrated landscapes that are pretty easy to scale. Some even are just a walk in the park. Sometimes, Sundays are spent on climbing them.

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One of the easiest (if not the easiest) mountain that me and my friends favour to saunter is Cachup Mountain in Ambiong, La Trinidad, Benguet. This has to be one of the most accessible mountains I have been to that by just riding a jeepney or taxi plus a 10-minute walk, you are already at the peak. My friends and I would usually jog our way to this easy, breezy place that gives a stunning view of Baguio and La Trinidad specially early in the morning.

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History 101: It is called Cachup because according to locals, the area used to be higher in terms of height. As time passed by, the a significant amount of land has been chopped out (in a term they use, na-“chop-chop”.  I know it could be funny that I even wanted to give a better sounding name to it. Hahahaha…

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This place is both for the newbies and the not-so-athletic ones. It is truly a beginner friendly mountain. No rugged terrain, no knee-trembling ascent and descent. Besides the refreshing landscape, you will get toencounter several animals along the way, cows, and even dogs. I actually brought my chow, Kabbage, one time here. So, if you are looking for an uber-easy-chill-relaxing climb or jogging area in Baguio, why not see Cachup Mountain. DSC06783DSC00455

How To Reach Cachup Mountain:

From Manila, ride a Baguio-bound bus. Once in Baguio, you may either ride a taxi and inform the driver to take you to Ambiong Central School or ride an Ambiong-bound jeepney and walk your way to Ambiong Central School. From the gate of the school, make your way towards the school, passing by their basketball court. At the back of the school is a trail leading to the top of the mountain. You know you’re at the peak when a 360-degrees view of Baguio City and La Trinidad comes into view.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Talahid Beach (Biliran, PH)

Talahid Beach is perhaps one of the most popular and frequented beach in mainland Biliran province.The beach, which is located in the town of Almeria, is lined with several resorts and it faces some islands like Dalutan and Capinahan Islands.

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The beach may not have fine white sand (rather, it has pebble to coralline like sandy shoreline) but it possesses a calm and crystal clear water that is difficult to resist. Moreover, the beach becomes magical both in the morning and in the afternoon as the sunrise and sunset can be both viewed from the area.

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There are 3 well-established resorts in the area.

Resort Contacts
Agta Beach Resort +63 927 150 0335, +63 920 583 0480, +63 936 970 2476 or email at
info@agtabeachresort.com
Coco Grove (Talahid Beach Resort) +63 917 826 9321
VRC Resort +63 (0) 9164665809;  vrcresort@gmail.com

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These resorts may arrange your tour within the island like island-hopping tour to Sambawan Island, Maripipi Island, Capinahan Island and Dalutan Island. You may also trek you way to the many waterfalls of Almeria (and Biliran in general) like Ulan-Ulan, Recoletos and many more. If you wish to do various water activities like snorkelling, SCUBA diving, kayaking and paddle boarding, you can just let the resorts staff know.

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How to Get to Talahid Beach:

From Manila, fly to Tacloban City in Leyte. From Tacloban, you have several options to get to Talahid, Almeria, Biliran. The most frequent, and conducive way is to hire a van although there are also public transports like jeepney or taxi that will take you to the van terminal and get on a van to Naval (Biliran’s capital). Once in Naval, ride a bus to Kawayan and get off right at the top of the Talahid Beach where most of the aforementioned resorts driveway are. You can also hire a habal-habal from Naval for a faster means of transport to Talahid.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust.

Ampere Stone Beach (Dipaculao, Aurora. PH)

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”  ― Jo Walton

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Dipaculao – a coastal town about 20 kilometers north of the surfing town of Baler in Aurora.  A town dotted with some rocky beaches, others white sandy ones to serrated mountains and smooth boulders.

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One particular beach visited very early in the morning is the stony Ampere Beach located at Bunga Point, Dinadiawan, Dipaculao. A beach known for its spectacular sunrise and some toothed rocks sticking out of the waters. Being the nearest place of interest to Baler, we decided to wake up pretty early and made our way to see the sunrise.

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The tricycle ride to Dipaculao from Sabang Beach (where we stayed) in Baler was fresh and blowy. The sun was about to rouse up as we approach the coast of Ampere. The horizon started to blush as a tinge of orange hue starts to peep. Upon getting out of our tryke, we were greeted by the sight of raging waves splattering into the rocky shore, and the smell of the ocean breeze.

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We tried to walk our way towards the beach that is lined with fist-sized rocks that poses some difficulty. Unlike most beaches where one would be easily lured to swim into the water, it’s quite different here since the waters can be pretty treacherous.
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Each one of us took our own spot snooping into the Pacific Ocean’s waves, as we unwearyingly waited for the sunrise. Although it was quite cloudy, the sun’s glow through the ostensibly infinite horizon of the Pacific Ocean was spectacular. I just love how sunrise (and sunset) makes me feel good.

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How To Go To Ampere Beach: From Baler town proper, take a tricycle to Ampere Point/Bunga Point. The travel time is around one hour. Best time to go is before sunrise.

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