I maybe the last one in my blogging comrades who have not set foot in Kalinga. My good friend Dong Ho has several posts about Kalinga and his story about the place fascinates me. And lately, another good travel buddy Lantaw has ventured in a photo-journey in Kalinga taking with him awesome photos of the last tattoed women of Buscalan.
From their stories and the photos that they have taken of the place, I had the impression that Kalinga is very much similar to Mountain Province or Ifugao or even Adams in Ilocos Norte. And what I had in mind about the place are mountains, tribes and the culture of chants and gongs.
So when I booked a flight to Tuguegarao, I earmarked a day to explore the capital of Kalinga which is Tabuk City with the sole intention of just scratching the surface of this interesting province.
But far from my expectations, Tabuk City turned out to be a pleasant little town, mainly flat on the center, but with occassional sloping terrains. It's main point of interest is the Chico River where all the roads seem to lead. Tabuk doesn't offer the cultural immersion you seek but it is the jump-off point to other mountanous town of Kalinga.
Tabuk City is your typical capital where all your basic needs and commercial activities are located. It is home to several hotels and lodging areas and offers some good places to eat like the Graceland Panciteria that offers Pancit Batil Patong (see above photoe) at a very cheap price.
Will I go back? Definitely... and the next time I will see to it that I will river raft in Chico River to complete my triumvirate white water rafting experience or go deeper into the mountains of Kalinga for that much needed cultural immersion with those popular tribes that include the tattoed women.
In the meantime, I leave you with a rare selfie on top of the Tourism Plaza overlooking the Chico River and the town proper. See you again soon Kalinga. Bibisita ako uli.