Tinglayan, Kalinga: Simple Life in Buscalan

Fang-od Kalinga Tattoo Buscalan Village Tinglayan

Life seems difficult in far-flung towns of the Cordillera’s where arduous roads and rough terrains bring modern day developments to a crawl or a grinding halt. But as long as there are fertile lands to grow crops, livestock, and a roof to sheath its people from the frigid climate, the people of the mountain thrives. For the Igorots of the remote Buscalan village (and many other Cordilleran communities), the modest living has been the way life then, and it still is the way of life today.

This set of photographs are glimpses to the mundane scenes of Buscalan, a Kalinga-Igorot settlement situated deep in the heartlands of Cordillera Mountain Range renowned for its tribal tattoo culture called “batok“. Buscalan is home to the famous mambabatok Fang-Od Oggay who continues to practice the traditional art, with her grand nephew, Grace. I also met Fang-Od’s brother, Rudy Oggay, who lives isolated atop on top of Canaan spending most of his time cultivating land to grow crops and vegetables.

My trips to Kalinga taught me that content prevails in a world where less material desires exist. The modest living in this distant Cordillera settlement shows that there are still things in the world that even the most highly urbanized city cannot give. Life in the mountains is not easy yet there were no hints of discontent or desire beyond the essential needs. I personally believe that content or satisfaction are keys to genuine happiness. Maybe genuine happiness is also key to a century-long lifespan.

Buscalan Village Kalinga Tinglayan Cordillera

Tinglayan rice terraces buscalan kalinga

Tinglayan Kalinga Buscalan Village

tinglayan kalinga buscalan

Tinglayan Rice terraces kalinga buscalan

buscalan village tinglayan kalinga

tinglayan buscalan kalinga

Tinglayan Kalinga buscalan

bugnay tinglayan kalinga

rudy oggay tinglayan buscalan kalinga

rudy oggay tinglayan kalinga

bugnay tinglayan kalinga

tinglayan kalinga buscalan canaan

Canaan rudy oggay tinglayan kalinga

Buscalan VIllage tinglayan kalinga=======================================================================================================

1. There are three ways to commute to Buscalan Village from Manila.

Baguio Route: Take a bus bound for Baguio (Victory, Genesis, Viron, Dagupan, etc.) which takes around 5-6 hours travel time and costs around P500.00 on an average depending on the bus liner. From Baguio, go to Dangwa Terminal and take a GL Bus bound for Bontoc which takes another 6 hours. In Bontoc, take a 2-hour jeepney ride bound for Tabuk and get off at Bugnay Junction. Finally, hike another 2 hours to Buscalan Village.

Banaue Route: Take a bus bound for Banaue via Ohayami Trans which leaves Sampaloc Terminal around 9PM daily. Travel time takes 8-9 hours and costs around P450.00. From Banaue, there are vans and jeepneys that go to Bontoc. Travel time is 3 hours. In Bontoc, take a 2-hour jeepney ride bound for Tabuk and get off at Bugnay Junction. Finally, hike another 2 hours to Buscalan Village.

Tabuk City Route: Take a Victory Liner bus bound for Tabuk City which takes about 12 hours from Kamias Terminal. From Tabuk City, take a jeepney or a bus headed for Bontoc and get-off at Bugnay Junction. Finally, hike another 2 hours to Buscalan Village. This was the my route when I first went to Buscalan.

2. For a guide, you could contact Kuya Gilbert (0908 479 2012).

3. For more information about the tattoo, you could check out my previous post “A Memento From The Mambabatok of Buscalan”

4. More about Kalinga

5. Like Biyaherong Barat on Facebook..

6. Follow @BiyaherongBarat on Twitter

7. Be safe and happy travels.


43 thoughts on “Tinglayan, Kalinga: Simple Life in Buscalan

  1. WOW! all respect po sir … ask ko lang po sana , do you have to book just to get tattoed by Apo? Baka po kasi marami na xa customers tapos napapagod na hehe kawawa naman.. I’ve seen your post po kasi about sa tatoo experience, how many days po xa until nag.heal?

    Salamat Po!

  2. Hi Sir 🙂 Tanong ko lang kung magkano mismo yung minimum cost nung tattoo ni Apo? Yun na lang kasi yung kulang e. Anyway, thank you po sa directions. Less hassle na paghahanap ko sa kanya 🙂

    • Hi Krisha, up to now ‘di ko alam kung may fixed rate or minimum, but just to give you an idea of the rates.

      meron akong 3 tattoo na galing Buscalan, the first time I went there yung tattoo ko diyan sa post na yan, was 1,300. half-arm band yun, yung full arm band pinatattoo nung friend ko, 1,500.

      Now bumalik ako after one year, nagpatattoo ulit, first ng snake skin half-arm band, which is a bit of a complicated design, 2,000, then sa baba nung former na pinatattoo kong half-arm band, nagpalagay ako ng snake tongue, half-arm band din, less complicated, it cost me 500.

      Now, ‘di ko sure kung 500 ang minimum o ginawang 500 lang dahil nagpatattoo na ko ng worth 2k.

      There, so I hope nakatulong yung analysis ko. have a safe trip. =)

  3. Hello po! From tabuk po yung sinasabi nyong hike for two hours, wala po talagang sasakyan papaunta dun?and madami po bang inns na pwede matuluyan?

  4. Pingback: Kalinga sa Taga-Kalinga, voluntour, February 6-7, 2016 |

  5. Update: January 22, 2016

    Please get in touch with Mr. Johnny Tiggangay 0915 283 7885, tourism officer of Tinglayan, for guide reservation and other questions. Thank you.

  6. Hello. May Idea po ba kayo kung anong oras yung last trip ng bus/jeepney from tinglayan to tabuk?thanks..great post, pupunta ako dito sa 3rd week of May, solo travel.

  7. who whant to go at Buscalan Tinglayan,Kalinga to experience our culture and have a ink by Apo Whang-Od … im BENJIE as a Tourguide just PM ME here my # 09480774818

  8. Hi sir! I’m planning to go there on september. Saan ko po makikita si kuya gilbert? Mag ttravel po kasi ako mag isa eh. Thanks po

  9. hi sir! tanong ko lng kung pwedeng magdala ng sariling sasakyan at kung meron pagpaparadahan dun kung sakali? salamat…

  10. hai,,,everyone,,,sa may planong pumunta sa amin dto sa buscalan para magpatatoo kay apo whng od,,,, just pm me am raffy guide dto sa buscalan,,, this is my # 09467637948,,, para sa inyong reservation,,,, thanks,,,,

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