I will never forget the moment I stepped out of the van once we arrived in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
I liked the peace that this Cordillera town has brought me, and also its cold weather. It was a perfect way for me to disconnect and ponder on some things. I was contemplating of resigning from work that time, thinking and searching for what I really wanted to do with my life.
Eventually, I was able to find it. But if I am to look back to the process, Maligcong was a big part of it. Now I just want to share with you my experience with Maligcong.
It was just a short stop in the town proper, because our destination is actually Maligcong, a small village in Bontoc. We planned to stay there for 2 days to explore the rice terraces and its mountains.
People in Bontoc are so nice. They’re so warm to the point that when the policemen learned that we were going to Maligcong, they let us hitched with them. So imagine this, we traveled for a few minutes going up the hill on a police mobile, another once in a lifetime experience for me. This is one of the many reasons why I will never forget this travel.
In a matter of minutes, we arrived at the homestay where we will stay for the night. Suzette, the owner was warm and accommodating, and her kids and dogs were adorable. I knew I would enjoy staying there.
Suzette’s Maligcong Homestay
It was like staying with a relative, and this homestay has a stunning view of the Maligcong Rice Terraces. They also serve local coffee, cookies and mountain tea. What a nice and refreshing way to relax right?
Our room was huge with 6 beds which fits us all. The girls stayed in the other room.
It was raining that afternoon. So we all just stayed at the homestay’s terrace looking at this unbelievable beauty of nature. The mountains and the rice terraces were just perfect.
At night, we all helped one another in preparing for dinner. Suzette cooked the dishes while we assisted on those small tasks of washing and slicing the vegetables.
We had an awesome boodle fight dinner. I was so full and satisfied. I rested feeling the cool weather while playing with their dog, Kunig. But we all knew we had to sleep early, we had a 3AM calltime tomorrow to hike a mountain.
Mt Kupapey and its sea of clouds
It was too early in the morning when we all woke up to prepare for our hike. We put on our jackets as protection from the cold temperature, sip our coffee and off we go.
We passed through the paddies of Maligcong Rice Terraces, and a few minutes more we were already at the foot of the mountain. We were about to hike Mt. Kupapey. It was just a new mountain for me and my buddies. Over the years, Mt. Kupapaey has captured the hearts of a lot of mountaineers and travelers because of its natural beauty. I was one of the few bloggers who first wrote about Mt. Kupapey years ago, and I was happy that a lot of travelers were able to visit Maligcong because of my blog. There was even a time when Suzette, the owner of the homestay, sent me a message to thank me for promoting their place. It’s just nice to know that through blogging, I am able to contribute to local tourism.
At first, the trail was a bit steep so imagine how hard that was for me who was a first timer. But as the trek went on, I started to enjoy it especially the part where there were a lot of pine trees.
We were just in time, a few minutes before sunrise we finally reached the summit. We spent some time feeling the mist and the cool weather, then the first rays of the sun appeared. It was like the clouds opened up and welcomed us with a stunning sea of clouds. Breathtaking.
Maligcong Rice Terraces
We experienced Maligcong Rice Terraces the morning after we hiked Mt. Kupapey. But we’ve been enjoying its view for a while at our homestay, but it was still a different feeling being able to go there and walked on the rice paddies.
Rice terraces has always had a different effect on me. It’s amazing to look at and also, it makes you think how the locals can do such beauty. And realizing that these rice terraces were built like so many years ago, makes you feel proud of the locals and our indigenous people.
Hiking Mt. Fato is another activity that you shoudn’t miss when traveling to Maligcong. Sadly, we weren’t able to hike this mountain because we had little time. But in a way I was thankful, because mountain climbers are saying that Mt. Fato’s trail is more difficult than Mt. Kupapey. And being a newbie hiker at that time, I think I wouldn’t be able to hike 2 mountains in one day. Hahaha!
How to get to Maligcong
There are many routes or options going to Maligcong. For us, since we traveled to Batad before going to Maligcong, we did the Manila – Banaue- Bontoc- Maligcong route. Please see below details of that route. Just choose what route are you going to take, so you may adjust your travel budget accordingly.
VIA BANAUE (Manila- Banaue-Bontoc- Maligcong Route)
Dangwa Bus or Ohayami Trans in Manila have night trips going to Banaue. Trips usually leave at 9PM. Just to be sure, be the terminal as early as 8PM.
Bus Station: Corner J. Fajardo Lacson Ave, Sampaloc, Manila (UST area)
Number: 09276493055 / 5160501
Dangwa Transport Co. (affiliate of G.V. Florida Transport)
Contact Numbers: +639228714934 / +63(2)7312879 / 743-3809
Fare is P530. Leaves 8:45pm daily
Bus Station Address: Sampaloc, Manila (Intersection of A. H. Lacson, Dimasalang, and Nicanor Roxas St. / close to Ohiyami Bus Station)
Once you arrived in Banaue, proceed to the downtown area then look for jeepneys going to Bontoc. Fare is about Php 200 and travel time is 2 hours.
The drop off point is the Bontoc town proper. From there, ask around for the jeepneys going to Maligcong. It’s only about 30 minutes of travel for only 10 pesos fare.
VIA BAGUIO (Manila – Baguio – Bontoc – Maligcong)
You know how to go to Baguio. I mean most of you have visited this city know n as the summer capital of the Philippines. When I visited Baguio, we went to Victory Liner in Cubao! There are trips going to Baguio from morning till night. Fare is about Php 450.
Once you’re in Baguio, you have to go to the bus terminal going to Bontoc. This is near the Slaughter house, which you can find the Rising Sun bus going to Bontoc. The best way to go there is get a cab and tell the driver that you’re going to the slaughter house area near the bus terminal. Cab drivers in Baguio are one of the nicest drivers out there. Travel time bound to Bontoc is 6 hours and the fare is Php 250.
In Bontoc, look for the jeepney terminal bound to Maligcong, it’s only a 30 minute travel with a fare of Php 10.
DIRECT BONTOC (Manila to Bontoc to Maligcong)
After my trip to Maligcong, it was then that I discovered that there is actually a direct bus going to Bontoc. I thought this town is so secluded that you can only go there via Baguio or Banaue. Well, actually CODA bus has daily trips to Sagada which will pass through Bontoc! Daily trip leaves at 9PM in CODA bus Cubao.
You know what to do once you get to Bontoc, just ride the jeepney going to Maligcong, fare is Php 10.
How to go to Manila from Maligcong, Bontoc in Mountain Province
Get assistance from Suzette if you stayed at their homestay, for the jeepney going back to Bontoc. If not, you’ll also be assisted by your homestay owner for sure.
Once you arrived in Bontoc, there are buses going to Baguio, Banaue or directly going to Quezon City (CODA bus).
Maligcong – Other Homestays
Of course, if I would be asked, I will always recommend Suzette’s Homestay if you need a place to stay in Maligcong. Below are the contact details.
Suzette’s Maligcong Homestay
Rate: 350 per person
But now, travelers have more options. Here are some of the homestays to choose from.
Rowena’s Homestay / Maligcong Terraces View Guest Haus
Need accommodation on your next travel? Check this list of best hotels and hostels
Recommended Guide for your hike!
Of course, I recommend Ate Tina. Please contact here through 09358619827
Guide Rates: The standard rate for Tour Guiding as amended by the Barangay Officials is 500 for maximum of 4 persons. 100 pesos for additional person.
This is just a sample weekend itinerary, which you can do if you want to travel to Maligcong. Remember, you can stay longer in Maligcong which is better if you really wanted to feel the place and relax. You can just pattern your itinerary here.
10PM Bus going to Banaue, Ifugao
7AM (Sat) Arrival in Banaue
7:30 AM Bus going to Bontoc
10:30 AM Arrival in Bontoc
11:30AM Jeepney to Maligcong
12Noon Arrival in Maligcong
1PM till night Stay at Suzette’s Homestay or other homestays
3 AM Wake Up
3:30 AM Start of Climb to Mt. Kupapey
5:30 AM Reach the Summit / pics
7 AM Going back/ Maligcong Rice Terraces
8 AM Have the option to hike Mt Fato
12 Noon Back to Homestay
2 PM Ride Jeepney back to Bontoc
3 PM Back to Manila, Banaue or Baguio
If you need some forecast on the weather of the village, please check Accuweather here.
Maligcong Final Words and Travel Tips
If you’re looking to a travel experience that is something new, fresh and relaxing, Maligcong is your next destination.
Before going to Maligcong, don’t forget to bring your jacket. The temperature can very cold especially during morning. You don’t want to wake up at 3AM for your hike then you’ll find yourself trembling hahaha! A good coffee is best while in Maligcong.
During the hike, bring a good hiking shoes. I just brought a hiking sandals when we climbed Mt. kupapey,and I regretted it. Aside from the fact that it was cold, the morning mist from the plants and grass can make your sandals slippery and uncomfortable. Just imagine, if it was rainy season? Be sure by bringing a reliable shoes.
It was also a good experience that we were accompanied by the dogs of Suzette when we climbed the mountain. Kunig was such a special dog, he guided me going to the summit since I was really slow. Kunig really made my hiking experience extra special. Say my regards to Kunig once you get there!
I hope this guide helps you. I genuinely wanted you to experience Maligcong. If you have anything to share? share it the comment section below.
If you have any questions, I’m just a message and email away. Have a great day!
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