NARDO’S ORANGE FARM: Maligcong’s own citrus orchard

It is surprising to know that Maligcong has its own orange orchards nestled in its mountainous terrain. It is one of its best kept secret and should be a part of the itinerary in visiting Maligcong. The orange farm near Suzette’s Homestay, which can be reach by foot,  is owned by the Khayad couple. The entrance to their modest farm is tucked within the pine trees and obscured to the eyes of the travelling community.

_DSC5680.jpg
Nardo’s Farm

It is just in Ate Suzette’s pinned map on the walls of her homestay that Doj found out about the farm. Visiting this orchard is not in our itinerary upon arrival in Maligcong, but because of the adventurous spirit that cloaks the whole team that day, we chose to spend the remaining hours of the afternoon exploring the orchard.

The rain is looming and we armed ourselves with umbrella in case the sky would shower us along the way, except me, just me and my camera.

According to Ate Suzette, the entrance to the farm is approximately 20 minutes walk from the homestay by just following the roadway we earlier traversed from Bontoc. As the group walked past the gates of her homestay, there they are, the canine quartet playfully leading us – Kunig, Maku, Tiny and Misty. As we trod our way to the hilly road, these dogs sniff and kept on leaving “marks” on the road – I believe they are marking their territory, am I right? Kunig does that like every few meters.

_DSC5673.jpg

What we might think that the entrance to the farm would unravel easily along, but finding the exact marking or landmark is a test of our patience and attention to detail of the surrounding. Almost 20 minutes walking, we made a rescue call to Ate Suzette and she had sent her son on a motorcycle to lead us the entrance of the farm. Few moments, we heard the approaching sound of the motorcycle, it is her son and daughter.

_DSC5675.jpg
The Entrance Marker

You have to descend in a rocky ladder leading to the path marked with boulders. With the towering canopy and grassy lining, the feel is mystic and enchanting, added the looming rain. As we continued to the path, that recognisable citrus scent started to fill our nasal cavities – we are really near the orange tress! A log cabin appeared on our right as the canine quartet crisscrossed the path, and there right in front of us – the orange trees. We could not help but it we instantly took pictures.

_DSC5676.jpg

We found the Khayad couple, tending the flowering shrubs near their cozy cabin-like home. We approached them and introduced ourselves as guest of Ate Suzette. The couple welcomed us with a  genuine smile and offered us to explore their farm.

_DSC5682.jpg
The hospitable Khayad couple of Maligcong, Sir Leonard and Ma’am Linda

Nardo’s orchard is not only for orange, they are growing a different variety of dragon fruit, different vegetables and a collection of beautiful and magnificent flowers. The harvesting month is October, however, they have harvested a month earlier, so we do not have the opportunity to marvel the trees laden with ripe orange fruits.

_DSC5685.jpg

We decided to buy oranges and Mrs. Khayad had her pair of snips and bag ready. She then led us to the another stairs leading to the other side of the farm, we there are few oranges ready for picking. Me and Arriane joined her and she gave us the chance to pick our own. Mrs. Khayad just point the exact fruit for picking. Definitely, we did not miss the opportunity having photographs here.

_DSC5702.jpg
Ma’am Linda Khayad

_DSC5709.jpg

_DSC5703.jpg
Green but already ripe and sweet

Continue yourself downstairs, and you would see another cabin, with an interesting structure, unlikely to be on a mountain village – a fish pen. The family had their own fish pen and we asked permission to go there.

_DSC5730.jpg
Kunig exploring the fish pen

Since the whole orchard is nestled on a gentle slope, you would have an unobstructed view of the farm and of the rice terraces.

Click to read more about Maligcong Rice Terraces

_DSC5681.jpg

As we finished picking oranges, we returned to the shed and started weighing them. Price per kilogram of oranges is Php 60.00. Mrs. Khayad that we picked a sweet German variety of oranges. As we paid and documented the moment, the rain started to pour. Despite the rain, we opted to tread our way back to the homestay to have enough rest to for our early morning hike to Mt. Kupapey

Click to read more about Mt. Kupapey 

_DSC5737.jpg
The team with the Khayad couple

The Orange Farm of the Khayad family in Maligcong is not really open for the public, I believe, and I think your visit should be arranged through a local, like Ate Suzette. Generally, the set up and location of their property is strategic and a visit worthy. I only found a handful of write ups of the Orange Farms in the web and thought about writing one. It is just so hard to keep to myself how this humble orchard surprised me. The overall set up of the farm would rival that of in Sagada.

_DSC5699.jpg

My greatest appreciation to the Khayad couple for their hospitality!

Agyamman kami!

HOW TO GO THERE

From Ate Suzette’s homestay, you have to walk for twenty minutes and look for the signage posted on a tree. The walk is roughly 15-20 minutes. Be sure to ask Ate Suzette before going there.

Below is the screenshot from Google Maps leading to the orange farm from Ate Suzette’s homestay as guide to the farm entrance.

For the trip cost, please read about my Maligcong Rice Terraces story and Mt. Kupapey story

direction to the farm.png
In yellow line, our road we walked to the farm

HOW TO GO TO MALIGCONG (COMMUTE GUIDE)

From Manila, take a bus ride to Bontoc town. Upon arrival, walk to the jeepney terminal to Maligcong which is near the commercial center, front of Pines Kitchenette. During Sundays, the terminal is temporarily transferred near Bontoc Museum because of the bazaar that would occupy the terminal space. No need to ride a tricycle to locate the terminal, ask any locals you have met along the way and they might direct you, anyways, you would notice that almost everyone are treading the streets.

IMG_5766.JPG
Jeep to Maligcong in front of the post office and beside the Bontoc museum

Fare is Php20.00 and travel time is approximately 20-30 minutes. It is advisable to topload should it be your first time to visit Maligcong. The uphill road brings you to scenic viewpoints of Bontoc town, plus cool mountain breeze would cloak you.

Bontoc-Maligcong Jeep Schedule 2016 (Php 20.00 Fare both route)
Bontoc to Maligcong Maligcong to Bontoc
First Trip 8:00 AM 6:30 AM
12:00 PM 8:00 AM
 Route we took during our trip 2:30 PM 9:00 AM
4:30 PM 2:00 PM
Last Trip 5:30 PM 4:00 PM

Bontoc can also be reached either through Baguio or Banaue route. GL Trans Bus Lines ply the Halsema Highway to Bontoc from Baguio, first trip is 7:00AM and estimated arrival in Bontoc is around noontime.

_DSC5664.jpg

There are jeepneys and vans in Banaue going to Bontoc. In our actual itinerary, we took a van from Manila to Solano and alighted to Bagabag Junction, we took a bus going to Banaue which took another roughly two hours travel.

Sample Routes:

Manila-Banaue-Bontoc-Maligcong Route

  1. Take the Ohayami Night Bus or Florida GV Night Bus en route Banaue (9-10 hours) and alight near the Banaue Tourism Office. (ETA Banaue  6AM 7AM)
  2. Walk to the Jeepney or Van going to Bontoc  (ETD 10:00AM, 1.5-2 hrs, topload if you must) and take the morning trip (ETA Bontoc Noontime)
  3. Upon arrival in Bontoc, have a lunch and discover Bontoc on foot and take the 2:30 PM Trip (30 minutes, topload is a must) to Maligcong (ETA Maligcong 3:00 PM)

Manila-Baguio-Bontoc-Maligcong Route

  1. Take any Baguio bus (Victory Liner, Genesis Bus)  Night trip and target to arrive before 6AM in Baguio City. Take a cab to Dangwa Bus Station in Baguio City
  2. Reserve your bus seats with the first trip 7:00 AM bound to Bontoc. (5-6 hours)
  3. Arrive in Bontoc around noontime, have lunch and walking tour for 2 hours
  4. Take the 02:30 PM jeep bound to Maligcong (3o minutes), arrive in Maligcong around 3:00 PM

HOW MUCH WOULD IT COST?

Sample solo traveller from Pasay City via Baguio-Bontoc route:

Pasay to Baguio (Victory Liner) ₱445.00
Baguio to Bontoc (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Bontoc to Maligcong (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Accommodation with Suzette’s ₱350.00
Lunch and Dinner ₱240.00
Guide Fee (max of 5 pax) (+ P100/ extra pax) ₱500.00
Maligcong to Bontoc (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Bontoc to Baguio (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Baguio to Pasay (Victory Liner) ₱445.00
TOTAL ₱2,444.00

Comparing cost to a group of seven from Pampanga via Dau-Baguio-Bontoc route:

Dau, Pampanga to Baguio (Victory Liner) ₱306.00
Baguio to Bontoc (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Bontoc to Maligcong (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Accommodation with Suzette’s ₱350.00
Lunch and Dinner ₱240.00
Charge for 7 pax (P800.00) ₱114.29
Maligcong to Bontoc (Public Jeepney) ₱20.00
Bontoc to Baguio City (GL Trans) ₱212.00
Baguio City to Dau, Pampanga (Victory Liner) ₱306.00
TOTAL ₱1,780.29

 MORE PHOTOGRAPHS

_DSC5726.jpg

_DSC5698.jpg
The Khayad’s own version of Wall of Fame

_DSC5731.jpg

_DSC5678.jpg

_DSC5723.jpg

_DSC5734.jpg
Would you want to live in a house surrounded with this?

Read more about, Mt. Kupapey for our adventure the following day

Advertisements

One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s