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Everyone photographs him.

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An Ifugao woman

BANAUE, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE   ...My travel agent called ahead for Nick Piyog to be my guide.  He never came.  Instead, Johnny Ambojnon showed up.  (So, now you have the names of two reliable guides.)  We made plans for a three day trek.  I didn't know where he would take me, but I trusted him.

We headed for Batad.  The information I had said go to Batad only if you were really fit.  There were no roads the last four kilometers.  You climbed every mountain!  (If you go, stay and eat at the Hillside Inn.)  Johnny said there was a waterfall near Batad.  It was a steep climb and I didn't look forward to the return trip.  But, when we reached the bottom and turned the curve, I saw the most amazing falls. 

After a few days of hiking, It hurt to move.  It hurt to walk down the stairs to the bathroom.  I wasn't sure if I was ready for the hike home.  What disturbed me the most was that it was the only time Johnny made sure we had a supply of boiled water.  That meant a long hike -- even though he said it was an hour and a half and no climbing.  How he lied!  We stopped a lot and only then could I enjoy the beauty.  When we finally arrived at Bangaan Family Inn, the old man who served me three Cokes chuckled that it wasn't a long walk. 

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.