Luzon Travel

The Story of Tabuk City

When I heard that I was going to Tabuk City, my colleagues warned me about one thing: don’t try to wander too much around the area. I asked, “Why not?” Their answer: this:

If you don’t want to be part of the Tribal Wars or beheaded by the tribes.

and I was:


So, to find out if it’s true, I asked the locals. I’ve heard a lot of stories about Tabuk City. This is what I’ve heard from the locals. The tribal laws still exist and are somewhat still above our Philippine laws. Tribal Wars still occur in this place and even the police can’t handle the situation. In my stay in Tabuk City, I heard several gun shots in several nights. Car chases were common, too.

Another local told me that Tabuk was declared as a City — twice. She said that the title of being a City was revoked in early 2000 and they just reclaimed it. And she also said that Tabuk City is the smallest city in the Philippines. When you visit Tabuk City, you’ll find that there are no Malls, no Jollibees or any other well-known fastfood chains. Stores are closed by 6PM and there are no available public transportation from 6PM onwards, too. So don’t try to sneak out for a party at night if you don’t have your own car. Still, some bars are open until 12 midnight such as Girlfriends Avenue or Las Vegas Hotel.

 In this part of Kalinga, expect more green fields, mountains and no beach. So, what places did I visit in Tabuk City?

 Chico Diversion Dam

One of the famous spots here is the dam or the River of Kalinga. You can also do some extreme water sports here like River Rafting. But do not underestimate this river. There is a story about a Korean Contractor that visited a creek. The contractor won the bid to develop this and laughed out loud that the river is just a CREEK when compared to rivers in Korea. When they placed all their equipment there, including bulldozers etc., mother nature happened — all of their equipment was washed out. If you want to try the River Rafting, you can check their package at

Visit some Farms.

Lucky to have some access to a Private Farm. The Farm is owned by Dr. Almora and he got 3 Deers.

Where to eat?

Seriously? 50.00 – 65.00 Php per order and it looks like a good-for-2 serving. That was my impression on my first try at Ryan Panciteria and you should try their pansit. It’s good!

And also try Gramps Egg Pie.

Where to stay?

They have Davidson Hotel, Las Vegas Hotel but the one who caught my attention is the Grand Zion.  Why? Because it’s greener, more relaxing and new.


I met the owner of the Kalinga Brew and she told me to visit her in their Coffee Shop at Sampaloc, Manila. She even invited me to be at the convention at World Trade this Sept 7. Sorry, I’m in Davao right now. There are two coffee brands that are exported internationally, The Kalinga Blend and The Kalinga Brew. The locals recommend me that I try the Kalinga Brew for no reasons why but I love it. The taste and the aroma of their coffee.

And before I end this, I was informed by another local that the Municipality of Tabuk just received a billion budget from the Malacañang for the development. I hope this budget will end for a good cause.

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  • well on what i’ve read and experience here in Kalinga its all true their pancit here (batilpatong) was delicious also the aroma and blend of their coffee. The tribal wars and their tribal law (budong or peace pact) here still exist and also for 5 months that i’ve work as an engineer assigned here in kalinga i’ve noticed that all of our local workers have back packs or shoulder bag’s which do have a gun inside. but here the hospitality of the people were great and very

  • The Tribal war is normal to exist. There are some tribes out there who never want to modernize and I think it is best to respect what they want. I would love to visit the farm. I love animals and small farms. Make me feel I am home sweet home 🙂


  • pretty scary about the tribal wars but in our province I heard gun shots too coming from the mountains. How come it became a city if there are no establishments? LOL! 😀
    Oh I love Kalinga Brew coffee! It smells really nice.

  • Amazing photos. It’s just scary to know that Tribal Wars still happen in some areas.

  • i’ve heard tabuk city but none any of the story you wrote already comes on my mind, it was good read, knowing about the city, i thought it was like having a horror trip when i was reading the first part, LOL but upon seeing some of the tourist spot it make me thinks its far different from what you told cause the place looks more relaxing and so nice!

  • That was a very beautiful place right there. There are times when a person should just go for the destination instead of letting the history of the place scare them.

  • First time to hear about Tabuk City, the place looks interesting and the private farm looks so relaxing. Thank you for sharing!

  • First time I have heard of this city. Interesting. I have heard of tribal wars when I was visiting Banaue some two years ago. I can also relate about the shops closing at 6PM. That’s really how they do it in far-flung areas in the country. I used to live in a very small town in Negros and people are just out of the streets by 7. Haha

  • I can’t believe that you heard gun shots! That’s scary. But thanks for sharing Tabuk with everyone!

  • thank you for sharing

  • This is the first time I have heard about Tabuk City so, thank you for sharing!
    The hotel looks great. It is amazing to find such beautiful accommodation in a not so popular area.
    I am so interested to learn more about Tabuk City and Kalinga. 🙂

  • This is the first time I have heard about Tabuk City so, thank you for sharing!
    The hotel looks great. It is amazing to find such beautiful accommodation in a not so popular area.
    I am so interested to learn more about this place.

  • This is the first time I have heard about Tabuk City so, thank you for sharing!
    The hotel looks great. It is amazing to find such beautiful accommodation in a not so popular area.
    I am so interested to learn more about this place.

  • Ray

    hi!!! I love how you write very interesting article and i want to read more of your writings!

  • The food you post look so tasty. About the tribal war and you hearing those gunshots, I can’t believe they’re not reaching TV news. But even if you said those I’d still want to travel there.

    Did you tried their waterrafting? This post hunger for more photos of your adventure..

  • The layout and photos of your blog is simply beautiful! I really love it!

    • And I never knew Tribal wars are still ongoing in several areas around the country so this was an eye-opener most definitely!

      • Ten

        In some part of Kalinga-Apayao.

  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote
    the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message
    home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.