Long weekend! What to do? Where to go? Let’s go to the Cordillera Region and meet some new people. The Butbut Tribe with the Butbut language with a Butbut smile and the warm Butbut hospitality. Simple people with a simple life living on top of the mountain and we’ve enjoyed being their new companions.
Sidetrip at Banaue
Before heading to Buscalan Village, we made a stop at Banaue to do some selfies with our new friends. From L-R: Sir Ryan, Ma’am Kring, Ma’am Emi, and Sir Yodi.
If you’re not a fan of trekking or hiking but are looking for the tattoo piercing from Apo Whang-Od, thereis nothing to worry about. It’s just a matter of 30++ minutes of up and down trail. But if you love taking too much photos or selfies, it might take you the whole day. Why? The place is so mesmerizing and adorable.
Do remember to travel light and bring some water with you. If you need some refreshments, around half of the trail, you will pass their fresh and cold waterfalls and it is safe to drink. And also another stop over for photo ops.
The Butbut Tribe
The Kalinga Tribes used to be headhunters and tattooed people of the Cordillera. They never interacted with the lowlanders and also have never been under any foreign rule in our history. One of these is the Butbut Tribe. I’ve been to Tabuk City and heard a lot of stories about tribal wars still occurring within some tribes but in this new era, the Butbut tribe is now gentle, respectful, hospitable and they opened their village to the visitors or tourists. In short, you will no longer get beheaded. Hehe!
If you’re planning to visit, be prepared. There is no cellphone signal, no internet, no fast food and no jejemons but they have happiness in their simplest way. And if you really have plans, never ever forget to bring something for them like candies or toys for the kids and some medicine. It doesn’t matter what, but it will be greatly appreciated.
For many generations, Kalinga has kept its prized art of tattooing, known locally as “pagbabatok.” It was considered a rite of passage for women about to be married, and was also a symbol of valor and strength for men. It’s a privilege to get a tattoo from the last tribal tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od, pronounced as Fang-Od. The oldest living Mambabatok of Kalinga at 96 years old who caught the attention of the world with her talents.
Ginhawa and Mandiga
Be patient and endure the pain
after the tattoos are done
Surely, you will become beautiful
You are like Whanna
Who win in battles in warfare
Who went to many villages
And slay enemies.
But in these modern days, everything is changing and sadly,traditions are slowly becoming forgotten.
How to get there?
It’s either you take the bus via Bontoc or via Tabuk. Then take a Jeep or any trip directly to Tinglayan and get off at Bugnay which is the gateway to Buscalan. This is about 4 – 5 kilometers from the jump off. For us, we joined the tour courtesy of Extreme Outdoor Traveler and Feelgood Traveler so we didn’t have a problem of walking from Bugnay to Buscalan Jump Off. Then from Jump Off, it’s a 30-minute or so trek, depending on your stamina (and selfie-ness).
To end this article, it hurts but worth it.