Trekking adventure up in 2 Benguet towns

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011


OWING to its majestic mountain ranges, and home to one of the highest mountain peak in the country, the municipality of Bokod in Benguet is opening its doorsteps to trekkers and mountain climbers for its first Mt. Purgatory Climb.

Also seen to kick off this month is the three-day eco-tourism adventure in Kibungan town for their 2nd Invitational Climb dubbed Trek to the Rocky Wall of Beauties on October 28 to 30.

Although Bokod has been known as the gateway to Mt. Pulag, Luzon’s second-highest peak, Mayor Mauricio Mackay has been marketing the town’s Mt. Purgatory trek which starts today, October 19, and will end on the 21st.

Mackay said Mt. Purgatory was named by a former employee of the defunct lumber company, Benguet Consolidated Inc., to describe the thick and dark forests there.

“I have pushed this to help raise awareness for our forests and so we can raise money to finance its protection,” he said.

Interested participants may assemble at the Benguet Provincial Capitol grounds on October 19 as early as 4 a.m., where they will be ferried to the Bokod Town Hall where the registration and the launching program will be held.

From there, they will be transported to Japas where the trek to 2,290 meter above sea level Mt. Purgatory takes off.

Legend has it that Mt. Purgatory was originally called “Mangisi” for its thick vegetation. Durham Hale Bennet, the American logging superintendent of Benguet Consolidated, jokingly called it “Purgatory” after encountering difficulties because of the forest’s thick forest and perennially cloudy days.

The Kibungan 2nd Invitational Climb, meanwhile, according to Councilor Lovio Nabe aims to highlight the municipality as one among the alternative eco-tourism destination in the Cordilleras and to promote the town’s rock walls and cliffs that could attract professional rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Interested participants for the Kibungan climb may contact Engr. Kolbel at (0905)9206276 of the Mayor’s office c/o Ms. Brenilyn at (0917)8004536/ (0912)8397663 or Jaime at (074) 309-1495.

Registration fee will be at P1,700 inclusive of souvenir items, t-shirt, certificate, transportation from Benguet Provincial Capitol to jump off point and vice versa.

Payments can be made at the LGU Extension Office at the ALS Bldg. along Km.6 in La Trinidad Benguet or at the Municipal government t of Kibungan.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 19, 2011.

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