SCHOOL children going to school now ride on Toktok tricycles made in India and I am not surprised if these were ordered online through Alibaba. With the city’s six lane roads, you can see progress and flourishing of businesses from each side of the wide lanes. I observed motorbike riding farmers tagging along their shovels and pick mattocks and I also spotted wrinkled farmhands trailing big trucks with their trusted Kuligligs laden with sacks of farm produce.
We now stay in hotels compared to decades ago where home-stay was the most preferred option.
I have covered many provincial activities in the area that dates back in the late 80s when the present site of the capitol was still a grassland. Among the events that I covered in the province were, Ullalim and Laga Festivals with provincial fairs and symposiums or forums on the region's clamor for regional autonomy.
With the rapid industrialization and continued economic growth of Tabuk City, the so-called rice granary of the Cordillera, we see a lot of brand new cars and there are now third party players such as fuel stations that provide options for motorists who want to get the best value for their money.
I've been travelling along the banks of the mighty Chico River from its upper tributary in Mt. Data, Bauko to the plains of Tabuk City, Kalinga since I entered government service as Information Officer. I've crossed the hanging bridge of Bugnay in Tinglayan Kalinga that leads to the house of martyred elder Macli-ing Dulag. I consider myself to be lucky to have bathed naked along the Chico River when its water was still conducive for washing. I missed the days when We passed by the Kalinga side of the river where we observed the sale of big bats with a wing-span of about six feet or two meters. I can understand why DENR today banned its sale as we are now concerned in protecting natural resources including wild-life such as the Civet Cats that eats the pulp of coffee berries in Magallaya Mountain.
I joined a team of DTI Provincial Heads and Planning Officers when they met in Tabuk City recently to review ongoing programs and plan for other office related activities. Our team also visited the Our Tribe Pasalubong Center OTOP Hub and the place where we had several conferences in past years. Kalinga shines because of enterprises and SMEs that helps the province boost its local economy. The Golden Berries Hotel and Convention Plaza is DTI’s partner in promoting local products and it is the site of Kalinga’s OTOP Hub. Said OTOP Hub which showcases varied items from souvenir items to delectable processed goods including coffee products has become a major destination for shoppers interested in Kalinga products. The place is absolutely great especially if you are a coffee aficionado like me. In early 2013, we had a media coffee familiarization tour with no less than our former DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo as guest. It was also where I had a personal interaction with Zac Sarian, a well-known agricultural writer and editor of Manila Bulletin’s Agriculture Section. A keepsake magazine issue with a photo of me on its November issue shows me drying a bed of coffee berries at the ground of the hotel. When it comes to hotel and convention accommodation and coffee serving, nothing beats this destination.
Tabuk City is will be the venue of the thirteenth series of Igorot International Consultations by the Igorot Global Organization (IGO on February 7-10, 2020 with the theme “Mantawiliyan: Looking Back to our Roots Towards a Global Igorot Nation”. I am a Council-of-Elder of IGO-Philippines and we have already started planning for said event with Chair Edna C. Tabanda in coordination with IGO-Philippines’ Kalinga Chapter as host and ADHOC body. The event will be highlighted with cultural rites, showcase of performing arts called the Diddiga, Cordillera Fibro-web fashion show, community visits and immersions, and the usual IIC forum.
Engr. Lino Cungihan, an Ifugao native who is now the OIC of DTI-Kalinga, said there is no such thing as a stranger in Kalinga when he welcomed fellow office-mates during our management conference in this so-called rice granary of the Cordillera. In fact, during my documentation of two enterprises for a teaser video, I enjoyed every offer of food and beverages provided during my shoots and interviews.
As a Google Local Guide, I also tagged my DTI-Kalinga Provincial Office in the satellite map stating that the facility houses the stalwart men and women of the province’s government trade and industry sector that enables business and champions consumer protection.
I flew a drone over the Chico River Diversion Dam, the City Hall of Tabuk and the Kalinga Provincial Capitol to capture a video of one of the province’s assets that assures the continuing industry as the rice granary of the Cordillera because of its wide plains and all year-round irrigation systems.
For one to know more of this developing city, two days are not enough to explore what it offers as there are sports and recreational facilities such as the Chico River Quest which starts upstream and ends in Tabuk. I shall write more about this city it as l cover the upcoming Igorot International Consultations.