THE Department of Tourism – Cordillera has postponed indefinitely the bike trek from the highest mountain to the highest point of the Philippine Highway system this Sunday.
DoT – CAR Acting Regional Director Jovita Ganongan said that the event has been postponed as Ifugao remains under modified enhanced community quarantine.
“We have postponed the bike event since the province is still under MRCQ,” said Ganongan.
The DoT – Cordillera in a post said: “We regret that we are indefinitely postponing the launch (bike circuit) due to the MECQ status of the Province of Ifugao until June 30, 2021.”
Benguet was earlier under MECQ also but was lifted last June 16.
The post added that the organizers – DoT and partner local government units of Benguet, the town of Kabayan and Tinoc, Ifugao – added that they “committed to ensuring the safety of all participants and parties involved.”
“Thank you for your overwhelming support of the event – having over 97 participants who have signed up – and we humbly ask for your understanding.”
The event was earlier meant to have 50 riders who will start at the breast of the highest peak in Luzon in Northern Benguet to the highest point of the Philippine highway system in southern Ifugao. The event will see bikers enjoy not just the cold but also some of the most scenic views in western Cordillera in the Bike to the Highest Point.
The Kabayan – Tinoc Biking Circuit “aims at boosting tourism in the Cordillera and promoting adventure activities in the region through biking.”
It is a 25.2-kilometer short biking experience, within the ancestral domain of the Kalungaya indigenous people group, that will start at the mystical Lake Tabeo, the easiest to reach of the four mystical lakes of Mount Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet.
The lake, nestled 7,487 feet above sea level in barangay Tawangan, which is backdropped by the fifth highest mountain in the country and second in Luzon, Mount Tabayoc, could be the most popular of the four lakes that include Bulalakao, Inculos and the most magical, Latep-Ngapos.
From there, Ganongan said the 50 bikers will make a stop at Lake Bulalakao, probably the cleanest lake in the country, with its three cleanest lake award under the Gawad ng Pangulo sa Kapaligiran to boot.
Then the riders will pass through the salad capital of the Philippines, Buguias, the northernmost municipality of Benguet all the way to the highest point of the Philippine highway system in Guihngaw, Ehes, Tinoc in Ifugao.
The Guingaw portion of the Kiangan – Tinoc – Buguias Road is 7,968 feet above sea level. It now dwarfs the erstwhile highest point in Atok, Benguet which is 7,400 feet above sea level, and along the Halsema Highway.
The bikers along the way could also have a good view of Junior Pulag in Buguias, a smaller version of the “playground of the gods” which like its big brother quickly changes in temperature and air pressure. – Pigeon Lobien