More than 15 hours on the road can take a toll, especially if there are lulls in between and I wasn’t able to get enough sleep from that night bus. But on the final stretch on the road from Tabuk to Tinglayan, I kept my eyes peeled, trying to pave-off these drowsy eyes just to see the winding road along the mountains, the rice terraces, the Chico River and on my left, the imposing Sleeping Beauty Mountain looming over the rustic town of Tinglayan, Kalinga. We reached the town center and our drop-off, none other the Sleeping Beauty Inn, where we met with our tour guide and our home in Tinglayan.
The Sleeping Beauty Inn
Located in the town center of Tinglayan by the provincial road side, Sleeping Beauty Inn is easy to find. Tinglayan only has a few accommodations (the other is Luplupa River Side Inn) but I find the location of this inn to my liking. It has its own grocery store, a restaurant and just a walk’s way to some establishments like the church, bridge and other eateries in the area.
The room is basic as expected. A large common area, rooms with shared bathrooms and one room with private bathroom and airconditioning. The place may look it has been there for sometime but owners have kept it clean. It used to be a vacation house by the former mayor Fernando Abay turned into lodging, as evidenced by the empty pool at the back. More importantly, the lodging have access to the rushing waters of Chico River and view of the legendary sleeping beauty. We had a small chit-chat with the ex-mayor and he once apologetically told us that “…our province can only offer nature – the mountains and the waterfalls” but isn’t that what people like us are looking for.
The Legendary Sleeping Beauty Mountain
Staying at the Sleeping Beauty Inn, we had the luxury to see the Sleeping Beauty mountain in different states from dramatic cloudy peaks in the morning to a sullen slumber mood in the afternoon. Also called as Mt Mating-oy Dinayao from Tinglayan and Mt Patukan by the Lubu Tribes who lived in this mountain is characteristically named from numerous versions of a folklore. The Sleeping Beauty is said to be a beautiful maiden named Dinayao who is in love with a dashing Luplupa villager named Binsay at first sight. Tribal wars forced Binsay to help out his village but promised to Dinayao he will be back to see her at the summit of Mt Patukan. However after some time, it was Binsay’s brother who returned to the summit to bring Dinayao the unfortunate news of his demise. Dinayao wept and vowed to stay in the mountain and bring her eternal love Binsay until her death. There is a viewpoint after the border to Tinglayan towards the road to Bontoc where the figure of Sleeping Beauty can seen more defined.
The Chico River
Behind the inn is a pathway to Chico River, we decided to explore the banks after an afternoon squall has abated. There is a bridge leading to the residences on the other side. The river was raging at that time I bet would be an ideal place for some white water rafting or kayaking. The water was cool and clear on the gentle shallow areas by the river bank. It’s just amazing to be this close this mighty river stretching to 174.67 km in length. The “River of Life”, as the locals in Kalinga would call it.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.