“Paradise found, forgotten and reborn” is the story of Maligcong, an upper barangay of Bontoc in Mountain Province, eight kilometers away from the town proper. It used to be the show window of the town but it went into a lull until social media triggered its recent reborn.
Maligcong is the Kankana-ey term that means “surrounded by rice paddies”, as the village sits in the middle of rice terraces, hailed as among the most beautiful in the entire Cordillera Region. The rice terraces are best viewed from the two vantage points – Mount Fato and Mount Kufafey.
Sea of clouds as seen from Mount Kufafey
How to Get to Maligcong
Make your way to Bontoc, the capital of Mountain Province. Coda Lines Corporation has daily trips from Cubao HM Terminal to Sagada via Banaue and Bontoc. Three buses leave daily at 9PM, arriving Bontoc after eleven hours of travel of the next day, regular fare is around P730. For more inquiries, contact +63927-5592197 or +63995-9620430, or visit their Facebook page. You may also book your seat from Manila to Bontoc or vice versa below:
If you are coming from Baguio, GL Liner and Lizardo Transit have multiple departures daily for a travel tieme of at least five (5) hours. From Banaue, there are local buses, jeepneys or vans going to Bontoc which is around two (2) hours away.
From Bontoc town proper, Maligcong is just a thirty-minute jeepney ride or 1.5-hour trek. Jeepneys depart at 8AM, 12NN, 2PM, 4PM and 5PM daily. Planting season usually starts in April so the rice paddies are beautifully green from May to July before the harvest season in August.
The verdant rice terraces of Maligcong
While there are numerous tour groups organizing a Maligcong Package, a do-it-yourself trip to the village is possible. Here’s my weekend DIY itinerary to help you plan your Maligcong experience.
2100H – Departure from Quezon City (Coda Lines, advance reservation is advised)
Day 1:0630H: Stopover in Banaue0830H – Arrival in Bontoc / Breakfast0900H – Trek to Maligcong (Option to take a jeepney ride, see schedule below)1030H – Arrival in Maligcong / Check-in at Suzette’s Homestay1130H – Trek to Mount Fato1300H – Summit of Mount Fato1430H – Back in homestay / Late Lunch / Tour Rice Terraces
1700H – Back in homestay / Dinner / Lights off
Day 2:0300H – Call time / Light snacks0330H – Start trek0500H – Summit of Mount Kupapey0730H – Trek down0800H – Back at homestay / Breakfast0900H – Tour Rice Terraces / Main Village1100H – Back at homestay / Fix-up / Check-out / Proceed to Bontoc (Jeep or Trek)1200H – Arrival in Bontoc / Lunch at Caja Pizza and Cupcakes1330H – Proceed to Baguio bus Terminal1400H – Bus departure from Bontoc to Baguio1930H – Arrival in Baguio / Drop by at public market / Dinner2100H – Proceed to Genesis Bus Terminal
2130H – Bus departure from Baguio to Manila (via TPLEX/SCTEX/NLEX)
0130H: Arrival in Manila
Summit of Mount Fato
Logistics / Expenses
Cubao to Bontoc (Coda Lines) – P871Bontoc to Maligcong (Jeep) – P35Dormitory Accommodation (Suzette’s Homestay) – P500Guide to Mt. Kupapey (P700 / 5 persons) – P140Maligcong to Bontoc (Jeep) – P35Food Budget – P600Bontoc to Baguio – P250Baguio to Manila – P575Miscellaneous – P500————
Approximate Budget: P3474
Sunrise in Mount Kufafey
- Bontoc to Maligcong jeepney schedule: 8AM, 12NN, 2PM, 4PM and 5PM
- Maligcong to Bontoc jeepney schedule: 6AM, 8AM, 9AM, 2PM and 4PM
- Suzette’s Maligcong Homestay rate is P500 per night for a dormitory room, contact +639155463557 (advance reservation is advised)
- Guide to Mount Fato is advised but not required, rate is P500 for 1 to 5 persons
- Guide to Mount Kupapey is required, rate is P700 for 1 to 5 persons
- Guides are readily available at the homestay
- Homestays usually serve food too
- No ATM in the village; no establishment accepts credit card or traveler’s cheque
- Globe, Touch Mobile, Smart, Talk & Text and Sun 3G signals are present
- Best months to go: May to August when the rice terraces are green to yellow