With the quarantine status of Ifugao down to modified general community quarantine, nothing can stop 97 bike enthusiasts from taking a 25 kilometer trek that that starts at the highest peak in Luzon all the way to the highest point of the Philippine highway system.
“Tuloy na ha (It will push through),” Department of Tourism – Cordillera OIC director Jovita Ganongan told RNG Luzon through private message today.
The event came a month late after its postponement on the eve of its supposed kick off on June 20 from the “playground of the gods” in Mount Pulag in Kabayan, Benguet to Tinoc, Ifugao. Kabayan, the province of Benguet and Tinoc, Ifugao are local government unit-partners of the DoT – Cordillera for the event.
The June 20 event was postponed since the whole province of Ifugao was still under modified enhanced community quarantine which lasted until the end of June.
“We have postponed the bike event since the province is still under MECQ,” Ganongan earlier told RNG Luzon.
A post by the DoT – Cordillera 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 also under MECQ last June but was lifted on June 16.
The announcement said that the organizers were “committed to ensuring the safety of all participants and parties involved.”
“Thank you for your overwhelming support to the event – having over 97 participants who have signed up – and we humbly ask for your understanding.”
The event was earlier open to only 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 get to the 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 Cordilleras 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 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 back dropped 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 riders 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 in Tinoc, Ifugao.
The Guingaw portion of the Kiangan – Tinoc – Buguias Road is nestled 7,968 feet above sea level that now dwarfs the erstwhile highest point in Atok, Benguet which is 7,400 feet above sea level, and along the Halsema Highway.
“(The bike circuit) is meant to promote the various eco-tourist sites along the scenic highway,” added Ganongan.
The bikers along the way could also have a good view of Junior Pulag in Buguias, a smaller version of the Kabayan peak which like its big brother quickly changes temperature and air pressure.
In the DoT Cordillera Facebook page, bikers are encouraged to be “part of the history as the first 50 bikers to reach the highest point in the Philippine National Hi-way System.