Upon arrival in Tinglayan, we had lunch at our hosts’ place, paid our guide a total of Php 2,000 each (Php 500.00 per day x 3 days, Php 500.00 tip) and spent the rest of the day re-packing our stuff and enjoyed exchanging “pick-up lines” with the kids and re-charged for the next leg of our trip.
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The jeepney ride to Tulgao, for which we paid Php 20.00 each, was the start of our adventure of getting to Fang-od’s community. Tara and I rode on the roof. It was scary at first given that I am afraid of heights and that the locals seemed like they weren’t too comfortable with the load of the jeepney either. But, when I finally let go of the fright, I got to enjoy the beautiful Chico River and the mountains surrounding it. The experience would prove to be one of the most amazing things I would encounter for this trip. Upon alighting in Tulgao, we hiked to Buscalan, where we found Fang-od’s community. When we finally got to Buscalan, I felt like we were in a different world all together. I had planned on just sleeping through most of the day because of the tedious hike that just happened. But, being with Fang-od, the native houses, the community, the mountains, the air, just washed the tiredness off. It was wonderful having had this opportunity to visit the village. After Fang-od served us lunch and coffee, Tara got her tattoo. It was simply amazing seeing the 92-year-old tattoo artist having so much focus and precision in her craft. Equally amazing would be how candid and cute she was being when we had our conversation with her later that afternoon about life, love, family, and community. In the evening, Fang-od’s family cooked dinner for us. Tara also paid Php 2,000 for her tattoo. Then, we slept on Fang-od’s wooden floor.