Maligcong is one of the six barangay in the town of Bontoc, Mountain Province. Recently, adventure enthusiasts have been flocking this once sleepy town for its cool sweater-weather, untouched rice terraces, mist-laden mountain viewpoints and hiking trails that lead to hot springs on its adjacent barangay. It is more than 400 kilometers away from Manila and getting there requires a combination of bus and jeepney rides, either through Banaue or Baguio City. With the advent of mass tourism now plaguing Baguio, Sagada and Banaue, Maligcong has now emerged as a good alternative for weekend travelers looking for a place to hike and simply chill out.
|THE WEATHER IS USUALLY QUITE COLD IN MALIGCONG|
|THE THICK FOREST COVER OF MALIGCONG|
HOW TO GET TO MALIGCONG
|THE TYPICAL JEEPNEY PLYING THE BONTOC-MALIGCONG ROUTE|
There are three ways to get to Maligcong using the Baguio City and Ifugao routes, both of which terminates at the town of Bontoc in Mountain Province. From there, you then take a jeep at the Maligcong jeepney terminal for a twenty-minute uphill ride to Maligcong proper.
BONTOC DIRECT ROUTE
MANILA > BONTOC > MALIGCONG
Take the only direct to Bontoc bus line from Cubao via Coda Lines. They don’t have their own terminal, but they use the HM Bus Transport terminal in Cubao [GPS MAP: 14.623385, 121.048931]. Bus departs once daily every nine in the evening, with exceptions if there are lots of passengers. To ensure seats, you may book your trip online via Biyaheroes.com.
Address: HM Bus Line Terminal, Monte de Piedad cor. Edsa, Quezon City
Contact Number: (0927) 559-2197 | (0929) 521-3229
Departure: Once Daily at 9:00PM Manila | Arrival: 7:00AM Bontoc
Fare: PHP685.00 | Trip Duration: 10 Hours +/-
BANAUE BONTOC ROUTE
MANILA > BANAUE > BONTOC > MALIGCONG
Ride an Ohayami Trans Bus from Sampaloc, Manila. Ohayami has trips thrice daily. From Banaue, ride a van going to Bontoc for about PHP120.00.
Address: Fajardo St., cor. Lacson Ave., Sampaloc, Manila
Contact Number: (0927) 649-3055 | (02) 5160501
Departure: Thrice Daily at 9:00PM, 10:00PM and 10:15PM | Arrival: 6:00AM, 7:00AM, 7:15AM Banaue
Fare: PHP450.00 | Trip Duration: 9 Hours
BAGUIO BONTOC ROUTE
MANILA > BAGUIO > BONTOC > MALIGCONG
Take any bus bound for Baguio City via bus transports located here at my Baguio Travel Guide. From Baguio, hail a cab to bring you to the Slaughterhouse Terminal, fare is about PHP55.00, then take the regular non-airconditioned buses heading for Bontoc.
BONTOC TO MALIGCONG JEEP FARE & SCHEDULE
The Bontoc-Maligcong jeepney terminal is usually located near Bontoc Poblacion’s market area. Sometimes, they change it somewhere nearby during market days where stalls occupy the whole street. Ask around if that’s the case. You may walk from the Coda Lines bus terminal or the Baguio to Bontoc terminal or take a tricycle for only PHP9.00 per passenger.
Address: Bontoc Public Market
Departure: Four times daily at 7:45AM, 8:45AM, 2:00PM, 4:00PM
Fare: PHP20.00 to PHP25.00 | Trip Duration: 30 Minutes
STAYING CONNECTED IN MALIGCONG
|A RAINBOW AT THE MALIGCONG RICE TERRACES|
Sun and Smart signals are weak to almost non-existent in Maligcong, although there are certain places where you can get a signal, like at the Maligcong Viewpoint. If you’re planning to stay connected, you may opt to buy a prepaid Globe simcard, load it and enroll it to their Internet plans at Bontoc’s Poblacion before heading up to Maligcong.
GETTING AROUND MALIGCONG
|HIKING IN MALIGCONG|
The only regular public transportation in Maligcong is the jeepney plying the Bontoc-Maligcong road. It starts from Bontoc, passing Terraces View Guest Haus, Suzette’s and Vilma’s homestays before terminating at the trail leading to the Maligcong Rice Terraces. From there, it goes back down the road, then turns left to the Maligcong Elementary School where it would wait for passengers going back down to Bontoc. These jeepneys only pass on certain times of the day, if you need to go in between their hours, there are habal-habal motorbikes, that can fetch you from where you’re staying (just ask your host). Rates for these are set at PHP150.00.
WHAT TO DO IN MALIGCONG
|THE MALIGCONG RICE TERRACES|
The usual tourist spots travelers go to when visiting Maligcong is Mount Kupapey, Mount Fato, the Maligcong Rice Terraces and the long trek to Mainit for their natural hot springs. The hike to Mount Kupapey is usually at sunrise and takes about forty five minutes, one way, through concrete stairs and uphill dirt trails. Mount Fato, on the other hand, is usually hiked during sunsets. The trek is slightly more challenging but takes about the same time as Kupapey. For the Maligcong Rice Terraces, the trail starts at the end of sitio Favuyan’s road and peaks at the Maligcong Elementary School. From there, you can go back the way you came, or you can go through the village of Fang-arao, then back to the road going up to where the homestays are. There are a few other peaks one can climb, like Mount Matuon and the Chaga-Chag Viewpoint, but it isn’t as popular as the first two. Guides are needed for Mount Fato and Kupapey. They’re usually referred by homestay hosts.
MALIGCONG GUIDE RATES
Mount Fato: PHP500.00 for four persons, additonal PHP100.00 for additional head
Mount Kupapey: PHP300.00 for four persons
Maligcong Rice Terraces: Not required, but if you ask for one, PHP200.00 for four persons
Mainit Hot Springs Hike: PHP1,200.00 for four persons
WHERE TO EAT IN MALIGCONG
|HOMESTAYS ARE THE ONLY OPTIONS FOR FOOD IN MALIGCONG|
There are no restaurants nor carinderia eateries in Maligcong. Homestays offer food at around PHP120.00 per meal, but one can also opt to bring their own, cook them (or have your host cook it for you) for a minimal fee. Beers are also available, San Mig Light, Pale Pilsen and Red Horse Beer on the lone sari-sari store at sitio Favuyan (about two minutes away from Vilma’s and Suzette’s Homestay).
ACCOMMODATIONS IN MALIGCONG
|SUZETTE’S DOUBLE DECK ROOM|
There are currently no hotels in Maligcong. What they have are simple homestays, four of them at the moment. All four are set along the termination of Maligcong Road with rates usually at PHP350.00 per night per person. Some rooms have private toilet and bath but most are set with shared comfort rooms. Advanced booking are possible by texting these homestays ahead of time.
CHEN’S SAC-YAAN HOME
Contact Number: (0920) 793-9550 | GPS Coordinates Map: 17.122526, 120.975839 | Facebook
SUZETTE’S MALIGCONG HOMESTAY
Contact Number: (0915) 546-3557 | GPS Coordinates Map: 17.124055, 120.975103 | Facebook
Contact Number: (0905) 701-1448 | GPS Coordinates Map: 17.123063, 120.975349 | Facebook
ROWENA’S TERRACES VIEW GUEST HAUS
Contact Number: (0915) 188-1732 | GPS Coordinates Map: 17.122361, 120.974380
MALIGCONG TRAVEL ITINERARY & BUDGET GUIDE
Two days is the absolute minimum in exploring Maligcong. You depart from Manila at night, arrive in Bontoc in the morning, check in at your chosen homestay, then explore the rice terraces. That same afternoon, you then go up to Mount Fato for the sunset, then Mount Kupapey the next day for the sunrise. It is a pretty quick and fulfilling itinerary that’s good for weekend backpackers and travelers wanting to extend their Ifugao, Baguio and Sagada trip. But the best way to enjoy Maligcong is to stay several days and do these activities on a leisurely pace. Maligcong, after all, is an excellent place simply chill out and do nothing.
DAY 0 | PHP 685.00
- Depart from Manila to Bontoc
PHP685.00 – CODA LINES BUS FROM CUBAO TO BONTOC’S POBLACION
DAY 1 | PHP835.00
- Arrive in Bontoc at 7:00AM
- Go to Bontoc Public Market
PHP9.00 – TRICYLE RIDE
- Breakfast at Bontoc Public Market
PHP60.00 – CARINDERIA MEAL
- Depart to Maligcong
PHP 20.00 – JEEPNEY RIDE TO MALIGCONG
- Arrive and Check in at Homestay
PHP 350.00 – MALIGCONG HOMESTAY RATE PER NIGHT
- Traverse Maligcong Rice Terraces
- Lunch at Homestay
PHP120.00 – SET MEAL COOKED BY HOST
- Hike to Mount Fato at Sunset
PHP75.00 – PHP300.00 GUIDE FEE DIVIDED INTO FOUR PERSONS
- Dinner at Homestay
PHP120.00 – SET MEAL COOKED BY HOST
DAY 2 | PHP1,010.00
- Sunrise Hike to Mount Kupapey
PHP125.00 – PHP500.00 GUIDE FEE DIVIDED INTO FOUR PERSONS
- Breakfast at Homestay
PHP120.00 – SET MEAL COOKED BY HOST
- Depart for Manila
PHP20.00 – JEEP FROM MALIGCONG TO BONTOC
PHP60.00 – CARINDERIA MEAL IN BONTOC
PHP685.00 – CODA BUS FROM BONTOC TO MANILA
● Total Travel Expenses for two days around Maligcong: 2,530.00 for one person
MALIGCONG TRAVEL GUIDE AND ITINERARY
UPDATED FEBRUARY 5, 2017