Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Talaingod-Valencia Road Trip

After reading in Facebook posts that the Talaingod-Valencia road is now easily passable compared to years ago, my husband and I decided to embark on a road trip one fine day. Here is an account of that trip in photos.

If you read on, you will have an idea what's it like to cross this huge mountain range, what to expect along the way, how long will the trip take and what to see. It would be like taking the road trip with us. According to some Facebook accounts, it took the people who passed through only 2 1/2 hours to reach Valencia City in Bukidnon. I cannot say the same for us as we would get down and take photos from time to time especially along the picturesque Talaingod route.

The descriptions of the photos come before them.
This was our route. Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Valencia City, Bukidnon. Talaingod is in between Kapalong and San Fernando town. We left home at 6:20a.m. It's 45 km. from Tagum to Talaingod.

Source: Google Maps
When we got to Talaingod, we saw a Bachelor bus plying the route. It says "Talaingod via Kapalong." We lost track of it so we didn't know whether it went back or also went ahead to Valencia. Someone we asked along the way said it did.

We got to this point at 7:11a.m.

The road to Talaingod town from Kapalong is cemented all the way.

This is the junction where the road to the right leads to the Municipal Hall of Talaingod and the one on the left is the one that goes to Valencia.

That mountain side on the right is prone to landslides.

Pretty much of the way was already cemented. It was probably just completed as the roads looked new.
This is a common sight along the way: shanties of people who live in Talaingod many of them indigenous people. [I thought of how the politicians keep bickering in Manila when there are a lot of people in the countryside who need their help especially with their basic needs like housing. You-know-who probably didn't get to this far to see more of the "laylayan ng lipunan!"]

We stopped by this area to take a photo of the place. This is the highest point which is around 970 meters in altitude.

The view from the highest point of the mountain range we crossed was simply breathtaking.

After that place we came across a bit of rough road. The guy we talked to said there are some that we will encounter along the way. He couldn't estimate the number of kilometers as they are not one long unpaved road but are broken down into several meters in between paved roads.

This was probably the best view along the way where we stopped to take photos.

As of December 7, 2016 when we passed there, this was the condition of the roads which haven't been cemented yet. But the good thing is there are people who are there to work on the roads.

It was around 9:29a.m. when we reached the boundary between Davao del Norte and Bukidnon where the 1st Engineering District of Bukidnon starts. It was only around 69 kms. from Tagum. Remember, we made several stops along the way since we left Tagum so it took us three hours to get to the boundary. Besides the roads were mostly zigzag and not straight ones so drivers should really be very careful in traversing those roads.

The boundary is already the town of San Fernando. Sad to say, this is where the terrible unpaved roads are. Most of those along the rice fields are still uncemented. [Top 2 photos] The 2 photos below show how dangerous it is to pass through a one-way road when construction is going on. The road goes down after that area where the dump truck is being loaded with soil. We had to wait for it to position itself properly on the road before we passed by as there was no shoulder on the road.

This is part of the town of San Fernando. It's sad to see how some of its barangays have really bad roads. I could just imagine how difficult it must be for the people there when it rains.

By the time we reached that town marker on the lower right corner, it was already 10:54a.m.

After San Fernando, it wasn't long when this bridge came in view. We took the newer bridge on the right (upper right hand photo) instead of the old one (lower left photo). With this one we came out of the corner where a Jollibee is located. Perhaps if we took the old bridge we would go out of the road which has also another Jollibee which is the older one opposite the highway. It was already 11:14a.m. By then we have already traveled 158 kms. from Tagum.

Upon reaching the corner, we took a right going to our destination. That way is going to Cagayan de Oro City while the way to the left is the one going to Davao City.

So, all in all, it took us around five hours to traverse the Talaingod route from Tagum City to Valencia City. But perhaps if the roads were all paved and the terrible rough roads of San Fernando town be fixed as soon as possible and if there were no stopovers along the way, it would be a smooth ride lesser than five hours, depending on the speed of the vehicle. Perhaps the two hours and a half people were saying it took them would be true in this case.

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