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Besides from the amazing city of Baguio, have you ever visited any places in the province of Benguet? If you said yes, I know you added a very special memory in your life but if you said no, then you are definitely missing out.
All my life, I never left my Beloved province of Benguet as it also never left me.
I was born in Benguet. I had my first walk in Benguet. I had my first words in Benguet. I had my first relationship in Benguet. I finished my studies in Benguet. I had my first job in Benguet and last but not the least; I would definitely die in Benguet.
Growing in a very wonderful neighborhood made my life so much easier. I was not able to experience so many hardships in my life – at least when I was still a kid. I was able to build good relationships with people. I had a lot of friends that really stood by me until this very moment. I was given a family that never left my side and most specially, I was blessed with a wonderful home, with a wonderful province of Benguet.
If you will ask me, I would still choose to live in Benguet over other places. There just something in here that makes me so comfortable. It gives me a peace of mind and definitely gives me a sense of freedom.
Above are few of my reasons why I would stand by Benguet until the end of time. You may not relate as much as I do since you have not experience these things first hand but I would try to check you in the things that might interest you to come and visit my Beloved province of Benguet.
Have you ever tried the infamous “pinikpikan”? Have you ever tried “itag”? or ever tried “pinuneg”? These food names may not sound fancy nor delicious as you may think but these delicacies are to die for. Take it from me!
Pinikpikan is derived from the Ilocano word “pikpik” which mean to hit repeatedly. The process of preparing pinikpikan is a bit drastic. You literally have to hit a live chicken repeatedly until it passed out and eventually die. This is done because it said to bruise the chicken flesh, bringing blood to its surface which will improve its taste. Then the chicken will be “defeathered” and burned to completely clean the outside of the chicken. After chopping the chicken into smaller cuts, it would now be ready for cooking.
This delicacy is mostly prepared during pig sacrifice ceremonies that include weddings and deaths. This food is originated from my people, the Igorots. This is made from pig’s blood or sometimes with cow or carabao’s blood, grinded pork fat, salt, onions, garlic, and ginger. All of these would be mixed together and stuffed into a casing made of the pig’s intestine. For visualization purposes, it looks like sausages or “longganisa” but much bigger in size.
Etag is piece of meat salted and cured. It is air-dried for some time. This food has a foul smell but tastes absolutely amazing. Etag is actually mixed with pinikpikan to make a bracing canao ritual food.
It is also a piece of meat the has been salted and cured just like etag. The only difference is that kinuday is smoked and not air-dried.
The above mentioned food are all savory and does need rice. But those are not the only food Benguet has to offer. We also have some desserts for people with a sweet tooth. Some of them are the following:
This has been one of the greatest assets of the province of Benguet. It is 3 kilometer away from Baguio and is located at Baguio-La Trinidad Road. A lot of fun activities can be done here and the most popular one is the strawberry picking. It is a a bit pricy but its totally worth it.
This spot is also located at Baguio-La Trinidad Road. This beautiful scenery will give you instagram-worthy pictures. This amazing place covers three sitios –Botiwtiw, Stone Hill, and Sadjap. The valley of colors is just like a kaleidoscope mix of colors.
This has been included in my previous article but this place is just too beautiful that I have to put it again in here. This church is a very important cultural and religious place for the Chinese community in Benguet. It is a must to visit because of its one of a kind architectural design.
Just a few kilometers above Atok, you will be able to find this wonderful creation. This town, according to statistics, produces 70% of the vegetables distributed in the island of Luzon that sometimes even reaches the island of Mindanao.
The tourist spots below are my runner ups that still needs to be recognized.
I would not put anything in here as I have already written an article about it. But this is also a major reason why the province of Benguest is so much loved. Just check here: Igorot: My Native People.
I am not sure if I missed something important about my Beloved province of Benguet. But there is one thing I am sure of, Benguet will not disappoint you.