We were supposed to visit Balbalasan National Park in Kalinga when inclement weather and landslides blocked our path. We needed to find another route around the mountains to reach our desired destination of Cagayan Valley to the East. Upon the suggestion of the locals, they suggested we check the road via Kadaklan & Paracelis as an alternate route. A new and unknown route is always a welcome prospect in our eyes and we easily oblige.
Along the route, we passed a small town called Barlig and this is what we witnessed :
A quaint town seemingly frozen in time. No internet and no phone signal. Only 2 rest-houses for visitors and 1 restaurant that we can see. There are a lot of terraces in the Cordilleras but Barlig stood out from the rest. All along the edges of the rice fields were large sections of pristine pine forests that have stood there for generations. I found out from the locals that there are Philippine Oak trees that flourish here and I saw the acorns to prove it.
The air seemed cleaner and cooler than the other areas. No pesticides are used and they grow their own variety of rice called Chor Chor Os. They deal with pests like birds and rodents by having the kids use slingshots. Their population is stable and it hovers around 4,000 people at any one time. This is one reason why they live sustainably and take only what they need from the environment around them. A strong tribal foundation has allowed Barlig to stay the same and resist all out development.