Banguitan, Besao, Mt. Province

Barangay Banguitan

Banguitan is one of the barangays of the town of Besao in Mt. Province. It's a 20-minute ride away from Kin-iway, the town's poblacion. If you are to walk the distance, it can take about one hour. In the Kin-iway to Banguitan route, you will pass through two other Besao barangays, Payeo and Besao Proper. It's very hard to get lost along the way as you will only be following a single road. Along the way, you will go through two intersections. At the first intersection, you should go right. In the second intersection however, you need to follow the left road that winds up a mountain slope and gets you to Banguitan.

Location

Banguitan is situated in the middle of a mountain slope, surrounded by pine forests in the north, farms and rice fields in the west and south, and pine forests and farms in the east. It's a sleepy little village composed of more or less 100 households. It's a peaceful and tight-knit community. Residents of the barangay are commonly referred to as Ikaagitan. They also call their barangay Kaagitan. The term Banguitan is a Westernized or shall we say Christianized version of the term “Kaagitan”. Some believe that the name of the place came from the root word “kaag” which translates to “monkey” in English.

Right below the barangay is Kitkitaw-eng Falls. The waterfall is invisible during the dry season. During the rainy season, the falling water can be seen and is best viewed if you are in the barangays of Kin-iway and Payeo. The waterfall drops hundreds of feet from the top to the bottom of the mountain where it meets a small river. No one is sure as to how the waterfall got its name of Kitkitaw-eng.

Source

Banguitan is a community of mostly farmers. The barangay is surrounded by rice fields and farms. The main crop is rice. Some of the residents make their living as gardeners and laborers. Some also work as professionals in both public and private institutions in and around the town of Besao.

There's a road leading to Banguitan so it's accessible by vehicles. As was stated earlier, travel time from Kin-iway to Banguitan can take 20 to 30 minutes. Some parts of the road are unpaved and bumpy so if you are going to drive up there, make sure that you are driving the right vehicle.

Banguitan has its own Day Care Center, a public elementary school, a high school and a barangay center. The community is governed by a barangay council headed by a barangay captain.

Igorot cultural and traditional practices are still very strong in the community. Wedding celebrations and other festive events are often accompanied by dancing to the sound of the gongs and drums. Other traditional practices include the senga, obaya, daw-es, and ngilin. Several dap-ays are also scattered throughout the barangay. A dap-ay is like a community center, a meeting place where old folks often congregate to talk or perform certain rituals.

Reaching Banguitan from the Philippine capital of Manila can take about two days by bus. One day to reach Baguio City then another day from Baguio City to Banguitan.

Banguitan is just a few kilometers away from the tourist town of Sagada

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