TIRAD PASS (by hand) – So this is it; the place where the “Battle above the Clouds” was fought; where the ‘Boy General’, Gregorio del Pilar, and his sixty men staked their lives for freedom. One cannot help but feel that this is a walk through history, more than a major climb.
The winds are coastal and fierce; it reaches us from South China Sea, which we can see beyond the towns of Ilocos Sur (W). Meanwhile, del Pilar’s statue is immovable.
The Tirad Pass trail – a traverse trail from Gregorio del Pilar to Quirino – is actually a very nice, well-maintained trail, perhaps one of the oldest trails in the Philippines, and still being used by the locals. The jeepney ride to GDP from Candon yesterday was exhilirating; we had the cross the river more than a dozen times! And that, amid a Manalmon-like background.
We spent the night just above the del Pilar’s shrine; although the elevation of 900m is no reason to wear a jacket, the fierce winds were chilling.
Today, we will follow this trail onwards to Quirino where there is a town fiesta; but alas we will have to turn back to GDP because there’s only three of us and chartering a jeep will cost a fortune. Oh, if only there was time we could go onwards to Besao then Sagada.
But I am very glad I’ve finally reached Tirad Pass. I will blog about this later..
This note was written from a piece of paper from the registration logbook at Tirad Pass National Shrine on Dec. 7, 2008.