For more than two and a half years I stayed in the mountains of Luba and Tubo, two neighboring towns of Abra Province, part of Cordillera Administrative Region in the Philippines. The purpose is to preach to people about the message of the Bible or what we call “good news of God’s Kingdom”. (Matthew 24:14) As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, we make our earnest efforts to reach far-flung regions in order to preach this good news and help people there whatever their religion is in any way we can. I started my journey in the mountains back in the 2012. The experiences and lessons I got there are really precious. It was one of the best things happened in my life. To begin with, I will narrate how you can get to Luba and Tubo.

Going to Luba and Tubo

https://www.google.com.ph/maps/place/Luba,+Abra/@17.3234532,120.5544778,11z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x338e381203d5ce6d:0xb8c08105c7c71ceb!8m2!3d17.3141801!4d120.6890055
LUBA, ABRA – Image Credit: Google Maps
tubo
TUBO, ABRA – Image Credit: Google Maps

When you are traveling from Manila, it would take you a day or two in getting to Luba or Tubo, Abra depending on the weather and the road. If it is dry season, it would usually take 11 to 13 hours to get there or a little sooner if you have your own car, or better yet, a motorcycle.

10644914_854158321261712_2552199842801938788_n
This is how it looks like when you travel going to Luba during the wet season.
10671393_854158901261654_8388995814070447451_n
Prepare to get dirty during the ride

When the road is dry, you can get there usually by a 4×4 passenger jeepney riding on its “topload”.

603196_547945558549658_489642906_n
A common 4 x 4 passenger jeepney. You usually ride on top to get to the mountains.
417435_244053419048598_93771331_n
During the ride, you get to see God’s beautiful creations along the way
418086_547978298546384_983671311_n
A passenger jeepney usually crosses small rivers
184517_547945325216348_2075096961_n
For larger rivers, they would usually transfer the jeepney by a barge
1231487_429453817175223_1763097829_n
A selfie of myself taken while on the topload of a jeepney

One of the best experiences, however, is to travel by foot going to remote barangay or when there is no available transportation other than walking. It usually happens during the rainy season when the road is too muddy or there were soil eruptions that even a motorcycle can no longer pass by.

526627_244052495715357_1175231367_n
Time to travel by foot

Along the way, you feel closer to nature. When you have reached the summit, you would feel as if you are on top of the world. Here are some of the most memorable experiences we had during our stay in Abra, together with our friends and my cousin.

1774_547951935215687_1818143094_n
Sunflowers usually grow from October to February
582293_547947151882832_1813830966_n
A common scene while walking to get to another barangay
318033_547951885215692_94207518_n
This picture was taken in the twilight of one of our whole day preaching activities
396351_282404461880160_2032831073_n
Along the way, you’ll see some children swimming in the river. This would make you feel like joining them.
392301_244052942381979_1397356820_n
This is what you usually see when you reach a precipice of a mountain. (Brgy. Supo, Tubo, Abra)
400216_282406888546584_480577788_n
Taken from one of the remotest parts of Tubo
1901865_745358592141686_348161605_n
Having a severe fear of heights, descending from a mountain is one of the most challenging experiences I had.
10885093_913095425368001_6315860991716387150_n
Ascending is another thing. But it improves your stamina.
178995_282406625213277_307611052_n
Going to the farthest parts of Tubo would take us at least 3 days before we could return to our base
311108_282403991880207_379831614_n
Since you have a long journey ahead, you need to prepare some packed lunch or “baon”.
215665_547996151877932_1066376992_n
It felt like we’re always on a picnic
284543_547996035211277_32825529_n
Eating our baon the “cowboy style”. We usually use banana leaves or trunks (as seen on this picture) as our plates.
3822_547971165213764_223307141_n
The most beautiful creations you get to know there are the people themselves. Tingguian people are one of the most generous and hospitable tribes in the Philippines. It’s always a great privilege preaching to them.
fish
Whenever there is a typhoon, the river rises and it’s easier for the people there to fish using their “ASA” (images 1 and 2 above). These fish (images 3 and 4) were given to us by our neighbors during one of the typhoons back in 2013.
268548_547990265211854_486973765_n
How about some sort of exotic foods? Frogs! Anyone?
307540_547951431882404_854598633_n
At times, we need to cross some rivers.
72146_282404108546862_1301346934_n
It’s either you walk into the waters…
63608_547954585215422_1640375767_n
or by a footbridge.
1898197_913080055369538_6119176012853076349_n
My cousin
533956_282405125213427_1038824158_n
Would you dare?
553987_282405958546677_1237419767_n
Exciting?
311123_282405911880015_501764527_n
There are hanging bridges we need to be very careful of when crossing
1503390_1522994114650937_3811018818376144272_n
One good way to cross the river is by riding on a “balsa”
602846_547995721877975_1909048140_n
The feeling when you reach the summit
600901_373630512757554_318505915_n
Together with some brothers and sisters from different congregations

The “Sidequests”

The following photos are some of the most memorable “sidequests” we had during our stay in Abra.

530607_282408985213041_1458706267_n
The “Kili Hot Spring”, Kili, Tubo, Abra
557583_282407041879902_1219657454_n
“Medyo masungit dahil sa init” Background is the river connecting the Kili Hot Spring and Kili Falls.
575953_244053172381956_2053117212_n
Along the way, we have different companions. This time, it’s a horse!
1229838_436003886520216_1155552404_n
While resting after lunch in one of the residents’ house, I took this picture of a cute puppy.
581763_457835787670359_889536711_n
The “Waiting Shed Girl”. Coming from a long day walk, you need to rest for while on a waiting shed. Too bad, this friend of mine didn’t notice I was taking a picture of her.
10686859_1522992287984453_1069028918949995483_n
I will never forget this moment on one of the mountain’s summit in my last journey to Tubo
11899801_1013658001991356_6074996307877843251_n
Leo – my former partner in Abra. I usually call him “bro”.

Perhaps there will be another time for me to visit these territories. I really miss the people there both the brothers and sisters in my former congregation in Agumanay and the people of Tubo. I give credits also to all who volunteered during our stay.

In preaching the good news, we really need to sacrifice like what Jesus Christ did when he was on earth. Preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom was his priority. While we’re living during these turbulent times hard to deal with, we can find lasting happiness by doing noble things for others. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we’re doing this out of love for people and for our God Jehovah. For more information about our beliefs, please visit www.jw.org.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “What It’s Like to Preach in the Mountains of Abra?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s