What It’s Like to Preach in the Mountains of Abra?

What It’s Like to Preach in the Mountains of Abra?

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 2012. The experiences and lessons I got there are really precious. Living there 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

LUBA, ABRA – Image Credit: Google Maps
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.

This is how it looks like when you travel going to Luba during the wet season.
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”.

A common 4 x 4 passenger jeepney. You usually ride on top to get to the mountains.
During the ride, you get to see God’s beautiful creations along the way
A passenger jeepney usually crosses small rivers
For larger rivers, they usually transfer jeepneys by barge
A selfie taken while on top of a jeepney

One of the best experiences, however, is to travel by foot going to remote barangays 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.

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.

Sunflowers usually grow from October to February
A common scene while walking to get to another barangay
This picture was taken in the twilight of one of our whole day preaching activities
Along the way, you’ll see some children swimming in the river. This would make you feel like joining them.
This is what you usually see when you reach a precipice of a mountain. (Brgy. Supo, Tubo, Abra)
Taken from one of the remotest parts of Tubo
Having a severe fear of heights, descending from a mountain is one of the most challenging experiences I had
Ascending is another thing. But it improves your stamina
Going to the farthest parts of Tubo would take us at least 3 days before we could return to our base
Since you have a long journey ahead, you need to prepare some packed lunch or “baon”
It felt like we’re always having picnics
Eating our baon the “cowboy style”. We usually use banana leaves or trunks (as seen on this picture) as our plates
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
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
How about some sort of exotic foods? Frogs! Anyone?
At times, we need to cross some rivers
It’s either you walk into the waters…
or by a footbridge
My cousin
Would you dare?
There are hanging bridges we need to be very careful of when crossing
One good way to cross the river is by riding on a “balsa”
The feeling when you reach the summit
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.

“Kili Hot Spring”, Kili, Tubo, Abra
“Medyo masungit dahil sa init”. Background is the river connecting the Kili Hot Spring and Kili Falls
Along the way, we have different companions. This time, it’s a horse!
While resting after lunch in one of the residents’ house, I took this picture of a cute puppy
The “Waiting Shed Girl”. Coming from a long day walk, you need to rest for while under a waiting shed. Too bad, this friend of mine didn’t notice I was taking a picture of her
I will never forget this moment on one of the mountains’ summit
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.


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