Journey To Buscalan : The Kids of Buscalan

After getting inked by one of the youngest mambabatok (Check : Journey to Buscalan – Inked by The Youngest Mambabatok), Mr Atong Laguiao guided us all to Whang Od’s house but we were greeted by an overwhelming crowd. We were welcomed with a long queue of tourists out there so instead of waiting for our turn, we decided to start the outreach program for the kids of Buscalan. It is our main purpose after all.
Located somewhere in the village is a small Buscalan Elementary School which is composed of only two rooms. Each room is filled with old wooden chairs, desks and old blackboards and is spacious enough to accommodate at least 20 to 25 students.
For a small village with a population of over 700 with 134 households, I personally think that the school is good enough but the facilities should be improved. Outside the school is a basketball court and a stage.
We set all our things outside. We brought school supplies and some foods and drinks to share. This outreach program was organized by a non-profit group called Yabang Outdoors lead by Mr Khalidberry Finn. It’s a Cavite-based travel group and I was introduced to them by a common friend. Most of their tours were done for a great cause and that includes my very first “Hike for a Cause” experience in “Mt Talamitam” in Batangas (Check: My Very First Hike – Mt Talamitam).
Meeting Whang-Od is truly a great experience but helping these kids and seeing their lovely smiles is even more rewarding. All the kids of Buscalan were called and we were assisted by some elders.
IMG_4059ttFor a small village with limited educational resources, i imagine how hard for these kids to get the kind of quality education they truly deserve.  They do not have a library and they don’t have enough textbooks either. You cannot even spot a store for them to buy their schooling needs. Once these kids graduated from Elementary, they need to bear with long and tiring travel just to reach the nearest highschool. Interestingly, I spoke with one of Mr Laguiao’s sons (the one in blue hoodie from the image above) and told me how he managed to get into high school.

He was studying in Bontoc, Mountain Province and was lucky enough to be part of a scholarship program. According to him, he stays in Bontoc for the whole school year along with other high school students like him. They all stay in a boarding house sponsored by their grantors and they also receive monthly allowance from them. He will only get the chance to go back home during summer vacation.   It must be a tough journey for him indeed but also an inspiring one. While most of us are complaining about little things we failed to get, here’s a student like him striving hard just to complete his education.
IMG_4061tSo if ever you try to visit Buscalan, please offer some help and provide some useful educational resources if possible. Notebooks, textbooks, pens and others will be a big help for these kids!
Mr Atong Laguiao was also there to assist us
There was actually another group who will organize another outreach program after us so we really had a short time to finish our activities.
Some kids offered us some music too!
And we had some games for them too. It felt so amazing to see them all smiling and having fun!
If you get a chance too, you can buy any of these wood carved souvenirs. They are quite pricey though but reasonable. Buscalan, after all is not as accessible as Baguio.
The Yabang Outdoors. To check more of their events, feel free to follow them on their Facebook Groups at YABANG OUTDOOR.

Things You Should Know About Buscalan

► Buscalan is one of the 20 Barangays of Tinglayan
► The home of Whang Od and the Butbut tribe
► The village is not accessible by any vehicles (a trekking is required)
► As of 2015 Census, Buscalan has 703 Population with 134 household
► Tour Guide rate ranges from Php1000 per group of five
► Homestay rate ranges from Php300 per person per night
► Tour Guide is highly encouraged as they are the one who can accommodate your schedule with Whang Od.
► Tour guides can also guide you to nearby waterfalls and hot springs
► There is a power supply in the village but weak to zero communication signal
► There’s a school and also a basketball court
► There’s also a chapel nearby
► Take note that there is also a Tourism fee of Php 75

After the outreach program, we went back to Whang Od’s house and finally get a chance to interact with the living legend. Whang-od will mark her signature in our tattoo. More about Whang-Od on my next #JourneyToBuscalan entry.

For the mean time, feel free to watch this video summary

Also follow me in my social media accounts for more updates

Facebook : It’s Me Bluedreamer!
Instagram :  @bluedreamer1227
Twitter : @bluedreamer_27

18 thoughts on “Journey To Buscalan : The Kids of Buscalan

  • April 5, 2018 at 3:57 am

    I’ve been around the Cordillera region, sadly not yet in Buscalan. It was in our itinerary but due to weather we had to cancel. Your journey however, was really interesting! I can only imagine the hardships of those little ones but through outreach programs which you took part in, you guys brought smiles and hopes to their little hearts. I really hope to do the same in the future. And probably consider having a tattoo!

  • October 5, 2021 at 2:08 am

    Wow, what an opportunity to help these people out. I can’t imagine not having access to education like this. It reminds me of how blessed we truly are.

  • October 5, 2021 at 6:31 am

    The children of Buscalan seems so happy. Glad that you even organize some games for them.

  • October 5, 2021 at 7:17 am

    It is wonderful that you are able to multi-purpose your travel – help in a meaningful and *impactful* way yet also see an amazing location that is so remote there is no vehicular traffic allowed. What a blessing!

  • October 5, 2021 at 7:18 am

    I know most kids take education for granted. I hope more people will help them.

  • October 5, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Wow what an incredible opportunity to connect with such a rural community. It’s a good reminder to us all about how privileged we all are.

  • October 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    The kids are adorable! Thanks for bringing smiles to them

  • October 5, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    This is an incredible act of service. Thanks you for bringing good, smiles and supplies to the community

  • October 5, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    This is exactly the sort of thing that people need to be aware of when they want to make a difference for children!

  • October 5, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Those children are so cute and eager to learn. Thanks for opening our eyes to their conditions and needs.

  • October 5, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    It is sad to see that the kids don’t have enough textbooks and school supplies. Such a nice service that your group was able to bring things to them. It looks like they really appreciated it!

  • October 5, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Busclalan looks absolutely beautiful! And I love so much that you helped the community while you were there. Providing those kids with textbooks and schools supplies is a beautiful thing <3

  • October 6, 2021 at 1:38 am

    What a great program. Keep up the amazing work and helping these kids! Truly a blessing for them.

  • October 6, 2021 at 6:10 am

    This is one of the places I would like to visit one day. It feels like a different world, and you are so lucky to experience it.
    Those kids need more support. Maybe one or tens of them will become the leader of their community.

  • October 6, 2021 at 7:04 am

    You do wonderful work . Having such work makes the world a much nicer place.

  • October 6, 2021 at 10:58 am

    LOVE this. I like how you have travelled with purpose making your trip adventure but also meaningful and helping others x

  • October 6, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    I haven’t heard of Buscalan before – so thanks for this information. Also, I admire you for giving so much meaning to your travels.

  • October 7, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Nnnnniiiicccceeeeee….I love kids and working with them on such projects. If I ever visit, I should check them out. Thanks for sharing about them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *