Our last Adventure article introduced a visual treat — touring Central Luzon in a flying soda can. We continue our aerial Backyard Tour. An emergency airstrip, and a mysterious lake.
East of Lingayen Gulf are the Cordilleras, and the Cordillera Autonomous Region. Baguio, Sagada, and Banaue all lie in that direction, as does the highest peak in Luzon, Mt. Pulog.
The Bued river, below, separates Sison from Rosario.
The bridge between the towns is the gateway to Kennon Road, the popular road to the cool mountain retreat of Baguio City. The scenic gorge that Kennon road follows, all the way to the Baguio plateau, is this same Bued river.
When I was a child we went to Baguio twice a year, the Filipino’s equivalent of a vacation in the Swiss Alps 🙂 Crossing this bridge between Rosario and Sison got everyone in the car excited. We pretended that we would be climbing the “Alps”. [More on Baguio in a future article.]
South of Rosario are the twin towns of Villasis and Carmen. Beside Carmen on the big Agno river is Rosales.
Rosales has a serviceable emergency airstrip. Carlo and I always overfly Rosales, on the way to and from Baguio, because it’s a place to land if the engine goes to sleep.
The town is growing, but they keep that airstrip free of structures. Lots of paths criss-cross it. Probably a great biking and kite-flying spot.
Rosales was an American auxiliary airfield in the early days of World War II. Surviving P-40 fighters took refuge here when Clark and Iba airfields were wiped out by attacking Japanese bombers on December 8, 1941.
Lingayen also was an auxiliary field. One P-40 landed there on December 8. The pilot drove all night in a borrowed car to Rosales for fuel. He drove back to Lingayen with drums, and refueled his P-40 by hand.
Then he crashed on takeoff. After all that labor.
He bequeathed his airplane’s machine guns to the local army detachment and went off to find the rest of the war. A couple of weeks later the Japanese landed at Lingayen. Presumably the machine guns were put to some use.
Up in the northeast corner of the Central Luzon plain, in the tri-provinical boundary of Benguet, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija, lies the municipality of Cuyapo. Apolinario Mabini was found and arrested by the Americans here, during the “Philippine insurrection” in December 1899.
Near the municipality is a strange lake, looking like a shallow dish on the ground.
We’ve always wondered what the story of this lake is. Maybe someone will post a comment on it?
Wilfredo Pascual’s fascinating blog, Secret Gospels, Sacred Sites, mentions a cursed mystical lake linked to a tragic story dating back 3 centuries. Perhaps this is Paitan or Libsong, the morass that swallowed an entire Spanish church and town?
Next on the tour — Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Hukbalahap country and every pilot’s top secret method for not getting lost!