26-Dec-2005 -- 26-December-2005 – The day after Christmas, Santah & I decided to make a grand tour around northern Luzon, a 1,500 kilometers journey for three days and also planned to visit three confluences along the eastern side of northern Luzon. We left our home in Pasig, MetroManila in the early morning Monday and reached the small town of San Jose at 6:30 AM where we took our breakfast before the 1st confluence target: 16°N 121°E in Carranglan. With the help of Google Earth photo, I knew that there is a rough road about 1 kilometer away from the confluence. The challenge was to look for the intersection of this rugged road along the paved road to Carranglan.
Asking directions were mostly frustrating because the usual question from them is “Where are you going?” and there is no point explaining about longitude and latitude to these farmhands. So the best way to get information was to find the potential road intersection and to ask, “How far does this road go in that direction?” If the answer is longer than the potential distance of the confluence, then it is worthwhile to try that road & repeat the process as you go nearer the destination. This is a proven technique.
We reached Digdig town and from here we followed the paved road to Carranglan and somewhere halfway before the next town, and by asking the right questions as explained earlier, we picked this intersection at N15° 57’ 35.4” E121° 01’ 46.7” and followed the trail for about 5 ½ kilometers inland of rugged terrain. Seeing all those mountain ranges all around in the middle of nowhere gave us the exhilarating experience, an added bonus to the thrills of confluence hunting. We stopped at a house along the road where GPS pointer was perpendicular to the road pointing to the direction of the confluence in the small hills. We parked the pickup car and started the hike.
We have crossed a hill, a rice field, a small creek and the thorny shrubs before seeing a farmer harvesting camote root crop. Victor Soltero, an 84 year-old migrant from Benguet and of Igorot roots told us that when they settled in this area in 1970s, they were the firsts. We had enough wounds from the thorns and so we asked him to guide us the last 300 meters and back to the parked vehicle.
We reached 16°N 121°E on the side of the hill at about 10:00 AM. The confluence is in Sitio Calo, Barangay Bunga, in Carranglan Town of Nueva Ecija.
Going back was longer but easier with the help of the native old man as guide. We left the area at around 11:02 AM tired but happy of the success.
The journey will continue to the next confluence target: 17°N 122°E.