Byaheng andap: Do’s and don’ts

Frank Cimatu
Here's a guide to protecting yourself during the freezing weather in the north

FROZEN CABBAGE. Vegetables such as cabbage in Baguio are getting frozen due to the chilly weather, which results to waste. All photos from Facebook/ Madaymen

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – With the temperature in Baguio going down to the lower 10 degrees, it is best for tourists to go further along Halsema Highway and experience the frost tourism.

Frost, known in the local language as “andap,” occurs when the temperature cools past the dew point or when the air gets so cold that water vapor in the atmosphere turns into little bits of ice.

Back then, old Baguio people would say, the grass at Burnham turned to frost. But because of the “concretization” of the city, it has become much warmer. If you want to experience frost in the city, climb Mt. Sto. Tomas but the DENR has closed it to tourists.

To prepare for the andap, however, the Philippine News Agency interviewed Baguio residents on how to prepare for the cold. Here are what they got:

  • A thick jacket is mandatory – or two thinner ones for layering.
  • Socks to keep the feet warm and a beanie or bonnet, as cold seeps on the head and causes a runny nose. Earmuffs would come in handy.
  • A muffler or scarf, and a fleece or light but warm shawl to battle the cold and achieve a stylish OOTD (outfit of the day).
  • Thermal wear – tights, a turtle neck shirt, long sleeves, windproof jackets, thermal gloves, and socks – to help maintain body heat.
  • Lip balm to protect the lips from chapping, and skin or face moisturizer to prevent dryness.
  • A Queen flower balm or the locally produced “aceite alcanforado” or “aceite manzanilla” to manage clogged noses, headache, stomach pain, and rashes resulting from the cold wind and temperature.
  • Vitamin C supplements to boost the immune system and prevent colds and cough.
  • Handy hot pads and travel blankets for children.

And now, your problem is where to go. Your choice is the area near the highest point of the country’s road system (there’s a marker) in Atok, Benguet.

At the highest point, you would sometimes be lucky to experience the sea of clouds. Take time to have a selfie there.

Not all of Atok town is frosted, however. Your best bet is Englandad barangay. You get off at Km. 204 and follow the farm to market road near the Poblacion.

VEGETABLE WEATHER. Photo shows a land of vegetables frozen due to the cold temperature.

You would see the rows of cabbages blanketed with frost. But the window of opportunity is only before sunrise. The coldest part of the day is usually 5 to 5:30 in the morning so try to be there at that time. Englandad is about 22 kilometers from Baguio so try to leave at 4 AM.

But if you want to be in the frostiest part of Benguet, might as well go to Madaymen in Kibungan.

Hire a vehicle or take the buses at the Dangwa terminal. Go down at the Collindeng Junction at the Trader’s Café and then take a ride or hike at the road on the left side. You would reach the municipal branch office and then turn left on the next fork. Proceed until you reach Barangay Madaymen.

It is called Little Alaska for good reason. When the temperature dipped to 10 degrees in Baguio, it was 8 or 7 in Madaymen. There the cabbages are not just sprinkled with frost, it seemed that they were cried over as there were icicles on the side. Even the ground glistened like chocolate icing.

But don’t go trampling excitedly and having your selfies. Remember that the tourist’s gain is the farmer’s loss. Be respectful and buy some veggies along the way. But if you’re in an adventurous mode, try to Mt. Osdung, the 16th highest mountain in the country.

If you stopped at Englandad, you could probably proceed to Mt. Timbak, coming off from Km. 55 in Atok. Mt. Timbak is the 9th highest peak and this is where you find the Kabayan fire mummies. –