Last Updated on August 17, 2021 by Tina
After a month of waiting, we were finally able to hike to Lay-odan Farm in Balili, Mankayan, Benguet last Sunday. I’ve been here before already, but my colleague hasn’t been yet and we wanted to do a long walk again. We were planning on doing this the weekend after our Pilipil Red Soil hike. However, it started raining in the afternoon after our hike, and it went on for more than three weeks. It was only last week that we’ve been seeing the sun again. It only rains late in the afternoon. So last Saturday, my colleague and I agreed to finally go on with our plan of hiking to Lay-odan Farm the .following day.
Since it only rains late in the afternoon, we thought that if we started early then we won’t have a problem. Our plan was to start from our camp in Colalo again and to leave at 7:00 AM. However, I slept late the night before so I asked my colleague if we could leave at 8:00 AM instead. When we were about to leave the camp, our other colleague told us he is going to the town proper (Poblacion). So to compensate for that 1 hour, we decided to ride up to the town proper and to just start our hike from there.
Where is Mankayan?
For those who are new to this blog and haven’t heard of Mankayan before, Mankayan is a first-class municipality in the province of Benguet. It is a mining and agricultural town. It is now being developed as a tourist destination. Some of the things you can do here are paragliding, go on a farm tour at Lay-odan Farm, and hike Prayer Mountain.
Mankayan is located on the north-western tip of Benguet. It is bordered on the west by Bakun, Buguias on the southeast, Tadian and Bauko, Mountain Province on the east, and on the northwest is Cervantes, Ilocos Sur. Benguet is situated within the Cordillera mountains and is dominantly mountainous.
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Why You Should Read This Post
In case you are planning on visiting Mankayan someday and you would like to visit Lay-odan Farm but you will only be commuting because you don’t have a car, then hiking can be an alternative instead of chartering a tricycle to take you there. You’re going to spend Php 600 on that. If you hike, it will be free. Also, you will be rewarded with nice views along the road. Read this post so you know that it is doable.
Why We Hiked From Mankayan Town Proper (Poblacion) to Lay-odan Farm
A month ago, we hiked from our camp to Prayer Mountain (Mt. Gadagad) and back. In my post about that hike, I said that one of the reasons we did it was to prepare for when we visit Sitio Las-igan in Brgy. Cabiten, Mankayan. It is one of the areas covered by our project, and it can only be reached on foot.
Also, I am planning to do something that is 4x more difficult than the Colalo to Prayer Mountain hike. My original plan was to do it in September, but then my field break schedule got messed up because I had to extend my stay here on the field due to the rescheduling of our activities. So I’ll be doing that in October instead. It would also be better by then because it will probably not be raining a lot anymore.
Lastly, because it’s been raining a lot, we couldn’t go on afternoon walks. The hike can make up for those days that we haven’t gone for a walk.
The Hike to Lay-odan Farm
We started at the town proper of Mankayan and walked towards Mankayan-Balili Provincial Road. The road to Lay-odan has parts that are paved. It was a continuous ascent but it was gentle. There are very few parts that are steep. It was an easy walk but halfway through the hike, it started drizzling. We had umbrellas so we were okay. The problem was the segments of the road that are unpaved were muddy due to the rains from the previous days so it was more difficult to walk because we had to avoid the soft parts.
Aside from the muddy parts, we also had to cross bridges because water is flowing in some parts of the road. Less than 500 meters away from Lay-odan Farm, there is a waterfall along the road so the road is flooded. There is a hanging bridge adjacent to the road but it was slippery. I was able to cross the bridge because my shoes have a good grip. My colleague on the other hand had to cross the pool of water because he was slipping when trying to cross the bridge.
We walked a total of 10.09 kilometers with an elevation gain of 440 meters. It took us 2 hours and 42 minutes to reach Lay-odan Farm. Our average speed is around 4 km/h but because of the road condition, for this hike, it was 3.7 km/h.
Lay-odan Farm is the newest tourist attraction in Mankayan. It offers farm tours, camping services, and hiking to Sodpac Falls. To know more about this farm, read this guide I wrote a few months ago.
We hitchhiked on our way back to Poblacion though it stopped drizzling already. We were planning on chartering a tricycle but the girl at the farm said there are no tricycles available. She suggested that we just wait for vehicles passing through the main road and hitchhike. She said it is a common practice there.
How Was It After The Hike?
After the hike, my thighs were a bit sore but I could still walk properly. It wasn’t too tiring because the road wasn’t steep. I also didn’t get any blisters.
Some Tips If You’re Going To Do This Too
- Bring umbrella. It was very useful during the hike, especially when started drizzling.
- Wear comfortable shoes and thick socks. Make sure your shoes
- Bring water. I didn’t drink that much during the hike probably because it wasn’t hot that day and also it wasn’t too tiring. But you still will need water at some point.
- If you do it on a sunny day, apply sunblock to protect your skin from getting sunburned and from harmful UV rays.
- Bring a face towel to wipe away your sweat.
- You’ll reach crossroads at some points during the hike. Use Google Maps so you won’t get lost.
How do you get to Mankayan?
Mankayan is a four-hour drive from Baguio City. If taking public transportation, you can take a van bound to Lepanto at the van terminal located at the back of Baguio Center Mall (Baguio City Dangwa Station).
From San Juan, La Union, Mankayan is a four-hour drive via Bessang Pass.
I hope you enjoyed reading this adventure we did last Sunday. If you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet, please do so you don’t miss any of my posts. More Benguet posts coming soon. And please follow my Facebook page @iwentanyways and like my Instagram accounts @iwentanyways and @tnadeperalta for updates.