Auf der Geisterstrasse von Bontoc nach Tabuk

Not so long ago, the tribes on the island of Luzon in the Philippines were at war. Their position far up in the mountains meant that it was virtually impossible for the authorities to intervene. So, the Philippine government launched a project to construct a road between Bontoc and Tabuk, the 2 largest towns in the North.

100 years later however, and the road is still a constant work in progress. Its called the Kalingas, meaning the road of the decapitators, and its users are at the mercy of nature. Christopher, the head of maintenance, has the impossible task of keeping the road clear.

Every day he sets his diggers to work, but as soon as he has opened one part of the road, another is blocked by mudslides. It's a constant battle, but one that must be fought every day as the Kalingas is the only link between Bontoc and Tabuk.

There is no airport ; the only way to transport people and merchandise is by road. Ancient buses pitch dangerously on the side of the ravines. Each driver must be accompanied by a road worker, whose job is to clear the rubble out of the way and avoid mud slides which could tip the vehicle over the edge.

But some villages are inaccessible by bus. Passengers must either walk, or take a scooter taxi.

 

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