This is my home town.
Taba-ao offers a serene place for those who would like to take a break from the bustling city life. It is approximately 40 kilometers away from Baguio City. To reach Taba-ao, it used to be that one must take a rough and dusty ride since the road was just awkwardly macadamized. Recently, concreting, widening, and stonewalling have given the rugged road a face lift.
I-Taba-ao folks call the mountain (which looks like a volcano) Mount Kalukasog. At the foot of this majestic mountain flows Amburayan River. This river doesn’t only offer its cool rapids, but it also prides itself of the Hanging Amburayan Bridge–a local version of the Golden Gate (but it has been reconstructed into one that has lost its identity–i.e. a common bridge).
People here sustain their daily needs by farming. The common crops grown are rice, climbing beans, cucumber, pepper, camote, casava, and fruit trees. Much of the agricultural produce is sold at Baguio City. Besides farming, some have established small restaurants catering especially to visitors or to travelers going to Kibungan. A number of sari-sari stores also dot the roadsides.
A visitor wouldn’t fail to notice the hospitable, peace-loving and happy disposition of typical I-Taba-ao’s. They, too, are noted for their jokes and the way they speak for they seem to be singing while talking. The language is Nabaloy/Ibaloi. One more thing that has become a trademark of the Taba-ao people (and generally of the I-Kapangan) is their so-called “Grand March”–a simplified (innovative) version of the waltz. This dance has become a tradition among the people. During wedding celebrations, the Grand March would always be the favorite of men and women, young and old alike.