A Glimpse of a Mystical Town
Project info

Often described as a mystical town, Kabayan has long fascinated me as an individual & as a photographer. Found in the eastern part of Benguet Province in the Philippines, Kabayan is the home of centuries-old "fire mummies" & the third highest mountain in the country, Mount Pulag. Within the población, or the town center, a fascinating mass burial cave—where hundreds of skulls & bones are piled up—can be found in the backyard of one of its inhabitants.

With a total land area of 27,752 hectares, the town has rich agricultural lands & pastures as well as vast forest reserves. A part of the sprawling Cordillera mountain range, most of the people of Kabayan built communities on valleys, cultivating farm lands. Its farmers are known for growing high quality crops like brown rice, coffee, & cauliflower. Occupied mainly by three tribes—the Ibalois, Kalanguyas, & Kankanaeys—the town of Kabayan is generally peaceful, with enough supply of people's daily needs.

In this series of photographs, I am attempting to present a glimpse of this land of towering mountains, lush vegetation, & quiet communities. These images will also be a part of a larger photographic endeavor which aims to depict a broader picture of the present life in Kabayan & how its people protect & nurture traditions & cultural treasures of their ancestors.