Fifty years ago, the Mountain Province eastern towns of Barlig, Natonin and Paracelis were reached by hiking lengthy trails that government officials dared not visit. With no recourse, the Summer Institute of Linguistic (SIL) introduced a 4-seater plane but only few can afford the fare from Natonin to Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya.
The passage of time crept in! The clamor of these eastern towns, a dream long hankered, will be realized next year by the completion of an all-weather national road interlinking Bontoc to Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis to Tabuk and Santiago cities.
Gone are the days hardships in travel, trade, health, education, tourism and political segregation. To scrutinize records prior to distracting, these eastern towns played the role of supplementing the voting members of the more progressive towns. It was because the roads leading to these towns during dark times were hardly considered as roads. These were the times that the factual terms “Depressed, Deprived, and Underdeveloped (DDU) “ really applied to government units. These towns were considered “low poor municipalities.”
No force can stop it as it will surely come to pass. This sleepy and lethargic disposition long suffered by these towns has already been broken. Progressive towns usually are near seaports, airports, with interlinking routes to push commerce and trade.
It can be expected that the time has come to ignite the bomb to change the flavour in the province political exercises. With vast area, the fast increasing population, accessibility of travel and communication, Paracelis could be divided into two municipalities to be authored by incoming generations.
By now, farmers have increased their coffee harvest, enlarged banana-corn plantations, cultivated more sweet oranges/mangoes, pineapples, vegetable production and abaca industry. Cows, carabaos, goats, fowls and horses are known to be abundant for sale to finance students in universities.
Just to cite one model is tourism: Barlig boost of its Mt. Amuyao, Maowoy Zig-zag mossy forest road to paradise view; Natonin of its spiraling Balangao Rice Terraces interconnecting seven barangays, Paracelis- the chocolate hills of Nansu-so. The Mayor of Natonin Jose Agagon is contemplating to establish a wild game sanctuary in one of the mountains adjacent to Mount Binaratan.
Some months ago, 23 South Koreans led by Pastor Shin Myung Gun used the nearest airport, the Tuguegarao airport, to come to Kadaclan for an evangelical concert. It will be recalled the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited Kadaclan on December 29, 2001 to spur domestic tourism.
Because of the bracing brisk beauty of these towns, rest houses, eateries, gasoline stations, rest rooms, will be erected to cater to visitors transported by franchised buses from nearby Isabela and natives from other towns.
Paracelis Poblacion is 32 kilometres from Barlig, 75kms from Natonin, and 100kms from Bontoc.
By Dionie Chungalan