Tinglayan, Kalinga: No go zone for Americans!

I normally have great things to say about traveling in the Philippines as a tourist but today, I have to write about Tinglayan, Kalinga. It is a no go zone if you are American. It might change in the future but it is like the hills of Kentucky was in the 1960’s with moonshine.

I stayed there one night and everyone looked at me very oddly. I didn’t think much of it.

The next morning was when all hell broke looose. It was not cool and it has changed my view of the Philippines is a very dramatic way.

Tinglayan and the locals that tried to kill me

I was standing on the side of the mountain taking a picture of a field. The next thing I know I am 10 feet down the mountain and someone is stealing my memory card. He didn’t take my Nikon D800, just the memory card.

They didn’t care my head was cut open. They just cared about the memory card.

When I finally got the police there, they told to leave and just go to Manila. Seriously!?! It was not until I got the military involved that I even got the card back. By that time, they erased 100’s of images from the last few weeks.

It is about drugs

The Philippine Army told me that Tinglayan is known for drugs and they assumed that I worked for United States Department of Drug Enforcement (DEA) It has become known since then there is thousands of marijuana plants in those very fields.

Recently, the government of the Philippines ripped up P62 million worth of plants and destroyed them in Tinglayan. It was a total of over 300,000 fully grown plants.

I expect some type of uprising in Kalinga against the government now with so much of their cash crops gone. They have been pushing all of this into the streets of Manila and Cebu for decades!

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