Tirad Pass National Park, Gregorio del Pilar, Ilocos Sur
Every Filipino surely has an encounter with Tirad Pass, this whether as a student or as a mountaineer.
Tirad Pass is an area in Mount Tirad known in Philippine history as a battle site between 60 Filipino soldiers and over 500 Americans forces during the Philippine-American War. This battle costed the life of 52 Filipino men including the great Brigadier General Grerorio del Pilar. The Filipinos may have lost on this battle but it was considered a success for it ensured the safe escape of then President Emilio Aguinaldo and his troop.
As a mountaineer, it is one of the favorite day climbs in Ilocos Region being the third highest mountain in the Province of Ilocos Sur. One of its peak, the Tirad Peak at 1,388 meters above sea level, is the usual destination of the climb.
I was able to summit Tirad Peak on a rainy and foggy day of November 2014 on a four-hour trek from Poblacion Gregorio del Pilar and back. It was a relatively easy trek with a challenging ascent to its pointed peak. The next day was spent rediscovering the old world charm of the UNESCO World Heritage City of Vigan.