This article was prompted after watching on TV news how frost is affecting vegetable plantations in the Cordillera Region. The cold spell in the region starts some time every December until around mid or late February the following year.
The first time I went to Atok, Benguet where vegetable plantations are severely affected by frost, was in January or Febraury of 1980. It is part of the area I cover as a medical representative with a pharmaceutical company. The Halsema Highway roads then were really terrible and you'll be glad to be on some very rare paved roads just a few meters long. I was still not issued a service vehicle at that time, so I had take the bus.
My job requires me to stop at every medical clinic or emergency hospital along the road to promote our medical products. The entire trip up to my final destination, Bontoc, Mt. Province is just around 120 kilometers but it would take about 6 to 8 hours, depending on loading and off-loading of passengers and baggage.
|Mystery Mountain thanks to http://cordilleraonline.com|
Atok is only about 25 to 30 kilometers from Baguio City where I started off at 4:00 in the morning. When the bus was entering the boundaries of Atok, it was very visible that almost anything exposed to open air had some frost! Green grass and Pine trees were not as green as they should be. It never came to my mind that the vegetable plantations would be affected by frost.
After I alighted from the bus, I took the time first to touch the frost on grass and leaves around the hospital. Maybe people watching me then saw how ignorant I was. Well, it was the first time for me and I had to feel if it was true or if I was still in slumber and just having a wonderful dream.