Just when I thought it would be a sad, sad weekend for me I got a hasty invite to accompany an exploration team to Mt. Matalisbong to check out mining developments on their claims.
We thought the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) would be open so we exited at Mabalacat in NLEX only to find out that it is closed once again because of some repairs. Because of this we turned back to San Fernando and wasted a good 30 minutes and precious gasoline. The SCTEX developers should make an early warning system regarding the status of their expressway so as not to cause travelers unnecessary inconvenience.
The road to Sta. Cruz is a long drive, passing by Pampanga, Bataan and finally Zambales. I once thought that Sta. Cruz was a developed, bustling hub because almost all of Victory Liner’s buses had the town as its ultimate stop. There had to be something in Sta. Cruz worth warranting the bus placards. It turns out Sta. Cruz is a small, sleepy town and is Zambales’ northernmost town. A few kilometers further and we’d have hit Infanta, Pangasinan.
We arrived at Sta. Cruz at around lunch time and almost everything was closed since it was a Sunday save for a small Jollibee cart at the plaza selling Regular Yums, Jolly Hotdogs and pineapple juice. That was it. But still, God bless the bee.
Mt. Matalisbong was still mountains away. Those who were riding “city cars” were asked to transfer to a Ford Everest and a Ford F150. When we encountered a deep river crossing, the Everest owner decided to leave his car behind and then transferred to the cargo compartment of the F150. Leave it to the F150 to survive rough terrain! It’s been with us since 2002 and has trucked its way all throughout the Cordillera’s roughest roads.
Enough talk. Here are the photos.
Hi! Ho! F150 Away!
Rich in Minerals
I really have mixed feelings regarding mining operations. On one hand, it provides a source of income for the community but then I have to add the disparity in profit between the claim owners, the operators and the humble workers.And then there’s the whole issue concerning the environment.
More trips/photos at Pinas or Bust!
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