The Daang Kalikasan in Pangasinan has easily captivated thousands of local tourists and motorists with its overlooking scenic view of the mountains.
However, following the growth of visitors in the area last week, local officials jointly decided to temporarily close the unfinished road project to pave the way for its completion this year and to also prevent further accidents.
Although the 19.45-km Daang Kalikasan may have been closed to the public, travel junkies and motorists won’t have to wait for its formal re-opening because there’s an alternative destination in Pangasinan that also offers a scenic drive to the mountains — the small community of Malico in San Nicolas.
Like the picturesque view of the Daang Kalikasan, driving up to Pangasinan’s ‘Baguio’ also offers motorists a magnificent view of landscapes that are filled with patches of forests that stretch beside the carved Pangasinan-Nueva Vizcaya Road or more popularly known as the ‘Villa Verde Trail’.
A six-hour drive from Quezon City, the route going to Malico has now become one of the popular destinations in Northern Luzon for motorists, including the motorcycle group of Gerard Camba Cervera.
In a YouTube video, Cervera’s group can be seen manuevering through the paved twisties leading towards Brgy. Malico. Like the famed Daang Kalikasan, every portion of the road isn’t only Instagram-worthy but also gives motorists and tourists a breathtaking view of the undiscovered mountain paradise.
Aside from the scenic drive, however, tourists visit the small community not just because of its rich cultural heritage but also because of its cold temperature as it sits 1,300 feet above sea level. The temperature reportedly does not exceed above 20°C.
Malico stretches between the towns of Sta. Fe and Sta. Rosa in Nueva Vizcaya and San Nicolas in Pangasinan. A Philippine Star report said that the locals residing in the villages of Centro, Monumento, Antero and Salacsac are part of the Kalanguya tribe that claimed Malico as their ancestral domain.
The locals stage its annual Hulpon Festival to celebrate their traditions through music and dance.