In an official field work, I, together with an officemate, went to Purok 6, Barangay San Miguel, Maramag, Bukidnon last week for a client visit and farm inspection. Purok 6 is an uphill area located about 3 kilometers from San Miguel barangay proper and national highway going to Wao, Lanao del Sur. It can be reached through a dirt road with stretches that are difficult to pass along during rainy season. Fortunately, we were aboard our client's 4-wheel drive vehicle so going there was just a breeze.
Since the place is elevated, it offers a sweeping vista of evergreen farms, rolling hills and distant mountains. Like most agricultural barangays in Southern Bukidnon, majority of the areas are planted with sugarcane. From here, what we could see stretched to as far as Quezon and Don Carlos, Bukidnon.
The hill with a shanty on top is the Manzano Ranch (click image to enlarge):
The topmost peak on the next photo is known as the "Plateau". On its base is Valle Escondida owned by the Zubiri Family.
Only a few people, mostly farm workers, reside in Purok 6. But according to our client, the place was once the barangay proper ("centro") of San Miguel. In the late 90s, however, residents migrated when the government awarded residential lots in the low lands, or what is now known as San Miguel barangay proper. I also learned that some portions of this area were once owned by Philippine Greenhills Development Corporation of the Guingona Family.
San Miguel Chapel stood within our client's lot:
The chapel, made up of wood, unfinished concrete hollow blocks and tin roof is on a dilapidated state. Perhaps, because only a few people live in this Purok, it is hardly taken care of.
This huge chunk of metal hangs over the branch of a tree outside the chapel. I think this is used as a bell every time a mass is held in the chapel.
Within the chapel's vicinity, one can view the majestic sight of Kolkol Range. Purok 6 lies in close proximity to its base. As splendid as it looks, I observed that most part of the mountain range is already denuded and converted to agricultural production areas. Only small patches of what looked like some virgin forests can be seen. Still, I would like to climb all the way to its peak someday, knowing that it can be reached through a day hike.
There are no passenger jeepneys or multicabs that regularly transport passengers to and from Purok 6, San Miguel, Maramag, Bukidnon. But the Purok can easily be reached by hiring a habal-habal motorcycle from San Miguel proper.