Halsema: One of the Worst Highways in the World

According to this blogger, Halsema must be one of the worst highways in the world. I must say that I agree with him. Quote: “There are many accidents and overturned buses on a yearly basis. Often there are sheer drop offs of over 1000 feet without a guard rail. During the rainy season it is nearly impassable.”

To be fair, the government has been improving Halsema these past years so we will hopefully eventually have a highway that is a highway and not a dirt road. They have to do something about the need for guard rails though because it seems like what they are doing now is simply cementing the road.

Incidentally, our very first blog post was about Halsema. I was so irritated watching The Female Version of Gollum falsely claim in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) that her father built the Halsema Highway. None of our politicians questioned her claim [who knows, maybe our bootlicking Cordillera politicians gave her the idea] so I decided to start a blog to point out that the credit should go to, you know, that engineer known as Eusebius Julius who happened to have a family name called Halsema. So thank you Female Gollum for “birthing” this blog. Next July, state in your SONA that your dad also built Kennon Road. Maybe Burnham Park too. And, heck, why not the whole City of Baguio.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dark Roasted Blend.

19 thoughts on “Halsema: One of the Worst Highways in the World”

  1. correction: Halsema is one of the most “exciting” highways in the world. it’s only dangerous if you are crazy enough to drive haphazardly. it’s also got the politest drivers who know who how to stop and give right of way.

  2. Correction din! hehe if we are speaking of the most exciting road i think tanudan has won the gold medal..This is the place where drivers and passengers considers themselves “The living deads”..tsaka sa pamasahe pa lang a 200 pesos na yung malapitan..kasi nga suicidal road…indi lang one way pag nagkasalubong sasakyan “no way” kaya all weapon vehicle have their own schedule para walang time na magkasalubong…”weapon vehicle i mean” is yung kailangan mo ng chair para maka akyat sa sasakyan…mas matataas pa kesa sixbuy “sixbuy am i right ?basta yung military truck..hehe…tsaka mas malala pa yung bundok na aakyatin kasi hanngang dun lang kalsada..kaya i find tanudan as adventurous for those who want to take the challenge of life and death…

  3. that tanudan description sounds familiar. we also have roads here (not hi-ways though) that meet that kind of depiction. I personally was on board a ‘weapon’ (with overloaded roof pa! top load yata tawag nila dun) that had to go on reverse for nearly a kilometer dahil may kasalubong kc nga ‘no way.’ tapos kapag tag-ulan, puwede mong taniman ng palay di ba? Pero the amazing thing is, wala pa namang pinapatay ang road namin. adventurous talaga ang mga ganyang road… no place for the weak at heart. (weak at heart daw oh:)

  4. Here’s something to talk about, while I was in Sagada, I was complaining about the dirt road – Halsema. But someone from Sagada told me that in his opinion – if the roads remain dangerous and not cemented, Sagada and the other surrounding towns won’t be an easy access to tourism. According to this iSagada, he’s worried about Sagada becoming the next Baguio. Besides, why kill the adventure and excitement of going to the Mountain Provinces?

  5. … mga adventurous na tao lang talaga ang mag-en-enjoy na dumaan sa ganyang road…” i mean 🙂

  6. I basically grow up in ATOK where a part of Halsema Road is nicely carved on the edges of the mountain. And the last time i was home and i went to Sayangan and i was actually amazed with the road’s improvement. If i remember it right it use to take 3 hrs and a half to travel from Baguio to Sayangan – Last December when we went there – it only took us an hour.

  7. Hi Nashman,
    You’ve got a point there. It is also the most scenic. But it’s better to call it the most dangerous to embarrass the MP congressman na antagaltagal nakaupo eh wala yatang nagawa hehe

    Hi Nats,
    Grabe naman yung 200 pesos na iyan, mas mahal pa sa baguio-sagada. although mukhang exciting sumakay sa weapon pero baka kawawa ang buntis.

    Hi Ironheart,
    Seems like bad roads are really a Cordillera thing no. gawa kaya tayo ng contest ng the best “worst road” hehe.

    Hi Kayni,
    That’s really true. I’m also kind of ambivalent on the improvement of Halsema. I want it improved but at the same time I hope it remains the same bumpy road hehe. But since they are concreting it now, people in the Cordillera interior better learn how to deal with the negative impact of tourism fast and learn new ways of maintaining control in their community.

    Hi Ironheart,
    That’s right 🙂

    Hi Liezel and Nashman,
    The concreting really makes it much easier to travel, no? At least in the Benguet side its completely paved na, kasi sa MP its still the old bumpy road but they are also working on it. As I said above, I kind of like it and dislike it at the same time. Ako yata si Gollum and not GMA hehe.

  8. Agree w/da Isagadan in Kayni’s comments. Da place where I grew up in Baguio is still very bad, that’s with VERY. Da late Lamen Sr. promised decades ago the road will be cemented (1.5km) but it never happened. Taxi cabs are petrified to go there. Jeepneys only make limited trips to Baguio like one or two in AM and PM. BUT if that portion of road was paved as da late Gayagay promised, our small barangay would have been infested of squatters. It’s kind of rare that a promise unkept was truly a blessing. So long as it’s passable by bus or jeepneys leave Halsema alone..goodhealth.

  9. I agree, the Halzema Highway is quiet dangerous. But I would not say, it’s the worst highway in the world as I’m sure highways similar to it in other parts of the third world are more dangerous. But I agree, the Mountain Province officials or their DPH should take safety as their priority. Like what you said, guide rails, that should should be first before
    concrete. I read before, perhaps in one of the on line news about Harry Dominguez and the Governor, that Harry proposed guardrails first before concrete. I guess the governor won, if they are concreting instead of placing guardrails. But if they can concrete and also install guard rails,that would be great.
    Juice

  10. Hi Trublue,
    So there are blessings in disguise indeed. But I didn’t realize that there’s still a road like that in Baguio which remains unpaved? Thanks.

    Hi Juice,
    Hey, thanks so much for joining our discussions here :-). Yes, I think there was some controversy kung alin ang unang gawin whether paving the road or putting guard rails and widening it. Like you, I hope that they will do both. Thanks again

  11. traversing through gma’s favorite highway could be beneficial for the drivers. if the story is true, an igoy was being interviewed by a german firm for a driving job. one of the panel of interviewers, who happened to have stayed in the cordilleras, and who noticed that that the applicant was a cordilleran, asked if the driving-job applicant had any experience driving through the halsema highway. getting an affirmative answer, the interviewer recommended instant hiring for the igoy. i don’t know though- this could just be another ‘kuwentong bilyaran’… but the nashman hits it right in the head. driving in one of the world’s most dangerous highways should have instilled in drivers the positive attributes expected of them. not having those values could mean disaster, not only for the driver, but for everybody else near him.

  12. hello there and to everybody – you are all nakakatuwa, because you do shared different point of views and yet it means one directiones – to share each others views.

    as i tried travelling from baguio – Bontoc to Kalinga – i found out that is it soooo beautiful – ang galing at ang ganda pala ng Cordillera pati mga tao – tao talaga sila! Imagine, i travelled without knowing anybody but along may mga nakilala din – kaya hanga pa rin ako sa inyo mga kailiyans.

    we also hope that upliftment of peoples’lives will be the foremost concern of our leaders in the Cordillera in especial way for our hard-working people who drives all the way – all the day our different crops/products to and from of Baguio.

    i salute you all!
    thanks much

  13. To Anonymous 3:04 – It’s year 2007
    na at nakakatuwa ka rin that only now you figured na tao din pala ang laman ng Cordillera. I myself is wondering what will I see in Manila if I go down there, hope na friendly sila at tao rin…rarely do I visit the lowlands kasi.
    Cheers and goodhealth…

  14. Hi Pagano,
    That’s a very interesting story. Baka naman talaga totoo and not just a kuwentong bilyaran 🙂

    Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for joining us. It is indeed nakakatuwa to have different opinions and yet eventually agree to disagree over these opinions. I’m with you in hoping that our leaders will focus on uplifting the lives of people in the region rather than just focusing on themselves and filling their own pockets. Thanks again 🙂

    Hi Trublue,
    Hehehe. Fear not, I will be friendly when you visit me in the lowlands.

    Hi Wil,
    Thanks 🙂

  15. To corroborate Mr Pagano’s comments, there’s some truth to that. Years ago, British Broadcasting Co. rated filipino drivers da best in the world. Didn’t quite got the whole scope but from my recollection it was due to their no fear of driving our most dangerous or exciting hi-ways. In addition to that, da filipino drivers’ knack for maneuvering a two-lane road which turns to four-lanes or maybe five by driving on the shoulders. Despite all these shenanigans, BBC was amazed of the very low rate of road accidents. Furthermore, most blame were centered on mechanical faults than our best drivers….
    Cheers.

  16. Hi Trublue,
    Meron pa palang BBC rating ha? I guess one of the good things about having bad roads is that drivers learn to be careful. And I must say that, for the most part, careful ang drivers sa Halsema although the Rising Sun Trans is now also known as the Rushing Sun because its drivers tend to drive fast which isn’t good for passenger safety. Thanks.

  17. I’ve been here before driving a factory stock AE86…nakaktempt mag drifting kaso wag sa ganyan onting mali mo lang pag tinapik ka ni kamatayan sa kabaong ang kalalagyan ko.

    But its nice to a grip driving on Halsema highway, it challenges the driver.

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