Our Town: Mankayan, Benguet

One would think that Mankayan, home of Lepanto Mines, would have better roads than the rest of the Cordilleras. But, no, this is what we’ve got — an unpaved road and sinking homes. According to Baguiocity.com the houses we see in the picture used to be at the same level as the road but they have now sank. Residents blame all that tunneling by Lepanto to get at the gold.

But where did all the gold go? The bulk of it went to the pockets of American and Makati-based stock holders, a teeny bit was given to the government in the form of taxes, and a teeny weeny bit was paid to our kailiyans who worked in the mines.

PHOTO CREDIT: Andy Zapata/Baguio City.Com.

18 Comments
  1. That’s what i used to think too (that Mankayan’s literally sinking due to the mines) but i learned from a geologist friend that Mankayan (aside from other neighboring places/municipalities)also lies on a fault. You can’t solely blame the mines . .

  2. Hi kat masinnay,
    Thanks. You’re right, I also read that somewhere. As you said, we can’t pin all the blame to Lepanto.

    Out of topic: Why is your name masinnay? Maybe you’re a relative hehe.

  3. mankayan is in my heart always. this is my native land where i grew up but sad to say i was raised here in virginia

  4. You can always blame Lepanto.. but never ever blame the natives that are working their.They are risking their lives just to have something to feed their families.

  5. Yes,We blame the Lepanto Management and not the workers risking their lives underground.Kaasi itsura na if you imagine the level of the store before where we used to buy candies-baon ket two floor diay balay sango ti simbaan ket tat-ta roof level na wenno saan ket pababa payen.Kasano ket nalawa uneg ken according to our beloved workers ket saanen nga makabilan ti support.Mining Laws ket saan nga masurot nga tao mismo nga agtatrabaho nang ibaga,ngem Baga latta Lepanto nga sursuroten da kanu.How true?

  6. iyarig tau ngarud ti daga iti mysa a bukel… nga no mabukbuk dytoy ket jay ngy lumneg…ta han nga mabak fillan..

  7. Sometimes, we have to take part of the blame on us. In the first place, why had we approved the operation of a mining in our town? Of course, because we were told to have something from it – work and income for the municipality. However, have you counted how many of the Mankayan people who are working for how many hours inside the tunnel benefited? You may say, there are lots of them. What about the people who stays outside the tunnel, ordering the miners to mine this and mine that? There is a great difference in their social and economic life, right? These miners are risking their healths which can cause them death and inability to working for their families. They are sometimes hated for working in the company because they are being accused to be “environment destroyer”.

    On the other side, Lepanto is giving assistance such as scholarships to students from Mankayan and Cervantes. Well, they may have other help giving for the people which I am not aware of. Are they enough (what do you think, I seldom go home to Mankayan)?

    YOU, what can you do for Mankayan?

  8. From the information i have gotten so far, being a geologist and an environmentalist, the current exploration and production going on at mankayan is unsustainable judging from the ecological economics perspective. i think its high time the township government especially the various institutional bodies concerned for environmental and natural resource management and the LCMC faced the truth and balance the trade-off between the resources and the environment at least if not for the present, for the sake of the future generation…to be continue.

  9. ADO TI EKASKASTA TAPNO MAAY AYO DAGITI OMILI EDJAY MAYSA KANO DYAY PA SCHOLAR DA KANO PARA DAGIYAY COLLEGE,NGEM DIDA MANLA CIAK INAYON DI NAGAPLY AK…AMOK NGA AWAN PAYLANG MAARAMIDAK ITA NGEM MAKAGRADUATE AK LANG MYSA AK TO NGA……

  10. ADO TI EKASKASTA TAPNO MAAY AYO DAGITI OMILI EDJAY MAYSA KANO DYAY PA SCHOLAR DA KANO PARA DAGIYAY COLLEGE,NGEM DIDA MANLA CIAK INAYON DI NAGAPLY AK…AMOK NGA AWAN PAYLANG MAARAMIDAK ITA NGEM MAKAGRADUATE AK LANG MYSA AK TO NGA……

  11. where are they going to put the gold if the life, health and livelihood of the people who is living with in that Municipality will be affected?
    did the government nothing to do about that Mining to stop cause the natural resources of mankayan is already destroyed!!!!

  12. hellow po pa upload man jay kwentong bayan, awiting bayan, tula ng bayan, taz alamat….tungkol sa bayan ng mankayan thanks.

  13. hi po! ask ko lng po kung meron nakatira na Pio Gati po ang name nya, xa po kc ang real farher qng hinahanp bka po alm niu. slmat po!

  14. What is being discussed or argued about nowadays when it comes to mining are its advantages and disadvantages. It doesn’t matter whose idea is the best but which is true and real. We all know that the industry brings income and employment but is currently becoming destructive to ecology
    because of substandard implementation of mining practices, fabrication or window dressing of reports/records with regards to social responsibility. “A truly pro people, pro environment and pro God mining Industry is loved by many. They are proud to tell others about it instead of doing barricades, protests, and any other ways to slow down or to stop its operation”……

  15. Mines are there for only one reason, let’s not be naive about that. Just like those coal mines across the good ol’ USA, they’re not different from our mines ….less regulations. It didn’t matter if one coal mining company is cited a hundred times for safety violations, politics will take care of such infractions.

    With regards to the sinking of the place, it’s akin to the old mining town of Baguio Gold (which closed in 1967). The difference between these two mining companies is that Lepanto is well and alive; while the latter was shut down decades ago with no one complaining regardless if sinks deeper and damage all of the houses of the regular settlers as well as those that are squatting.

    Agree wholeheartedly those who are at the very top makes tons of money from these mines. Just use your wild imagination and your surmise will be as good as mine. Cheers!

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