Saturday, October 11, 2003

Tirad Pass as a Challenge for the Application of LAC

Tirad Pass as a Challenge for the Application of LAC (Limits of Acceptable Change)
Chito B. Razon

Tirad Pass is mountain range (with a 1,300 M ASL peak) which connects Ilocos to the Highlands, an important gateway to the Cordilleras during the Spanish period. It has historic significance because it was here where Gregorio Del Pilar was assassinated by the Americans in December 2 1899. Today after more than a hundred years, the trail is still accessible only by trekking overtaken by other modern roadwork networks. This trail is not known to many up until this 2001 except for a handful like the Samahang Pangkasaysayan ng Bulacan (Sampaka), a cultural oriented organization that preserves and commemorates relevant historical artefacts. One of them is the heroic act of their province mates, Goyo born in San Jose Bulacan. Sampaka, a cultural group based in Malolos Bulacan is known to have institutionalized the significance through the December 1- 2 Hen GOYO Anniversary, a heroic pilgrim from Bulacan to Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur to pay tribute to the youngest Bulakenyo General of the Phil Revolution. Marathon biking and trekking are regular features along with on the spot painting at the monument site.

Just this year, the Tirad Pass range from Candon Ilocos Sur to Cervantes then to Mt. Province is getting popularity as a trekking destination.

September 8,1999, the Ateneo High School Outdoors Club through its President Aiel Vergara launched a charity project to raise funds through sponsorships and donations for the public grade school of this Class E town. He wrote in their web site “December 2 is the feast day of the Filipino Hero Gregorio del Pilar who died in battle in Tirad Pass, Ilocos Sur. A town just on the foot of Tirad Pass, known as Del Pilar Town, is hounded with poverty and people living there are classified as CLASS E, the lowest among all 5 classifications of Filipinos. The children trying to obtain essential education in a school present here receive only the worst of the worst in the Philippines.”

Under the guidance of their clubs’ adviser Mr. Jay Hernando, an open climb materialized this November 30-1 December 1999. 15 joined the trek with the AOC: 3 from Globe Adventure Club, 2 from PSI and 2 from PAL MC and freelancers.

Since then, materials which were scarce before have now become openly available through the web for the world to discover the wonder of Tirad Pass. Itineraries, photo albums, narrations and MFPI discussions are stimulating visits to the town. The town officials, recognizing the benefits of eco tourism have given full support to open their natural wonders to transients as a source of livelihood.

Metropolitan Mountaineering Club Itinerary

Mystic Waters Personal Account


To those studying the Limits of Acceptable Change, here is an opportunity to isolate the town Gregorio Del Pilar and the mountain range Tirad Pass and assess, what impact is the increasing demands on the town and the range and what change can it take? Any takers?


The LAC process has been developed as a means of coping with increasing demands on recreational areas such as the outdoors in a visible logical way. The challenge is not one of how to prevent any human-induced change, but rather one of deciding how much change will be allowed to occur, where, and the actions needed to control it. The process requires deciding what kinds of conditions are acceptable, then prescribing actions to protect or achieve those conditions.


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