Road Trip Alert: Here's What You Should Know About Daang Kalikasan

The scenic North Luzon route is currently off limits.

(SPOT.ph) Any excuse to pack up and go on a road trip—destination not necessary—is a welcome thing to any Pinoy adventurer. We're sure you've seen pictures of a new highway circulating online, complete with picturesque views of never-ending hills and softly turning roads. Daang Kalikasan appears to be on everyone's minds and social media feeds but what makes the incoming highway so special?

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From Pangasinan to Zambales

As the name suggests, Daang Kalikasan cuts through the sprawling lands of Northern Luzon. The four-lane road project will stretch for 19.45 kilometers from the Tarlac-Pangasinan Road until Sta. Cruz, Zambales, said Region 1 Director Ronnel M. Tan of the Department of Public Works and Highways. 

The particular stretch of road that most motorists can't seem to get enough of passes through Mangatarem in Pangasinan. According to Leopoldo Bataoil, Mayor of Lingayen, Pangasinan, this area was once used by illegal loggers but by turning the place into a tourist area, he hopes to bring it back to it's once lush and green state. At one of the highest points of the highway, according to the mayor in a video by YouTuber Rev Up Moto, you can see all the way past the towns of Mangatarem, Aguilar, Bugallon, up to the Lingayen Gulf.

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Construction works are on track as of February 18, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The entire stretch of Daang Kalikasan is set to completed by 2021. Currently, only around three kilometers are still under construction, said the DPWH in a report by the Philippine News Agency. Daang Kalikasan is one part of a major 54-kilometer long national road project added Bataoil in the report.

Currently closed off to tourists

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Unfortunately, the picturesque road has been declared off limits to motorists since February 17. The influx of tourists not only stalled construction work but also caused many accidents and even deaths, said Pangasinan Congressman Jumel Anthony Espino in a statement online. No news yet on whether the route will be opened up again anytime soon. Here's hoping we'll soon have more awesome Philippine roads!

Main image from Mier Corrales / Google Maps.

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