Getting Lost Level: High
Through the generic name alone, it is quite hard to research on the actual location of this tree. I can't even Google Map the place so there is no clue of ever finding it there too. At this time we were now heading out of Bacnotan and seeing the dot is along the way we've tried our luck by asking for the location of the Centennnial Tree. We asked around the school we saw by the road (near the Holcim plant) but none of them knew what it 'centennial' is so the location is even a harder question to answer.
And then I remembered that I saved the name of the school while I was researching it. It was a relief when I finally found the name of the school that I was looking for: Carcarmay Elementary School. We drove around for miles until we finally asked a group of kids on where it is. And like as if it's fate, it is also their destination! They asked us to follow them (they're on a tricycle) and you could say I was so glad we found them because the road to the school is way off the map. We drove back and followed a series of different turns we began joking that they'd probably playing us a practical joke or worse, we're their meal tonight.
We stopped in front of the school that said 'Welcome Visitors' but the gate was locked. We lost them too bhy stopping so we're now on our own. We can already see the tree from our point but we could not see it very well. We drove a bit on the left (there's no road on the right anyway) and saw some tricycles parked there. We approached them and was ecstatic finding an opened gate! No one's around on a Sunday and it looks free so we simply asked the drivers if we're good to go. The moment they said yes, we gleefully walked closer.
From afar, seeing it in it's full glory is breathtaking. I don't know any relatives who is a centennarian so seeing a living thing living far more than I have lived is an amazing once in a lifetime experience.
The space provided for the tree is just for it's own because you will not see any tree that is (left) grown near it's proximity. It's branches are actually extended so far around it that maybe on a sunny day you will still be under it's shadow.
I wish to be back for so many times I hope the locals continue to preserve it. I sure will not forget visiting the tree whenever I get a chance.
1. The turn towards the baranggay of Carcarmay can be easily missed that try your best to ask the locals for the baranggay itself than asking around for a Centennial Tree. If you came from Luna's Pebble Beach, you have to drive past (a really long one) Holcim and the (only) school near it and ask the next manned area.
2. Do go on a weekend so you can have the tree for yourself
3. No fees of course.
Prevent yourself from cutting a bark as souvenir or vandalize the tree in any way. Remember that the tree is also a living thing too. The students and the whole baranggay has left the tree on it's own without any traces of vandalism so respect it like they do.
Full album here