Our second day in Claveria is all about chasing waterfalls. Taking it easy in the morning we started our exploration almost mid-day after having lunch. We initially scooped around first for information about the three falls we intend to visit from the local. There isn’t much literature about the falls yet so we had to get an idea on their distances and locations. We got to meet Mang Pedro, a 60+ driver with his bright yellow tricycle. We got a really good vibe from his and decided to hire him to check out the falls.
There aren’t many tourist around so tricycles wold easily jump in to be hired or contracted here to cover for their day’s worth of work. We asked him Mang Pedro to have his lunch first before we go to the falls. And just over the main road outside of the centro we found his beautiful little bungalow in a residential area complete with porch and lovely little garden. His wife was there and entertained us while he was eating. We sat on the porch and was equally admired that for a humble tricycle driver he had a lovely house like this.
Like I usually do when visiting several locations, I would go to the farthest area first and go closer to where I’m staying. The first was Portabaga Falls already at Sta Praxedes area east of Claveria Centro I. It took only 20 minutes to get there by tricycle and there’s a steep road leading to the falls area itself, we had this feeling we’re about to see a heavily developed park.
Just as expected, Portabaga Falls has been transformed to a Picnic resort with cemented pools, bridges and huts. And one look at the crowd means it’s a weekend were friends and families would enjoy a splashing good time in a swimming area. I actually had no qualms about developing an area, if done right, but I find Portabaga Falls a bit lacking in maintenance despite the minimal entry fee they charge.
The falls itself is picturesque despite the human modifications and the streams itself wonderful. We just had to carefully tread the damp and slippery pathways and avoid the people when taking photos. The crowd was too much for us to handle and left the area much sooner.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.