It was almost 3 years ago when I did a project for REDD to take photos for their Primer on Forest and Climate Change. I was very grateful as I discovered this quaint forest town up in the Caraballo Mountains of Nueva Vizcaya. There was no signal, it was very rural, with crisp mountain air and rich vegetation. It became one of my favorite places to escape. I went back there with my friends a couple of months after my first visit and we left with the same sentiments that this is a special place to retreat.
“Why am I hiking when I had little sleep?” were my thoughts as we descend a steep dirt trail. We were headed to Anisakan Falls, one of the sites in my list of places to visit in Pyin U Lwin. But what was most bewildering are the 3 girls joining the hike aside from my motorbike driver that I hired. I don’t remember hiring guides or porters at that little shop at the trail jump-off earlier.
We made a good decision to delay our visit to Tinuy-an Falls the day before and opt for Hagonoy Island. Our driver, who I call Pacman, told us the falls grounds were crawling with visitors and the parking area extended a few hundred meters from the entrance. But when we got there early mid-morning, the crowd was manageable and we headed for the entrance with excitement flowing as strong as the lower cascades of the falls. We paid the P50 entrance fee and we’re in.
Finding myself back in Sagada just after at least a month of being there just shows how much I like the place. But my recent visit was all about rest and relaxation. No marked to do list and just see where it goes. Even so, it was a very interesting 3 days spent. A unique encounter with the cows at Lake Danum, some unexplored falls and an easy stroll downtown. Here’s just a recap of those days.
“There’s a Seven Falls here in Sagada?” I asked again as It definitely caught my attention after hearing from the guy manning the registration booth at the Town Hall. We were originally planning to go to Bomod-ok Falls up north but he let us in on the idea of trying this one out since it’s a newly opened trail in Tap-ew, south of Sagada. He searched for a video in his computer then showed us the falls. We were immediately captivated that we knew we had to see it for ourselves.
We were a lot more positive that the last falls to visit would be also a good one after seeing Macatel Falls. Mang Pedro had to do another round of queries with some locals on the road to find Mabnang Falls. Some locals didn’t even know there was a falls nearby but Mang Pedro was able to get the right information and we got off the main road again into a wide open unpaved road lined with trees and a bunch of kids playing.
A bit disappointed with Portabaga Falls our tricycle made our way back to the direction of the town centro hoping that the other two falls would be better. Mang Pedro made a few occasional stop to ask or greet some people on their native Ilocano language. Just a few minutes of drive from Portabaga Falls we left the main road and entered a dirt road along the rice fields. The drive seemed longer on the rocky road but it was only 15minutes from the highway. We have now reached Macatel Falls.