As if our unexpected night trek from Dila Falls in CEDAR Impasug-ong would quell our adventurous spirit that day, we are again lurched into the unknown adventure. Well not completely unknown but the degree of activity would challenge not only to our group in this trek but also the people who are attempting to organize the Atugan river Trek in Impasug-ong as an eco-tourism destination. Members of the Travel Mindanao team were willing guinea pigs in this exploration of trekking more than 8km of the Atugan river stretch.
Nevermind our wet clothes coming from our exploration and a quick dip at the Blue Water Cave by the banks of Pulangi River. We excitedly hiked back to Kiokong Eco tourism station and prepared ourselves for another plunge of adventure. This time, it is rappelling Pulangi Bridge. That’s 155 feet high descend into the washing machine like waters of Pulangi. I’ve done some rappelling before but this is a first for me from a bridge.
A sprawling 1120 hectare of land situated on the lower part of the mighty Magat River in Cagayan Valley has been converted into an eco-park, descriptively named Lower Magat Eco Tourism Park of LMET. The eco-park is under the municipality of Diadi, north of Nueva Vizcaya, already bounded by Isabela and Ifugao provinces. This was our playground after covering the Ammungan Festival’s Street Dancing for that day. A much deserved brief respite at the heart of a forest.
Following our exciting hike and visit at Bugtong Bato Waterfalls, it was time to for a much deserved lunch. Our habal-habal drove us back past Baranggay Tuno, back on the dirt road we passed by earlier to a large spacious hut hanging by the cliff road. We had our hearty meal of adobo and grilled fish on that breezy hut while hearing the ambient sound of the nearby river. Our wet adventure isn’t over as we check out the rapids of Tibiao River for some whitewater kayaking.
Cruising Bugang River was not the end of our water escapade in Antique. The following day, we took a day trip tour to the nearby town of Tibiao which can be reached through a one hour ride along the scenic coastal road heading south. The well-paved road boast of sweeping views of the mountains on one side and the sea on the other amidst a bucolic setting. We’re expecting another wet and wild adventure as we head to our first stop, the Bugtong Bato Waterfalls.
“Duck!” I heard our boatman up front yell, as our raft headed under a cluster of low-lying bamboo stalks leaning close to the waters of Bugang River. Another boatman was in chest-deep water behind the raft, tugging the rope at the back and fighting the current to somehow steer our fragile bamboo raft to a safer direction. Could this raft hold? I heard they just assemble it when they need it. We cleared the bamboo trees unscathed and found ourselves in tamer waters opening to a surreal landscape of age-old trees standing tall amidst the turquoise waters, strong and defiant of the currents.
“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.