Monday, July 9, 2012

[Waterfalls #1] AW-ASEN FALLS of Sigay

"Going there is an adventure itself. The waterfall is the prize for the adventure"
-pagnapagna
Please practice the leave no trace outdoor ethics when going to these nature places. Let us not vandalize, put graffiti on their rocks and stone walls. Manage and dispose our waste products properly.

If you find this story/blogpost interesting and/or had helped you in any way (in your researches, works, travels, blogs, adventures, homeworks at school, a personal project and more), I'd like to hear a word or two from wonderful people like you or simply Like "pagnapagna" in Facebook. I'd be very thankful. It gives me inspirations. Cheers!

-my pagnapagna-



Early morning from barangay Calaoan (Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur) we rode a tricycle to get to downtown Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur. Waited some few minutes for a passenger van and on we went to the city of Candon, Ilocos Sur while our two companion rode on a motorbike. 
At Candon City, I took some pictures in front of their church then we stayed for a while in the nearby park. Our other companion went to the market to buy a live chicken but returned with none. Some 5 minutes walk away is the jeep terminal bound for Sigay. Knowing that the jeep will depart at around 1pm (we arrived there 10 am), we went to see their friend who works as a barber at a local barber shop and watched television there. 


While waiting at the jeepney terminal, noticed some vendors on carts and tricycles, most of their trades were sea foods which are not available in the high mountains of Sigay, Ilocos Sur. Gladly bought those green shellfish called locally as "Tahong".



It was few minutes after noon and the jeep was jam packed inside with baggage, commodities as well as passengers (surely because only one or two jeeps ply  the route if i am not mistaken). Mostly old women were inside and some "balikbayans" overseas workers going home to their beloved town of Sigay. 
We stayed on top of the jeep (top load) which was more exciting and the view up there was quite good aside that is jam packed inside. 


Oh my gulay! I had hard time holding on, clinging, pinning, staying on my place while the jeep rocks sideways and back and forth through on the not cemented, rugged, sometimes steep road and not to mention the river with all the rocks. Unfortunately, it seems that i was just the one having trouble in my place while the others were sitting pretty like they were cowboys riding their horses heehaw! Our group (meaning the four of us) were so noisy as the jeep rocks back and forth going down on steep slope. "Oh my gulay! This is like SURVIVOR (if you know the reality television show)" one of us uttered and then laughs, while few times i heard one of the locals who were used to this ride said,


 "ammum latta mut nu sino ti first time na aglugan, siguro handa taga ditoy" (you know the people who are not from here and first time to ride) .. i just smiled.


We arrived at Sigay town proper around 4 pm and met the people who were friends with our companion. Two of them are local barangay police. 
We tried looking for live chicken again but there were no live chicken available in that area. With one of the barangay police together with one of my companion, on a motorbike they went looking for live chicken 30 minutes away in the neighboring barangay (village) and finally got one.
They are planning to go to the falls in the morning but i insisted that we go that late afternoon (time constraint on me) and so with flashlights and some foods  we went hiking in the moonlit night which made it more exciting and mysterious. We walked through some bushes and springs. At a far distance, lights from people fishing can be seen. As we pass by, the barangay police would make our presence felt (greeting them) and they would reply back. We would constantly rest at stop points. 
Not seeing the entire area, only the one lighted by the flashlights can be seen, the rush of tremendous dropping water makes your heart beat faster with excitement. Now it's a descend for a seemingly endless downhill walk, as if going down to the center of the earth (as it was dark and imaginations run wild). Our voices even echoed like we were inside a deep and wide well.




We finally arrived at the river then walked on some bamboo and wood foot bridges from the top of one boulder to another boulder. We settled down on a shed surrounded by boulders and the acquaintance went on. Cooked some food- the chicken, the shellfish and some harvest of the rivers from the locals fishing at night which turned out that some of them were also barangay police. 
As night got deeper the temperature got colder. I had a hard time sleeping for my eagerness to see the waterfalls is taking in and because of the biting coldness of the night, i shiver once in a while. 
I went outside of the nipa hut where we were sleeping and tried to see the waterfalls but only saw the ghostly whites of the waterfalls.


This is Dennis looking up at the waterfalls on a very cold morning.

One of the friends of our companion, a barangay police in one of the huts.








That same morning around 9 o'clock, after some intimacy with the waterfalls and surrounding area, we (three of us) went back, while "Dennis" and company stayed behind.
Taken during our ascend back, a one last picture with aw-asen falls.

We rode on their lone motorbike and took the other route (back country not cemented road and less traveled) which is the one connecting to Suyo, Ilocos Sur, and terminates near Urzadan bridge in Suyo.
Only two people can be accommodated safely by the motorbike. Funny, this was how we did it, two (the driver and one passenger) from the three of us would go ahead while the other walks. The two who went ahead would drive a considerable distance then puts his passenger down to walk and the driver goes back to fetch the one who was walking behind. This went on until we arrived at the town proper of Suyo, Ilocos Sur. 
At Suyo town proper, I rode a passenger tricycle while my companions rode the motorbike. We all met at the Bitalag junction in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur where we parted ways. The two went north to go back to Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur while I rode a bus bound for South to La Union and eventually to Home Sweet Home.


-end of pagnapagna-



Here is a video of Aw-asen falls 

Subject   : AW-ASEN FALLS
Location :  Municipality of Sigay
                 Province of Ilocos Sur
How to get there:
If You are coming From Manila , Take a bus bound for either Candon City (Ilocos Sur), Vigan (Ilocos Sur), Laoag (Ilocos Norte) or Bangued (Abra). But get down at Downtown Candon, Ilocos Sur. Then take a tricycle ride to the terminal of jeep bound for Sigay, Ilocos sur (it is also just a walking distance from the Civic Center). (Bear in mind that there are only one or two jeeps that goes to the mountain municipality of Sigay which departs around noontime and there is no hotels in the said municipality. The only jeep comes down from Sigay at around early 7 am). At Downtown Sigay you can ask directions or for a "guide" from the Barangay police/tanods.

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