Tuesday, January 15, 2013

PINSAL FALLS of Ilocos Sur

"I have long been wondering what does this so called Pinsal Falls looked like in reality"
It looked so mysterious from pictures that I have seen. So when my brother asked me where can we go for an out of town “pagnapagna” , I suggested the town of Santa Maria in Ilocos Sur, home of the La Asuncion de la Ñuestra Señora Church as well as the said Pinsal Falls.

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.

-my pagnapagna- 
We begun our travel with an early morning (4:25 am) bus ride from San Fernando, La Union to Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur. Arrived at downtown Sta. Maria at around 6 am (it is faster to travel early morning because it is less traffic), we opted to go directly to its famous La Asuncion de la Ñuestra Señora Church which is just a stone throw away. 

After an hour at the church, we went to see the “old” small bridge which is located between the barangays of Baliw Laud and Baliw Daya just some few meters walk from downtown going north. We then headed back downtown to have a lite breakfast of beef noodles.

Some few minutes before 8 am, we decided to inquire at the Municipal Hall on how to get to Pinsal Falls. They advised us to see their Tourism Administrator's office located at the corner of the Plaza and it was just across the road fronting the stairs of La Asuncion de la Ñuestra Señora Church. We learned that the administrator is also the one who gives mayor’s/municipal permit to tricycles, so she helped us get a tricycle ride to Pinsal Falls at a minimal cost (about 250 pesos and if not for the tourism administrator, tricycles might charge you higher). We made the driver as our tour guide so it is just fair to add few pesos to the asking price at our own discretion.

So off we went with my brother back riding at the driver's seat so he can take some pictures along the way. Many times we went down from the tricycle to take some photographs. Passed by the barangays of Tinay West, Tinaan, Laslasong Sur, Agagrao, Gusing among others then at Baballasioan. We dropped by a store called “Mountain View” to get something for snacks. It has some huts with videoke machine and it is overlooking the mountain side of Sta. Maria. The driver also showed as a sort of a dam or a holding area of water, now with cracks and at a dilapidated state. At a far distance, we could see Pinsal Falls. After some few minutes ride, we arrived at the drop off point to Pinsal falls then we walked some few meters to get near the waterfalls. The pathway is cemented which leads to the top of the waterfalls. The riverbed is covered with whitish sediment, a sign of some thermal activity (there is a hot spring somewhere). The driver told us that there is a cave below but you have to dive to go inside and you can roast a whole pig inside. I even asked the driver where is the other footprint of the Ilocano’s legendary giant “ANGALO” and he said “adayu pay a, idiaaay” (it is still far away from here), aaahh! I hate it when people says that, meaning they are hesitant to show you.

We went down at the side of the falls with steps carved from the stone. At the base of the falls some few picnic sheds were built and a group of teenagers arrived holding live chicken and drinks. We then got back to the drop off point overlooking the falls where the tricycle is parked. Then came two women with their children and I asked them “ada sa picnic you dita falls a manang” (Having a picnic at the falls mam ?)  the woman answered back “haan adding, ada balay mi dita ngato dita Pilar” (No, we have our house up there in Pilar,Abra) Shame on me hehehe!. I learned that some people from Pilar, Abra usually uses  this as their walking route from Sta. Maria.

We went back and arrived at downtown Sta. Maria around noon time. Paid our driver – guide (Elmo Anghel) and we got a smiling happy face from him. After eating Empanada, we rode a bus back to Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

Subject   : PINSAL FALLS
Location : Barangay of Baballasioan
                 Municipality of Sta. Maria
                 Province of Ilocos Sur

How to get there:

From Manila take a bus bound for Vigan, Ilocos sur or Laoag City. Get down at downtown Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur. Then take a 20 minutes tricycle ride (about 250 pesos) going to the falls.
It is very accessible to any private transportation. (Have to walk some 10 to 15 minutes to get a closer look).
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  1. Hello brother, ada ba entrance fee na daytoy Pinsal Falls? Balak mi mapan nu July. Thank you very much for the reply. :D Cheers!

  2. sir mabalen kadi nga pagpagnaen manipud dyay munisipyo?hehehe, makapag-adventure lang sana. If maglalakad ako ilang oras naman?salamat