Sunday, January 13, 2013

TANGADAN FALLS ... revisited

"You can never get enough from one visit alone. Revisiting is advised. It deserved a second look"

My purpose this time is to see how long it would take to walk from downtown San Gabriel to Tangadan Falls using the Sitio Kilat –Amontoc route (at that time, I still do not know the Bucao –Duplas route or the River trail).

 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-
(January 13, 2013)

Knowing that there is a tropical storm somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, I went to their Public Market and bought the cheapest umbrella I can find.
From the Supermarket, I started my pagnapagna (walk) at around 8:30 am, passed by a bridge going to Barangay Bumbuneg. Walked further, the road branches and I took the one going to Sitio Kilat of Barangay Bumbuneg (the other leads to Barangay Bucao which is Route #2.)
At Sitio Kilat, just after I passed by a basketball court, the road branched again and I took the one going uphill to my right with Belen Store at the corner (9:12 am). That uphill road leads to Barangay Amontoc and the other one goes to Barangay Lon-oy. That was the start of an all-uphill walk. Few jeeps with top load passengers and motorbikes passed by (funny, I tried not to show weakness when they passed by). Tired, I rested at a waiting shed (10:06 am) and it began to drizzle. The drizzle turned into a downpour at 10:12 am, so I stayed there some few minutes more, hoping it will stop or weaken. At 10:30 am, I decided to open my umbrella and keep on going. Passed by Barangay Amontoc Rice Mill at 10:40 am and the rain stopped. I continued walking to a crossroad and from a store owner i asked for directions. Taking the road going down towards east (right side) and some few minutes walk,  thin fog shrouded the way at Sitio Bulala welcome arch (11:06 am) after which it began to drizzle again. Going farther, from concreted the road turned into rough road. At some point unrecognizable as it was damaged by some previous storm’s downpour revealing rocks and boulders. I just kept on going until the drop-off point /end of the road (11:40 am) where a house was being built. The rain kept on pouring, so I took shelter at a shed stocked with sacks of rice (I can not find people around). As I rested, the rain did not stopped or weakened. I opened the umbrella and walked my way down to the falls. It was a little bit hard to find for the right way going down as there were no one around to ask for directions or any signs that said “this way”. I’m actually left to my own, so it was a trial and error - “go forward - go backward” thing. And I finally got on track which led to concreted steps.  I was on my way down to the falls and from my vantage point, I saw people down at the falls. They were having their picnic with their big umbrella opened sheltering them from the rain. They noticed me standing on top of a boulder above them. I took some photographs and went down to the falls. This man with rounded features, no shirt on and had a goggles at his forehead caught my attention as he invited me to go under and behind the waterfalls. I declined politely and just took pictures of him instead. He later introduced himself as a “Guide” of the group but now hesitant to stay longer as his companions are now drinking liquor. He told me that I can go with him when he goes back and I agreed with no hesitation (this is a new route for me). He said goodbye to the group he was with and we went our way downstream at the river. As we walked, he showed me some of the best parts of the river where there was a pool area great for diving and a small cascade that can massage your back while water flowed down. Until we finally came to the small irrigation dam which serves as our bridge going to the other side. We passed by a farmland and eventually arrived at their residence at barangay Duplas, San Juan, La Union. The hike took us an average of one hour.
                He invited me inside and we had lunch. Introduced his family and showed me around his yard. After some few discussions, I said goodbye and rode a tricycle going downtown San Gabriel.

-end of pagnapagna-

Revisiting Tangadan Falls that day revealed an easier way to the waterfalls through that guide I met.

For the post on "Sabado de Gloria 2014 at Tangadan Falls" CLICK HERE
For the earlier post on "Tangadan Falls" CLICK HERE

one of the "guides" at Tangadan Falls
Samuel Cabading is a local of the area who resides at Barangay Duplas of San Juan, La Union which is about an hour trek to Tangadan falls. Very entertaining and from what i have seen, he knows how to swim (a must for a person frequenting rivers and waterfalls).

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.

"Tangadan is crowding up"
As of March year 2015, 
Tangadan Falls had a significant increase in terms of tourist arrival. 

The local government is now constructing Public Toilets and there is also a rumor of them putting up a viewing deck. 
Along the trail (Via Duplas) there are sari-sari stores on sheds where you can have stop-overs and buy munchies and drinks (on some days but mostly on weekends and holidays). They also have a spring flowing (on a hose) where you can get water. 
If you like the peace and quiet, try going on weekdays where there are fewer people going.

Below is a year 2015 (Month of March) Video Clip of the place.


As of September 2016, every visitors are required to register and pay a certain fee at the San Gabriel PNP (Police) office.

Subject   : TANGADAN Falls 
Location : Barangay Amontoc
                 (Boundary with Bagulin)
                 Municipality of San Gabriel
                 Province of La Union

How to get there:
From Manila take a bus bound to any of these: Laoag, Vigan, Candon, Abra . Get down to any of these places in La Union namely: San Fernando, San Juan or Bacnotan Then from there get a jeepney bound for San Gabriel.
And when in San Gabriel, La Union: (There are two routes you can choose from)

A) Amontoc via Sitio Kilat (This was my route Shown above)
-This takes about 3 hours if you are going to hike it from downtown (uphill on cemented road) . When you get to sitio Kilat of Barangay Bumbuneg get the uphill road going to barangay Amontoc and when you reach a point where the road ends, ask for directions going down to the falls (there are only one or two houses there) .

Fastest way:
-At downtown San Gabriel, you can also get a Backseat ride on a single motor bike for about 100 pesos (one way and cost is as of year 2012) up to the drop off point (end of the road) then take some 10 to 15 minutes downhill hike to the falls below.

B) via Bucao, Duplas (river route)
-This is a "Nature hike" and have to walk along rocky riverside and crossing the river on top of rocks or at knee deep waters depending upon the season (it gets deeper during rainy season and may not even be passable).
From downtown San Gabriel, hire a tricycle to bring you to Duplas which passes through barangay Bucao  Just tell the tricycle driver that you are going to the Drop-off point to Tangadan Falls at barangay Duplas -upper
 (Duplas is a part of San Juan, La Union) near Dagup. Ask direction in the area and take a hike for an average of 1 hour.

Note: You may also visit the San Gabriel, La Union Municipal Hall for more inquiries and guides.
© All original content copyright sparkPLUG, 2012-2013. Please ask permission for content use.

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