Sunday, April 14, 2013

GAMBANG Falls... CERVANTES short Visit

"Visiting a place for the first time"

It was a short stay at Cervantes, that there was a little time to explore the beauty of the place. Hope to be back again someday to continue the experience.

 -my pagnapagna-

I was so excited to go to Cervantes that day, so i woke up early to fetch my companion at Bangar, La Union.
Arrived at Bangar, La Union around 8 o'clock in the morning. Unfortunately, my companion have to finish some works (tobacco for drying at a kiln). I ended waiting for him, and went on our way some three hours later.
After riding a mini-bus and arriving at the Bitalag Junction at Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, we went to a passenger van parked at a roadside (going east). A man greeted us and confirmed that the van was bound for the town of Cervantes. I placed my backpack at the van's seat where we will be sitting later and waited until the van was full.
The van, with all the its passengers including the two of us, finally departed Bitalag Junction at 1:01 pm. The road going to Cervantes was generally good except for some few fallen small rocks and soil along the road. The climate at Bessang Pass area was colder with some pine trees along the way. Then the road goes down to what it seems like a valley. That valley was the town of Cervantes. We finally arrived in downtown Cervantes at 3:14 pm.
The town had just celebrated their Town Fiesta that culminated some 4 days back (april 9). "Baratillo" or flea market on tents/stalls crowded in front of their Town Hall, occupying the park and beside was their Civic Center/Gymnasium. Occupying another road was a Carnival area.
After eating at a "Carinderia" (eatery), to look for Asyey Falls, we rode a tricycle and headed towards barangay Aluling (we passed by the finished Aluling Bridge being painted that day) but unfortunately it seems the tricycle driver also do not know where it was so we have to go back. A little bit frustrated, paid the tricycle driver and decided to walk down the road downtown until we reached Bessang Pass Memorial Hospital. Resting for a while, we got another tricycle and asked if he knows barangay Malaya where another waterfall is located.

"Wen, ngem magna kayo pay ti mga 30 minutos aggapu dyay dalan" (Yes, but you have to walk some 30 minutes from the road) he replied.
"Sige, ngem mabalin pay ba ti kastoy nga oras?" (It's alright, but is it still okay to go there at this time) i asked back since it was 4:30 in the afternoon already.
After few seconds of thinking, he replied, "Wen, mabalin pay" (Yes, it is still okay).

We rode on that tricycle, went to the direction towards Bessang Pass and arrived near the Malaya Elementary School which served as our jump-off point. 
At the jump-off, we walked down to a concreted trail, walked along a hanging bridge until we reached an irrigation canal and walk on top of its concreted wall that terminated to a pool area with a waiting shed on the other side. After a few meters walk on the rocky creek's banks from the waiting shed, it seemed to be a dead end (the water was deep to cross - don't like to get wet) so we went back near the hanging bridge and got an information, from a local that happened to passed by, as to where is the trail that leads to the waterfalls without using the creek. 
At the back of the waiting shed there was a trail. We followed the trail along the side of the mountain just above the creek. The trail was generally tricky, you could slide down the ravine that was only covered with some bushes into the rocky river below. My companion was not new to this kind of trails as he is a farmer and goes to the mountains at times to get firewood. He leads the trail and held my backpack all the time. I am a little bit nervous (which slowed me down), at times i literally crawl. Thanks to some vegetation, i have something to cling on to and not to mention the 2 inches irrigation black pipe along the way to hang on.
What a deep sigh, we finally arrived at the Gambang Falls.

Taken during Summer (which explains the lesser water volume).

Gambang Falls

It is made up of different cascades (tiered). It's water was clear when we went there.
One could imagine the volume of water cascading down during rainy season, it would be a greater sight.
We found some remnant of picnickers in the area.

Rested for a while, we headed back as darkness was already setting in. Using the same trail going back, we arrived at the jump-off area by the main road, near the Malaya Elementary School at 6:37 in the evening.
At the main highway, there were no tricycles around that we decided to walk going to downtown Cervantes. Darkness caught us up walking. 
Finally, we arrived at downtown Cervantes at 7:47 pm.
Water was the first thing we have to buy upon arrival at downtown. After which we strolled around at the carnival area and saw the Ferris wheel. I decided to try the Ferris wheel (video below) which i haven't tried since my teenage years. I alone rode the Ferris wheel while my companion stayed behind.
Afterwards, we had some couple of beer at a local store then went to look for a place to sleep. 
It was around 3 o'clock in the morning when we woke up and rushed to catch the 3 am passenger van. Unfortunately, the passenger van had already left, so we had to wait for the next scheduled passenger van which is at 5 am. We waited, then the passenger van came around 4:30 and departed Cervantes at 5:34 am. Passed by Bessang Pass at 6:05, then Suyo, Ilocos Sur at 7:01 am and finally at Bitalag Junction at 7:19 in the morning. 
From Bitalag Junction, we took a bus going to Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

 for more photos CLICK HERE

 For the Video of Ferris wheel Ride
Here is a reply i got from my inquiry at a facebook page: (I have to share this one. Such a very accommodating admin. And you can inquire on their page too for more best info.)
Local Government of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur  (please visit and like their page on facebook)

Hi there. What is your particular area of interest? We have Eco-tourism trails (ecologically oriented) but it is not so good to see at this time of the year because of forest fires lately that came from the municipality of Bakun, Benguet. We also have our His-tourism Trail (history oriented). We just had three big bridges completed: Sinedab (30mts); Catcateng (150mts) and Aluling (180mts) during the present administration. Villa Maria inn is the premiere place to stay. We also have Greenfields lodge and Bessang Pass travelers' inn, all in poblacion area. The pools are not as compared to those in the lowlands but nevertheless, they still offer a different experience. We have Dream land resort and Edralyn resort, both at barangay Comillas North. We have several falls but most are hard to reach. The most popular and easily accessible are Gambang and Budoy falls at barangay Malaya; and Asiyey falls at brgy. Aluling. We have almost all the kind of fruits in town, depending on the season. Please come and visit our humble town and experience the friendly people of Cervantes.
Honorio Lester P. Bautista
Municipal Secretary/ Facebook page admin Local Government of Cervantes, Ilocos Sur

Subject   : GAMBANG Falls
Location : Barangay Malaya
                 Municipality of Cervantes
                 Province of Ilocos Sur

How to get there:

A)- From Manila, Take any bus going to these northern Luzon places namely: Laoag City, Candon City, Vigan City or Abra but you have to get down at Bitalag Junction at Barangay Bitalag, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. At Bitalag junction take a passenger Van going to Cervantes.
 Van Schedule at Bitalag:
    -as early as 7 am, but it depends upon the availability of passengers. 10 am is more likely the general time for vans going to cervantes and last trip would be 5pm.
 At downtown Cervantes ride a tricycle going to the drop-off point at Barangay Malaya (near the Elementary School)
    Now take a hike going to the falls.

Note: Barangay Malaya is located some few kilometers before the Town proper of Cervantes. You will pass-by the area when you are approaching the Cervantes Town Proper from Bessang Pass.  
 © All original content copyright sparkPLUG, 2012-2013. Please ask permission for content use.


  1. Hello, My name is Merl, thank you very much! Your blog is very helpful! But if I may just ask if you have an idea if there are available public vehicles that comes from Mountain Province to Cervantes? We are planning to go to Vigan from Sagada through there. Thank you very much and more power! :)

    1. (Sagada-Bugias-Mankayan-Cervantes route)
      From Mountain Province, go down at Abatan, Bugias (Benguet) then either take a jeep or van to Mankayan. At Mankayan take a "baby" bus (mini-bus) to Cervantes. (note : Must be in Mankayan before 1pm to ride the small bus bound for Cervantes because the last trip before was 1o'clock pm but not sure how is it now)

      source: resident of Mankayan, Benguet

      -there is a public vehicle which comes from Bontoc, Mountain Province (Bontoc-Tadian-Cervantes route) but i don't know the details of this. :-)

    2. from Sagada you may ride a jeep going to Bontoc town proper then look for the public vehicle bound for cervantes..... Cheers! enjoy

  2. Hi Merl, when we were at cervantes there where some mini-buses coming from mangkayan (benguet) but not sure if others were from Tadian (mountain province). I'll get some info from friends if i can and be back with some answers. (hope it will be on time)