Thursday, March 6, 2014


"I tried to go to this place before on my travels to Sablan but they were futile. One of my arduous search for one of nature's works that emanates from underground thermal activity. Also known as thermal springs, these hot springs of Sacdol was my very first of its kind."

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-my pagnapagna-
(March 2014)

As early as 5:37 in the morning, i started walking along Calot-Kamog road from the junction at the Naguilian road. I passed by the Kamog barangay proper (Barangay Hall and Michael G. Angel Elementary School Area) at 6:23 am. I walked farther down the road into the house of Mr. "Bansen" (7:21 am) where i gave photos i took during my past visit to that place.
After i talked with Mr. "Bansen" and got bits of information to where the hot springs are located, i continued my hike along the trail going down the mountainside.

Tiger grass are flowering this time of the year

 I reached the hanging bridge that crosses the Balili river at 7:48 am.

Hanging bridge (1st hanging bridge from  Mr. Bansen's house)

To get down to the river below, i went to the other side of the hanging bridge and from there walked some more along a trail that eventually went down to the rocky riverside (8:20 am).

Hopping from one rock to the other, i went farther downstream and at one point i crossed the river to get to the other side. I literally touched every springs along the way but everything were cold (as i was looking for the "hot" one). Walked farther until i reached an area where another hanging bridge can be seen above at a distance (9:35 am). 
In order to get to the hanging bridge above, i climbed a short cliff through an obvious trail which the locals use (there is even an old cable wire to hang on at some point of the climb). What a relief, i made it to the hanging bridge.

The hanging bridge looked old and it was. Its flooring were made of a single file 2 by 12 inches wood boards resting on a 2 by 3 inches wood cross bracing that rest on both ends to a rusting old metal cable wires. The upper cable wires were also rusted and at some points were almost broken that some of its metal wire were cut that it sprang out.

Frustration started to set in on me as it seems that i will not see the so-called "hot springs". The view there was nice though so i brought out the tripod and took some photos of me on the hanging bridge.  

at the old hanging bridge
A view from the old hanging bridge

I sat on the entry point of the hanging bridge and rested there for a while contemplating of going back. I think i saw my savior, a man was sitting below the bridge at the other side who had noticed me and seems to be also wondering what i was doing there. I got my backpack and started walking on the hanging bridge as careful as i can to get to where the man was. I accidentally got a puncture wound below my right hand thumb from gliding my hands to the rusting metal cable wire (a wire had sprung out from the cable due to wear and tear). 
I shouted "Manong ayan na dyay Sacdol hot spring?" (Sir, where is the Sacdol hot spring?). "Ay, ta isurok anya papanam" (Oh, i will show you where to go) the man answered back.
I introduced myself and so did he. His name was "Ford P."
"Ford P." is going fishing that time and since he was going to show me the "hot springs" he said he will be fishing downstream near where the hot springs were.
I followed him while he walked ahead of me. On his bare feet, "Ford P." hopped from one rock to another real fast, at times he would stop just to wait for me.
After extensive hopping on top of the rocks, he reached the area where the hot springs are located while i trailed behind. I finally reached the area and said to him "Nabayaganak nga nagna manong tani nagsakit ti saka dagidiay batbato natatangken ken nagtitirad" (it took me some time to walk sir because my feet hurts from the hard and sharp rocks). 
"Wun ta ti taga baba ket naiimpis ti dakulap ti saksaka da, nu sikami a ket uray ilagto-lagto mi pay a" (Yes, because the lowlanders have thinner soles at their feet, we can even jump up and down on the rocks) he explains further in sympathy. 
He said "datoy ti umuna nga Asin adu pay ti sumarunu dita nu magna ka pay agpakasta" (This is the first of the many "Asin", there are more ahead if you walk further).  
They locally call the hot springs "ASIN" (Salt) maybe because they associate it with the more popular hot spring which is called Asin Hotsprings located at Baguio City or just because of the salt-like residues that these springs usually forms (or the salty taste).
We had our photos taken at the first dripping hot spring. Talked for a while, ate some bananas then i gave him something for accompanying me.

Showing me the first of the series of hot springs is Mr. Ford P.

From there, he stayed behind to go fishing. "Malabsan nak tu met lang nu agsubli ka ta baka nu malem ak tu pay agawid, rugyak ditoyen nga agkalap" (You will still see me when you go back, i might go home later this afternoon. I will start catching fish here) he said.
I used my spare tee shirt to cover my face and protect me from the hot noon sun as well as the reflected heat generated by the riverside rocks as i walked along where the hot springs are flowing by the mountainside.  

One of the springs by the mountainside
a hot spring with bamboo pole
another hot spring

The photo was taken around noontime at the Hot spring area

It was 12:05 pm when i decided to go back. Under the scourging rays of the hot noon sun, i became sluggish but still careful as not to miss a step going through that extensive and exhausting rock hopping. I eventually consumed all the content of my one and only bottle of water. 

One of the view along the river

I did saw "Ford P." catching fish at a distance and we talked for a short while, then i went on my way again leaving him behind. On my way, i dipped into the shallow cool waters of the river to freshen me up and lessen my thirst for water.
I reached the old hanging bridge at 2:15 pm then walked and hopped on rocks along the river again to reach the other hanging bridge at 3:20 pm. I hiked uphill along the mountainside back to the house of Mr. "Bansen" at around 4:15 pm. There were no people around at their house, so i went to their neighbor to ask for water. Too thirsty, i drunk around two and a half liters of water and filled my plastic bottle for my walk along the road.
On my way up along the road, my thigh muscles started to twitch and eventually stiffened. I can not walk so i have to sit by the roadside and did some stretching and massaged my thigh muscles. Few minutes later, I said to myself, i can not sit here forever. I have seen the "Hot springs", now  my goal is "Home". I got to move or darkness of night will catch me. Slowly, i walked myself on all that uphill road. I did walked left-sideways-going-up, right-sideways-going-up, and backwards-going-up just to move myself but most of the time my front thigh muscles still stiffened that i have to stop.
Eventually, i reached Barangay Kamog proper (Barangay Hall and Michael G. Angel Elementary School area) at around few minutes before 6 o'clock in the evening. I got a free tricycle ride going near the Kamog-Pappa junction, the tricycle was going to refill their bottles of drinking water. After that tricycle ride, i walked my way to the other end of the newly cemented road (the road was closed and vehicles are no entry beyond that point) and got a another tricycle ride going back to the Naguilian road where i eventually got a bus going back to Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

Sacdol Hotsprings

Located at Barangay Pappa of Sablan, Benguet, these are remote series of springs that flows from the cracks on the rocks of a mountainside along the Balili river near the provincial boundary of Benguet to La Union particularly the municipality of Sablan (Benguet) to Burgos (La Union).
Not yet developed, these series of springs with varying temperatures are usually used by the locals to relax their tired bodies from a day's work.

Time Duration
(My Hike)

San Fernando, La Union to Drop-off at Sablan (Bus): 3:55 am - 5:15 am  (1 hour and 20 minutes)

Calot-Kamog-Pappa Provincial road to junction to Pappa (Walk): 5:37 am - 6:11 am  (34 minutes)
Junction to Pappa to Kamog proper (Walk): 6:11 am - 6:23 am  (12 minutes)
Kamog proper to Drop-off to Agsit waterfalls (Walk): 6: 23 am - 6:50 am  (27 minutes)
Drop-off to Agsit waterfalls to drop-off to Aneng river (Walk): 6:50 am - 6:55 am  (5 minutes)
Drop-off to Aneng river to House of  Mr. "Bansen" (Walk): 6:55 am - 7:21 am  (26 minutes)
House of Mr. "Bansen" to 1st hanging bridge by the river (Walk): 7:21 am - 7:48 am  (27 minutes)
1st hanging bridge to 2nd (old) hanging bridge (Walk along river): 8:00 am - 9:35 am  (1 hour and 35 minutes)
At hotsprings (walk along river ): around 10:00 pm - 11:09 am  (around 1 hour and 9 minutes)

Going Back

Hotsprings to 2nd (old) hanging bridge (Walk along river): 12:05 pm - 2:15 pm  (2 hours and 10 minutes)
2nd (old) hanging bridge to 1st hanging bridge (Walk along river): 2:15 pm - 3:20 pm  (1 hour and 5 minutes)
1st hanging bridge to house of  Mr. "Bansen" (Walk uphill on trail): 3:20 pm - 4:15 pm (55 minutes)
House of Mr. "Bansen" to Drop-off to Aneng river (Walk uphill on road): 4:20 pm - 4:57 pm (37 minutes)
Drop-off to Aneng river to Drop-off to Agsit falls (Walk on road): 4:57 pm - 5:02 pm (5 minutes)
Drop-off to Agsit falls to Kamog proper (Walk uphill on road): 5:02 pm - around 6:00 pm (around 58 minutes)
Kamog proper to near Pappa junction (tricycle): 6:15 pm - 6:20 pm  (5 minutes)
to Naguilian road (walk and tricycle ride): 6:20 pm - 6:30 pm (10 minutes)
(Google Map) My Hike to Sacdol Hot Springs

Subject  : Sacdol Hot Springs
Location : Barangay Pappa
                Municipality of Sablan
                Province of Benguet

How to get there:
From Manila you may either:  
a) go up to BAGUIO CITY, then at Baguio City ride a bus going down to any of these places: San Fernando City-La Union, Candon City, Abra or Laoag City but you have to get down at Barangay Banangan (before Sablan town proper) particularly at the intersection of Calot-Kamog- Pappa Provincial road (the road going to Sablan National High School and SLU Centennial Village). Ride a tricycle going to the farthest point going down the road at Kamog then ask directions to hike going to the Hot springs.
b) go to LA UNION. From Manila take a bus bound to any of these: La Union, Candon City, Vigan City, Abra and Laoag City. But you have to get down at Barangay Banangan (after Sablan town proper) particularly at the intersection of Calot-Kamog- Pappa Provincial road (the road going to Sablan National High School and SLU Centennial Village). Ride a tricycle going to the farthest point going down the road at Kamog then ask directions to hike going to the Hot springs.

Please visit first their Municipal Hall and try to look for the Officer in-charged with their Tourism so they can endorse you to the Barangay concerned.

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