Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our journey to APANG HOT SPRING

 "The Hot spring is located near the boundary of Alilem to Bakun, Benguet"
One can actually pay a fare on a passenger motorbike from downtown Alilem, Ilocos Sur to the Hydro Power Plant area but we decided to walk all the way to the Apang Hot Spring. 
Here is the account of our journey to the Apang Hot Spring.

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-my pagnapagna-

We arrived at Alilem town proper at 8:16 in the morning through riding on a passenger motorbike from Sudipen, La Union.
At Alilem, we went directly to the Municipal hall to inquire on how to get to Apang hot spring and then afterwards at the police station to let them know that we were going to hike our way to the said area. There they let us log-in at their logbook.
We started walking on the road going east (8:23 am), passed by the branching road (8:51 am) that leads to barangay Batbato. We also passed by the entry trail to Baey Anito falls by the roadside (8:58 am). Along the way were Anaao Barangay Hall (9:20 am), Anaao Elementary School and the Ana-ao Bridge where you can see the Bakun river as it rushes below.

At the Anaao Elementary School
One of the few hanging bridges that crosses the Bakun river
The Ana-ao bridge (right corner of photo)

At the bridge is an instrument that measures water level or amount caused by rain that helps inform the public to dangers of flooding.

The instrument placed at one of the side of the Ana-ao bridge.

We continued walking and saw a waterfall by the road side (around 10:00 am). Together with my companion, we went up scaling the upper base of the waterfall and the view there was way better than from the road below. We found out that some of its waters were being utilized by farmers to water their rice fields nearby through some black pipelines.

Up at the base of the roadside waterfalls
Near its base was a hanging bridge that goes up above the road like an overpass and crosses the Bakun river to the other side.

The hanging bridge above the road that goes all the way to the other side of Bakun river.
 At the right side of the photo will be the roadside waterfall
The roadside waterfall as seen from a distance

We continued walking then took a rest (11:00 am) at a local store near the hanging bridge that will eventually leads to Ken Ngilawen burial cave. We had a snack there while it began to drizzle. We also learned from the store owner that they call hot springs as "Asin" because hot springs are salty to the taste. "Asin" is a Filipino general word for "Salt".
Farther on our walk, we stopped and took a shelter at a waiting shed while it rained at a road junction in barangay Amilongan

At the junction in Barangay Amilongan

The rain eventually became tolerable and we walked until we arrived (12:13 pm) near the Hydro Power Plant

The Hydro Power Plant of Luzon Hydro Corporation (LHC) along the Bakun river.

There we met "David" whom we inquired on how to get to the hot spring. 
There was another trail going to the hot spring along the river at the Hydro Power Plant but we have to cross some waters so we opted to go the other way through the road going up. 
From the main entrance gate of the Hydro Power Plant, together with "David", we continued walking on a road at its side. 

The signboard at the entry of the uphill road

It was an uphill concreted one lane road. As we walked uphill, they talked about the Hydro Power Plant and this part of Alilem being part of Bakun, Benguet before. We stopped at a road bend (12:28 pm) and "David" said "Datuy ti pagnaan yu bumaba dita, addan tu met lang maymaysa nga balay nga makita yu" (This is the trail going down there, you will see a lone house below) as he showed as a trail going down the mountain side. We thanked him and he left us at the jump-off point by the roadside. He continued walking uphill and went out of sight up at the road bend going back to his home at the outskirt of the municipality of Bakun, Benguet.

"David" leaving us at the jump-off area and going back up 
to the outskirts of Bakun, Benguet

We hiked the trail going down the mountainside (12:31 pm) and arrived at the lone house (12:48 pm). Barking dogs greeted us and there we met "Alex" whom we inquired to where the hot spring was. He said "Bumaba kayo latta dita igid karayan, ta naikkan met lang ti hose didiay" (Just go down near the river, a hose is placed at it). We went down to where the hot spring was.

At the Apang Hot spring
They placed a hose to convey the hot waters from the Spring

We decided to bathe in its water but unfortunately, we can only tolerate its hot water for around two seconds. With our bare hands, we cupped the hot water and just splashed it on our bodies. Yeah, that was a real treat for the tired bodies. As we readied to go back, it rained. With umbrella and raincoat, we went back up the trail (2:03 pm). "Alex" seems to be not around as we went and passed by at his house. 

A weak rain as we left the lone house near the Hot Spring. 
That's my companion with his hiking pole
It was very tiring going up the trail, even with the help of  improvised bamboo hiking poles we picked up along the trail. I trailed behind and at times, I stop to catch my breathe as he stopped also to wait for me. My endurance at scaling uphill trails is not that great. Patiently, we arrived at the road above (2:23 pm). We continued walking downhill along the concreted road and passed by the Hydro Power Plant (2:35 pm). While walking farther, it rained heavily that we hitched a ride on an elf truck (2:40 pm) until we went down at his destination three-fourths along the way to Alilem town proper (3:00 pm). There we flagged down a passenger motorbike and rode at it until we reached downtown Alilem (3:15 pm).
At downtown Alilem, we paid the driver and went back to see the police station to let them know that we were back from the hiking, after which we rode another passenger motorbike (3:32 pm) to Sudipen, La Union (3:58 pm) where we rode a bus going back to Home sweet Home

-end of pagnapagna-

Subject  : Apang Hot spring
Location : Barangay of Apang
                Municipality of Alilem
                Province of Ilocos Sur

How to get there:
From Manila take a bus bound for any of these :
Candon City, Abra, Vigan City and Laoag City. 
You must get down at downtown Sudipen, La Union.
At Sudipen take a backride on a passenger motorbike going to downtown Alilem, Ilocos Sur (going east with around 80 pesos fare) and then ride another motorbike going to drop-off point which is at the mini-hydro power plant. Ask direction and hike your way to the hot spring.

Please visit their Municipal Hall for inquiry.

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