TEKDAG-ASO Falls of Arosip and our missed hike to DAMBANA ng kagitingan
"We went back to Arosip Eco-trail for Tekdag-aso falls and afterwards went to see the long-forgotten DAMBANA ng kagitingan"
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.
It was early in the morning (6:00 am) when we stepped down from the bus bound for Laoag City along the national highway at the Welcome arch to DMMMSU-NLUC (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University - North La Union Campus) Bacnotan, La Union. There we rode a tricycle going to the drop-off point at barangay Casiaman.
The two of us started walking at a cemented road going up to barangay Arosip (6:05 am). It was a long and generally uphill walk.
Around 50 meters from where we went down on a tricycle is a waiting shed
We saw this message at the waiting shed: "Mama, umuna akon" (Mama, i'll go ahead)
The view above the trail
At the top of the hill (7:12 am), because we were planning to walk our way to Balaoan, La Union when we get back, we asked a young farmer where would be the way going down to Bungol, Balaoan, La Union. I also inquired about the "Dambana".
the young farmer
one of the passenger jeep going downtown that passed by
We proceeded to walk towards barangay Arosip proper. At the Barangay hall area (7:30 am), nobody seemed to be around. We decided to go to a store nearby just below the roadside.
We had our snack at the store and asked where we could get a guide going to Tekdag-aso falls. Luckily, the store owner's son who is a barangay councilor and in-charge with tourism matters was there visiting. He was our guide going to Tekdag-aso falls. After walking along the trail, we arrived at the river bedrock (8:41 am) and went downstream where Tekdag-aso falls is located.
going downstream at the river bedrock
The primary cascade before Tekdag-aso falls
proceeding to Tekdag-aso falls
The Tekdag-aso Falls
After Tekdag-aso falls, by walking the mountainside along the river, we went to see farther downstream. After reaching some distance, we returned upstream.
Our guide went to get some edible ferns called "pakpako"
We visited also the twin falls of Zim-sim-ug and Padtok falls located upstream.
Although low lying, these circular rock formations on the river bedrock can serve as seats
Our guide Barangay Councilor Placido Delmindo sitting on one of the circular rock formations
The other Zim-sim-ug falls almost dry at that time
Later on, we went back at the mountainside trail (10:17 am). Near the trail to the store where we first came from, we parted ways with our guide because he will be going home to sitio Poser. Before we separated, we asked directions on how to get to the so-called "Dambana" and got answer which we thought we can easily follow.
Our guide as we parted ways. He was going home to sitio Poser of Barangay Arosip, Bacnotan, La Union
We went back to the store and ate noodles with egg (We asked a favor to the store owner to cook it for us).
Back on the road (12:06 pm), we went back on the clearing on top of the hill and walked on the dirt road at the intersection with the instruction of the councilor in our mind (almost).
From the dirt road, we walked on a trail going up to the road above.
A view from the trail going to the road above
another view from the trail
On the trail, there were many flies feasting on some dead earthworms.
The trail going up to the cemented road above to San Gabriel, La Union coming from Arosip, Bacnotan, La Union
One of the two steel gates along the trail
We finally arrived at the concrete road above (1:31 pm). At that point, we did not quite get if we should go up near the towers or go down the road.
A roadside cow. At that time when we were contemplating which way to go, he was facing the right direction
The road and the steel towers above
After we went back and forth a few meters on the road and even asking directions from passers-by on motorbikes, we decided to go up near the base of the tower where we saw a waiting shed and walked on a trail going down.
at a waiting shed and the steel towers at the background
There, we saw kids at play whom we asked where is that "Dambana". "Jak ammo manong, damagem lang kenni uncle ditan ni" (I do not know sir. Just ask uncle there sir) one of the kids answered and pointed to the house below. We went to the house and asked. They told us that we have to go down the cemented road and just ask directions there. Although i knew that the "Dambana" is a monument on top of a hill, i asked him "Anya aya iti makita edianay manung?" (What can be seen there sir?). He replied "Monumento diyay nga kasla ken tatang ni Marcos, nalikkalikkab en a dagidiay marmol na diyanany. Kaykayu a ti makita ediay" (It's a monument that had something to do with the father of Marcos. the marbles there were all gone now. Trees can be seen there).
We followed what he said and we arrived at a residential area and decided to have snack at a roadside store. At the store (2:07 pm), the door to their living room was open and we can see from there the television set as they were watching the "Pacquiao-Algieri boxing fight". After we had our snack, we continued walking down the road to get us to where we should be going.
a signage to Sitio Bantuague, Lacong, San Gabriel
At a crossroad, we asked where can we find the "Dambana". For a while, they seemed not to know it (It must be that its dilapidated and almost forgotten) but they pointed to the top of a hill at a distance with lot of trees.
Marker showing directions to Sitio Bato and Bantuague of barangay Lacong, San Gabriel, La Union
We walked towards the base of the hill looking for the path or trail leading to its peak but there seemed to be nothing obvious. We saw some but we doubt it was (we learned later on farther down the road that it was). I've got the thinking that if that was a monument, then it must have a welcome sign or a sort of good-looking obvious pathway or trail.
A welcome marker. "Welcome to barangay Lacong" (San Gabriel, La Union)
The "Dambana ng Kagitingan" is located somewhere at that hill at the background
We walked farther down the road expecting that we will find the entry point. Well, as we walked, the road keeps going farther away from the hill and going down in elevation. We were now tired and going back up would not be on our option (3:07 pm). We decided to just walk further down the road that terminated inside DMMMSU-NLUC compound (3:50 pm).
Termination of the road at DMMMSU-NLUC
Inside DMMMSU-NLUC (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University-North La Union Campus), we rode a jeep (4:05 pm) that eventually took us to our town and be at HOME SWEET HOME.
-end of pagnapagna-
For a post on Arosip Eco-trail fet. Zim-sim -ug Twin Falls CLICK HERE