Saturday, June 4, 2016

Tangadan: River Crossings during the first days of rainy season.

"Its waters had turned to creamy brown in color making it hard to distinguish the deep areas"

The river trail to Tangadan Falls is basically under the neighboring La Union municipalities of :
1- SAN JUAN (Barangay Duplas where you usually park cars and it's the drop-off area)
2- BAGULIN (Barangay Dagup - where the mountain trail is at the right side (south) of the river)
3- SAN GABRIEL (Barangay Amontoc - Located at the left side (north) of the river where the Shed-for-rent and viewing area to Tangadan falls is located)

When going to these nature places, please practice the "Leave No Trace" (LNT) outdoor ethics.
Let us not vandalize and put graffiti (carve, etch, write) on its rocks, trees and stone walls. Manage and dispose our waste products properly.

If you find this story/blogpost interesting and/or had helped you in any way (in your researches, works, travels, blogs, adventures, homeworks at school, a personal project and more), I'd like to hear a word or two from wonderful people like you or simply Like "pagnapagna" in Facebook. I'd be very thankful. It gives me inspirations. Cheers!

-my pagnapagna-
(May 28, 2016 a Saturday)

It was early in the morning as I walked along the trail that passed along farms going to the river.
On top of the wall of the irrigation canal I walked and noticed that there was a rise of water flowing. Its crystal clear water had turned creamy brown.
I walked further to the small irrigation dam. The river had risen and overflowed over the dam's wall. 
I made it to the other side of the river, looked back and saw two men carrying boxes over their shoulders. They were about to walk on the irrigation dam's wall so I got the camera and video taped them from a distance.

These two men were carrying their commodities for their "trail-stores"
which they bought from downtown San Gabriel.
They were crossing the river through the irrigation dam in this photograph.
Soon they passed by where I was and followed them along the trail.

The trail along the San Gabriel side
We reached another river crossing and videotaped them as they crossed. It took some time before they made it safe to the other side of the river. I followed and had also difficulty in crossing.

Another river crossing. From San Gabriel side they are going to Bagulin side of the trail.
After that river crossing, the trail went up to the mountainside. 

Mountain trail (part of Bagulin, La Union)
Still following them, soon they stopped and rested at one of the trail stores at the "Diso-or". I moved on leaving them behind and continued walking along the mountainside trail.

At the "Diso-or" falls. It is here where they rested.
The "trail-store" of his companion is located here and he stayed behind.
Another river crossing ahead. 
Overlooking the stores at the bedrock at the other side of the river, the river was raging and the planks of wood that served as small bridges were no longer in site and of no use as the river had risen. What makes it worst was the zero visibility under the water. The creamy brown color of its waters hides the shallow and deep areas. In this area, most of the bedrock beneath the waters were slippery. 
I was in dire need of help to cross this part of the river. 

Wood planks used to be placed here acting as small bridges
Few minutes later, as I stood there waiting for a "miracle", one of the two men carrying styro-boxes over their shoulders arrived. He will also cross the river to get to his "trail-store".
 I watched him as he cautiously and carefully made his way on those small peaks of bedrocks looming above the raging creamy brown river. 

I had to watch him make the crossing first in order that I can follow his steps afterwards.
He made it to the other side. I followed carefully, feeling sensitively the riverbed with my bare feet to gain traction while fighting the raging flowing river as I forward myself towards the other side. Finally, I was at a dry bedrock.
I passed by him together with his wife at their store. 
I just smiled and greeted them as we knew each other.
I walked on further on the elevated bedrock to walk again along the waters of the river.
I noticed my shorts had been ripped in the right thigh.

Unknowingly, I ripped my shorts along the way.
I walked on the waters to get to the elevated area where the sheds were.
Greeted everyone as I passed by them doing their business and walk my way to the waterfalls.

Tangadan Falls with its creamy brown waters.
After a while, I went to my usual sitting area which was beside "manang Nina". She sells water, soft drinks, & junk foods besides the shady walkway amidst the sheds-for-rent area. While sitting beside her and watching visitors come and go, I took out my pens and paper and made a sketch of her.

My sketch of manang "Nina"

Later on, It was time to go back.
Back on the trail again and eventually back to Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

Note: On this start of the rainy season, the rise of the river was not yet overwhelming but it may be risky for unguided first-timers. Getting a "guide" is recommended to help you at the river crossings.
Flash floods may occur so be careful not only during the late afternoons but all the time. It might be sunny along the trail but it might be raining hard further up in the mountains.
During the peaks of the rainy season and during storms, the river trail is not recommended as it is too dangerous and may not be passable. Take the mountain route (via Kilat-Amontoc) instead but swimming may be prohibited. Or just cancel your visit and come back on a sunny summer's day.
For more information and trained guides, Please visit the San Gabriel Municipal Hall before going to Tangadan falls.

To add:
Also watch out for FALLING ROCKS along the elevated irrigation canal just before the irrigation dam.

For more posts on Tangadan falls:

Location:  River trail to Tangadan Falls
                 Municipalities of San Juan, San Gabriel & Bagulin
                 Province of La Union
How to get there:
Please visit San Gabriel Municipal Hall.
As of September 2016, Every visitors are required to register and pay a certain fee at San Gabriel PNP (Police) Office.

 © All original content copyright sparkPLUG, 2012-2016. Please ask permission for content use.

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