Tuesday, August 29, 2017

San Antonio Mini-Rice Terraces and Tuddingan Falls' Upper Cascade


"Curiosity made me go and see"

Please let us practice the LNT (Leave No Trace) outdoor ethics/principles when going to these nature places.
Manage our waste products properly (pack it in, pack it out), don't leave your trash. Let us not vandalize/write/etch on its rock surfaces as well as on trees. Be respectful of the community's culture and traditions.

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-my pagnapagna-
(August 27, 2017 a Sunday)

I thought that this mini-rice terraces was the one that can be seen at a far distance on the left side of the river along the road going to Bagulin (found out that that was San Fernando's). I was mistaken as the tricycle I rode on left-turned from the main road to Bagulin just before the bridge at barangay Tuddingan and went farther up to the mountains.
I got more curious. The place suddenly became mysterious to me. I don't know what to expect.
"Ediay eskwelaan?" (At the School?), the tricycle driver asked me where he will be dropping me.
"Wen" (Yes), I answered as I don't really know the exact place as to where the said mini-rice terraces. I just know that it is located at barangay San Antonio and my first guess was the one along the road to Bagulin which was proven wrong.
After that uphill ride, I was now at the school. Paid the driver a 100 pesos and thanked him.
The Barangay Hall was not yet open and it might not open since it was a Sunday. 
Rice fields and small terraces was all over the place but it seemed so ordinary. I asked the man sitting at the waiting shed as to where is the "San Antonio mini-rice terraces" but he doesn't know. 
A man happened to pass-by, probably a farmer (as to his attire.. boots and all, yes I get into stereo typing sometimes but not always), to whom I asked about the said rice terraces.
"Ah, ediay ngatngatu pay a" (Oh, It is farther up), the farmer answered. "Mayat tatta ta pinagmumula" (It's beautiful this time for its planting season) he added.
I went on walking along the road that he showed me.
It was generally all uphill. I kept on walking.
"Dita pay ngatu" (Farther up), one of the woman answered when I inquired along the way.
Few minutes more of walking uphill, I went to a store to have a snack and inquired again.
The store owner said, "Ay nalabsam mon a dita baba lang". She told me that I have passed it on my way up and I have to go back. I did went a certain distance back and asked at a house along the way. They made me sit down at their balcony as they contacted the barangay kagawad (Village Officer) who will accompany me going to the "mini-rice terraces".
While waiting, I bought some soft brooms made up of tiger grass.

Tiger grass broom is one of their products in this part of La Union

They then led me to the Barangay Kagawad's house just few meters down the road.
He was also making soft brooms at that time.
He is Barangay Kagawad "Calica". In his motorbike, we went few meters down the road then walked to the viewing area.
He said, "Datuy diay view-point" (This is the view-point). Although there were some overgrowth of trees and shrubs, the mini-rice terraces can be seen at that advantage point.
I kept reminding myself that this is La Union rice terraces and regarded as "mini-rice terraces" so I don't have to compare it mainly with the cordillera rice terraces. If it was a movie, it was another setting, different actors and even different story line.

San Antonio Mini-Rice Terraces
It is listed as one of the probable tourist spots of the municipality of Naguilian. As the name implies, it is a small rice terraces. Meaning small in area and maybe in heights but it may go wide enough when you take it as a cluster that will extend beyond the Barangay of San Antonio into the adjacent Barangay of Bimmotobot. As of writing it is not yet well developed for most tourists.

This is said to be the "main" view of the mini-rice terraces

We went walking inside the terraces as we tackled about the tourism plans of the area like what would be the edge of their rice terraces to the other rice terraces. What would persuade people to visit their community?
He told me that in the near future, this will be their chance to showcase their community based products such as the "buybuy" or soft brooms. They have some fishponds in the area where they raise "tilapia" fish and maybe we (visitors) can grill them .. a fresh food in a rural setting. And so much more.

In my conversation with Barangay Kagawad Calica, I saw his eagerness, his dedication, his expectations for this so-called "San Antonio mini-rice terraces" to become a tourist spot of their municipality of Naguilian so that the people in their community will greatly benefit from it.
After that walk along the "tambak" (earth walls) of the terraces, we were back at his parked motorbike. 
He invited me to come back this summer so he can show me more of the terraces farther up going to next Barangay of Bimmotobot.

My next destination: the upper level of Tuddingan Falls.
On his motorbike, he accompanied and brought me to the Barangay Hall of Tuddingan.
Unfortunately, they were busy at the Barangay Hall and they just told me the location of the trail going up to the upper level.
I went on my way... to Tuddingan Falls.

Tuddingan Falls (Its popular cascade or main/lower)

Just before the waterfalls, I crossed the stream and there was a trail that looked like a waterway but very steep (60 to 80 degrees slope) behind a tree. It had some steps carved from the soil. At some point along the trail, I have to crawl with my backpack dodging/brushing into the the canopy of slender bamboo poles. Play Chubby Checker's music and presto.. it was a Limbo Rock... how low can you go! 
I made it to the upper level.

Tuddingan Falls Upper Cascade
Shorter height with that of its lower cascade which is regarded as the main, this one has a wider plunge. It also has a bowl or natural swimming pool.
Unfortunately, It has also that unsightly irrigation black hoses dangling from above.

The Upper Cascade

After lingering there for a while, it was time to go back down.
I decided to go barefoot on that steep slope. Slowly but surely, I had some difficulty going down.
I thanked God, I made it down to the stream and wore my shoes.
It was another adventure-filled day (half-day) as I headed back for Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

Thanks to:
Barangay Kagawad Calica,
the people I met at
Barangay San Antonio
and at Tuddingan Barangay Hall

For other posts:


Subject: "San Antonio Mini-Rice Terraces"
Barangay San Antonio
Municipality of Naguilian
Province of La Union
How to get there:

Subject: "Tuddingan Falls Upper Cascade"
Barangay Tuddingan
Municipality of Naguilian
Province of La Union
How to get there:



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