Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Lower Cascade of Puy-ocan Falls


"Those amazing people we meet along the way are the ones who spice up our travels"

Please practice the LNT (Leave No Trace) outdoor ethics when going to these nature places.
Let us not write or etch on its rock surfaces. Manage our waste-products properly (pack it out, pack it in) and be respectful of their local culture and traditions.

-my pagnapagna-
(October 10, 2017 a Tuesday)

My headache was on again as I stepped down from the bus at Balaoan, La Union. The pain emanates from the upper rear of my left eye that it shed tears.
Should I proceed or should I go back? That was the question as the pain was throbbing but the "going" was much greater and anyway, I got some mefenamic acid capsule in my pocket.
I rode a tricycle going to the town of Santol.
It was around passed nine thirty in the morning when I arrived at the said town.
As a protocol, I visited their tourism office, headed by sir Gerone Navaera.
I got a guide (named Jhaymer) and in a motorcycle we went on our way up to the mountains (10:14 am), to barangay Sasaba.
After a long travel, the cemented road was no more as it turned into an earth road that was hard to navigate. "Jhaymer" the guide decided to park the motorcycle at the nearby "Sasaba Birthing Center" and our uphill walk started (10:50 am).
Our trek was the same as when we went to the main cascade of Puy-ocan falls (month of June) but since it was the lower cascade we're after, some few hundred meters before Puy-ocan, we went off-road to a downhill trail going to Sitio Sagingsing of Barangay Sapdaan.

A small waterfall along the way

At sitio Sagingsing, we met a man who accompanied us going to the waterfalls and along the way we dropped by at a bungalow where the family of sir Rulter Galawen lives (I hope I got his name right). Our companion asked us if we want to have a lunch and so we requested that they cook food. We'll just return for it after we visited the waterfalls nearby.
We went on our way, walking along the trail to the waterfalls. 
The Sapdaan rice terraces can be seen at the other side, so naturally light green. 

The Sapdaan Rice Terraces as seen from the trail near the Puy-ocan Falls' lower cascade

At the mountain trail bend, the waterfall can now be seen. We went further to get to its base.
And there it was, the lower cascade of the Puy-ocan Falls.

The waterfalls at a distance

I noticed it has no significant natural pool or bowl at its base and it further flowed to another lower cascade.

The Puy-ocan Falls' lower cascade

We lingered there for a while, taking photographs and videos.

Near the base of the waterfall as I was dwarfed by our guide "Jhaymer" here

After some few minutes we hit the trail going back to the residence of sir Galawen.
At their residence, we rested for a while (1:40 pm). Afterwards, we ate our lunch of "pinikpikan" which is an upland chicken dish and it was sooo gooOD that I wanted to sleep afterwards! What do you know, coffee was also served... yes hot coffee!

With sir Rulter Galawen

We tried to give something in return but he insisted that we should not bother. He said, "pakalaglagipan yo kenyami ditoy sitio Sagingsing" (so you will remember us from sitio Sagingsing).

I felt my headache was starting again, so I took another mefenamic acid capsule to ease it away and so as not to bother me along the trail.

Time to leave again. The two of us (Jhaymer and me) went back on the trail (2:30 pm). It was harder that time as we did it uphill. We had many rest-stops along the way.  
We made it to the main road above and still a distant walk to the residential area. After the residential area, the trek was much lighter as it was all downhill.
We made it to where the motorcycle was parked (4:10 pm). At the Sasaba Birthing Center, they brought out bananas and we ate some ☺. We must had gone hungry again after that long walk.

At the Sasaba Birthing Center. The parked motorbike (left of photo) was our ride

I hopped on, and off we went on a motorcycle cruising that mountain road.
We finally made it to downtown Santol. I just asked "JR" to give my thanks to their Tourism Officer as we parted ways.
From there, I rode a tricycle going back to the next town which is Balaoan and rode a bus bound for Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

Gerone Navaera
(LGU-Santol Tourism Office),
"Jhaymer" the Guide,
Rulter Galawen and Family,
our Companion to the waterfalls
and above all
 God for this wonderful travel and place we live in.

Our previous visit to:
Other post:

Video Clips Along the way.

Video Clips of the waterfalls


Subject: Puy-ocan Falls (Lower Cascade)
Barangay Sapdaan
Municipality of Santol
Province of La Union
How to get there:
From Manila, ride a bus bound for any of these North western Luzon places: Laoag City-Ilocos Norte, Vigan City- Ilocos Sur, Candon City-Ilocos Sur and Bangued-Abra but you have to get down at the town of  Balaoan (two more towns after San Fernando City) in the province of La Union.
At Balaoan, take a tricycle ride going to Santol. Their parking area is located somewhere in-between the Church and the Public Market.
At Santol town proper, look for their Tourism officer at their Municipal Hall or Santol Tourism & Investment Promotion Center, 2nd floor STIPC Building (near the Public Market) and ask for assistance (Hotline: 072-6030154).


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