Friday, November 17, 2017



"We get experiences in our travels and learn from them"

Let us practice the LNT (Leave No Trace) Outdoor ethics when going to this nature places. Let us not write, etch on their rocks and other surfaces. Manage our waste products/garbage properly. Plastics and other garbage has no place along the trail and specially at the rivers and waterfalls. Importantly, your SAFETY is your PRIORITY! Respect the local culture.

-my pagnapagna-
(November, 14, 2017 a Tuesday)

After around two hours of bus ride, I finally arrived at the Bitalag junction in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. Hungry and have not eaten yet, I ordered "pinapaitan" at a "carinderia" nearby.
After that breakfast, I went to ride a passenger van bound for Cervantes wherein after its seats was all filled, the van finally departed at 8 o'clock that morning.
It passed by the town of Suyo, Ilocos Sur and had a stop-over near the Besang Pass Memorial. This area has a colder climate and trees were mostly of pine trees.
Then the van descends to a road overlooking the valley of Cervantes and farther away were the mountains of Tadian. 
Tadian is a town in the province of Mountain Province. I said Tadian because Mount Mugao, also known as Mt. Clitoris, can be faintly seen and almost color blended to the surrounding higher mountains farther aback.
After that descending road, the plains of the valley of Cervantes was what welcomed us. The road cut its way through the rice fields.
Finally, we were at downtown Cervantes and that was where the ride terminated.
I looked at my watch and it was just around 10 o'clock in the morning.
I proceeded to their Municipal Hall where the woman at the information desk directed me to go upstairs at the second floor.
I went inside and it was the Mayor's office. I let my intention known which is to visit some tourist spots of their municipality, to the first man at the table. He let me sign in at their logbook and said that we have to wait for the man in-charge with "tourism" as they went to call him. They let me drink coffee while waiting.
I was supposed to visit a waterfall at barangay Dinwide West but the much better road that leads to the barangay was not at downtown Cervantes but to the nearby municipality of Suyo which was about an hour+ van ride from downtown Cervantes.
The man in charge with tourism came and he was TJ Ambat. 
I told him about me going to some of their tourists spot where I prefer the nature side such as waterfalls.
Since their nature trekking is a three day and only by appointment that walk-in is prohibited, he offered me Gambang Falls and Budoy Falls.
I opted for Budoy Falls, since I had visited Gambang falls in the summer of year 2013.
"Adda lugan mo sir" (Do you have a car?), he asked me.
"Awan sir" (None sir), I answered back.
He then called someone from his cellphone and afterwards said, "Aguray ta urayen ta dyay mangitulod kenyam" (We will wait for the one who will accompany you). 
We went down and out from the Municipal Hall as he said "Enjoy". I thank him as I hopped beside the driver's seat of a Dump track. It was a relief for me as I don't have to hire a tricycle going up the mountains which might be costly.
We passed by the area going to Gambang falls and few more minutes on that uphill road, he stopped along a road bend and said "Dita sir magna ka lang agpababa ingana idiay karayan, addan tu ti rangtay" (Sir walk your way down until the river where there will be a bridge). 
I alighted, thanked him and walked my way on a cemented road that branched from the main road. Just nearby was a "tree park".
I kept walking downhill. The view of the distant mountains were picturesque. I arrived at a bridge and went down to the river below.
I've seen some used bar of soap left behind on top of the rocks. A few minutes walk and hopping on top of the rocks going upstream and there it was... the Budoy Falls.
Although I was told by the "Tourism officer" earlier that its water had lessened since there have been no rainfall in the past few days, a substantial amount of water was still flowing.

Budoy Falls
Located along a stream that is easily accessible. This waterfall runs through an inclined rock surface with a small pool area above. The above pool area is fed by a small cascade and another much smaller cascade on a vertical cliff.

The Budoy Falls' main cascade 

I lingered there for a while just enjoying the murmurs of its flowing and falling waters.
Clouds passes by. They hover above casting shadows.
Time to leave the place.
I walked back towards the bridge and tried to get downstream as there were also cascades there that can be seen from the road above but after a while decided to get back to the road.

One of the many lower cascades as seen from above at the road

Walked uphill along the road as some motorcycle riders passed by and looked at me. I get conscious as they looked at me sometimes that i try not to look back at them. Yeah!, I kept on walking until I arrived at the main road. 
No passenger tricycles passing by. Nothing to do but walk back to downtown Cervantes. No complains as I am used to that... walking. But it was hot that afternoon as I kept on walking. Along the way I went for a snack at a store just to quench my thirst. The store owner said that there will be tricycles passing by to fetch students when classes closes that afternoon. But it was just few minutes before 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
 I kept on walking and passed by the drop off area to Gambang falls.
Along the way I met a police patrol car and they drove slowly but passed by and they looked at me. I kinda nod my head at them and I kept on walking. Moments later they were at my back and they stopped me. First it was a man with civilian clothes riding on a motorcycle who went in front of me coming from my back and he started talking to me with a dialect I can't understand. And the police officer came and asked questions such as where I came from, where I was going. When I am confronted like that I sometimes get blank thoughts. Like when they asked me who was our Barangay Captain in our Barangay It was on the tip of my tongue but I cant say it. Now I was having a bad day. I told them that I went earlier at the municipal hall to their Tourism officer and a dump truck transported me going to "Busay" falls (yes I forgot the name, it should be Budoy falls) They saw my ID and the one with a rifle said, you know ______ .(insert name)? I said yes with a blank face face if it was. That's when they stopped questioning and they let me ride in the patrol car so I can get back downtown which was still a long way. It rained along the way.
We finally arrived at downtown. It was very kind of them to bring me to downtown so I can get a van ride back to Tagudin. In fairness to them, they were just doing their job and they were friendly afterwards. But I don't know, I can't smile. 
I went back to the Municipal Hall to report the incident so that they know. 
Maybe when a lone Tourist/hiker visits their tourists spots, like me, it would be best to report or log-in not only at the Municipal Hall particularly to their tourism officer but also at their Police Station or their must be a protocol between the two.
I waited nearby at the terminal area of passenger vans since it will depart at 5 o'clock in the late afternoon.
The time came and the passenger van departed bound for Bitalag, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.
At Bitalag, Tagudin, it was a dark night as it was brown-out in that part of the country. 
There were also hikers I rode with inside the van that I rode on earlier as they came from a hike at the mountains of Cervantes. I had a short talk with one of them while I was waiting for a bus along the national highway.
I finally rode a bus bound for Home Sweet HOME.

-end of pagnapagna-

Gratitude to:
Sir TJ Ambat at the Municipal Hall of Cervantes

For my previous visit to Cervantes:

Subject   : Budoy Falls
Location : Barangay Malaya
                 Municipality of Cervantes
                 Province of Ilocos Sur

How to get there:
From Manila, Take any bus going to these northern Luzon places namely: Laoag City, Candon City, Vigan City or Abra but you have to get down at Bitalag Junction at Barangay Bitalag, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. At Bitalag junction take a passenger Van going to Cervantes.
 Van Schedule at Bitalag:
    -as early as 7 am, but it depends upon the availability of passengers. 10 am is more likely the general time for vans going to cervantes and last trip would be 5pm. 
 At downtown Cervantes register at their Municipal hall (look for their tourism officer)


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