Saturday, September 15, 2018



"I just wished I had a guide at that moment"

Please, let us practice the "LEAVE NO TRACE" (LNT) outdoor ethics.
Let us not vandalize, etch or write on its natural surfaces such as rocks and bark of trees.
Manage our waste products properly. Do not leave your garbage behind, bring it with you
when there is no proper disposal in the area. Do not litter!
Respect wildlife, "nature" and the local culture.
Minimize our impact!
Safety should be our priority!

As I was writing this blog post on this night of September 15, 2018 a Saturday, our province (La Union) is still under Tropical Cyclone signal no. 3. Strong winds accompanied by rains still persist with the departure of TC "Ompong".

-my pagnapagna-
September 12, 2018 a Wednesday

Arriving at Sablan, Benguet (Palali area), I went to a eat at a carinderia and while at it, I asked about the waterfalls in barangay Sawili.
At first they deny of existence of a waterfalls in the area.
But through perseverance of asking, I got some answers.
They told me that the way to the falls might not be that too easy to find and there was no guide available since it was schooldays.
Having said that, they told me to ride a tricycle going down to Sawili with 30 pesos fare as I was alone (15 pesos per head). "Ammu dagidiyay tricycle driver didiayen (The tricycle drivers know that)", they added.
I thanked them and went out to get a tricycle but there seemed to be no available tricycles around. As usual, I decided to walk along that road going down to barangay Sawili.
Along the way, I went to a sari-sari store to have a snack and asked directions. The store owner was not aware of any existence of a waterfall in barangay Sawili.
After that snack, I continued walking on that cemented road. Farther down, I asked directions again.
 "Ay idiay kuma a ti nagnaam, pero mabalin met dita diretsuem lattan ngem naglikaw ka lattan (Oh, you should have walked there but you can also continue walking this road. It is just a detour)", a man I met along the way answered.
I continued walking that one-lane cemented road until it turned to a rough road that continued to become trails. The trail was on a visible trace of a future road.
It passed some mountainsides with some ephemeral/rainy season springs crossing it and through rice fields until I arrived at a house. I asked directions from its residents and they told me to go on passing their yard into the rice field where there was another house where I can ask the trail going to the said waterfalls.
Arriving at the nearby house which was more of a "farmers' quarter", I chanced upon a farmer who was cooking at that time. He seemed to have a hangover ☺️ ,
He said that I should walk along that wall of the second level of the small rice terraces to go to the other side, go down where there will be a bridge and along the river go upstream where the waterfalls is located.
I thanked him and I went down just like what he said. At the edge of the rice terraces, I can't find the trail and I was not sure where to go from there. At a far distance (maybe200+ meters away), I can see above the "farmer's quarter". I waited and then waived to call his attention.
He shouted back saying, "Haan nga dita, idiay ngatu (Not there, go above)". 
I went above, found a trail going uphill on an open-space grassland passed-by a small "farmer's shack" and down to another patch of rice field. Crossed the rice field and can't find the connecting trail. I got some scratches from thorny plants as I did a trial and error going to bushes and there were no traces of fresh trails.
After some few minutes I just sat down and contemplated as to what was happening. Going back to ask about the trail from the farmer would take some time and energy. I just wished I had a guide at that moment.

Few minutes later, I stood and fervently looked for the trail. From one of the edges of the rice field I hit jackpot. I found a trail going down that led to a pristine mountainside trail going down. It led me down to a hanging foot bridge by the river and along the river, I went upstream hopping to some rocks and boulders. I removed my rubber shoes at some point to cross the river.
Few minutes later, I arrived at the waterfalls.

Asaray Falls
It is a small waterfall of some 15 feet plus high with a wide basin or natural pool area.

I stayed there for a while, taking photographs and videos.
Few minutes later, I left the area and went back to the hanging foot bridge. From there I went up using that trail that led back to the small "farmer's shack". I walked some few meters into the grassland and sat to rest. Fronting me at the other side was the rice terraces. I can see the farmer spraying the rice plants. I pulled some cracker from my bag and had a snack, all the time looking at the other side.
I also thought, with the impending arrival of the "super typhoon Ompong", hopefully his rice plants would be spared from devastation as these farmers were very industrious and dedicated to their source of living.
He had consumed all his sprays, walked to leave and he noticed me.
"Nakitakon dyay waterfalls, anya nagan nan? (I've seen the waterfalls What is its name again?)", I shouted.
"Asaray", he answered back. 
"Diretsuem ditan agpangatu nga agawid. Hanka magna ditoyen ta ni naglikaw ka (Go straight above that trail when you leave. Don't walk this way again as you went detour)", he said.
"Magna kanto dita tower (Walk at the tower)", he added as he pointed at the electric steel towers at the distant above.

I thanked him and left. It was a short trail walk going up that terminated to a concrete road. Walked uphill again along that one-lane road that intersected with the secondary road. It rained as I walked back going to main highway which was Naguilian road and from there, I went back to the carinderia to eat.
Few minutes later, still raining, I waited by the roadside for a bus.
A bus bound for Home Sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-


Subject: "Asaray" Falls 
Location: Sitio Aliman/Sawili
Barangay of Bayabas
Municipality of Sablan
Province of Benguet

How to get there:



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