Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Waterfalls of Saracat and SUNFLOWERS


"Unfortunately the waterfalls are drying up these times of the year.
Luckily, there were Sunflowers"

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!

-my pagnapagna-
(February 11, 2019 a Monday)

Where to go this afternoon? That's the question running in my mind that morning as I longed for the outdoors.
Do I have to go to the viewing area up in the mountains of Bacsil here in San Fernando City, La Union or to the sunflowers that had been popularly circulating in my news feed on facebook? Then, Sinminbaan Falls came out also on my news feed (still in facebook) which is located in the same barangay with that of the sunflowers.
I said to myself, even though the time was some few minutes before two o'clock in the afternoon, I'll give it a try.
I had second thoughts but I still pushed through.
I rode a jeep from the San Fernando Supermarket area bound for San Gabriel.
With 24 pesos fare, I alighted at a branching road in Barangay Cabaroan. That branching road leads to the interior barangays of Allangigan and then Saracat.
It was around some few minutes after 3 o'clock when I took that tricycle ride going to barangay Saracat along with other passengers. Two students going home and two ladies who I've overheard had "escaped" from work just to visit the sunflowers. The two ladies were also on the same jeep that I rode earlier.
Few meters after the welcome arch of barangay Saracat, there were some one or two private cars along the road and maybe three passenger tricycles parked by the roadside. The two ladies alighted in that area and the sunflowers can be seen at a distance by the roadside.
I told the tricycle driver to bring me to the trailhead going to the waterfalls. 
After the student passengers alighted, the driver brought me to the trailhead and up near the house of the Barangay Captain. The Barangay Captain seemed to be not around.
The tricycle driver instructed me to just follow the trail and after that, I was on my own.
It was a very short walk and I was at the waterfalls area.
Unfortunately, the stream was drying up. Summer is coming.
I went up to see its upper cascades as there were pipes used for irrigation laid along the trail.
Above the first and second cascades, the situation was the same. There was water but too little at that time to be appreciated.

I did not went farther up, instead, I went back going down to see the sunflowers.
 Along the way, I met a man in his senior age. He was holding a sort of a cane.
I greeted him and later on I came to know that he was the Barangay Captain of Saracat. We talked for a while and afterwards I told him that I will be going to see the sunflowers as he went on his way to divert the water from the spring to run along the irrigation canal.
I kept on walking down and reached the road. After few minutes of walking back towards the welcome arch, I finally reached the sunflowers.
The place was alive as some few people were there just to see and have a selfie with the sunflowers.
The rooted base of the plants with no upper parts was what remains of the forefront batches of sunflowers that were harvested.
There were still other rows of sunflowers at the back which were not harvested (maybe 2 to 3 days or more but not long, it will be harvested).

Mr. Hufalar at his sunflowers
Photograph taken in the morning of February 12

They said that there was another sunflower patch at the other side of the road and there I went to see.
At the other sunflower garden, I got a chance to talked to the farmer. He was "Jose Marzan".
If I got it right from our conversation, his niece/nephew encouraged them to plant those sunflowers as they have a ready market. A relative of their's works in Dangwa in Manila who arranges flowers. That's where they deliver the harvested sunflowers through Viron bus transit.

At the second patch of sunflowers farmed by Mr. Marzan
Photograph taken in the morning of February 12

It was getting late in the afternoon when I left the area.
Bound for Home sweet Home.

-end of pagnapagna-

The sunflowers are planted as there was a ready market at that time (valentines day, etc).
So we do not know if they are available in the following months.
Hopefully it will continue.

Please, be courteous enough (say hi, etc.) to the owners/farmers of the sunflowers
and be grateful to them as to see and take photo/videos of their sunflowers are free of charge (as of writing).
Avoid damaging the sunflower plants and their other crops.

I revisited the sunflowers the following day 
February 12, 2019 a Tuesday
to get a clearer photos and videos.

Thanks to the  sunflower farmers:
Jose Marzan,
Edwin Hufalar
and their Families.


Subject: Barangay Saracat
Location: barangay of Saracat,
Municipality of  San Juan
Province of La Union
How to get there:


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