Wednesday, April 24, 2019



"A trek inside a different forest"

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-

First visit
April 22, 2019 a Monday
From San Fernando City, La Union, I rode a mini-bus (with aircon) bound for Dagupan City and alighted at the second intersection at the right side of the highway at barangay Nagrebcan located just after the Bauang bridge with 30 pesos fare otherwise it will be just around 15 pesos with the ordinary mini-bus.
With an umbrella, I started walking from the national highway going west. After more than 30 minutes of walking, the road went southwards that eventually led to the parking area of the park. There, the boardwalk can be seen and noticed two visitors where on it. Few meters further was the receiving area just before a covered court.
At the receiving area, the two visitors came and talked with the staff. In their conversation, one of the visitors asked if where have they put the money they have donated for the park. The receptionist replied politely, denied such donations and said, "Baka ibang lugar sir (Maybe at another place sir)". When they overheard me inquiring about "where to go to"/maps, the two said "kagaya nyan dapat may poster na kayo dyan kung ano pwede gawin (like that, you must already have a poster for the things to do)". Few minutes later, the couple left and I asked "sino dagidiay? (Who are they?)".
"Haan mi amammo sir (We don't know sir)", the staff replied.
And so I went on with my inquiry on things to do. At first I just want to walk on the boardwalk with 20 pesos environmental fee but having known that they have this eco-trail, I decided to go with the eco-trail trek with 30 pesos fee (environmental fee included and a free small bottle of water).
The staff  on that day (Mercedes Tejada & Josephine Miranda), who also served as my guide, accompanied me for the trek.
We went down from the boardwalk (made mainly of bamboo) through a small stairs at its side into an open area and into the trailhead. Then inside the mangrove forest. Along the trail, they did some trivia's regarding the mangroves.
Few minutes later, we made it to the estuary. There was a connecting trail to the other side but needs to cross the waters of the estuary which I was not ready for.

With ma'am Mercedes Tejada and Josephine Miranda who were my guide into the mangroves.
After few minutes on the banks, we went back.
At the receiving area, I thanked them and went back to Home Sweet Home.

Second visit
April 23, 2019 a Tuesday
I went back to the Bakawan Eco-Trail Park to trek the whole trail (river crossing until I reach the sea) which I failed to do on my first visit of the park.
It was 7:30 in the morning when I arrived at the park. The boardwalk's entrance was still closed and nobody seemed to be around. Few minutes later, a woman came holding a bag which inside was the logbook. She opened the boardwalk and after logging in, I was on my own.
Since it was my second time around, I kinda know the trail (almost).

At the bamboo boardwalk's bridge

Taking my time, walked on the boardwalk and into the mangrove forest until I reached the waters/estuary. I was there at the banks contemplating on how to cross the estuary and eventually go on with the connecting trail among the mangrove forest and into the seaside. I fear that the murky waters were deep (Yes, I'm generally very fearful). I heard voices from the mangrove trail and few minutes later I saw visitors. They were with the woman at the receiving area who served as their guide. I decided to go with them and they did crossed the waters going into an island. That was just halfway. Fronting us was another part of the estuary where the guides said it was deeper since that was where the boats passes through. The group stopped there and they took a dip and enjoy its waters while the guide watched. Since they were not going to the other side, I decided to go back.
At the banks, I met one of the locals who was getting wild oysters and seen him going into the middle of the estuary with waters just below the waist. With his help, I crossed the waters and got to the other side but unfortunately there was no trail going through the mangrove forest on that area. He said that if I go to the area were the boats were (further north of the estuary and some 100 meters away), the waters were shallower. I thanked him and from that side of the estuary, I slowly went towards were he said the waters were shallower and it was. The waters were knee deep as I went back to the other side were several bancas (boat) were docked. From there I decide to go straight towards the east back to the road. I made it to the roadside and visited the residence of my co-artist Grace Yap which was just nearby. She let her son accompany me going to the beach side on another trail that they use. Although there was still that waist deep estuary crossing, it doesn't passed through mangrove forests.
Later on, I went back to the Park to pay the environmental fee and also just to let them know that I made it safe.
Afterwards, I was bound for Home Sweet Home.

Third visit
April 25, 2019 a Thursday
I went back again to fully go through the trail.

-end of pagnapagna-

Note: (As of April, 2019)
Environmental fee - 20 pesos
Eco-trail trek - 30 pesos
Boat tour - 400 pesos for 3 persons (2 hours)

The eco-trail is a short trek with river crossing that may go as high at waist or chest level
depending upon whether its high tide or low tide
*Use sandals or water resilient shoes when trekking and crossing waters
as there might be some unforeseen harmful objects beneath the mud like oyster shells.


Subject: BAKAWAN Eco-Tourism Park
Municipality of  Bauang
Province of La Union

How to get there:


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