Ilocos Travel Diary: Kabigan Falls, Nature At Its Finest

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I am fascinated with adventure trips and natural wonders and if given any chance and the luxury of time, there's no brainer that i would pack up for a backpacking adventure to climb mountains or cross the rivers just to feast my eyes on the wonderful creations of God and relive myself with overflowing memories when i'm old and gray.

The visit to Kabigan Falls was listed in our itinerary and so when we reached the drop off point and was informed that the trek will took about 30 minutes one way and it would be an approximately 1.8km walk, some in the group, i know, were having second thoughts if we will still push it through. Well me, as the one who has this insatiable appetite for adventures would definitely not want to miss out this opportunity to visit it (andito na ako eh! Sayang naman!). So i insisted that we should go give it a try and i believe its gonna be worth it.



The group began to prepare and we paid a registration fee of P20 each for the trek and a tour guide was assigned to accompany us. Tour guides do this voluntarily and its up to you to give them any donations. Of course, its always a kind gesture to give them something after the tour, after all they were working hard for it and the trek back and forth just to guide tourists isn't a comfortable one. I was planning to leave my kids at the registration booth with my Mom and Dad who doesn't want to take the long walks, but to my surprise they were eager to join the journey and so we went all the way from the jump off point till we reach the middle of the forest.




Kabigan Falls is tucked inside a forested area at Brgy. Balaoi in Pagudpud just a few meters away from Patapat Viaduct. It became famous because of its natural concave pool protected by tall trees abundantly growing in one of the few remaining virgin forest of the Philippines. One has to literally cross the rocky trails, with rice fields, wooden bridges, creeks, slippery rocks and loads of trees.


I really didn't care about the long walks, even if i'm not so used to it because along the way, you will be entertained by lovely views of farmlands, and water streams, animals and the mountains. There are a few stand by points where you can rest for a while and enjoy some buko juice, but because we are in a hurry to finish the tour due to a lists of itineraries for that day, we kept walking and walking till we reach the falls.




The trail is actually an easy one, but uncomfortable for the kids and even me because of the scorching sun. Half of the trail is an open field with water streams on the side and trees are very rare. But as you get closer to the middle of the forest, the trek is more likely to get bearable and becomes a little cooler because of the trees and shaded areas while crossing some wooden and bamboo bridges.





After 30 minutes we finally saw a miniature version of the falls connected to the river with the tall dropping falls at the background and i can hear the dashing sound of water from it. Just a few more tumbling away and there we saw the whimsical Kabigan Falls with a towering height of 120 feet. It was indeed a very rewarding sight with such a revitalizing allure. 


The whole place treated us with such a verdant panoramic view of clear waters dropping through its natural basin. The water was blue green and really clear that you can see in close encounter the bottom of the waterfall basin. There are swimmers during our time of visit  and they were enjoying a lot. I was able to test the waters by dipping my hands while in the shallow part of the river before climbing up for photographs and it was freezing cold! It could've been a great swim if we had enough time to stay and enjoy more of the place.




After a few minutes, we started trekking again going back to the drop off point where our lunch is already waiting. T'was a tiring experience but was all worth the leg cramping walks and skull breaking heat of the sunny summer weather. Never miss the opportunity to visit this natural wonder when in Ilocos. It was truly worth your time and efforts!




TRAVEL TIPS:
  • Wear your caps or wide brim hats and bring sarongs or umbrellas because the heat of the sun is really painful.
  • Bring bottled waters and a few snacks that you can eat along the way because you might get hungry after the long walks. Just be mindful of your trash, do not throw garbage anywhere.
  • There's a store beside the registration area where you can buy snacks and some popsicle sticks and ice creams to cool you off from the heat.
  • Some rocks are slippery so be watchful of your steps and better to wear proper footwears for your comfort and safety.
  • Tour guides are usually volunteers so please give them a tip. Its not compulsory but its  a kind gesture for their efforts of bringing you to and from the falls safe and secured. By the way, they are trained with basic medical first aid.
  • There's a "karinderia" beside the store near the drop off point and they cook local Ilocano dishes like vegetables and fried fishes if you happen to be there at lunch time. The food is good and the price is cheaper. Everything is freshly cooked based on what you order. I'd suggest you order your food before starting the trek so its ready by the time you come back.
  • Lastly, TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOGRAPHS, IT'S MANDATORY!

"Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of the creation." -Charles Cook

Hope you enjoyed my story! Catch more of Ilocos on the next blog!




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