Saturday, April 7, 2012

Backpacking Sagada: Bok-ong Falls

On our first day in Sagada, we decided not to get any guide and challenge ourselves for an adventure. We successfully got through Echo Valley and Hanging Coffins by ourselves and so we looked for other places to go to using our town map. We decided to look for the Bok-ong Falls which according to the map is just nearby.

Bok-ong Falls means small falls. This is because there is a bigger one on a bit farther place. The map says, it is just close to town. We were not sure at first but we decided to look for landmarks indicated there. Soon enough we were following the right landmarks and it seems like we are going the right way.

circled in yellow is the Bok-ong Falls

We passed through Josephine Crafts and Masferre Photos and got to a small residential area where we continued the walk until there are only a few houses in sight. As we saw the Pines View Inn from a distance, we saw a metal railing that indicates a trail behind. They put this thing to avoid the animals from getting in and so, it is a sign that we're going the right way.

trail going down the falls

the nice view of the fields

a log cabin along the trail

scenic landscape

Following the trail, we saw a nice view of the rice terraces below. It was such a refreshing view and even if we are still a bit far from our destination, we were calmed by the serene view. After a few minutes of hiking, I can hear a rush of water. It indicates that there is a falls nearby. Following my instincts, I followed the trail which leads to the rushing water sounds, and I was right, after a few minutes, I can see the falls from a distance!

Bok-ong Falls

cool waters rushing in
It was a bit dry that time and we were warned by the guides in the tourist information area that the falls was not that big at this time but still, we wanted to see it, and so we did. The falls really is small, maybe the smallest (so far) I have ever seen. The waters flows lazily from the top of the big rock down the small pool which looks pretty deep. It creates a nice cool pool where you can dip or swim around. The other areas are just ankle deep because of the small amount of water that gets to it. This goes on a small rives crossing the town into the underground river in the other side near the Echo Valley. We wanted to see that area also but we couldn't find it and the map was no help.
pool of cool water
We immediately took off our sandals and stepped in the cool waters. We could swim but we are not in to swimming clothes that time. We just brushed off the idea and took photos and relaxed in the cool waters. It was a nice spot, I just wish the waters were a bit big so the pool it creates could be bigger. However, it was okay.

As we decided to get back, another set of travelers was there. They swam the small pool and they looked refresh from it. We left them there and decided to see the top of the falls. We got up there to see the view from the other side. we saw another trail there and decided to push through it and we had the last look of the nice falls we have just seen.

trail back to the main road

view at the back of the falls

while looking for the trail and looking at the view

The area was like it had been a destination of many people before. It seems like there is an established picnic area around and you can see a lot of garbage being left behind. We tried to get those small trash around but left those big ones since we cannot carry them. I hope other people wouldn't leave their trash there to preserve the place. It was a bit sad to see the place having some garbage around when it is supposed to be pretty and pure.

Our trail back to the main road was a bit hard. I am not sure who uses it but I think it was for the locals as it wasn't that established. But since there was no turning back (because it was so steep going up), we just continued and eventually got to the farming area where we need to cross to get to the main road. I think we did a dangerous thing there but since we got out alive, it was still worth the adventure. We went back to town happy to have conquered that place on our own. We are really proud that we got to Bok-ong Falls all by ourselves! :)

More on my Sagada Adventure:
Birthday Weekend at Sagada

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