The Enchanting: Chasing Waterfalls Challenges
Sagada is indeed an ultimate haven for all adventurers. Aside from the cornucopia of caves, it is blessed aplenty with waterfalls, jutting its mountainous terrain in every corner. Getting to these sites though entails a lot of walking. However, it is all worth it as one will be spell bound by the magnificence of these wonders.
a) Bomod-ok Falls. The first of these majestic falls is Bomod-ok Falls, or what the locals fondly call as the “Big Falls”. Located in Barangay Aguid on the western part of the town, it has become the most renowned of the Sagada falls. It has become part of nearly every travel itinerary because of the sheer magnitude of its beauty. Pictures of the Bomod-ok also graced postcards.
To reach Bomod-ok Falls one must, however, endure a nearly one-hour walk through the village and rice fields of Fidelisan and Aguid. At the end of the physically taxing journey though you will be rewarded with a pleasant sight, the raging waters falling in full force on the mountain side.
Below the falls is a natural swimming pool which locals believe to have the shape of a clay pot. The coldness of the mountain water makes it a great place to dip and cool off from the scorching summer heat. However, more than being a tourist spot, Bomod-ok is a vital source of irrigation for the nearby rice fields.
How to get there? To reach Bomod-ok Falls from the town center, one first must take the Sagada-Banga-an jeepney then alight at Banga-an Elementary School. Upon alighting, you must first register and pay the entrance fees. Please note that tour guides are required as well. Most of the tour guides are senior citizens who are used to the winding trails of the Fidelisan Rice Terraces. At the end of the journey, you’d be left in awe at their stamina.
b) Pongas Falls. This waterfalls is located in Barangay Ankileng, on the other side of town. Whereas in Bomod-ok, one has to climb down, in Pongas, one has to climb up. However, the climb up is not that physically harrowing and at the top, one will be rewarded with the magnificent but gushing waters of Pongas Falls.
One can bathe on the cold waters originating from the top of the mountain. There’s also a natural pool at the tip of the waterfalls. Swimming on that pool, however, is not recommended, even for seasoned swimmers.
To get to Pongas Falls, one must ride the jeep going to Suyo, then alight at the elementary school. From the elementary school, one can just then walk to the village and ask for directions on how to get to the waterfalls. However, tourist guides are recommended. You won’t easily get lost though as almost all “roads” there lead to the stunning waterfalls atop the hill.
c) Bokong Falls. This waterfalls is the closest to the town center. Locals refer to it as the “small” falls, in contrast to the “big” falls. This is part of echo valley and can easily be accessed from the rice paddies surrounding it.
Want to check out more waterfalls in the Cordilleras, check these ones out:
Or this one obscured by the towering mountains of Benguet:
Them Rice Terraces
By now, everyone’s quite familiar with the famed Banaue Rice Terraces in the neighboring province of Ifugao. Though not as extensive and as colossal as the renowned Banaue Rice Terraces are, Sagada also offers plenty of picturesque rice terraces.
One of these rice terraces can be found in Barangay Bangaan. One will pass by the Bangaan Rice Terraces on the way going to Bomod-ok Falls. The best vantage point for taking photos is atop the hill, or at the open gymnasium of Barangay Aguid where one can witness the entire expanse of the lush and verdant rice fields.
A trip down the winding trails is an otherworldly delight where one can see the ripening grains dangling from the rice plant. If one is lucky enough, he can also encounter carabaos lazily taking a dip on their watering holes. Scaling the rip-raps can be a challenge though because of the narrowness of the rocks. An accidental slip can make one take an untimely dip on the damp rice fields.
Another scenic rice terraces can be found in Suyo. It can be seen on the way to another great water falls, the Pongas falls. Sculpted on the mountain sides like gigantic stairways, these rice terraces are appealing to tourists and locals alike.
There are also other rice terraces situated in Sagada, like the Ankileng, the Balugan and the Kilong Rice Terraces. Balugan Rice Terraces is the nearest to the town proper and can be seen when going to Sumaguig Caves. Kilong Rice Terraces, on the other hand can be seen from Kiltepan view point.
Waterfalls, rice terraces, caves, and limestone formations are just among the things that Sagada is known for. Sagada has indeed come a long way from a once quaint little town to an ultimate adventurer’s mecca. If you still haven’t visited it yet, do try to experience the homely atmosphere of my second home to. The more you dig deeper, the more you’ll get to feel that humbling Sagada experience.
P.S. Sagada is best experienced with the best of friends 🙂
Part I Sagada, Where My Heart Lives
Part II Surviving Spelunking Sagada
Part III Sagada: That Sea of Clouds
Part IV Sagada: Chasing Waterfalls and Terraces
Part V (SSS) Soul Searching Sagada
Part VI That Sagada Splendor