It was our second and last day in Sagada so there was no other time we could trek to Bomod-ok Falls. Two full days is just not enough to take in what Sagada has to offer but we had no choice as Father had commitments the following day. Half (or more) of our energy was consumed on the first day by the effects of the long-drive and spelunking in the afternoon, other activities we did and places we visited.
That day was a test of endurance and strength to find out if the energy left and determination we have was enough to get us to the Falls and back. Surprisingly, Mother was game about trekking. Speechless as I was of her decision, I let her engage in a physical activity and conquer her own weaknesses.
After breakfast at Masferre, we set off to Anguid where the Visitors Information Center is. One cannot go straight to trek (I think) without registering at the Information Center. Environmental and guide fees will be paid here and you will be assigned a guide and given walking sticks. I learned that there are only lady guides as men as men are usually the ones tending the fields. Outsider guides are not allowed.
We were made to decide on the route we wanted to take. Apparently there are two routes, one starts exactly at the Information Center. It was more physically demanding as the path is steeper so I opted that we take the “easier” route.
The “easier” route starts from Anguid Gymnasium which doubles as a parking space. We left our car and started the long way down.
We passed by a small village when we started our descent and was greeted by a green landscape of rice terraces bordered by the mountains.
There was a waterfall to our right not long after we started. Manang Guide quickly burst our bubble when she told us that that’s not the Big Falls.
It was about an hour walk amidst the alternating green and yellow rice terraces in a concreted one-man pathway. The view is breathtakingly refreshing but we can already feel slight exhaustion and hotness.
Then we reached Fidelisan village. We had a glimpse of the simple way of life there. It is difficult to imagine having to trek back and forth just to go to town. And what about if there is a medical emergency? However, I can appreciate the simplicity and I remember how life in our province then was similar. The locals are friendly and ever-smiling, typical of Filipino hospitality.
On the way down, we merely passed by the village eager to get the trekking done and be over with. However on our way back up, we stopped a bit to catch our breath and refresh a bit.
Then the second part of the trek was a bit more strenuous. There are bigger drops in elevation so we had to walk steeper paths.
The air is fresh, the landscape encouraging. We are going up and down through ricefields and brooks cutting them along. The walking sticks have been helpful and Father used his as a plastic bag strap 😀
We didn’t retreat until we heard the sound of gushing and turbulent water coming from the majestic, Big Falls, Bomod-ok. Finally, we’ve arrived!!! Other groups took a dip into the water but since we did not plan to swim (and due to the sheer exhaustion that we might get pasma), we just took some time to rest and take in the view. And feel proud of ourselves for making it!
Going back up was far more challenging. Battery level of everyone is almost zero. Plus it was at high noon that intense heat was felt. We were sweating like hell. We had to stop many times during the ascent.
While we all emerged conquerors from the 5-hour or so trekking, we were not without boo-boos like when my cousin’s slipper broke midway down and Father had to strap it with his hanky. Cousin got by and managed to get back up to Anguid Gymnasium with his improvised slippers 🙂
The real winner of the day was Mother. She slipped her foot and palpitated and couldn’t breathe that she (we) thought she’d get a heart attack right in the middle of our walk back up. Slowly but surely, she took her time and walked her pace. Good job, Mother! Truly you survived Sagada!
The rains poured as we were nearing the Anguid Gymnasium. We got a bit wet as we did not have raincoats on. Thank God it didn’t rain mid-way.
Manang Guide said they allot about 6 hours to do the trekking and we did it within 5. I am proud of our pace, considering that we had to stop a lot of times and Mother wasn’t feeling well from too much exhaustion.
True to the title of my post, trekking to Bomod-ok Falls is equally breathtaking and tongue-wagging. So hey, the photo below is as priceless as the drops of sweat and pounding heartbeats we had doing it.
We pushed our limits and we did it! We conquered Sumaguing and Bomod-ok! Nice try though, Sagada 🙂