Saturday, April 7, 2018

7 Must-See Waterfalls in Benguet

Within a few weeks from now, the rainy season will be bearing upon us at full speed. As water cascades down the hills, mountains, creeks, and streams, our rivers swell to their highest levels. For those looking for a little bit of watery adventure, it’s the perfect time to go chasing waterfalls. So without further ado, I present to you some of the best waterfalls that the province of Benguet has to offer. [Note: This list only includes those waterfalls I’ve personally seen.]

1. Mangta Falls (Bakun) – You have to hike for about an hour from Poblacion, Bakun to reach this waterfall which also happens to be located in the foot of the mountain range that’s topped by Mt. Tenglawan. For thousands of years, the waterfall pounded on the solid rock below creating a small but deep pool of water. Swimming at the pool is not advisable during the rainy season as the waters turn into a churning cesspool of strong and dangerous currents. To get a full view of Mangta Falls, you need to make your way up Mt. Gedgedayan or Mt. Kabunian. You don’t have to climb all the way to the top. Just get to a point in the trail wherein you’re at least within eye-level with the falls.

2. Tekip Falls (Bakun) – Probably one of the best waterfalls I’ve ever personally seen. However, the waterfall is a hit-and-miss. During the summer months, it dries up to the point that all you see is a trickle of water. But during the rainy months, it’s a complete beauty. When bathing under it, you have to be careful because of the pressure and the chance that there may be debris falling along with the water.

3. Bayokbok Falls (Tublay, La Trinidad) – Just a few kilometres away from Poblacion, La Trinidad, Bayokbok is composed of one big waterfall and two smaller layers above it. The waterfall is located just a stone’s throw away from the Asin hot spring. Just make your way to the hanging bridge, follow the trail, hit a small road and ask the locals for the final direction to the waterfall. It’s nice going there during the summer months because the waters turn pristine blue. During the rainy season, the waterfall is a magnificent gurgling beauty but the blue waters are transformed into chocolate brown.

4. Badi Falls (Kapangan) – This is actually a series of more than four picturesque waterfalls. You make your way to the riverbed at the foot of a mountain then slowly creep your way up river. Each waterfall is but several minutes away from each other. We’ve been there a month or so ago and the river current is still decent enough albeit the absence of rains. I’d like to go back there when the rainy season is in full swing and the river current doubles or even triples.

5. Pattan Falls (Bakun) – We made a quick side trip to this waterfall after we summited Mt. Kabunian. The water here is not that strong but apparently it grows dangerously strong during a typhoon. In fact, the hanging bridge which runs across just below it is a mangled mess of twisted metal and wires. I can only presume that it got torn to pieces by the raging waters during a storm.

6. Kitong Falls (Tublay) – Just like Tekip Falls, this waterfall dries up to a trickle during the summer season. When we went there, it was April I think so there was no water. All that was left was a great pool of stagnant water at the foot of it. Nevertheless, this is a nice side trip for those who visit the Bengaongao and Paterno Caves in Ambongdolan. The waterfall is just a few minutes’ walk away from the entrance to Bengaongao Cave.

7. Pajekpek Falls and Suyok Falls (Dalupirip, Itogon) – I didn’t personally see this waterfall but I’ve heard from a few acquaintances that it’s quite good. I’m taking their word for it. All I know of the waterfall are a couple of photos that I’ve seen online. We were supposed to go there a week or so ago after our hike up Mt. Pigingan but we didn’t have enough time. Supposedly, the waterfall is about an hour away from the section of Agno River at the jump-off point. Dalupirip would be the perfect place for a waterfall. Imagine dipping in the cool waters after a hot and sweaty hike.

So there you go. If you think I missed something or if you have something to add, feel free to chime in at the comments section below.