TRUTH be told, the province of Abra has no organized tourism effort, as a whole or individually by its local government units except for one. This is Tineg, where Kaparkan Waterfalls is found.
If you have seen trending photos of this unique, multi-tiered waterfalls over at Facebook, you’ll know why. But it wouldn’t even come to our attention if not for “Biyahe ni Drew,” a popular travel show by TV host Drew Arellano.
As someone who considers Abra as my other home—it is my father’s hometown—I believe this is good development. Other municipalities can replicate Tineg’s tourism, and maximize their natural hidden treasures for the better. In the long run, they can make it sustainable for both the locals and the environment. That’s what eco-tourism is all about.
One town I am hopeful about is San Isidro, which is just an hour away from the capital of Bangued. There lies the waterfalls of San Marcial (named from the sitio it is located) with its own personality and beauty.
Unlike Kaparkan Falls, it is easier to access as proven by its popularity among locals! This only means that it has been known and patronized long before Kaparkan came to be. I am witness to this last October during my unplanned and biglaan visit to our province. My cousins and I decided to visit San Marcial Falls, albeit unexpectedly taking the road less travelled.
Upon arrival, there were already a lot of people enjoying a shower or a dip in San Marcial Falls. It was towering and imposing, at almost three storeys high with smooth, cream boulder protruding at the top, on its side the lushest and greenest fauna, and then at the bottom, two levels of natural water pools.
But there’s so much, and I mean much, more to it than meets the eye! Below is our wonderful discovery:
The entrance to the waterfalls is a tiered river with a cream floor and green-tinted water. This continues to flow down a low and tiny bridge that marks its location.
At one of the pools below just below the main and biggest waterfall.
Inspired by the locals we see taking pictures at the protruded rock atop the waterfalls, we decided to make our way there. Since it isn’t a regulated destination, there was no established trail making it slippery! But, just look at the view that greeted us! The waterfalls sits on an elevated hill overlooking the mountains!
We kept going up until we saw a gathering of friends and families we came before us.
To our surprise, a series of falls were found!
Like this one.
And then more waterfalls were flowing from up the hills. Many, people could climb but carefully since there are no established trails. We had to crawl up rocks and use roots as holdings.
The reward after all the hard work: picturesque spots!
And because there were waterfalls, there were also tiny caves (or crevices) were one could explore.
And there were more falls further up! If only this could be developed so people could explore safely!
As tip, when going to San Marcial Falls, make sure you waterproof your gadgets or bring waterproof gadgets if you have so you’re not limited in taking all the photos that you like.
As a warning though, expect to see litter in San Marcial Falls, the result of no proper organization taking care of it. In the next visit, Traveling Journo Ph hopes to be able to address this.
So that in the next years, San Marcial Falls will still be as awe-inspiring.