|Mabnang Falls Shrubs and Cascades|
One of the pleasures (and for some people, hazards) of traveling is entrusting your fate to chance and a complete stranger. It was a sunny Sunday, an equally fine day to laze around or move about. We chose the latter after a somewhat late, languorous breakfast. Then, we opted to rent a tricycle for the whole afternoon and left the choice of driver to chance. And fate gave us Mang Pedro, a 60-something-looking local who looks sprightly for his age and build, he who drives a bright yellow and blue tricycle and as we accidentally found out, lives in a really nice bungalow just outside Centro 1.
Braving the picnic crowd at Portabaga. Even without a calendar, you can tell it's a Sunday just seeing the volume of people crowding Portabaga Falls in Sta. Praxedes, east of Centro 1. The falls has its charm but the surrounding environs look overly-built and in need of serious repairs and maintenance work. There's something amiss when you can't even use the comfort room without being sprayed on by a leaky water pipe (or was it the sewage system?). Wishing for some peace and quiet, we promptly went out, feeling that perhaps, the state of the place didn't warrant the P10 entrance fee plus P15 parking fee for our tricycle.Losing the crowds at Makatel. Just a few minutes away, we found Makatel Falls, also within Sta. Praxedes. What we didn't find (and miss) were the throngs of people hogging the falls. In fact, we were just about the only people there maybe because it isn't that easy to access the falls from the main road. There was no man-made basin damming the falls either so it was more natural-looking.
|Beautiful Mabnang Falls Cascades|
|Sunset at Claveria Bay|
Info on how to get to Claveria: by land: ride the Florida bus in Sampaloc, Manila (near UST); route is Manila-Laoag-Claveria-Sanchez Mira (travel time: 12-13 hours) or ride the bus headed for Tuguegarao, then hop on a van for Claveria-Laoag (travel time: approx. 3 hours; fare: P170) • by air & land: ride a plane to Tuguegarao, then catch the bus going to Claveria-Laoag or ride a plane to Laoag, Ilocos, then catch the bus or van going to Claveria-Sanchez Mira-Tuguegarao