At first I was so hesitant visiting Sta Praxedes because of its distance from Enrile Cagayan where my residence is. By looking at the map alone, I didn’t realize we passed through nine (9) towns of approximately 400 kilometers away from my hometown. Amazing! I’m glad I have my father who served as my tour guide and supported me all along the way. Thank you dear Tatay. We passed through Tuguegarao, Iguig, Amulung, Acala, Gattaran, Allacapan, Pamplona, Sanchez Mira and Claveria sequentially. (FYI, Sta Praxedes is just a 30 minute-drive away from Pagudpud Ilocos where you can also see lovely spots like Blue Lagoon, Kabigan Falls and the like). That was so tiring but I was really eager about the experience that I can probably share with you all once I visited its known PORTABAGA FALLS, one of the two falls famous in town. And I can say this is priceless (I guess). The other falls is called MACATEL FALLS which I would also visit next time, good for rescheduling, too bad. I can’t visit two falls at the same time since I only had limited days for vacation. It’s good my second sister migrated in Portabaga, one of the barangays in Sta Praxedes where the falls is, which is pretty much convenient for us since we had a place to stay before heading to my target spot. Portabaga is one of the highest falls in Cagayan Valley about 40 feet high which has three drop off points and man-made catch-basins intended for swimming developed by the local government.
At the entrance, the roar of the water and the children shouting is already heard while having fun. This is how the entrance looks like. I hope the tarpaulin for the rates is visible. 🙂 There isn’t much art on the falls yet so apparently we just expect to have a simple visual aspects like these, and chances of having low-cost entrance fees too. Cottages are also being rented on affordable prizes. For reservations contact 0927-825-3311 | 0928-206-7162.
Here I learned some exotic foods too, like “kilawen and adobong pugita”(baby octopus) and “gamet”(dried seaweeds) which are being exported to other countries like China as an ingredient of their favorite menus. Buying fish is also amusing because of it’s inexpensive prices and this is customarily their main dish for meal and believe me, you’ll be fed up (in a good way). I also saw a watermelon which is one of a kind! It is elongated and and yellow colored. There isn’t much difference on the common red watermelon aside from it being a bit crunchy.
I decided to walk heading towards the falls just to capture some photos I might can publicize to make my visit memorable. There I saw bunches of Anahaw trees growing anywhere along the way, I learned that Agtas (indigenous people) sell it for 2.50 php per leaf in the localities but if they will export it to other provinces, the cost will increase to 4.50 php instead. Anahaw which they call “labig” is used as a roof for houses lasting up to 10 years.
For us who live in the North, It is very relaxing to unwind in places like these breathing the fresh air and listening to the roars of the waterfalls after our tough working days.
Kids just love playing on and around the pool. Climbing on the huge rocks is also fun but it’s a bit scary because some of the parts are really sharp.
I don’t really have much courage to swim into the pool since I’m not good in swimming, first of , other than the water being too cold. Woaaahhhh!.
This is my niece KAYE. She just loved playing on the leaking water from the pool. She’s scared going into the deep kiddie pool haha! The pool on her background has no flooring other than huge rocks.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Sta Praxedes Cagayan Valley is about 500 kilometers north of Manila, having a travel time of about 8-10 hours by land via Ilocos. You may either take it via SCTEX too, which is Roxas bound but it will take you about 16 hours to travel. Buses include GV Florida, Victory liner, Baliwag Transit, or Dalin liner. All buses mentioned are stationed in Cubao and Sampaloc. Fare rate ranges from 500.00 php to 800.00 php or so, one way. By air, we also have Cebu Pacific or Airphil which would cost you around 2800.00 php one way for only about an hour travel period to Tuguegarao. The nearest hotel where you can stay is in Claveria Cagayan, just 30 mins drive from Sta Praxedes and vice versa. Traveling by land is interesting for those who love nature since you would see vast forest lands along the way from Nueva Vizcaya all throughout the province.
Much more to explore in the North. This is my first itinerary so please watch out for my upcoming adventures on the next coming months. These are the things that I want our fellow Cagayanos to be proud of. After all we just need to have a little development for these spots and it will sound like you’ve already reached Pagsanjan Falls of Laguna or Tamaraw Falls of Mindoro perhaps. Great! All we need is to love the art of exploring and sharing whatever we’ve explored. Let me end it here.