When I went to my second home town, I make sure I have the time, even that short time I have, to see a place where I haven't seen for decades. And despite the gloomy weather, me and my two friends still went there, and seeing the place, something hits me.
The best of nature.
Those are the words I uttered as I visited the Portabaga Falls Park and Resort, a nature park and resort that is located in Sta. Praxedes, in the Province of Cagayan,in Cagayan Valley Region. And I have seen a of changes for the last time I went there was around 20 years ago. Changes that I don't mind, since the mountains are left untouched, so are the trees. The cold water from the falls is still give me that shiver to my spine.
*Image is credited to Rain tajon via www.bitlander.com
Portabaga Falls Park and Resort.
With just 250 meters away from the high way and for Php30.00, you can get to see one of God's lovely creation, the Portabaga Falls Park and Nature Resort.
The name of the resort came from the name of the water fall itself, Portabaga Falls. The resort shows you the beauty of nature. With the tall trees on the the mountains, with its luscious green leaves and rustle as the wind blows and those wild ferns around the area, will surely make you feel, GOD IS GREAT. The place is the one of the best silent retreat for those who are tired living in the city. The place is a MUST visit when you go to Cagayan since it is the first town in Cagayan when you come from Ilocos Norte.
Aside from the trees, there are also butterflies that fly around, birds that hum around the mountains, and the most important sight is the waterfalls. You will have your eyes wander and relax as you wonder.
1. Swimming pools. The last time I visited the resort, the pool is not that lovely yet, just a concreted wall that catches the waters from the waterfalls, now it has floor tiles. The park and nature resort has two pools, one for adults and one for kids. Since we were there in a not do good weather, despite the fact that it is Sunday, there is no one swimming. The few people we saw were some tourists, taking photos just like us. The swimming pool's water is from that 50-foot-high waterfalls. So you can imagine how cold and refreshing the water is. And by the way, the place is cold since we got rains a day before we went there, and for those who really love cold showers, I would recommend to take a swim in the pool.
Here is another thing to know about the swimming pool. The pools are emptied at the end of the day, like to clean the area BUT, the water is not being wasted, they just open this door and have the water flow down to the river below the water falls.
The photo above is like door-looking that will give way or serves as a path way when they empty the swimming pool.
2. Souvernir Shop. The Portabaga Falls Park and Nature Resort has been famous for local and foreign tourists. With that, they have this souvenir shop where tourists can buy the town's OTOP or One Town One Product, which is Woven Sarakat(Pandanus). The sarakat is being woven to make mats and colorful baskets. Since it is their OTOP, they have the Sarakat festival that is being held on the month of May every year.
3. Zipline. The zipline adventure in Portabaga Falls Park and Nature Resort is actually the first in the province. The 210-meter long zipline can make you feel like superman for Php200.00, with the weather that we have when we were there, we didn't try, we just look at it. The zipline is a project of Sta. Praxedes came from the BUB or the Bottom-Up-Budget of the Department of Tourism, since the nature resort is owned by the local government unit--LGU, it become a beneficiary.
More of the nature resort.
The place has also accomodations that caters tourists who wanted to rest and enjoy nature. The prince ranges from Php 1,200 to Php3,000.00 per room, which is not bad. They also have cafeteria, restaurant and you can do mountain trekking too, which is what I wanted to do but it is slippery and I find it dangerous for me. They have convention halls too and of course picnic huts for those who just wanted to go there for a day picnic with family and friends.
The Picnic Huts.
How to get there?
Since we came from Claveria, a neighboring town of Sta. Praxedes, we have have some options how to get there without our own car. To take the public bus or vans that goes to Laoag City, Ilocos Norte or hire a tricycle. That time, the bus will depart in more than an hour, we have decided to hire a tricyle for Php 120.00. I haven't tried going there with that kind of transportation, it was my first and not bad. I just felt worried with the driver since the 250-meter cemented road to get us from the high way to the resort's entrance is quite high.
When we go back to the highway, we walk down and we able to see the trees that are being line along the cememnted road, and it was just the best sight for me as a tree lover.
The cemented road with the trees line up along.
For other tourists, if you wanted to visit Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, you can get there in few minutes. For air travel, from Manila To Laoag City or Tuguegarao(would recommend you to take Laoag International Airport). For land travel, Manila to Laoag whic is around ten hours, then Laoag City to Sta. Praxedes is around two hours.
Hope you can visit the resort and enjoy nature as much as I did.
Until next time!