When D and I recently visited Dingalan, Aurora, we consulted the owners of the resort where we stayed at, Pacific Buddies Beachfront Resort, of activities or tours that most of their guests enjoyed. They recommended a day tour to Abungan Falls. We asked if we could walk all the way there from the resort and found it was quite a long trek, and there would be streams we would cross along the way. The owners said that guests usually choose between two transportation options: either by ATV, or by farmal. The latter, in olden days, was a cart that seats a number of people. It used to be pulled by carabaos. Nowadays, a tractor drags the cart. D and I opted to go for the ATV, and we agreed to meet our guide at 7:30 the following morning.
The next day, before our ATV adventure, we chanced upon a taho vendor, and got ourselves taho for breakfast. Taho is a Filipino silken tofu “drink” with pearls and arnibal sweetener. I remember as a child, I would wait for the taho vendor every morning. The vendor would be calling out “taho” as he walked along our street, and I’d excitedly call back “taho” and run out with coin change from my folks.
A few minutes after our taho breakfast, our guide led us to our ATVs. D and I had tried ATV before, when we went to Bicol. But just to be sure, we tried a few rounds at the resort before we headed off to the falls.
The ride to Abungan Falls was definitely very scenic. We drove through lush green farm paddies, with mountains as a backdrop. There were hardly any vehicles on the road, and our pace along the cemented road was slow because we took time appreciating the surroundings. The locals were quite friendly – waving or smiling back at us as we drove by.
And then we reached the bumpy part of the road – rough roads putting our ATVs to good use. I liked this part best because we rode under a canopy of trees, if not through clear streams. Our guide encouraged me and D on the rockier and steeper parts.
Finally, we reached the ATV parking area of Abungan Falls. We were the only tourists at the time (yay!). I made a mental note to go early morning on future tours like this next time to avoid the crowds. We paid an entrance fee of 20 pesos per person. We rewarded our guide and ourselves with fresh coconut juice which we bought for 20 pesos each. It was sweet and refreshing, a drink I just cannot get enough of. We also munched on a fried banana roll before we hiked up to the falls.
The climb to the falls was easy. The sound of the water and the birds were music to my ears. The falls was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. The water was cold and crystal clear, and though we did not swim, I enjoyed wading in the water. Our trip to Abungan Falls was definitely the highlight of our trip to Dingalan. I think I found a new favorite destination up north, and as early as now I’m planning on when we would go back to explore the other natural scenic spots Dingalan offers.