February 2013
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"Just in case you are planning to visit this remote town for adventure or research purposes, I want to share this travel guide including points of interest that might awaken the curiosity in you."

The points of interest here may not be a stunning view but it could offer sights and experiences that will last long in your memory.

Baay is the southern tribal domain of the Binongan Tribe of Abra in the town of Licuan-Baay or interchangeably called as Baay-Licuan. Licuan is a different domain. But these two tribal domains form as one town.





Baay, Abra Countryside


Where to Stay. It is highly recommended to contact someone in Baay whom you trust. If you have a friend here, much better. There are no accommodations or inns here aside from staying in the houses of the local residents.

If you are serious enough exploring this town for a research project, then the best way is to get in touch with the town mayor or the provincial government of Abra in Bangued at the Provincial Capitol. They may assist in finding a place to stay overnight but that would not be an easy thing I know. Still, the best way is to get in touch to someone whom you know here or connect to the connections of your connections.

The house of the incumbent mayor (as of this writing), Christopher Millare is located in Brgy. Bulbulala in Baay which is 3-4 hours away from Bangued (includes the 1.5 to 2 hours of off-road riding from the main road).

Now this is the first requirement you have to consider, if you think you can pass this stage, then well and good :)





At the town Mayor's residence


Get a guide. Ok, if you are really serious enough to visit this town for research, get your guide. You know, I am particular with "research projects" because I would not yet recommend this for glampackers and some tourists. I would recommend this town for backpackers and researchers who don't have a room for disappointments upon visiting this town. This town is open for the curious and the brave. 

I won't overrate, so I am telling now that this town is good for researchers or curious travelers only. Considering the effort and the cost of getting here, there are no sites that could rival the top destinations in the Philippines and great places like El Nido, Vigan, Chocolate Hills (although it has the self-coined Chocolate Mountains), or other ultra-worthy vistas for a tourist's eye. This town welcomes people who wants to gain knowledge or satisfy their curiosity. If you are interested, give me a message and I will try to contact some of my connections in Abra to serve as your guide.




With Michael Bumogas, guiding me to Panaclisan Falls.


How to get there. After getting a guide and securing an accommodation, you have to commute now in a jeep. Sometimes, it might require you to topload while taking a dusty road to accommodate all the passengers. There is only 1 jeep that traverse the Bangued-Baay route and it travels to Baay every other day (Any update for this? I hope there are more than 1 jeeps now). So it is important to get a guide.

Wear clothes that could protect you from the heat of the sun. Bring water. Empty your bowel and bladder before the ride. It is a long challenging ride. If you have a private vehicle, much better. Your guide will guide you for the route.

Points of Interest (Attractions in Town)


Next are these points of interest (a phrase I will use in this town as an alternative for tourist attractions). These spots, though not as great as the others, might still give you the urge to explore the town especially if you're just curious like me to see how all the towns in the Philippines look like.

Baay-Licuan Mountain ranges | Baay-Licuan, Abra, Philippines

Baay Mountain ranges


Baay-Licuan Mountain ranges. The mountain ranges of Baay is a point of interest. The mountains are brown and bald. But they say, it is because of the quality of the topsoil that is unable to host trees. Others say it is simply deforestation.

Note that not all mountains in Baay look like this, some are really verdant too. These mountains can be seen along the Abra-Kalinga Road. To learn more about this spot, click here.

Mt. Capcapo (or Capcappo) | Baay-Licuan, Abra, Philippines

Mt. Capcappo


Mt. Capcappo (or Capcapo). It may look barren and hideous but this mountain is rich in gold deposits. The people of Licuan-Baay climb this mountain not for leisure but to dig it's golds through small-scale-mining scheme.

A Canadian company used to apply a large-scale mining permit here but it was not granted primarily due to the resistance of the indigenous residents of the town.

A Private ranch in Baay-Licuan, Abra, Philippines

A Mountain Ranch in Baay


Mountain Ranches. Baay is home to some ranches that occupy one whole mountain or hill. Most of them are owned by private ranchers but there is a ranch here owned by ASIST (Abra State Institute for Science and Technology).

Enjoy these breathtaking views of the ranches of Baay and see herds freely roaming around these high-altitude grazing fields.

Panaclisan Falls of Nalbuan | Baay-Licuan, Abra, Philippines

Panaclisan Falls


Panaclisan Falls and Lagoon. Another interesting point in Baay is the Panaclisan Falls. It is a short waterfall but great enough to sustain a cool, deep, wide natural lagoon that never runs out of water.

My guide said this place is a favorite place of the locals for picknicking, swimming and bonfire. I don't know how they place a fire here. Learn more about Panaclisan Falls, click here:
WILAWIL FALLS | Baay-Licuan, Abra, philippines

Wilawil Falls


Wilawil Falls is another short waterfall in Baay about 20-feet tall. This one is secluded and it is located within the forest areas of Baay.


It has calm and shallow streams. Wilawil Falls is hidden - located very far from the settlements and hiding in front of huge rocks. See more, click here:

A River in Bulbulala, Baay-Licuan, Abra

A River in Bulbulala, Baay


River Bumming. No beach bumming during summer in highlands but you could river-bum. Swim into Bulbulala's fresh and inviting river or simply relax and enjoy the view. You can also catch a river fish if you like.
_______________________________________

Here is a travel guide to the town of Licuan-Baay and finally, uhhhh, I'm done with my Licuan-Baay series. Huh! It took me more than a month to blog all my town exploration stories in Baay. I hope to see you in my next town. Thank you for following our Licuan-Baay series fellow #TownExplorers! 'Til our next town!

Much Love, 
Edmar
#TownExplorer

Map of Baay-Licuan, Abra

_________________

Licuan-Baay series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | You are reading Part 7
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"I love how the place gave me the feeling of having an intimate relationship with nature. This water wonder is simply undisturbed..."

Forgive me, because I am thinking now that I'm already over-hyping the town. This is my 6th post for the town of Licuan-Baay. As I always tell you, this blog is a personal travel diary where I write everything I feel and think. And in Baay, there are just a lot of stories to share. I just have trekked to Panaclisan Falls, the first ever waterfall I've seen in Abra and unexpectedly, my second waterfall encounter in Abra also happened in the same town. Uhh, how I love this mountain town. It taught me a lot and allowed me to discover many things that are not mainstream.

WILAWIL FALLS | Bulbulala, Licuan-Baay, Abra

Erratum (Photo Watermark): It should be Bulbulala, instead of Nalbuan..

WILAWIL FALLS | Bulbulala, Licuan-Baay, Abra

This is synonymous to peace and order


In a far away forest of Baay vegetated with species of thin bamboos, giant ferns and other native forest trees is a secluded waterfall. I have always believed that if a forest is healthy, there is always a water wonder hidden within - could it be a cool spring or hot spring, rapids, waterfalls, lake, river, and the like.

Passing through dusty and sometimes muddy mountainside and intra-forest roads, a secluded waterfall was witnessed by me. The locals call this remarkable waterfall as Wilawil Falls.

WILAWIL STREAM | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Calm stream of Wilawil

WILAWIL STREAM | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Clear, shallow, undisturbed waters of Wilawil


Because it is secluded, this natural wonder is less disturbed, or undisturbed at all by human and it is located in a place where you need to exert extra effort to reach it.

In this case, you can see a pure natural masterpiece. The stream coming from the waterfall is unbelievably peaceful and calm. Withered leaves from the forest trees fall down the stream and stay underneath the surface of the shallow clear waters.
WILAWIL FALLS | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Taken from a higher elevation


The Instagrammy photo above is one of the single drops of this waterfall. What makes this Wilawil Falls secluded is the fact that the cascading waters can not be seen well from afar. You need to walk close. It is just covered by huge stones or mossy rock formations. This waterfall is simply hiding.

Wilawil Falls of Baay, Abra drops down to a narrow space between big rocks, and the waters also exit to a very narrow outlet then comes out from hiding to maintain a shallow and calm pool in front of the rocks that hide it.

WILAWIL FALLS | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Shallow pool to grace you a welcome


I love how the place gave me the feeling of having an intimate relationship with nature. This water wonder is simply undisturbed and the effort it requires in reaching this short and hiding waterfall located far from the settlements of human is probably it's most practical defense. In that way, the beauty will remain the most natural way, unaltered.

Map of Licuan-Baay, Abra via Wikipedia

Click the map to see all posts about Licuan-Baay Town


Licuan-Baay series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | You are reading Part 6 Part 7
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"...every town has its own way to amaze people if only we will learn to appreciate the simple things."

The province of Abra is a mountainous province, at most, so I used to expect of seeing a lot of waterfalls (at least along the road) aside from the great Abra River I have been documenting by following its trail through the many towns where it flows. Expectations never entered the realm of reality. I have always been thinking of seeing waterfalls dropping along the road from the mountainside like what I saw along the Tagudin-Cervantes-Sabangan Road but none appeared.

Here, I concluded that the waterfalls of Abra were especially designed by nature to hide for good. In that way, they will be protected from the hands of irresponsible tourists, if there are. So the first ever waterfall I have to see in Abra is located around 4 hours from the capital town of Bangued and it was not an easy mission.

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra title=

Panaclisan Falls - short drop amidst stunning rock formations


It is called by the locals as Panaclisan Falls because it is located in a sitio called Panaclisan in Brgy. Nalbuan of the town (at the Baay side).

It was not a tall and a wide waterfall but I don't care. While some people who travel are looking after "what's famous" or "what's grandiose," for me it is a different thing. I am more excited seeing what is less known, less visited and less hyped. While the famous waterfalls have been seen and photographed a million times, the other waterfalls remain in hiding waiting for them to be discovered by other people who can appreciate what they can offer.

In the long run, I am into town exploring. Whether or not I have seen stunning wonders and views, I will still share what I discovered in town and every town has its own way to amaze people if only we will learn to appreciate the simple things.

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra

Huge rocks that veil the waterfall


Before the short waterfall is a trek through huge stones and white-washed rock formations. The huge rock formations hide the waterfall with a cool deep aquamarine natural lagoon.

Below are photos of Panaclisan Falls, the first ever waterfalls I encountered in the province of Abra and there are more to come. Promise!

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Natural Pool. Cool swimming!

Rocks as natural walls

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Just dived...

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Little girls of Nalbuan

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

...and I really love these rock formations around

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Green everywhere

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Deep, cool, refreshing natural highland pool.

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Refreshing downstream in Brgy. Bulbulala

Panaclisan Falls | Licuan-Baay, Abra, Philippines

Remembrance... 


The waterfall is short but imagine that -- the drop is sufficient enough to carve a natural pool and to maintain a deep and wide natural lagoon that never run out of water even during dry season. Small yet it has a big role!

Map of Licuan-Baay, Abra via Wikipedia

Map of Licuan-Baay, Abra: Click the map to load all posts about the town.

____________________________

 Licuan Baay Series: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | You are reading Part 5 Part 6 | Part 7

NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"Being crazy and being broken-hearted has a thin margin. Don't make yourself crazy."

Having a broken heart is not at all a disastrous condition. Sometimes it teaches you to become strong and to become wiser. It is very helpful in molding the clay of life and to turn the subject into a great masterpiece when the right time comes - well-furnished, well-finished, good looking enough to attract interested parties.

[TAYUM] Broken heart drama: Traveling under the rain, to hide the tears, uh.


There's nothing wrong about being a carrier of a broken heart. It is just a compound noun but will work out as a verb to teach a great life lesson, or an inspiration if not a lesson. My outlook about becoming broken-hearted is positive. Call me jologs now please! Although at first, it may crash your world, can make you insane and make you lock yourself inside the bathroom for hours pretending you're dead, your wounded heart will heal eventually.

Yes, it is like a wound that may create a scar. The great thing is, if a man has experienced being wounded, the scar will remind him of his incautious past, a reminder that this time, he has to be wiser not to touch the thorns or step onto broken glasses. The same goes with the heart, the heart will know if it will get wounded, based on previous experiences and the wounds that serve as reminders.

[TUBO] Teach the heart where to go...

[MANABO] Guide the heart where to go...


So where do broken hearts go? Underwater? At the mountain top? At the crater of the volcano? Or somewhere in the horizon? Actually, you can go everywhere. However, broken-heart-carriers should go to a place where someone could understand them, fill them, feel them, lead them.

If you feel weary with your broken heart, don't go under the rain driving a bicycle (although I drove a motorbike and it is not a good idea) while imagining yourself to be the lead actor of a Korean soap opera or flooding yourself under the shower to hide the tears? Don't go the beach with plans to act as if you are drowned waiting for your lover to save you. Being crazy and being broken-hearted has a thin margin. Don't make yourself crazy.

[TUBO] Finding the way back home


So if you don't know where to go, go back to the basics, go back to the usual. Go back home! Find your home, find your comfort! Because home is where the heart is - the home that nurses a broken heart, the home that teaches a stubborn heart, the home that comforts a weary heart.

For me, being with loved ones and motorbike riding is home, and for a broken heart, it makes me love my home more than ever! The loved ones will make me feel loved and driving a motorbike far away from home will drive the pain away and kiss the hurt goodbye. Home is where you can find the kind of love that will never break your heart. A home that will take care of your heart until you are ready to take the risk again.

This post is the #TownExplorer's entry for the Pinoy Travel Bloggers' (PTB) blog carnival for the month of un-bitter broken-hearted travelers, February 2013.

Hosted and compiled by the Rakistang Nars, Rain Amantiad-Campanilla under the it's-my-ex's-great-loss theme: "Where do Broken Heart Go?" with Whitney Houston singing at the background as a strict requirement. /end

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NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.