Abra's natural environment has engineered this incredible masterpiece right before my mind could ever imagine a waterfall that may look as grand as this. I found out that nature could surpass human creativity and imagination.
KAPARKAN FALLS, TINEG, ABRA

[TINEG, ABRA PROVINCE, CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION, LUZON ISLAND, PHILIPPINES] ► I can't stop the universe. When it conspires, I'll get what I want. I never thought that I would be back again in Tineg. My last travel there was in June 2015 and I thought it would take me a long wait of several years before I could visit the town again. The angels brought me there for the third time—and it was a charm.

I have many fond memories in Tineg. In fact, I've never blogged yet my previous travels there because I'm afraid that my limited mortal capacity may not justify the life-changing experiences and knowledge it imparted to me. I'm struggling to find the right words to describe the every heartbeat that joined my emotions everytime I experienced a fascinating encounter. The fresh air I breathed in while trekking its wilderness fixed my brokenness. Only God can fathom the depth of my feelings for Tineg. My humanness is weak.
Surprises
"SURPRISES." FOR ME, THIS IS A HOLY word for Abra. You know, I started exploring this province in 2010 in the name of leisure and of letting go. Up to now, random surprises keep coming—maybe because the granules of Abra's pie of information are not well-publicized. You have to be an observant person to learn the heartbeat of its people, their war cry, their soft spot, their culture and more.

Recently, Abra made waves of buzzes on social media due to several viral photos of a natural wonder nestled in the once mysterious hinterlands of Tineg. It's actually a waterfall made of several layers of nature-carved pools that generally formed like a colossal stairway with flowing spring water descending through several layers of nature-crafted rocks that seemed like giant ladders of the goddesses.
The Road and Trail to Kaparkan Falls During Rainy Days
I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO penetrate the interiors of Abra both summer and rainy season. I've done riding motorbike in Abra during summer and I've also done riding during rainy days. I mean, it was a ride deep to the interior of the province using XRM motorbike with a friend, sometimes using Honda Beat on safer trails (kinda suicide to use this motorbike on rough road) either solo ride or with my brother Edison.

So yes, if we talk about roads in Abra, I know what to expect. I think I've traveled the worst roads in Abra for the purpose of leisure and adventure. But when we took the road to Kaparkan which was my first time to experience, I found out that I still had to try the most challenging road in Abra. It's a heaven for adrenaline junkies but an agony for regular commuters.

When we were about to reach Tineg (near the San Juan-Tineg boundary along San-Juan Tineg Road), our vehicles—customized for extreme terrain—had to stop. I rode in a super-sized high-clearance jeep. The other group used an all-terrain military truck. The crew of these vehicles had to unload their long and heavy metal chains. At first, I can't decipher the purpose until they started setting up those metal chains around the wheels. I learned that they would help the wheels get a grip onto the muddy road. There would be a mud war down below.

The beauty of the road to Kaparkan during rainy days has a different feel. The summer-brown mountains I used to see turned to a beautiful green landscape that's so refreshing to the eyes. Take note that not all mountains in Tineg are grass-clad. There are also heavily-forested mountains. It so happened that many mountains you could see along the road are covered with grasses. (I will write more stories about the road to Kaparkan soon, hang on).

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[SAN JUAN] ► OUR JEEP STOPPED IN SAN JUAN TOWN FOR THIS SET UP.
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► ONLY TWO COLORS: BROWN AND GREEN
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► THE MUDDY SAN JUAN-TINEG ROAD
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► NO ROAD IS TOO HARD FOR A DETERMINED PERSON. SPOT THE BIKER!
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► HOWEVER HARD THE ROAD MIGHT BE, IT'S STILL THE EASIEST WAY TO GO HOME.
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► IT'S NOT ABOUT THE DESTINATION, IT'S THE JOURNEY THAT COUNTS.
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► SOMETIMES, WE NEED TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT WE ARE WEAK—THAT WE NEED THE HELP OF OTHERS.
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► YOU WANT ADVENTURE? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. YOU MAY GET MORE THAN WHAT YOU EXPECTED.
ROAD TO TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► VIEW OF TINEG RIVER FROM KAPARKAN FALLS TRAIL
TINEG RIVE

From the starting point of the trek, reaching Kaparkan falls requires about thirty minutes of downhill trek. Thirty minutes could be longer if it's raining like in our case. A certain point of the foot trail is a magnificent view of the mountains of Abra with the Tineg River running in between them.
The Kaparkan Falls (aka Kaparcan Falls, Mulawin Falls)
FROM THE TRAIL, I COULD HEAR THE gushing water of the waterfall. It was hidden by a thick foliage. From afar, you could only see a little portion of its extensive width and height. You have to get close to its unique natural enclosure of natural vegetation that looked like a surreal paradise kingdom of an animated Hollywood movie of the gods and goddesses.

I went up close. Words couldn't describe what I saw. Even my photos couldn't justify its beauty in person. I mean, just, wow! It looked unreal yet it's true. It's a paradoxical moment of reconciling my personal biases and the reality. I didn't stop drooling on this wanderlust for the eyes.

Tap or click the numbers below to see the gallery images.

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[TINEG] ► SHRUBS AND TREES THAT GROW ON ROCKS.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► WHITE LADDER-LIKE ROCKS
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► WATERFALLS UNDER THE TREES
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► ENTRANCE LADDER TO KAPARKAN FALLS
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► LAYERS OF AMAZING POOLS ENCLOSED WITH MINERAL ROCKS
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► CHOOSE YOUR POOL
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► NATURE'S ENGINEERING MARVEL
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► WONDERFUL!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► ANY ADJECTIVES HERE?
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► MAGICAL!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► SPRING TERRACES, AS WHAT THEY CALL IT.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► PARADISE ON EARTH!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► I COULD STAY HERE THE WHOLE DAY SWIMMING.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► DESCRIBE THIS IN YOUR OWN WORDS.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► INDESCRIBABLE!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► SPRING OF HOPE FOR ABRA'S TOURISM
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► YOU'RE NOT ALONE. IT'S JUST A MINDSET.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► AHHHHHHHH!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► CHOOSE YOUR BATHTUB.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► GIVING HOPE FOR ABRA'S TOURISM.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► THE HUGE TREE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAYERS OF NATURAL POOLS.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► NATURE AT ITS FINEST
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► NATURE AT ITS FINEST
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► THE TRAVEL WAS ALL WORTH IT.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► A HUGE TREE NOURISHED BY SPRING WATER.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► KAPARKAN FALLS IS LOVE.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► TAKE THE CENTER STAGE.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► BIG ROOTS ON THE ROCKS.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► WORLD PEACE FROM KAPARKAN FALLS.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► FELLOW TRAVEL BLOGGER ESTAN CABIGAS
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► SPOT MY SUN-BURNED SHOULDERS AND ARMS.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► STAIRWAY OF THE GODS AND GODDESSES.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► ENCHANTING DESTINATION!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
[TINEG] ► ENCHANTING WATERFALLS!
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA

It's hard to imagine that a natural setting like this is actually existing. It has been hiding from the general public for years! I mean, Abra's natural environment has engineered this incredible masterpiece right before my mind could ever imagine a waterfall that may look as grand as this. I found out that nature could surpass human creativity and imagination (in my case though).

A huge Balete tree stands mightily in the middle of the naturally laddered waterfall. The presence of this enchanting giant tree made the setting more magical for me. Thoughts in my head brought me to fantasy land.

There are also shrubs and trees that grow on rocks with continuous supply of water. Climbing the higher cascades of this magnificent natural wonder is also possible because of the presence of layers of pools with rock edges that aren't slippery—can be used in navigating the immense waterfall. In fact, my feet could stick with it.

This waterfall is located in Sitio Kaparkan of Brgy Caganayan in Tineg town.
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Amenities
THIS WATERFALL DESTINATION IS RAW. IT HIT social media by storm so the LGU wasn't prepared for the unexpected flock of tourists. Anyway, as a visitor of this place, we are expected to adjust with the situation, not the place adjusting for us by compelling the authority to build concrete trails or permanent structures near the site. It's everyone's duty to take care of this place. Please do not sacrifice the natural beauty of the place in exchange of human convenience and comfort. Remember, we are outsiders.

There's no restroom here just yet. There's no place to buy food and water so bring them with you. You do not have the right to demand even if you paid for your trip here.
Your responsibilities
KAPARKAN FALLS CAN SHARE WITH YOU THE space provided by nature for it to exist and for human to enjoy. It could satisfy your thirst for adventure for free. As a visitor, it is your responsibility not to alter the natural setting. Please take note of the following:

  • Do not vandalize the rocks and tree trunks.
  • Do not cut or break the branches or stems of the trees and shrubs.
  • Do not leave your trash here. Bring them back home! Please. Respect the place. Tineg is an ancestral domain of the Adasen tribe so we, outsiders, have no right to leave a mess in their beautiful land. I was saddened when I saw a growing mound of garbage near the falls. Garbage should not be brought to the forest. Bring them back home.
  • Do not scrape the rocks. It took nature thousands of years to mold the mineral rock layers so don't you ever dare destroy it in a matter of seconds.
  • Do not take a bath using shampoos and soaps. The chemicals of these products could affect the delicate natural balance of nature here.
  • Do not take anything, only photos.
KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA
FAQs
CAN I RIDE A PUBLIC PASSENGER VEHICLE going to Kaparkan Falls?

Mix it with a lot of trekking, yes you may. However, take note that there are only three trips to Tineg from BANGUED in a week and back (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday). The Bangued-Tineg route is serviced by a customized all-terrain jeep. The jeep may just drop you at the jump-off point to the falls. How long is the trek? I don't know. I've never tried this option.

KAPARKAN FALLS, ABRA

If you plan to commute and you do not have plans to stay at the falls for at least 2 days, be ready to trek back to the next town (San Juan) where you can get a jeep to the capital town of Bangued.

Can I go to Kaparkan falls D-I-Y style?

If you are willing, yes. If you want to ride a public passenger jeep, please refer above. If you are an off-road rider, you can also do it. The best way to travel to Tineg using an off-road motorbike is summer. However, I talked to George Anthony Lalin, appointed tourism consultant of Abra and a seasoned off-road rider to that area, and he told me that Kaparkan Falls is seasonal. So you may not see the most beautiful waterfall display of Kaparkan falls during summer. Rainy season is where the waterfall unleashes its magical beauty.

You can also use mountain bikes if you want to D-I-Y this trip. For bikers/motorbikers, this is the route:

  1. From Bangued, take the Abra-Kalinga Road until you reach the Talogtog junction in Dolores.
  2. From the Talogtog junction, take the road going to Dolores poblacion.
  3. From Dolores poblacion, drive straight ahead to San Juan poblacion.
  4. From San Juan poblacion, just follow the San Juan-Tineg road. Take note that there are no road signs along the way. The last concrete road is in San Juan.
  5. Take the rough road to Tineg. When you reach a fork, you will see a sign like the photo below. If you'll see that sign, use the left road.
The travel time from Bangued is at least 2 hours. Take note that it could take you 4 hours if the road condition is hideous. We actually met bikers along the way and they stayed near the falls overnight. They started biking back to Bangued morning of the next day.

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[TINEG] ► THE ROAD SIGN TO KAPARKAN FALLS
TINEG, ABRA
[TINEG] ► THIS ABRA LOCAL USED AN OFF-ROAD MOTORBIKE TO REACH TINEG.
TINEG, ABRA

If you will use GPS to spot your location, your device may not work if it requires mobile data or internet.
How to Go? - The Easiest Way to Go
TINEG, ABRA

TINEG TOURISM SECTION HAS AN ORGANIZED TOUR every weekend using military truck and a customized high-clearance all-terrain jeep. Around 60 people are accommodated each tour. The truck and jeep leave Bangued at 8 AM and leave Tineg at 2 PM. You have 2-4 hours to enjoy Kaparkan falls. Kaparkan falls is also called with the following names: Kaparcan Falls and Mulawin Falls. | end |
Discover more tourist destinations in Tineg

Map Showing the Location of #Tineg

MAP OF TINEG
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] This post was filed under the category "Waterfalls." There is a section below where you can see other related posts from this category. 

[2] The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

[3] All photos are mine.

[4] The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

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EDMAR GUQUIB

Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano. Genuine Bigueño. Sucker of Long Land Trips. Loves the Highlands. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For sponsorship, advertising, event invites and collaborations email me at edmaration@gmail.com.

Post A Comment:

5 comments:

  1. pagnapagna ian } Ay, napalalo iti kinapintasna kabsat. Isu iti kapintasan nga waterfall nga nakitakon as of now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kailangan din mabisita yan. Thank you Edmaration :-) Nize nize nize.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hello sir! need ba tour guide to go there? is it that hard to reach the place especially with kids? thanks po

    ReplyDelete
  4. julz | Hi julz! Actually, may arranged tours ang Tineg tourism department with the help of tourism consultants (George Lalin and Jun Rosales) under the office of Cong JB Bernos every Saturday and Sunday. The travel coordinator is Hezro Villamonte (let me ask him first if I'm allowed to post his number here.)

    The meeting place is in front of Origines Hotel in Bangued. The truck (yes, you will ride on a military truck) leaves at 7 AM. Prior booking is needed since they can only accommodate a limited number of tourists.

    Unfortunately, the Kaparkan falls is temporarily closed as of this reply I'm writing due to the worsening road condition. Nasira na rin ang mga sasakyang ginagamit papunta doon. One thing more, the closure of the road to Kaparkan Falls might extend longer since road concreting is on its way.

    I hope this one helps. :)

    ReplyDelete

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