"Mysterious no more. Tubo uncovered."

[TUBO, ABRA, PHILIPPINES] ► The Municipality of Tubo is the southernmost town in the province of Abra. It has its own people called Maeng tribe. Its remoteness and relative inaccessibility (for general public) of some of its barangays and sitios have made its wilderness well-preserved. Plant species and different types of mushrooms (that were my first time to see), insanely clean creeks and rivers, river eels and  fish species, fruit-bearing trees and wild berries are abundant in its less-penetrated mountains and forests.

[TUBO] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO TUBO!


The attractions and adventure destinations I included here are those that I have only visited. I've heard many good feedback from the other places in Tubo though and I hope I can add them here soon!

Take note that the attractions and places I included here are diverse. I believe adventurers and travelers have various choices and preferences. I didn't just include what's grand, popular and majestic here but I also included some non-mainstream destinations of equal importance—depending on what you are looking for.

For those who are collecting mountains to climb, you could add at least six on your list in just 3 days when you explore Tubo. For those who love rivers, creeks, waterfalls and other related bodies of water, Tubo won't disappoint you. I have included some lists of rivers, creeks and waterfalls here.

Anyway, let's explore Tubo and I hope you could find what you are looking for through the following list.

1. Maeng Falls #1
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► OUR LOCAL GUIDES PREPARING TO HUNT A RIVER EEL USING A TOOL ESPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR UNDERWATER HUNTING.


Short info: Maeng waterfalls speak of the tribe that defines the beautifully warm and hospitable people of Tubo. This waterfall plays a role in their local folklore/history. They believe that the two Maeng waterfalls in this town were the abode of Mayyang and May-eng, Maeng tribe's Adam and Eve version.

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this waterfall is at least 30 minutes away from the jump-off.

2. Maeng Falls #2
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► ONE OF OUR LOCAL GUIDES SWIMMING IN MAENG FALL'S COLD NATURAL POOL.


Short info: Aside from being an important site in tracing the origin of the Maeng tribe of Tubo (the amazing and beautiful indigenous people of this town), the hollows of the submerged rock walls of the two Maeng falls are home to edible river eel (igat) which is Abra's must-try exotic food!

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this waterfall is at least 30 minutes away from the jump-off. Maeng Falls #2 is 15 minutes away from Maeng falls #1.

3. Mount Sâsaeng/Salsaleng
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► OUR SEASONED HUNTER GUIDE HARVESTING AN EDIBLE MUSHROOM IN MOUNT SÂSAENG.


Short info: Mount Sâsaeng (Maeng name) or Salsaleng (Ilocano name) is a pine-clad ridge. Its name came from saeng (Maeng) or saleng (Ilocano) which means pine tree. This mountain is abundant with edible mushrooms.

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this mountain can be reached with the help of local guides and upon the permission of the local elders. The local elders reserve the right and the discretion to allow outsiders to climb this mountain. Take note that the decision of the local elders of Alangtin is more powerful, recognized and binding in nature than the decision of the locally elected council and the barangay captain. Based on our itinerary, we reached this mountain after two days and two nights of trekking (sleep, rest and food breaks included).

4. Tagpao (sometimes Tagpeo) Falls
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► A 120-METER HIGH WATERFALL NEAR THE BESAO, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE BORDER.


Short info: Tagpao/Tagpeo in the local tribal dialect of Tubo refers to a woman's organ of copulation. The waterfall was so-named because the locals think that the rock formation located at the base where the waterfall drops has a shape that's similar to the said woman's organ.

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this waterfall can be reached with the help of local guides and upon the permission of the local elders. In our case, we reached this waterfall after one and a half day of trekking (1.5 day and 1 night, sleep and food breaks included).

5. Mount Alipudopod (~1062 MASL)
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► MY FELLOW HIKERS WERE NEGOTIATING WITH THE STEEP TRAIL.


Short info: Mount Alipudopod is a pine-clad mountain with an elevation of ~1062 meters above sea level (MASL).

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this mountain can be reached with the help of local guides and upon the permission of the local elders. The mountain is about two hours hike away from sitio Batayan jump-off.

6. Mount Babangaan (~1585 MASL)
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► ONE OF OUR GUIDES WAS TOUCHING THIS TALL, OLD, FAT PINE TREE NEAR THE SUMMIT.


Short info: Mount Babangaan is also a home for pine trees with an elevation of ~1585 MASL. GPS coordinates: N 17° 10.956' E 120° 49.179

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this mountain can be reached with the help of local guides and upon the permission of the local elders. In our case, the mountain was about five hours hike away from sitio Batayan jump-off.

7. Mount Layaban (~1492MASL)
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► OUR HUNTER GUIDE IN MOUNT LAYABAN


Short info: Mount Layaban has an elevation of ~1492 MASL. GPS coordinates: N 17° 11.705' E 120° 48.660.

How to Go? From sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin of Tubo town, this mountain can be reached with the help of local guides and upon the permission of the local elders. In our case, the mountain was about three and a half hours hike away from sitio Batayan jump-off.

8. Mount Ambading (~1262 MASL)
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► FOG STARTED TO CREEP IN AS WE REACHED THE SUMMIT OF MT AMBADING.


Short info: Mount Ambading has an elevation of ~1262 MASL.

How to Go? This mountain is at least 3 hours hike away from sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin in Tubo town.

9. Mount Tubo (~1020 MASL)
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► ONE OF OUR GUIDES RESTING IN MOUNT TUBO


Short info: Mount Tubo is said to be the location of the original center (poblacion) of the town of Tubo. Due to tribal wars, the poblacion was relocated. This mountain has an elevation of ~1020 MASL.

How to Go? This mountain is approximately 2 hours hike away from sitio Batayan in barangay Alangtin in Tubo.

10. Tuwad Aypeo Ridge (~1490 MASL)
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► FELLOW HIKERS NEAR THE TOP RIDGE OF MOUNT TUWAD AYPEO


Short info: Tuwad Aypeo ridge plays a role in a local folklore about a local hunter named Aypeo who fell asleep in this mountain in tuwad position (bent over). It's also called Mount Nasang-at (meaning steep).

How to Go? Based on our itinerary, this mountain was part of our exit route from Tagpao Falls. We reached this after two days and two nights of expedition.

11. Lower Utip River
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► THIS CHILD SAT ON A ROCK AFTER SWIMMING IN THE RIVER.


Short info: Utip river is Tubo's greatest river with tributaries that augment its volume. The lower Utip river flows through barangay Mayabo, the center of the town. It's insanely clean, cold and rich in river fish and eels (igat, an exotic Abra food).

How to Go? A segment of this river can be seen in barangay Mayabo, the center of the town. You can also view this river from their town hall.

12. Sayoyong Rice Terraces
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► SAYOYONG RICE TERRACES


Short info: Sayoyong Rice Terraces is located near the poblacion of the town. Utip river plays an essential role in irrigating the rice paddies.

How to Go? This view can be seen on your way to barangay Mayabo.

13. Tubo Burial Caves
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► BURIAL CAVE IN SITIO LINTANGEB.


Short info: Like the other Cordilleran towns, the people of Tubo also had this burial practice of keeping the body of their dead loved ones in a pinewood coffin kept inside shallow caves.

How to Go? Hire your local guide. They are the best people who could help you reach this place. I can't describe how did we reach this place. There were no landmarks or signage, just trails that are only familiar for the locals.

14. Upper Utip River
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► UPPER UTIP RIVER IS ROUGH AND WILD.


Short info: Upper Utip river has a character that's different compared with its lower counterpart. Upstream Utip river is rough and wild. The water flows in between boulders with thick forests and foliage alongside.

How to Go? Hire your local guide. They are the best people who could help you reach this place.

15. Lintangeb Rock Shelter/Liang
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► OUR EXPEDITION TEAM SPENT THE WHOLE NIGHT IN THIS LIANG.


Short info: This rock shelter or locally called liang in sitio Lintangeb in Tubo is a weather-proof hollow gigantic rock (like a shallow cave) naturally decorated with beautiful ferns and creeping plants on its external walls. We spent the whole night inside this rock shelter. We also cooked our food inside. Near this rock shelter is a river that's rich in igat. Our local guides actually hunted for igat in that river for our dinner and breakfast the next day. Inside this rock shelter is a spring that is safe for drinking. You could really call this liang your home away from home. This serves as safe zone for local hunters of Tubo during hard times in the jungle. I included this place on this list because I would like other adventure-seekers to become aware that they could experience this kind of adventure here in Tubo.

How to Go? Hire your local guide. They are the best people who could help you reach this place.

16. Alangtin Rice Terraces
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► THE BEAUTIFUL RICE TERRACES OF ALANGTIN


Short info: The people of Tubo carved the mountains for agriculture purposes. The Alangtin rice terraces are living evidence of their ancient engineering knowledge and ingenuity.

How to Go? Hire your local guide. They are the best people who could help you reach this place.

17. Bila River
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► MY PHOTO AT BILA RIVER, TAKEN BY ESTAN CABIGAS. VISIT HIS BLOG AT LANGYAW.COM.


Short info: For travelers/adventurers who love rivers and creeks or you just want to visit as many rivers as you can for your collection or list, you might want to consider Bila river. The water is clean and fresh. In fact, the water inside my bottle came from this river. It's safe to drink it! I hope it will remain pure and clean forever!

How to Go? Hire your local guide. They are the best people who could help you reach this place.

18. A Creek in Sitio Datalan
TUBO, ABRA TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► I SWAM IN THIS COLD, CLEAN CREEK IN THE GHOST SITIO OF DATALAN.


Short info: I'm not sure if this creek has a name for the locals. Since I don't know its local name, I would call it Sitio Datalan creek since it's located in this sitio—another river/creek on your list of rivers. You could check out this creek on your way to Tagpao falls.

How to Go? Hire your local guide. They are the best people who could help you reach this place.

_______________________________________

Above are tourist spots, interesting places and potential attractions in Tubo I've personally visited. I've also heard beautiful feedback about the Kili falls and hot spring. I hope to visit it soon!

The town of Tubo is indeed an adventure destination. However, I can assure you that Tubo is more than an adventure destination. Meet the Maeng tribe and learn their culture and heritage. I'll make a separate post for the suggested things to do/try/experience in town (I'll publish it in the future). Another post is also reserved for the food and wild fruits I've tried (kinda Tubo food guide). A travel-guide post with itinerary suggestions, how-to's and where-to's is also on the works. Meantime, this post serves as an introduction to the beauty of Tubo. Mysterious no more. Tubo uncovered. Thanks for reading! | end |

DECEMBER 2012, JULY 2014: SELFIES FROM MY TUBO ADVENTURES
TUBO, ABRA PROVINCE, PHILIPPINES

TUBO TOURIST SPOTS

[TUBO] ► HELLO! WELCOME TO TUBO!


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] Thank you to the former Vice Governor of Abra, Hon Chari Bersamin, for assisting us to explore Tubo in December 2012 and July 2014. Also big thanks to Daniel Daagdag for being the best guide for this Tubo expedition. Most of the information I wrote here was provided by him. You rock man! Also big thanks to our other guides: Nestor Daagdag (Daniel's brother), Gregorio Cayandag, Nomar Diwayan, John Oloan and Roger Oloan. You all guys were angels! This life-changing expedition would have not been possible without you guys.

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

[3] All maps I used on this post are from Google Maps.

[4] All photos are mine except for the Bila River photo which was taken by Estan Cabigas.

[5] 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, Travel Blogger
EDMARATION #TownExplorer




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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.

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