Be amazed by ABRA


Be amazed by ABRA

If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.” ~ Tory Burch

I have always been inspired by bloggers all these years and as I do my daily readings, I came across this place: Kaparkan Falls in Tineg, Abra. Upon research, Abra is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bangued, and is bordered by Ilocos Norte on the northwest, Apayao on the northeast, Kalinga on the mid-east, Mountain Province on the southeast, and Ilocos Sur on the southwest. Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abra_(province)

I have been to the Ilocos region several times, and I honestly wondered why I missed this spectacular province. Thanks to the bloggers I follow who’ve been there and densely illustrated its’ beauty and what to expect. In my heart, I knew then, Abra is one I shouldn’t miss. Specifically that falls in Tineg.

So one weekend of October, our travel agency announced that it’s time to go, it has been postponed for several times already due to the typhoons in the Philippines and my heart is pounding at the thought of waiting for another year to see Kaparkan falls. The best time to visit is during rainy season as it runs dry during the summer months. However, I’d still insist to call it my own Summer in October. =)

I have to thank the agency: Traveler Point PH for being so organized, caring and had us experience this “ABRAMAZING” weekend.

Day 1 – Friday night:

Our pick-up point is at Greenfields (Mandaluyong City) at 9:00 pm, our organizer is a couple who loves to travel too, we shared the trip along with 8 millennials who made the trip more exciting and full of fun despite of the perplexity of reaching our destination(s). We arrived at The Department of Tourism Office, Tineg around 6:00 am, it is estimated at 8 hours travel time from Manila, however due to several stop-overs, it took us 9 hours to reach Tineg, Abra. We were briefed before hitting the road. And at exactly 7:00 am, we are ready.

I am actually surprised knowing we’re riding on this Army truck.

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They refer to it as “Monster truck”…

Its’ tires at 1100 x 20 (all terrain), I thought I was lucky that my assigned seat is at the front with 2 millennial girls who made me laugh the whole time. While Jen is at the back along with the other travelers. I was telling her she wouldn’t like it in front, and she’s also saying I wouldn’t like it too at the back. As they say: “Sa harap, kitang-kita, sa likod, damang-dama!” (English translation: “The rough road is so visible in front, while the roughness and bumpiness is felt most at the back!”)

Here’s why:

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I can do this! =)
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It is necessary to lodge the tires with these chains to avoid being bogged down in the deep mud.

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rough 1

Connecting Tayum and Dolores municipalities:

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is The Don Mariano Marcos bridge. The third longest bridge in the country with a total length of 886.812 linear meters. #thisthingwithwelcomearchs

Reference: http://wikimapia.org/2423591/Don-Mariano-Marcos-Bridge

red bridge

As oriented, this “one hell of a ride” is more or less than 4 hours, and less than an hour trek to reach our destination.

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It is my first time to experience one such ride, upon being there, and finally witnessing this magnificent falls, I hear everyone saying “Oh My God!” several times! Myself, speechless. I must say it (bruises, scratches, broken nails, etc.) was truly worth it, I totally forgot about that “ride” upon seeing Kaparkan falls. Let these pictures speak for themselves. =)

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Nature has it’s own special way of taking my breath away.

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If you noticed, they do not bother to remove the falling leaves for a purpose, it adds beauty in time, the marks they leave, creates art naturally.

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You will notice too that the place isn’t that populated by guests. The Dept. of Tourism gave strict directives that the maximum # of guests is only 90. This will allow guests to enjoy its’ tranquility too.

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Those rows of limestones are naturally formed in that wondrous presence through the years, though it made me wonder, they aren’t slippery. I was too careful as it glistens when one of them told me that it isn’t slippery. Because of this, I began my wanderings and conquered my fear. =)

Our coordinator must know how famished we’d be, upon reaching our Transient home dinner time, they had this “Boodle fight” dinner set-up to welcome our group. Yum! =) We have fresh fruits too!

boodle fight 3

Our itinerary come Sunday is composed of some interesting places which I will blog separately.

Just this one at Kaparkan Falls substantiates that my more than a year waiting time to visit Abra is truly worth it. While there’s more this province can offer.

It is the highlight of this trip while I have my own personal highlight too, it is our visit to Gabriela Silang Carino Gallery of Fine Arts, which really satiated not just my eyes but my soul too.

Our itinerary for Day 2 includes: A visit to St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, Tangadan Tunnel, Gabriela Silang monument and Abra Pasalubong Center, passed by Don Mariano Marcos bridge, the open theater and view deck at Victoria park, another visit to an old heritage church: San Lorenzo Ruiz church at the Camposanto, Bangued, side trip to Calle Crisologo, Vigan City, we also went to Balay ni Gian to buy Vigan longganiza and Bagnet (at Carl Louie) as pasalubong (goodies for loved ones at home). Our itinerary includes the Bantay Church Bell tower, the Gourd hat maker, the Loom weaving village, Acosta panciteria (that famous Abra pancit miki). But due to time constraint, we missed those ones. But it’s okay. For those who will visit Abra, these are also some spots you would want not to miss.

So this is how we spent this one amazing weekend at Abra. I must agree whenever they say it’s “Abramazing!”

Below is a map of Abra:

 

Courtesy of: http://www.abra.asia/_pages/GoSeeStay.htm

Should you be interested, feel free to call Grace or Chris of Traveler Point PH for more details at: 0945 813 0618.

PS

Kaparkan falls is prettier in person. =)

 

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Published by

beautsantua

-An only daughter. A mother of an 18 year old son. Passionate with so many things. A lover of life itself. First of which is to write. Then, sing (I specifically love the stage), read, cook, travel & take beautiful pictures (photography) and scrap booking, all of which are my own way of coping with life's challenges. Friends usually associate me with the color violet. I love this color so much! Though, I love pink, red, teal, orange, yellow, blue as well! Coffee is my water and my happy food is cheesecake topped w/ blueberries, yogurt, sansrival and cream puff. I mastered fettuccine carbonara because that is one of my favorite food as well, along w/ broccoli, prawns and mushrooms. Secretly, I love "Stitch" - that grinning indigo pup. =) Seriously, I dream to become a philanthropist (starting off by providing shelter to street children in our country) and a famous author someday. I'm just waiting for God's time for my first book to be published.- It took me years to decide to blog, more so to write and have it out in the open. As I used to write even when I was a teenager, and I just keep them on file. It was my outlet. Approaching the year they say where life begins, or If I may say, the sweeter life. It was a year full of emotions. As I lost my father a year before and I guess in one way or another, the unfathomable sadness prompted me to pour them out in my writings and share them to the world, hoping it might lighten the heaviness of my heart. I live now with my son and mother, as a mother and as a daughter (as a friend and a sister), this has made me be ready to finally do what I am meant to do. Even If there's a lot that I wanted to do. This came first, like a first love that occupied a special place in my heart. It's a looong process, tiring, frustrating, exciting. The best part? is the happiness it brings. Even if things around seems all so wrong. It's like having my own place under the sun. My own safe and happy rainbowed world. At times, there's guilt as well, for I strongly believe, writing (like singing) is a talent God has gifted us. We ought to use it and maximize it, in our littlest way, share it to mankind, for His glory. I just had a few distractions over the years and to realize that it is never too late to be who we ought to be, I have this very strong feeling, now is the time. All my life, I have decided on things that made me happy, this is one of those. I may never be a winner of those best blogs that have been awarded to talented writers/ bloggers and I don't mind, there are strikes of being envious, but according to my father, there are two kinds of being envy. There's envy that is so negative, it'll hamper you from doing good and there's an envy that makes you happy for them, or seeing yourself in their shoes, I think, the kind of envy in me, is the latter. Like celebrities who missed an Oscar, while the film was watched by the whole world, she/he did not mind, it's like knowing what counts best, and it's the capacity to share your talents to anyone who wants to receive it, without asking anything in return. Expressing what's in my heart and mind on every occasion (which happens to be daily) and being happy about it is like a prize already. Happy reading!(--,)

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