Monday, January 22, 2018

Mountain Province: Hiking to Sagada's Bomod-ok Falls

Bomod-ok Falls is one of Sagada's most popular tourist attractions. Situated in the northern part of the municipality, it is often referred to as the Big Falls as it is bigger and taller than Bokong Falls located near the Poblacion. Hiking to Bomod-ok Falls is one of the adventure tour packages which can be booked at the Municipal Tourist Information Center.

The hike to Bomod-ok Falls starts in Barangay Bangaan. This barangay is more or less 5 kilometers from Sagada town proper. There are three options on how to get to Bangaan: walk, ride the scheduled trip of a passenger jeepney or hire a private vehicle. To save time, we decided to avail the third option.

Upon reaching Bangaan, we paid the guide fee of P500.00 (standard rate for 1 to 10 visitors) and Barangay Fee of P10.00 per person. We were then provided with a guide and walking sticks and immediately started our hike.

Going to Bomod-ok requires a long descent along a narrow concrete path. The walking stick will come in handy to keep your body stable especially on the steep portions of the route.

A few steps from the starting point and the overlooking view of Fidelisan Village can be seen. It surrounded by mountains and rice terraces. It is breathtaking vistas like this which made me fall in love with the Cordilleras.

The hike to Bomod-ok is definitely very scenic. On the left side are the pine trees, cliffs and rock formations.

And on the right is the amazing view of mountains and rice terraces.

After passing through Fidelisan Village, another highlight of this hike commences: walking along the grand rice terraces.

A preserved tradition in farming the slopes, these ancient rice terraces became  the most treasured attractions of the region which draw tourists from all over the world.

Local farmers only plant organic rice variety and harvest is done once a year. Rice is then stored in traditional granary and made to last until the next harvest. 

Before reaching the falls, we passed along this hanging bridge which is probably being used by locals in going to another village. There is no need to walk through this bridge in going to the falls. It is a good spot, though, for some picture-taking.

Finally, after about 40 minutes of walking, we reached Bomod-ok Falls. With an impressive height of about 200 feet, we were mesmerized with its powerfull cascades flowing down the rocky wall of a cliff.

Passing through the boulders, the thunderous sound grew louder as we get closer. Mists can be felt even if standing a good distance from the falls.

Bomod-ok has a wide basin perfectly suited for swimming. After taking photos, we wasted no time in taking a dip on its shallow parts. The water was freezing cold, probabably the coldest among all the waterfalls I have visited so far.

As we joined the Sagada Marathon earlier that day, the cold dip at Bomod-ok naturally soothed and refreshed our tired muscles.

After about 20 minutes of ice cold-bath, we decided to depart. Upon reaching Fidelisan Village, we opted  to toke a different route as, according to our guide, it is much shorter and easier than doing a backtrail. Our exit point was in Aguid Village where our hired vehicle fetched us and took us back to the Poblacion.

Travel Tips:

1. Trip to Bomod-ok Falls can be arranged at the Sagada Municipal Tourist Information Center. Rates are as follows:

Guide Fee: Php500.00 (for 1-10 persons)
Barangay Fee: Php10.00/person
Transportation Fee: Php500 (two-way, drop-off and pick-up atBangaan)
                    Php650 (two-way, drop-off at Bangaan and pick-up at Aguid)

2. Depending on your pace, the downhill hike to the falls could take one to one-and-a-half hour. Make sure you are fit enough for the long walk and wear appropriate hiking attire.

3. The ascent is doubly hard and you have the option to either hike back to Bangaan or exit to Aguid (shorter distance if coming from Fidelisan Village).

4. The route is mostly concrete and narrow. Expect it to be rocky and slippery once you get closer to the falls.

5. Bring water and some trail food. Cold beverages and light snacks are also available for sale at a makeshift store store near the Bomod-ok Falls.

6. Always listen to your guide, respect local culture and leave no trace behind.

Related Posts:

The Sagada Marathon Experience
Sagada Echo Valley Walking Tour

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