“Babied” at Mother Falls

If you want to get away with the stress work, bills or even Facebook envy gives you, say yes to a half-day drive to San Luis, Aurora. Pack those swimming clothes, rubber shoes, sweat towel or towelettes, ounces of patience and of course–bags of goodies and bottles of quenchers!

The town is home to a body of invigorating water. Love that element? It’s most powerful in the area. Vehement, if that’s the right word.

Invite your friends or do it all by yourself–no worries! Just ask assistance from the friends of Pan.

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A group trek offers you stories, stories, stories!

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Road Not Taken: you can do it all alone.

After such a long drive, you may rest for an hour then enjoy another calf challenge. Trekking: sounds cool? That’s what’s in store for you. You will love what you’ll go through. The walk will give you a this-way-to-heaven feeling. You may not feel your toes when you reach “nature’s wonder” but the sweat dripping all over your arms and legs will validate your healthy living mantra.

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Running water seems to be very eager wherever it is going.

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Blooms abound in the passer-by area.

Challenge 1: Foot bridges that will test your childhood balance and agility!

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Makeshift bridges: there were like three to four of them!

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Just in case your bones tell you they’re tired: an accommodation perfect for the group.

Challenge 2: Steep mini cliffs to climb with stable-looking ladders!

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Sherna’s modeling stint in a man-made ladder tourists should pass through to reach the climax of the trek.

If you’re a mountaineer, this will just be a slip on the palm. But, even if you aren’t, you will be blessed to see these near Mother Falls:

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A small version of the falls worth passing by!

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View a few meters away from the “piece of heaven”: it’s a hidden paradise.

Then, voila! A God-given treasure awaits you. The water will stir the “baby” innocence within you. You will feel like you’re back in your mother’s cuddling arms. Mother Falls is a certified great hit in any wanderer’s voyage list!

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Tourists can’t get enough of shots before the majestic falls.Allyses, Sherna and I felt like we were hunks enough after the longest trek of our lives.Allyses, Sherna and I felt like we were hunks enough after the longest trek of our lives.

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Hit the Road Like It Is Not Yet Taken

The road is home to stories—interests, trends, desserts, fears, doubts and misadventures(bottom line: sharing). It only requires wheels, reclining chairs, travel pillows and “chewables”.

My recent travel to Baler, Aurora gave me a cauldron of ideas regarding travel. First, you shouldn’t ask why you do it—the “Dora the Explorer” within you answers with an emphatic “Why not?” Provided that you have the means and all the energy, hit the road. No alibis, no excuses. “I only do it when in despair” is the lamest expression for backpackers.

Second, whether you ride north or south, bathe your perspective with the beautiful over the unlikely. Luzon has a beautiful stretch of countryside painting-material scenes that vary province by province. Along-the-road panoramic views challenge the eye and the camera. You will forget about that ultimate Disneyland trip because now-matters-more principle makes you appreciate what you temporarily behold.

If you want a quick geography refresher, drive through SCTEX, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija, with or without stopovers. You will know the outskirts of each province. Plus, you will have epiphanies like: the poor’s psychological hunger is worse than the literal diarrhea and epistaxis they endure.

Third, company gives you a great advantage on savings and bonuses. Bring a team with you:

Photo credit: Michael Mateo

Photo credit: Michael Mateo

Fourth, a well-plotted itinerary saves time. Plan ahead. You won’t like staying in an island all by yourself for 120, 000 minutes. That will be such a bore. Do this with friends good at math, directions and adjustments.

Fifth and last, rule of the thumb for transportation, shelter, food and other commodities when away from home: settle for “cheap yet comfortable”.

Arrange for a back-and-forth vehicle ahead of the scheduled trip. Agree with a decent price (but never argue).  On your way, try out-of-the-box must-tries to forget about the distance and time temporarily. The best idea that worked best during our sojourn: play some videoke in the bus to appreciate good company.

For personal bonding, rent a tricycle if possible. Do this when you plan to do the round town trip by five or six. A van is only advisable if you’re more than ten people. If you’re the type who goes for thrift and fun, get into the “humbling” tricycle because it gives you a fresher feel than the AC inside a van.

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The best place to stay is not a luxury hotel or motel. A simple inn with a good view may do. Make sure it’s not too far from other amenities and of course, the spots to go.

Feel like a don with the all-I-need-is-a-bed-for-the-night attitude as a traveler.

Feel like a don with the all-I-need-is-a-bed-for-the-night attitude as a traveler.

Sherna and Allyses, look sure and all pumped up for not-your-ordinary overnight stay.

Sherna and Allyses, look sure and all pumped up for not-your-ordinary overnight stay.

As for food, live-and-act-like-a-local vibe gives you the excellent idea of spending a few bills on home-made courses with free appetizers. Desserts are just around the corner.

So what now? The road awaits you. Hit it now and own it like it is not yet taken. Thanks for reading!