Bomod-ok Falls measures 200 meters in height hence it is called the Big Falls. Bomod-ok Falls is located in the northern part Sagada, a good twenty-minute ride from the town center. This imposing falls is flanked by greenery on either side and on its feet are varying sizes of smooth and jagged rocks.
The hike to Bomod-ok Falls from the information center usually takes the guides thirty minutes to complete, but for out of shape tourists who like to admire the view and take photos of every nook and cranny of the path (supposedly 400 steps of concrete path, which I am sure I misheard), the one-way journey lasts over two hours.
Virg and I (yes, we finally went out-of-town together after over a year of postponing doing so) were part of a 14-man group of Manila-based tourists. It was consisted of, among others, a young girl of maybe 5 and a senior citizen. The senior citizen decided to forego this particular phase of the trip, and boy, was she wise to do so? She chilled out in our inn while we toiled and sweated our way to the falls.
The trek to Bomod-ok Falls was one of those things I should not have done, especially taking into consideration that I could not walk properly just days before the trip. I was mentally kicking myself in the ass while doing it, but when everything was taken into consideration, I was glad I did it. I survived the trek, with the heel with plantar fasciitis none the worse for wear, and I spent hours in the loving arms of Mother Nature, half-awed by its splendor, and half-grateful that the skies, although darkening into an undesirable shade of gray, did not shed tears like it did the day before.
For related entries, please read Sumaguing Cave, Kiltepan Peak, Banaue Rice Terraces, Pasalubong – Sagada, and Food – Sagada.
Tips for Bomod-ok Falls Hike:
- Wear comfortable footwear. It means wearing rubber shoes, sandals or slippers.
- Wear light comfortable clothes that air dry quickly. If you go to Bomod-ok Falls during summer like I did, it will be hot. Not Metro Manila hot, but Sagada hot coupled with a total of four hours of walking made me sweat because I was not dressed properly for it. I had light comfortable shirt on but had nothing to cover my arms, so I was forced to wear black pullover over black shirt. Science told me not to do it but vanity whispered that my already uneven arms would fall off if they would become more uneven. Also, bring swimming clothes. Or not. People we encountered on our way to falls were wet, some dripping wet as we came closer to the falls.
- Use sun protection. Slather on some sun block, wear a cap, a hat or a bandanna, and wear sunglasses (also added pogi or ganda points).
- Use a backpack for personal items. I used a sling bag because I do not own a backpack, and the Beatles design of the bag is cute. 🙂 Let me say that I almost threw my bag away halfway through the hike. My left shoulder was in pain, and it made walking and grabbing on to rocks for dear life a little harder.
- Rehydrate. There was a small tent near Bomod-ok Falls that sold banana cue, fish ball, carbonated drinks, and water, but of course, you want to have a gulp or two of water on your way there. It is a long walk after all.
- Use a walking stick. I almost refused to our guide’s offer to use a walking stick because I thought it would make me look like a decrepit. The way to Bomod-ok Falls was mostly downwards and mostly concrete, so the stick hung limply on my side. BUT the short way to the place with jeepneys was a road to hell (a different path). It involved a lot of climbing and not a lot of concrete. The walking stick became my knight in shining armor.
Here are some of the photos taken during the Bomod-ok Falls Hike:
Virg walking down the concrete path to Bomod-ok Falls, Sagada. This was taken seconds after we started the trek.
Virg and some of our group mates. I stopped walking because the OC in me did not like the break in the concrete path pattern. ☺
Yes, more stairs. Photo by Virg.
My walking stick and I pose for a photo with Barangay Fidelisan in the background. Photo by Virg.
My walking stick and I with the Sagada rice terraces in the background. Photo by Virg.
The Sumaguing Cave group. Rolito and Tata (third and fourth from the left, respectively) took most of our photos inside the cave because I was such a coward. Hahaha. More on this in a future entry.
Our group reached the Sagada village.
A Sagada local sold halo-halo, drinks, and candies to thirsty hikers.
These Sagada children sat on a tin roof and drank cold water like little big bosses.
We left the village and trudged our way to Bomod-ok Falls.
From Barangay Fidelisan, the rice terraces looked magnificent.
They were even more gorgeous in this shot.
Darla, our guide, took two photos of us. Since we could not maneuver in the confined path and all photo sessions were understandably rushed, we had this.
We had to stop in tiny patch of land, so the people from Bomod-ok Falls can use the concrete path. The tour guides were acted as the traffic officers, and they did a marvelous job.
More people, in dry and wet clothes, made their way back to the information center.
We decided to have a group photo while waiting for our turn to use the concrete path. It was a small space and Darla was at the opposite end, but all of us failed to fit in the photo.
The view the rice terraces from that patch of land
After the concrete path, there were rocks.
The rocky part was followed by concrete path with rails. From a distance the Ambuasi Bridge loomed and the sound of the water hitting rocks became more prominent. We did not have to cross Ambuasi Bridge to get to Bomod-ok Falls. The bridge was used by the locals.
The Bomod-ok Falls came into view as well as the dozens of people who arrived before us.
Our group took turns in asking Darla to take our photos with Bomod-ok Falls.
Darla signaled for us to hurry up as we neared Bomod-ok Falls. The blue tent was manned by three children who sold banana cue, fish ball, carbonated drinks, and water.
Two pieces of banana coated with sugar cost P20.00 (US $0.40).
This particular boulder was a popular spot for photo opportunities with Bomod-ok Falls. The dirt on my clothes did not come from this hike, they came from spelunking and I had no time to change. I think I was the dirtiest in our group. ☹
Each person chose a boulder to sit upon for photos.
Bomod-ok Falls and its cascading water.
After 30 minutes of pagtatampisaw sa tubig, our group left. We made a side trip to Ambuasi Bridge.
The groups that came before us were daredevils.
Virg and I were more sedate. Haha. I was afraid to take more than two steps into the bridge.
Our group decided not to take the same path back to the information center. We were too tired, so we opted to hike to an area where jeepneys would be waiting. We did not know that this route would be more difficult. Shorter but littered with rocks.
During the rocky phase, I did not dare take photos. I was afraid to plunge into my death with a headline, “Babae nahulog sa mabatong ilog dahil sa pagkuha ng litrato!” This photo was taken once I stepped on concrete path.
The meandering path around the rice terraces
The Sagada village that keeps the rice terraces verdant
A female farmer weeding part of the rice paddy.
We came from somewhere down there. This view looked more amazing because I climbed my way to see it.
The view of the village
My walking stick and I near the end of our journey. Photo by Virg.