Since the time when I've heard about a falls in my hometown Porac, my guilt hasn't calm me. I just couldn't imagine how I could have travelled to so many waterfalls, and be a stranger to my own place. At one point at that same month when I went to the municipality to get a police clearance for work, I took the opportunity to ask the tourism desk for info. Unfortunately, I was told that they don't allow tourists for this season as it will be very dangerous.
November has come and rains had been seldom; Time has come. I had been asking my trek friends to check it out but I couldn't get a confirmed interest from them, and so, I decided to do it myself, something like an occular visit; Not to mention, it will be an added challenge to do a trek alone.
The trail is actually very visible from google, and based on the facebook page for Miyamit falls, the trail is fairly easy so it never came to mind about hunting a guide.
The night before the trek, I was still worrisome about again, doing it alon, but then, having nothing to do on a weekend was more of a bigger problem for someone like me I guess; So, I decided to push it nevertheless.
Since I read that the trek would be about 5 hours, I planned to leave 5am; However, at 4am of the specified date, I was still reading some notes on the net and packing my stuff. I asked my granny to wake me up by 5:30, but by the time I wake up, it was past 9am.
I immediately took a bath, and grabbed a trike. By 11am, I was in Hacienda terminal where I'd ask to be brought to Sapang Uwak. The driver said it will be P150, and even if I wasn't really prepared to pay that much for a trike, I agreed, considering I am very late already.
From there, it was an endless walk.I was very slow in the trek as the sun was sizzling at that noon and there is no wind to cool me off. Meantime, the more I walk, the better view I get and the more that I would want to see further. It took me close to 5 hours to get to the view deck.
When I got to the deck, it was just priceless; Everywhere you look around is just mountains, and I've completely forgotten and ignored how painful it was on my legs; Took some pictures, boiled water for coffee, and after 30 minutes, I began my trek towards Miyamit Falls. It was turning dark anyway.
Along the way, I met several people, who said they were from GAME NEST (Tarlac). Incidentally, a friend who is also from GAME NEST invited me for an outreach program on the 26th, so I said "see you then."
The trail has been pretty much straight forward until a fork on one point where there isn't anyone to ask. Based from what I've seen from the deck, my instincts say it is the downwards left. I took that hoping I am in the right path. Luckily I was. After about 30 minutes walk, there was an Aeta household who confirmed so.
When I got to the falls, I can't contain my astonishment; I suddenly felt so small and taken over. The falls was so tall up and the horizontal lay of the rocks makes it so serene. I took some pictures and set for one of the kubos.
I was supposed to sleep over in the hut but I felt creepy hearing the loud stream and total darkness. I decided to clean up instead and camp next to the Aeta household i've passed by. At least, I would have some conversation to keep me company.
I boiled water, as usual, coffee comes first, some cigarettes, and opened a can of sardines. I have brought some cooked rice from home, so thank God I didn't have to cook that night. After the meal, I had nothing else to do. That's when I realized, I'm missing a fellowship in the camp... darn! I had to get in bed by 7:30 but my mind and eyes would have not given up until it was past 10pm. I'd awoken every 2hours and would check out the clouds.
By 4am, the waking up thing got more frequent; So, I gave up the idea of forcing myself to sleep. I cooked my breakfast and trail food and lunch and immediately packed out. It was already 6am though when I finished.
Going back, I was walking as fast as I could so I catch less heat. The hotter it is, the longer it will take me to finish up. Surprisingly, I was back at the jump off by 10am. For one, I didn't really have a more than 5minute break. My food is still intact in my bag. From there, the same 4x4 jeep who deals the 'puso ng saging' offered a ride to hacienda. From there, there was a jeep (and trikes too bound to the porac national highway; A resident said it shall be P10/head or if special P20/head from hacienda to highway) going to Angeles.
The Final hour of the treck to mayamit is the difficult trail. That starting from the Y split. A lot of land has eroded with fallen trees, usually bananas. There will also be 2 smaller river canals approaching miyamit.
Something ironic is that, from the view deck, you can hear the sound of the water drop from the falls. But as you walk towards the falls, the sound disappears and it goes back from 20 minutes before reaching. Don't think that you're lost just because you lost the sound of the waterfall.
There is intermittent signal from SUN and GLOBE. Reception is very strong until the final 2.5 hours, where it gets less to almost none.
For future visitors, better have a huge pack of biscuits. There will be a number of Aeta households along the way, and children and even adults would ask for bread (or candies). I brough a number of monay which I use as my rice and half of them were out before I even reach the deck. It's just very hard to refuse when you see these kids. No matter how little this biscuits are, have some ready. Little is better than nothing... it pays off when you see them smile don't worry.
Better to be on shoes than on sandals; pants/leggings than shorts. There are plenty of MAKAHIYA that has grown far normal along the way, and protruding towards the trail. They sting and could really hurt. Besides, it's 7 mountains up and down to get to the destination.
There is a comfort room in the view deck but not maintained; no water whatsoever.
The treck is best taken before 5am. Try to be in Miyamit before 10am. Make backwards adjustment on your meetup time if necessary.
Drinking water is necessary. Miyamit is the only water source along that whole 6 hour trail. The Aetas had some drum, but you won't want to be some competition with them on their water source.
There are a number of stores in Sapang Uwak, just in case you'll forget some thing. However, they will have only the basic goods. They have electricity in that community, and one household even has a Satellite Dish..WOW!..
To get to Sitio Banaba by commute, from manila, take a bus bound for Dau. In Dau, walk towards the mcarthur hiway, and take a jeep (P8) for Angeles. Every passenger will get off in Astro Park where you'll take another jeep bound for Angeles Town Proper (C-Point - Angeles; you can take either the blue or grey jeep). Fare is another P8. Get off in Jenra Mall/Nepo and ask for the "Hacienda" jeeps. In Hacienda, look for trike and ask to be dropped to Sapang Uwak. Alternatively, you may ride the Porac bound jeeps just next to Hacienda. Both jeeps leave when filled up, so in case you're short of time, you may take the Porac bound jeep instead, get off in the Hacienda Tricycle Terminal, and take the P100 per ride (good for up to 3 persons) to Sapang Uwak. Before reaching sapang uwak proper, you'd get into the Checkpoint where they'd ask you for an ID. Handover your IDs in exchange for a claim tag. Inform them of the person youd meet in Sapang Uwak (Konsehala/Trek Coordinator Zeny: 09493100720). Ms Zeny may be able to pick you up from the checkpoint.
For those who'd be travelling in groups, you may do as we did in our outreach event. Take a bus bound for Zambales and ask to be dropped in Megadike Access Road along Olongapo-Gapan Road. Pre-arrange a jeep to pick you up in the Megadike Access Road corner Olongapo Gapan Hiway upon your arrival. From Cubao, it shall take you an hour to get there. From there it shall be less than 1 hour for the jeep to get you to Sapang Uwak. You may try to arrange with the ff jeep drivers: 0939 314 4837 or 09472807322.
The Municipality of Porac requires a signed waiver before proceeding in the trek. Have this waiver, signed by all the guests, and have it stamped by the municipality (open mondays through fridays). In case you are not available during those days, i am the first one to tell you, forget the trek for now. Go Batulao, Maculot, Balagbag, or somewhere else that you may have not. I'll update you as soon as the process is smart. Otherwise, keep emailing email@example.com until they figure out their process dont make sense.
Enjoy my Hometown :-)