The Portabaga Falls Park and Resort


From Balaoi, Pagudpud, we went farther north to visit Portabaga Falls in the charming, verdant little town of Sta. Praxedes, the first town of Cagayan if you are entering from Ilocos Norte. It’s May weather hot all over. Caught Mayor Esther Aguinaldo before the huge TV, awaiting the fight of the century (as of this writing, we all know what happened next).

Portabaga Falls Park and ResortPortabaga Falls

The water cascading to a mix of adult and kiddie-friendly catch pools is cool, fresh spring water. She explains that the pools are emptied at the end of the day, but the water doesn’t go to waste as it is used to nourish farmlands. Through diligence and support of benefactors, the nature park has prospered with additional facilities, particularly comfortable family, standard and dormitory-type accommodations, a spacious function hall and more shaded areas, and is projected to boost tourism in her town. It’s wonderful to know that trekking to the forested environs is another activity being offered by the local government-managed park and resort.

Here’s a video of the waterfall (taken during cooler months I assume), which I found on the net.

Portabaga spring water poolsSta. Praxedes OTOP

Woven sarakat aka pandan products are the town’s OTOP. Leehua bought herself a chicified bayong. Love it in a mix of summer orange. The town is also a producer of dried gamet (Porphyia.sp) or local nori. A great idea, the Sta. Praxedes Gamet Gatherers and Vendors Association pack them with accompanying indigenous recipes.

The town celebrates the annual Sarakat Festival starting middle of May. Hope to be able to go and explore more of Pagudpud’s neighbor, Sta Praxedes.

SarakatPortabaga Falls Facilities
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

On a pilgrimage to Piat


The street leading to the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat was tight. Drenched in sweat, pilgrims were not complaining about muggy weather.

One of the oldest Marian images in the country and most revered by the people of the Cagayan Valley Region, Our Lady of Piat has found a home in Piat following several transfers since her voyage from Macau to Manila.

Feast of Our Lady of Piat 7ItawesFeast of Our Lady of Piat 4Feast of Our Lady of Piat 6Feast of Our Lady of Piat 2
For two days, July 1 and 2, masses and novenas are held by the hour to celebrate the feast of Apo Baket, a 16th-century black Virgin Mary and an icon of influence in the Christianization of the Itawes tribes of Tabang, Malaweg, Tuao and Piat in Cagayan.

It was one of  her astonishing miracles that I did not feel exhausted during spiritual moments some friends and I shared with a thousand other people from all walks of life.

Feast of Our Lady of PiatOur Lady of PiatFeast of Our Lady of Piat 5Feast of Our Lady of Piat 3Our Lady of Piat
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014