San Gabriel: Tangadan Falls, A Sight to Look Up To
Thanks to social media, more and more beautiful places in the Philippines are being discovered by tourism. The once exclusively enjoyed by locals are now crowded with tourists and travelers from here and abroad. This is also true for the new addition to TupangGala’s list of falls: Tangadan Falls.
We already went there four years ago, before it became mainstream. Going there was difficult then since we had to spend a two-hour walk from the tricycles’ drop-off point. Back then, we have to cross three rivers and rice fields just to get there. It was in 2014 when access to the falls was greatly improved, like the pavement of roads and stairway, and toilets were built.
From San Juan, La Union, we rode a jeep bound to the town of San Gabriel. Upon arriving, we looked for the municipal hall for us to register and found some motorcyclists beside it. There we met Kuya Joefrey Delizo, the one who offered us a ride to Tangadan Falls. Cost of a one-way ride is P150, while P250 if for two persons per motorcycle. If commuting alone or with a partner, it is recommended to ride a motorcycle since tricycle can’t take the steepness of the road going to the shortest route on foot going to the falls. Our 20-minute ride was very thrilling, as we experienced steep climb at first, then dive, with occasional hard turns.
As we arrived the highland of Sitio Tangadan, Brgy. Amontoc, Kuya Joefrey bargained to be our tour guide. After our deal, he guided us down to the site.
Our sweat during 20-minute traverse to a combination of paved, soil, and rocky trails was paid off, as we finally reached once more the Tangadan Falls from above.
Tangadan Falls stands 45 ft., while its deepest is 25 ft. It faces a green cliff that’s almost double its height. Uniquely formed boulders on its top make basins and obstacles for the flowing water which split into two. On the left is wider, while narrower on the right. The fall’s slant and rugged form create gentler and stair-like water drop.
Its clear waters come from the town of Bagulin. According to Kuya Joefrey, there’s another falls that is yet to be revealed to tourists at Bagulin. It is pretty intriguing because he told us it has a hot spring, and another spring that is claimed to have healing properties. Looking forward to exploring that town next time.
In case you wonder, Tangadan means “to look up” in Kankanaey/Ilocano. Of course, any falls can definitely make your chin up. But for me, Tangadan’s name is a bit ironic since we arrived the falls from its top, and it’s not the highest ground in the vicinity. I’ll accept the name if the falls got its name from the sitio first. As for its beauty, Tangadan Falls is commendable to “look up” for.
From San Fernando City, ride a jeep bound to San Gabriel. Beside San Gabriel’s municipal hall, there are motorcyclists that can be hired for P150 one-way per person. You may also ask them as tour guides for a cheaper price.
- It’s recommended to hire motorcyclists as tour guides even you have your own ride. They offer way cheaper than tour guides from town hall which will cost you P500, maximum of 10 persons per guide.
- Registration is also available on the site, so you may not need to bother going to the town hall.
- Be early. Most visitors arrive the site around noon.
- Food, snacks, and necessities are available there. But if on a budget, better buy those from the town or city first.
- Bring valid ID’s for a discount.
- We highly recommend to drop by and taste the special halo-halo at the front of the town hall for P20.
- Registration Fee – P30 per head
- Registration Fee for Student/Senior/Children – P20 per head
- Cottage – P100
- Life Jacket – P50
Joefrey Delizo (our motorcyclist guide): 0908-3417001