Location: Hungduan, Ifugao
Type: Slide horsetail
One of the two destinations I listed in my itinerary was Ifugao’s northwesternmost municipality, Hungduan. Hungduan is one of the towns where the Ifugao Rice Terraces was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But since the harvest season had just ended, the famed rice terraces were not as picturesque.
At Happy Homes where I stayed, I asked its owner, former Mayor Felipe Lacbawan how could I go to Balentimol Falls. The good ex-mayor told me that I can reach the falls in a one-h0ur walk, grossly overestimating my physical strength. As I go down the road towards Tinoc, Ifugao, I passed by the famous Bacung Spider Web Rice Terraces which, unfortunately at that time, was nearly covered by fog.
After another kilometer of walk, I hailed a dump truck and asked if I can be dropped off at Balentimol Falls. It was a wise decision as I later found out that the jump off point is a little over eight kilometers from the town proper. I conserved a lot of energy.
From the highway, the falls can be reached via an established trail. I thought my lungs would burst out due to fatigue when I assaulted the trail. It took me 20 minutes to reach Balentimol Falls.
On that rainy Tuesday morning, Balentimol Falls was my exclusive domain. Balentimol somehow reminded me Kabigan Falls in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, minus the usual crowd, of course. The horsetail-like waterfall drop was just awesome.
The province of Ifugao has charmed and smitten me since time immemorial. That’s why I kept on going to this mountainous, landlocked province every now and then and to discover its timeless beauty and wonders. So, after I had done another exclusive and private Sagada and Banaue Group Tour, I asked my guests if I can excuse myself and had to stay behind in Banaue. Thankfully, they readily agreed.
They said that there is another tier of Balentimol which can be found at a higher location. But the Balentimol I had that morning was more than satisfying.
Fully contented, I walked down to the highway and went straight to a small village to ask what time the minibus coming from Wangwang, Tinoc going to Lagawe, Ifugao would pass by. The people told me that it would be around 12 noon. Not long after, there was an elf truck driver that offered me a lift going up to Hungduan. Saving a lot from travel time and fare/vehicle rentals made this segment of my Chasing Philippine Waterfalls a lot more memorable and meaningful.
(The national road from Hungduan to Tinoc is currently under construction. In a year’s time, it is quite possible that it is already finished which should make going to Balentimol a lot easier, more convenient and cheaper.)
Note: This is part of LegendHarry‘s ambitious travel project: Chasing Philippine Waterfalls. Also, this is part of his October 3-14 Mountain Province-Ifugao-Isabela-Aurora Backpacking Trip.