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Northern Philippines • Hiking to the Bomod-ok Falls

After our climb back from the Porn Cave, we changed into dry clothes and our guide drove all the way back to the town entrance and up a different part of the valley.

When we got to the drop off,  our guide left with the bus to presumably take a break and we were left to the care of a lady who would guide us through the walk to the Bomod-Ok Falls.

Also known as Big Falls, Bomod-Ok is a 200-meter cascade of water located between at the lower part of a valley in the northern part of Sagada. To get to it, we needed to follow a trail of narrow stairs crossing right through the Barangay Fidelisan village and its subsequent rice fields.

Just so you know, you don’t need a guide to do this part, but it’s fun if you do because just like the previous guide, this one also had some funny stories to tell along the way which you probably wouldn’t know about otherwise (ehem unless you read one of those fancy backpacker blogs ehem). Aside from that, supporting the guides with your money helps keep the place clean and the guides in good condition.

The journey is quite a trek, lasting about one hour on each direction and really putting your legs to the test. On the way down, Xopau got excited with her camera, as we all goofed around and enjoyed the beautiful view. Thanks to our ordeal in the previous stop, Stef seemed a bit more relaxed and taking group shots wasn’t weird.

Walking through the place we kept seeing signs that read “No Spitting of Moma”. Later we would find out “moma” is a chewy red mix that farmers consume, not unlike chewing tobacco. Nearly every few hundred meters there would be splats of red on the side of the stairs and indeed the rice farmers in the fields were chewing the thing in unison with the cows, making for a weird jaw choreography.

The moment we saw the falls in the distance, the air began to feel more refreshing and we knew the hike was worth it. Do make sure to bring a bathing suit so you can jump in the water and cool off from the heat! We stayed there for about half an hour and drank water straight from the well while Xopau took more pictures and Stef talked to a couple who hiked the whole thing with their dog.

Northern Philippines • Hiking to the Bomod-ok Falls

Among other things, we found this is a popular spot for skinny dipping at nights, which I thought was pretty rad. Also there’s this rock you can climb to and jump off from, but seeing as we’d proven ourselves back at the Porn Cave, none of us cared to jump from it.

Once refreshed, we started our walk back to the top and here is where I began realizing just how crappy my physical condition was at the start of the trip. As you go down into the rice fields you notice you’re just going down steps and it’s one huge ladder interrupted every now and then with the rice fields. If you’re not in good shape, the climb back is total murder.

On our climb back we had to stop several times to catch some air and rest our legs, but the sun was starting to set so we really needed to haul ass back to the top or we would miss the last part of the tour.

While Xopau and I struggled to keep up, Stef and the guide were tippy-toeing spryly like nobody’s business, but we made it to the top just in time for our previous guide to arrive and take us to the next and final location of the day.

On a side note, are you enjoying the return of Pateando Calle? Sure hope you are! This new season’s got more action and crazy stuff coming your way, so I hope the stories this week and the next will make you want to travel more. If you have any questions or thoughts, don’t think twice to put them on the comments section of each article!

Photos by Xopau Mendoza. Editing by Luis Landero.

Welcome to The Big Journey. Where a Panamanian roams the Earth in search for purpose, adventure and answers. Part of the Pateando Calle series, find the archive here. Thank you for tagging along.

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