We just can’t get enough of nature! After a very successful and gratifying trip to Mt. Ping-as, we decided to go to Ambon-Ambon Falls.
Ambon-Ambon Falls is part of the attraction of the Panguil River Eco Park. Before they coined the place such, it was locally known as “Piit”. I remember going to this place before. This was where we held family reunions and get-togethers. There was no hanging bridge then, and the only way to go to the other side was to cross the raging waters of the river. The water was much clearer then. There were lots of fish and crablets. There were not much cottages. There was no swimming pool. And ultimately, there was no entrance fee.
“Piit” is totally much different now. Only the locals call the place “Piit”. For people from other parts of the province, or the country, they call it “Panguil River Eco Park”. They impose entrance fee. An ample amount of P40 for non-Pangil residents, and P12 for local residents. The hanging bridge is erected to help the visitors reach the other parts of the river, and they made these parts accessible by providing pathways made of cobblestones. Cottages are also available for the visitors to stay. They erected them just beside the river, looking like they are floating as the other half of the foundation is submerged in the water of the river. There are lots of additions to the place including reception halls, restrooms, concrete tables and chairs, and so on. I understand they made it more accessible to people, and more accommodating, but who wouldn’t miss the Piit that it was?
Aside from the entrance fee, if you wish to visit Ambon-Ambon falls you would have to pay another P60. According to them, the money is used for maintaining the place, as rental for the lifevest, and for paying the guides.
We brought “binalot” with us for lunch, and some summer fruits like pineapple and yellow watermelon. We were completely dismayed, though, when we’re told to not bring food to the falls. They said we will not have a place to eat anyway, and that they prohibit people from bringing food as they end up washing their oily hands in the river afterwards. And so we decided to find a spot where we can eat our lunch.
After a satisfying lunch, we paid for the Ambon-Ambon Falls trip. We waited for the first groups to finish their tour before we were allowed to proceed. I didn’t understand why at first, but I learned the reason behind when we reached the place later on.
On the way to the falls are some popular spots, including the “Barkong Bato” or rock-formed ship. It’s a huge bed of rock protruding from the side of the mountain that looks like a ship. It looks as if the boat is trying to avoid the mountain monster and almost escaped as the bow touches the water, but the stern got fastened and pinned down by the weight of the monster, and got stuck there forever.
There’s also this “Biak na Bato” or split rock. At first, you would think there really is nothing special with this standing boulder of rock. But then when you look at it, you would really wonder how the rock almost got split into two, where the water is now flowing through its crack. It’s like as if giants from the olden days had a bolo fight, probably Bernardo Carpio and Malakas, fighting to be Maria Makiling’s rightful husband. One of them dodged when the other one swing his bolo, and this unfortunate block of rock got in the way. Thus, the Biak na Bato.
Enough of my imagination!
The trek to the falls is supposed to take fifteen to twenty minutes only. But because of the volume of visitors, not everyone can be accommodated all at the same time. Each group needs to wait for their turn.
The trip includes three balsa rides. There were 10 of us in the group. And since the balsa cannot board all of us together, we would need to wait for some of us to be transported to the other side before the other half can have their turn.
Now I understand why they want us to leave our things before heading to the falls. When you’re riding the balsa, when worse comes to worst, you would really need to focus on yourself instead of your belongings. I should say, the balsa ride almost drenched us down had some of my friends not jump in the water. Did I get frighten? Yes, not for myself because I can certainly swim my way to safety, but for my belongings to get wet. I have learned my lesson.
Before you reach the Ambon-Ambon Falls, you will see several brooks along the way. These are streams of water doubled as mini falls to whet the appetite of the tourists visiting the attraction.
The Ambon-Ambon Falls is definitely a sight to behold. The height of the drop is probably just 5 meters high. The strong gustiness was brought about by the drop of the water to another boulder of rock, causing showers all over the small cove of large stones. So no matter where you go, once you are inside the cove, the water will reach you.
Now I understand why there’s not much pictures of Ambon-Ambon falls over the internet. It’s because not everyone has waterproof camera.