I have been to Bayokbok waterfall in Tuel, Tublay for a number of times already. It never ceases to allure me and fill my thirst for wander. Seeing the falls in its supreme cascade naturally dissipates my life’s worries and burdens. Oh yes, I went there again. This time, I did so with a group of wonderful people seeking nature’s solace.
Bayokbok falls emanates from the mountains of Tublay and Kapangan, both are municipalities of Benguet. It is one of the tourist spots of Tublay being promoted by Ms Gina Lopez, a staunch environmental advocate. Sustainably managing this natural spectacle could significantly boost the local economy while preserving the natural environment.
On the Road to Tuel, Tublay
With swelling eagerness and excitement, we took a garage along the dirt road leading to Tuel. There were ten of us in the group. I suppose each one needed a break from the hassles and bustles of urban life. Oh yes, Bayokbok falls was our respite.
The main jump-off point is at Alapang Junction, just along the national highway. If you are coming from Baguio City, ride a jeep bound to Tomay or Camp Dangwa. Don’t forget to tell the drive to drop you by Alapang Junction. A waiting shade serves as your landmark. Here, there are garages (passenger vehicles) departing at regular time intervals. We had to hire two garages and paid 350 pesos for each garage. That is for a one-way trip.
From Alapang Junction, it took us around 30 minutes to reach the trailhead at barangay Tuel. Here, there is a booth for registration and information. We paid 100 pesos per person. This already covers all necessary fees. There was also a brief orientation for safety purposes.
Trailing to Bayokbok waterfall
From the registration booth, we started trekking to Bayokbok waterfall. We passed by clusters of houses and backyard farms.
An interesting part of the trail is a hanging bridge. It measures around 30 meters long. From here, you could see a seemingly blue lagoon below. Nah, it’s just a deep pool of water. But it’s simply breathtaking. The surrounding trees even give a more scenic view of it. How I wish I jumped on its inviting waters. But that would have been dangerous.
Some meters away from the hanging bridge, lo and behold, Bayokbok falls comes to the scene. That very moment, I could hear my companions shouting in amazement. Oh, those were the girls. I, too, wanted to splash right away upon seeing the crystal-clear pools of Bayokbok falls.
Relishing the Beauty of Bayokbok Waterfall
Bayokbok waterfall is actually three-layered. However, only the first falls is readily seen upon reaching the site. To get to the second and third falls, one needs to climb over the first fall. Good thing, the locals installed a rope to help in the assault.
For our group, we decided to first explore the second and third falls. Some of us rode a bamboo raft towards the base of the first falls. Most of us, however, trailed along a cliff. The climbing was relatively easy. Thanks to the rope in place. Of course, there are the local guides who readily provide assistance and some dash of humor.
Both the second and third falls have beautiful pools with bamboo rafts on each. From my observation, the third falls’ pool is the deepest. It has a small falls on the edge, measuring around 5 feet high. There is also an adjacent rock formation. It provides a good spot for jumping or diving. According to a local guide, there is another small waterfall with beautiful white rock formations upstream. Due to limited guides, however, access to this is yet to be realized.
After some time on the second and third falls, we then rappelled our way down the first falls. It measures around 10 meters high and cascades sideward on a sliding manner. Because it has rough rock crevices and small openings, rappelling here is quite easy and superbly fun. Well, that’s for me. How I loved soaking myself on the cascading waters at every stage of my rappel.
What’s more about Bayokbok Waterfall
Like the third falls, the pool of the first Bayokbok waterfall, Tublay is wide and deep. Bare rock cliffs surround it. These are also good platforms for jumping or even diving. Of course, I and one of my friends Keyzer couldn’t spare ourselves from such thrill. So mustering our courage, we both jumped on a 7-meter cliff towards the embracing waters! The highest jump I did ever.
One of the locals mentioned that “Bayokbok” literally means fall/cascade in the Ibaloi language. Most of the inhabitants of Tuel, Tublay are Ibalois. So, that’s how the name of the falls came to be.
Bayokbok waterfall is also home to some eels and plenty of small fishes and crabs. These could be additional come-ons for travelers and tourists.
By the way, there are available life vests for non-swimmers. During our visit, they gave these out for free. However, one of the guides mentioned that they will soon collect 20 pesos as a rent per life vest. There are also rafts per layer of Bayokbok falls. So you could also try boating. Or should it be rafting? Anyways, there’s just a lot of fun-filled activities you can try here.
Tips and Reminders:
- The best time to visit Bayokbok waterfall is during sunny days or summer months. This is when its waters are on their clearest state.
- Don’t ever litter. As much as possible, bring back your waste/garbage to where you got them. Let’s help in maintaining the pristine beauty of the falls and the area.
- Bring your own meals since the nearby stores could only offer snacks.
- In case you ran out of water to drink, there is a nearby spring. Just ask the local guides for direction.
- Bring zip locks to protect your gadgets from the waters.
- For a ride back to La Trinidad, you may contact the same garage you hired earlier. So don’t forget to get the driver’s number. Rate is 100 pesos per person. Another option is to wait for a garage coming from Bagong, Sablan or other sitios and barangays of Tublay. But for these, you’ll have to walk towards a crossroad for some 30 minutes and wait from there. Rate is 30 pesos per person.
- Be sensitive to local culture. This means, avoid actions or utterances that may be offensive to the community. Among these include public display of affection (PDA) or wearing of revealing clothes. Don’t ever use bikini here please!
- Don’t use shampoo or soaps when bathing on the pools. These could contaminate/pollute the waters and affect the fishes. Unless, your soap/shampoo is certified organic.
- If you are not used to swimming, make sure you are always visible by the local guides so they could immediately respond in case untoward incidents happen.
- For other needs or assistance, again, don’t hesitate to ask the local guides for help.
- Bayokbok waterfall closes by 4:00 pm.
- Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.
Try Speaking Local Utterances:
As goes a popular adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” In the same way, you can also try conversing with the locals using their language. This is especially helpful in building rapport with the community. Ibaloi is the main language in Tuel, Tublay. I get it. You don’t need to be well-versed. But you can at least try common utterances such as the following. Besides, this is one way for your to help in preserving the local culture. Have fun learning and using them:)
For your information needs:
If you want to know more about Bayokbok falls that may help in setting up your itinerary, do message Mr Marco Macay, one of the local guides, through his no: 09508621847. He can answer queries regarding transportation and meals.
For other queries, kindly leave them on the comment section below. You can also message us on our facebook page namely, Daniel’s Eco-Travels.
I would be more than happy and willing to help you:) For more meaningful travel experiences, I remain.