Paracelis lies on the easternmost edge of Mountain Province. It is known as the land of the Golden Seeds because of its corn plantations. Its vast, low-lying plains also make it a rice granary. But there is more to that. Despite the agricultural boom, the municipality can potentially draw the interests of adventure-seekers/nature lovers. Cascading waterfalls, panoramic mountain views, pristine brooks, and primeval forests are just among the tourist spots found in Paracelis.
Now, let me take you to these eco-wonders. It’s more fun to be there.
How to Get to Paracelis?
The town center of Paracelis, Mountain Province can be accessed from different points, primarily, Tabuk City of Kalinga and Bontoc, the capital town of Mountain Province. So if you are coming from Manila, here are the options you can take.
Manila to Bontoc. Ride Coda Lines bus from H.M. Bus Station, Cubao, Manila. Schedule of trips are 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, 10:00 pm, and 10:30 pm. It takes 10 to 11 hours to reach Bontoc. If you are not familiar, tell the driver to drop you at Bontoc town since the buses are bound to Sagada. Fare is 725 pesos for semi-deluxe and 935 pesos for deluxe. Click on their website for more information here.
Bontoc to Paracelis. You have two options. First, ride the only bus that travels from Bontoc to Paracelis. This parks along All Saints Cathedral and departs by 8 am. Thus, you will need to catch the earliest Coda Lines to catch the trip. Otherwise, you would have to spend the night in Bontoc before riding a bus the following morning. From Bontoc, it takes around 8-9 hours to reach Paracelis.
Manila to Tabuk City. Ride Victory Liners bus station from Kamias Station to Tabuk. Travel times takes around 10 to 12 hours via NLEX-Maharlika Highway traversing Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, and Isabela. Fare is approximately 620 pesos. From Tabuk, ride vans bound to Paracelis.
Manila to Baguio. Ride buses going to Baguio. I would recommend the Victory liner since they have hourly departures. Victory Liner also has stations at Cubao, Quezon City and at Pasay City. Regular fare is 485 pesos and travel time takes five to six hours. From Baguio, there are buses and vans bound to Paracelis.
What to See in Paracelis?
For avid adventurers/hikers, there is just so much to see in Paracelis. It would, however, take extra endurance and strength to go chasing these spots as they are most distant from the town center.
First, we have Maalinsawang Falls/Pool. Locals love to come here because of its cool waters. Its pool is wide and very deep with two layers of mini-cascades. To get here, one needs to ride for 20-minutes from the town center and hike for some five minutes from the road. This is among the locally-popular tourist spots in Paracelis.
Second, there is the Sifu River. Sifu River emanates from the forested mountains of Barlig and Natonin. On its upper reaches, it’s a raging torrent. However, it begins to flow smoothly once it reaches Paracelis. It is a potential site for whitewater rafting, boating, swimming, and other recreational activities. Visiting this spot is a rejuvenating way to escape the simmering heat of Paracelis’ midday.
Third, welcome to Canabo Falls. This is one of Paracelis’ picturesque waterfalls. Locals and even some tourists frequent here to take respite. It measures more than 30 meters high and cascades like heavenly drizzles. It has a small cave on its base. Visitors could even take pictures from there. The surrounding vegetation makes chasing the falls even more refreshing and memorable.
Fourth, let’s take you to Nansusu Hills. The name indeed stirs curiosity. Why Nansusu? Nansusu in the local terms means breasts. The hills are named that way because they resemble the shape of breasts when viewed from a certain distance. It is best to view them during early morning and dawn. Hiking to the top of these presents an even more thrilling and exciting adventure.
Behold the Mystic Mabarotbot Mud Spring
Perhaps, the most popular tourist spot in Paracelis is Mabarotbot Hot Spring. These are actually mounds of bubbling mud. Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho featured these on one of its episodes.
Until today, the spring sparks mystery, especially among the locals. For them, the springs are the remnants of a sunken village. Because of that, they believe that unseen spirits dwell on these. One story tells of a man who died after trying to destroy one of the mounds. It is believed that he angered the spirits, thus, to his demise.
Recent researches, however, have shown that the bubbling muds are caused by methane deposits. Literally, the mud emits fire when lit. Mabarotbot mud spring lies on a remote sitio in barangay Bantay. It takes around an hour of a ride from the town center and a few minutes of walk from the road to get here. This is just among the mystic tourist spots in Paracelis.
From the hot spring, one can side trip for a refreshing bath at Pagga falls, located on the same barangay. Its pristine waters come from dense forests upstream.
Navigating Paracelis’ Forest Trails
Paracelis once hosted the largest dipterocarp forest cover in Mountain Province. However, corn plantations have replaced much of these in recent years. Thankfully, secondary growth still remains on some remoter and mountainous areas.
These forests provide a home to an array of ecological diversity such as monkeys, wild pigs, monitor lizards, and deer. Endemic flora such as orchids can occasionally be found. Navigating these forests would, therefore, lead you to an encounter to such nature’s beauty and bounty.
Hopefully, the local government and communities will pledge commitment to protect what is left of their forests. These are treasures that must be nurtured. In fact, they can help boost ecotourism in the municipality while sustaining vital provisions especially water.
Tips and Reminders
- Tourism is not fully established in Paracelis, Mountain Province so it’s best to always coordinate with the local tourism office for assistance and recommendations. Contact details are listed below.
- Respect local culture and community protocols. This means, refrain from utterances or acts which may be offensive to the local community. Among these include Public Display of Affection or wearing of revealing clothes.
- Most of the tourist spots in Paracelis don’t have signage, so don’t hesitate to ask the locals for direction.
- Don’t ever litter. Let us help in keeping the tourist spots in Paracelis clean and green.
- Let us help keep the place peaceful and sacred.
- Yes, do mingle with the locals. Make friends with them. You’ll learn a lot from their stories and enjoy their company.
For your Information
For more information about the tourist spots in Paracelis, Mountain Province, you may contact Ms. Flora Madanom, Tourism Operations Officer, through her contact no: 09204182077. You may also message them on the facebook page namely, Tourism Paracelis or the local government units official page namely, LGU-Paracelis, Mt. Province.
Photos Courtesy of Paracelis Tourism, Paracelis LGU, Mountain Province Tourism Office and MJane Chiyawan.
Disclaimer: This is a work in progress. If you are from Paracelis and is knowledgeable about its tourist spots, you may suggest additional information and relevant pictures. Iyaman!