Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija
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My colleagues invited me and Cindy S for a #BeatTheHeat adventure last time. Included in the itinerary - Gabaldon Falls.
I was a bit skeptical with this as I don't usually like trekking / hiking. But still, I decided to give this a try.
We left office (BGC) at around 4am and had breakfast at NLEX. From NLEX (I forgot the exit though, my bad), we travelled for almost 4hrs to reach Gabaldon Ecopark. This is where the falls is located. There is an entrance/environmental fee of 20php, I think. It is also required to have a guide to reach the falls. The price for the guide is 200php one way. Yup, another 200php if you want to have a guide going back to the camp. Since it was not the first time for one of my colleagues to visit this place, we agreed to just pay for a one-way guided tour.
The way to the falls is not easy. You have to cross rivers, step on those rock formations, and walk for about 45min. It's an easy trek for most people, but trust me, I had a hard time reaching the falls. It's maybe because, the guide didn't help us enough. We were 15 in the group and the guide was just accompanying the first 5 people. I think we should've had more guides, considering our number. Anyway, the usual 45min trek became 1hr 30 min due to photo sessions.
When we reached the falls, I can say, our hardships paid off. It's very beautiful and the water is crystal clear. I heard Gabaldon Falls is 10ft high (but it looks smaller in my pic ). Very very cold water. It's therapeutic after all the body pain I got. So my colleagues and I took the opportunity to have GoPro video groufie (not sure what it's called haha). I was holding the GoPro and we were doing the 360 degrees video when some of my colleagues went out of balance. Then domino effect! We almost got drowned! It's as if something is forcing us to go to the center of the falls, and not everyone knows how to swim. So ang effect, naghihilahan kami. Buwis buhay test of friendship! Haha ️
Series of unfortunate events. On our way back (we didn't have a guide now), we got lost. We're supposed to do a river trek with all those rock formations when we suddenly lost track of the way. I swear, everyone thought na-engkanto kami. I hate the feeling of getting lost. We were all tired trying to search for the right path. After 45min, one suggested to do something we always see in the movies - magbaliktad ng mga damit. We were that desperate. And yes, we did that. Amazingly, after 10 min, we found the correct way. We were all saying, "Seriously?!" Kala ko sa movie lang nangyayari, I swear.
Had I known that this will happen, I should have insisted to have a guide going back to the camp. It's just 200php versus all the trouble and fear we had to endure. Haha but at least, we all survived. Experience to remember!
P.S. Bring lots of water. I kid you not. Wear comfortable clothes as well. Don't forget to apply sunscreen too. And most importantly, wear shoes / sandals that are meant for river trek.
P.S.S. And if ever you'll suffer the same fate as ours, don't forget to ask for God's help. Magbaliktad din kayo ng damit to find the right path.
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