My last trek had been ages ago and I’ve always wanted to do it again. So when the opportunity to join an outdoor group knocked on my door, I was more than elated to accept it. More than a trek, the activity was also an opportunity to visit a small community of Aetas in Sitio Pidpid at Porac, Pampanga.
The trip going to Sitio Pidpid (via Brgy. Cuayan road) from Clark main gate was around 45 minutes. The road is paved halfway and the rest is rugged. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended although the FB van we used did managed to take us to the community safely.
The first activity was to cook chicken soup for breakfast. So with limited equipment, we had to make do with what was available. Slicing veggies with plastic bread knives and sharing a piece of dull knife to portion the chicken and other ingredients. We had to use wood to make fire for cooking which was a bit of a challenge for us but was fun at the same time.
By 10 in the morning, the community started lining up to get a portion of the soup. We managed to cook 2 big pots of hot and creamy chicken soup. And by 11:00 AM, the group was ready to start the trek going to Sapang Angka Falls.
Sapang Angka Falls is located in Delta 5, Porac. The trail is also known as one of the paths leading to the Mt. Pinatubo crater and also one of the most challenging route. Before the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, the place was full of langka trees thus giving the area the name Sapang Angka. A short beaten path from the community will lead you to the starting point of the trek.
The trail is flat and leveled but its all covered in lahar and small rocks. There are a number of small rivers that you need to cross but the water is knee high and manageable. When the current becomes too strong, the guide will assess if it’s safe to cross. Otherwise, there’s a possibility that the trek can be cancelled. The trail is an hour and a half walk. About 50 meters from the biggest water fall, the path starts to get really challenging as you need to climb and jump from one rock to another. It’s slippery and there’s no trees or rocks to hold on to other than your guide and your trek mates.
We arrived at Sapang Angka falls at two in the afternoon. The area around it is limited. It was small, quiet, and charming in its own way. The water level is mostly waist high deep, and it was cold and clean. At most, 30 people will make it too crowded to move within the area. A group of 15 to 20 will be ideal.
We had lunch at one corner, took photos, and rested for a few minutes before we head back. To recover fast, I chose to rest my feet deep within the cold water coming from the falls.
There’s no way going back other than the way we came from. So we trekked the same path but on our way back, the water from the small rivers started to get higher already. We were back at the community around five in the afternoon and headed back to Clark at six in the evening.
I was dead tired probably because I haven’t been doing this in awhile. Gym activity apparently was not enough to prepare me for the trek. My feet was sore from all the small rocks that had gotten in between my bare feet and sandals. My back down to my ankles started to feel really bad.
But, it was worth it. And I’d definitely do it again.
I was undoubtedly, the slowest among the group. Intense heat and hunger was NOT a good combination for me. The group could have gotten there faster without having to wait for me to keep up. But I was fortunate to meet a group who are so considerate in waiting. They even carried my bag to make the trek easier for me.
Sapang Angka Falls is definitely a special place to consider rather than going somewhere outside Pampanga to trek or to see a water fall. Who would have known that there’s such a charming water fall in Porac.
Should you plan to do the trek, a few things to keep in mind would be:
– A 4×4 ride can be arranged. It would take you as far as a few meters away from the falls so the walk is shorter. But if you want some challenge then choose the trek we went through. I would advise to do it earlier though when the sun is much tolerable plus you’d have more time to stay in the water fall.
– At some point during the trek, it is advisable to walk barefoot rather than have small rocks get in between your shoes or sandals because it hurts! What I did was to wear socks to keep the rocks from getting in between my toes.
– Along the way, you’ll encounter some ‘sibol‘ or spring. I decided to just plunge on the first spring we saw and drank from it. It’s like a miraculous drink that revived everything in me. I think it’s half the reason why I made it to the biggest water fall.
– Get a guide. It’s not that remote but the area can be confusing because the trail looks the same from every turn. So it’s a MUST to get a guide. The locals from the community can help you with that as well.
– If you have time to spare, drop by and say hi to the community of Sitio Pidpid. There’s no need to bring elaborate stuff. A simple pack of salt and dried fish will go a long way for them. Or buy fresh veggies or root crops from their harvest
– Lastly, appreciate and RESPECT what you see. Do not litter. Do not vandalize. Be grateful for the opportunity to discover such a special place.
A big THANK YOU to Cloudstaff’s Outdoor Group for the patience and opportunity!
AroundtheMetro.ph was also fortunate enough to share some toys to the kids at Sitio Pidpid.
For interested individuals or groups who wants to try this trail, please contact Erwin Torio at 09267634228.