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Kabigan Waterfalls, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

No, the name of this waterfalls in Barangay Balaoi, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte isn’t derived from the Filipino 'kaibigan’ which means 'friend', rather, it is derived from the word 'kabig' which in this sense, means 'to collect'. More specifically, it pertains to how the water from the streams coming from the falls is collected and then shifted for the irrigation in the area.

    The origin of the name Pagudpud 

    Most of the times, we don’t get to know and hear the story about the origin of a place’s name and are left to make guesses.

    Story behind the name 'Pagudpud'? Clue: Pagod and Pudpud.

    Kabigan Falls Entry Point and Entrance Fee

    The starting point for the trek to the falls isn’t hard to find as it is along the Pan-Philippine Highway. The entrance fee costs 20 Php per head and 100 Php for the guide.

    Click at these coordinates to open in Google Maps: 18.602358, 120.853297

    There's a parking space (actually a basketball court) that can be used by visitors just by the information area.

    Parking space by the starting point of the trek to the Kabigan Falls.

    Trek to Kabigan Falls

    Lots of greens!

    The trek was generally easy and flat and involved crossing a few bridged streams. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the waterfalls and all along the scenery on the way was a treat itself.

    Kids from the place enjoying their natural playground.

    A house seen standing amidst a rice field on the way to the Kabigan Falls.

    Early on the trek, you will see houses surrounded by rice fields. It was quite a refreshing place to be in. A panorama to behold in its entirety. I was almost always behind the group taking photos, absorbing the rustic view.

    Probably a native (old-fashioned) apparatus for catching fish.

    Inside the Woods to the Kabigan Falls

    As we went farther, further in towards the falls, the surroundings started to change: from the sunny open field to the colder shaded woods.

    The shaded trail to the falls.

    More stream as we went on, closer to the falls.

    Photographing the Water Stream without a Tripod

    During the whole trip there were a lot of spots and instances I wanted to stop and stay longer to photograph the running water.

    I didn't bother bringing the tripod with me and just relied on a simple technique in taking slow shutter shots without a tripod which I believe other photographers probably also know.

    Using the camera strap, I'd fold it and turn it into a cushion and have a makeshift stand. Making sure the camera is balanced upon composing, with a timer (I actually used the wireless remote), the shot is taken.

    Two-and-a-half-seconds was enough for me to capture the water's movement. Not very silky (milky) but I got just what I wanted.

    The Refreshing Kabigan Falls

    I was keeping my expectations low on how the Kabigan Falls would look like. I didn't want to get hyped and get disappointed if the waterfalls was murky or had little running water. (But obviously, as shown in the first picture above, I loved the placed.)

    I have not been to many waterfalls in the Philippines (very few, in fact) but Kabigan Falls has to be one of the best.

    The two-tier Kabigan Waterfalls (or, I don't know if there's another higher tier).
    f/10, 2.5 seconds, ISO 100, Focal length of 18 mm (18-135 mm lens)

    The lower tier of the Kabigan Waterfalls

    The view away from the falls.

    We reached the basin after some 40 minutes and enjoyed the cool water. The photo below shows the scale of the falls, with Manong tour guide on the lower left portion:

    Manong Tour Guide as seen standing by the falls, giving the scale of the falls' height.

    Anna shooting the Kabigan Falls.

    f/22, 1.6 seconds, ISO 100, Focal length of 18 mm (18-135 mm lens)

    Photo from Ilyn's phone. (L-R) Me, Anna, Resty (far back), Kicco, Ilyn, Lawrence, and Oms.


    We had the pool by ourselves at that time except for this lady who was on her own. We actually saw her the previous day in Kapurpurawa, Burgos.

    A fellow visitor who was travelling solo.

    She was kind enough to take our group photo:

    Fellow traveler took a photo of us together with Manong guide.

    After refreshing, swimming, and taking photos, we went on. The whole activity indeed was fat-burning (wishfully) and we got hungry. We did not bring any food to snack on but on the way back, somewhere along the trek, there was actually a store that offered meriendas.

    We call this okoy in Montalban. Others call this lumpia.

    The store selling snacks/meryenda. The buko juice was refreshing!

    Manang from the store. Can't recall her good name. 

    Thank the Locals

    The local community and government are doing a great job in maintaining the place. Kabigan Falls is definitely a must-see when in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. If given a chance to stay longer, there's a lot of photographic opportunities to try in the place (just think of night long exposures alone and photographing more of the local people.)

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