BONTOC, Mountain Province – Three staff of the Provincial Tourism Office of Mountain Province and three guides of barangay Talubin assessed the Amkijo waterfalls located at barangay Talubin in Bontoc of this province.
The validating team arrived at the amazing waterfalls after a 40-minute ride from the capital town of Bontoc, combined with trekking a descending trail of about 30 minutes from the national road situated at sitio Pamassaw, Talubin, located within the Bontoc-Barlig national road.
The trudging route was steep combined with open fields covered only with grasses and shrubs, and the rest was shaded with pine trees and forest trees. However, we didn’t feel much excruciating tiredness and scorching sun due to the melodious chirping of several species of birds and insects.
The main source of the majestic falls is the creek located at Balabag which the Bontoc municipal government tapped for the potable water supply of the villages of central Bontoc. Some springs along the road that discharge downward complement the water volume of the falls.
The height of the Amkijo falls is about 50 meters with its hammering and reverberating sound heard even 150 meters away, and its pool is about 5 feet deep and 15 meters in diameter. The water is cool, clear and potable.
Some of the thrills include splashing into the smaller falls below the big falls, walking through wooden pine log bridges, crawling along a rock cliff, climbing a pine log leaning “tower”, with the bridges and “tower” naturally positioned after the previous calamity.
The local guides, Noel Lippaen, Fernando Aspilan and Amalya Taoey, also a secretary of Talubin, related that there are 2 big pools below but these need rappelling to reach them.
While having a snack break at the river bank, the staff of the Provincial Tourism Office suggested that the pathway must be rerouted and zigzagged, signages must be placed in conspicuous along the road, other activities, such as going to other picturesque spots nearby, must be organized and to coordinate with the Bontoc Municipal Tourism Office for river-tracing with rappelling in order to validate the two big falls below Amkijo waterfalls.
By Francis Degay