Part 1: The rugged roads en route to Tineg

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Glorious view of the valley
Glorious view of the valley

This adventure trip to two of Tineg’s not so known waterfalls consists of several parts. Read PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4

My mobile phone’s alarm clock went off. 3AM. And we had to clamber from our beds, still sleepy and half awake. But we had a long day ahead to explore two waterfalls in Tineg, Abra, one of the province’s least visited, truly off-the-beaten-path wonders.

Vice Governor Chari Bersamin told us that the dry season is the best time to visit and explore this almost forsaken municipality as when the rains hit the trails, we wouldn’t want to devote two days walking from the town poblacion to the nearest passable road passing one of the most rugged places in this side of the Cordilleras.

It was still dark when me and Edmar (, a travel blogger based in Vigan City had our early breakfast and with the 4×4 vehicle, sped to the direction of Dolores, passing the province’s longest bridge and off to Tineg, which was about five hours away by private vehicle.

A jeepney filled with people traveling from Tineg to Bangued.
A jeepney filled with people traveling from Tineg to Bangued.

I had trepidations on this trip. Not that I’m afraid to trek and have my knee injury recur, oh, that would be quite painful, as experienced in last year’s epic three day trek to Tagpao Falls in Tubo with trails littered not with bugs but hyperactive blood leeches. But because my tummy is in revolt, queasy. Loose bowel movement would sound better but it would be a major discomfort especially that I will be on the trails. The meds seemed less potent and haven’t yet fully quelled the revolution inside my gut. Darn.

In between snatches of shut eye and moments of being awake, darkness gave way to the break of dawn and found us traversing the rugged mountains and jungles on the way to Tineg. But alas, during a brief bladder break, I had to rush behind the clumps of bushes and thin trees, as one bowel emergency was about to break out. And relief was at hand. After.

A view of Abra's highest peak
A view of Abra’s highest peak, Mt. Manigo

I couldn’t help but gasp in wonder. Although there was no sea of clouds below us, the ruggedness of the mountains of Tineg was just so spectacular! Deep valleys and chasms, mist starting to rise as the morning rays of the sun touched the barren surfaces. There were peaks with lonely trees, or the occasional farms and homesteads dwarfed by the mountains.

We passed dirt roads scraped from the mountainside. Or on ridges with just a few inches of road before a steep descent. What made this drive quite scary was that we had a swashbuckling driver who’s just so overconfident that I had to hold on to the grip above me, buckled up and silently curse as he dangerously negotiated a bend or a blind curve.

After five grueling hours on the road, in between gasps of awe, a major tummy revolt and curses, we did arrive safe and sound, and relieved, in the barangay of Agsimao in Tineg, stronghold of the Adasen tribe, an Itneg subtribe.

Thanx to Vice Governor Chari Bersamin for making this Tineg trip possible.

This adventure trip to two of Tineg’s not so known waterfalls consists of several parts. Read PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3 | PART 4

I'm a Travel and Architecture photographer, blogger and writer based in Cebu, the Philippines.

A true blue Cebuano, I make stunning images and meaningful stories. My work has been published in various coffee table books as well as local and international publications including Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London), done photo assignments for Mabuhay and written posts in Smile.

My personal Photography work has been exhibited around Asia and Europe including Paris in France, Germany, The Netherlands, South Korea, China and around the ASEAN regional capitals.

I am a peripatetic traveler and have been to all 81 Philippine provinces and abroad.

Check out my portfolio site at StanCabigas.

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