PULACAN FALLS: A Visit to My Childhood Reverie

When I was a quarter of my age now, I remember holding my mother’s hand as I was excitedly pulling it to board on an old bus going someplace that always gives me butterflies. I sat comfortably at the left side near a run-down window on the bus as I watched the scenes from outside move like the television shows on screen. Such simple things that made a child of me a ride of a lifetime. The cool breeze of the provincial air and the warm caress of the arms of my mother wrapped around me are my favorites up until now. These winding roads and breeze are like my lullabies but I kept my eyes open for the wonderful things are meant to see this way.

There’s a certain part of this road that I always look forward to. When the bus is descending down from a mountain, it felt like a roller coaster ride from my seat. It made me smile every time. It’s a whimsical experience for a child who doesn’t ride a real one at that time. Then, the descending road opened up to these canopies of trees where the mighty rays of the sun are at the bare minimum making the breeze colder and fresher by the surrounding trees. On the near side of the road at my window lies my curiosity on this part. Hidden amongst the lush mahogany trees, I could hear the soothing sounds of the rushing waters. My eyes are always fixated with curiosity on this part. Mother said there’s a waterfall behind those trees. I could only gaze the white waters swiveling on the rocks, excitedly jumping from the top to the catch basin from my bus seat.

From time to time, it’s always this way – hearing and gazing at that waterfalls of what meant to be ventured out from this bus seat. Years have gone by and I finally able to pay a visit to my childhood fascination – surprisingly for the second time.


PAYING A VISIT

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It was mid-April year 2017 the first time I had gone to Pulacan Falls on a lone road trip on my scooter in my humble province. Sure thing, I was so excited to finally visit a once only a childhood wishful thinking. On that day, I had the falls all for myself. But for the second time, I have my friends with me from Cebu.

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Four months later in August 2017, I ventured out with my friends to this waterfalls as part of our Ultimate Mindanao Roadtrip. Pulacan Falls itself is very accessible, it’s worthy of a side trip for the road trippers. It was half-past 11 in the morning when we arrived at the place and parked our vehicle beside the highway. The soft sound of the rushing waters relentlessly inviting us to come closer to where it’s coming from.

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A well-established and an easy trail hides amongst the tall grasses near the road. I led the way under the canopies of huge mahogany trees until we reached Pulacan Falls. Moss-covered rocks almost made all the way but it took us only a minute or so to get near the shallow catch basin.

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For some curious thinkers like us, it will always cross on our mind what’s above the waterfalls. And it always ends up on doing what piqued our curiosity. A forked trail led us to a slight ascend and little harder than the latter one. A picturesque view from atop of the waterfalls welcomed our curious minds. Up ahead is another waterfall with a wider catch basin than the first one.

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Some local children were jumping and swimming on the waterfalls. From the depths of my heart, I envied watching those children having a good time swimming their hearts out but sad to say, we only have limited time to spare.

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Nevertheless, it’s a humble experience to share it with my friends in visiting Pulacan Falls for the second time. I know they feel the same as I could see it on their faces. It really feels great while showcasing one of the beautiful waterfalls in my own province and I am really proud to show them one of my childhood reveries.

Out of the water and now we’re ready to hit the road again!


HOW TO GET TO PULACAN FALLS

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Tucked near the 1st Infantry “Tabak Division” in Camp Major Cesar Sang-an in Barangay Upper Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, Pulacan Falls is very accessible just along the national highway. It’s just a 30-minute drive away from its nearest city, Pagadian City. Though it is very underrated, it is worth a side trip on this waterfalls. There’s a direct flight going to the province and several other flights on its neighboring provinces.

  • Via Pagadian City. Take a bus/van going to Ozamiz City or Dipolog City. Drop just before the military camp of Pulacan. Tell the conductor/dispatcher to pullover at Pulacan Falls. Travel time is more or less than 30 minutes.
  • Via Ozamiz City. Take a bus/van going to Pagadian City. Drop after a descend passing the military camp of Pulacan. Tell the conductor/dispatcher to pullover at Pulacan Falls. Travel time is less than 2 hours.
  • Via Dipolog City. Take a bus/van going to Pagadian City en route to Sergio Osmena. Drop after a descend passing the military camp of Pulacan. Tell the conductor/dispatcher to pullover at Pulacan Falls. Travel time is less than 4 hours.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

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  • Please practice LNT principle. Do not loiter around the area.
  • Always take with you your IDs. There might be random checkpoints around the area especially when passing military camps. Just present your IDs to the authorities. This is just a normal routine here in Mindanao. No need to be anxious. Unless you’ve done something unlawful.
  • ENJOY YOUR VISIT! Pull off a memorable experience.

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