It has been awhile since I last joined an eco trek. Unfortunately I’m still waiting for my foot to fully heal after I slipped out of balance from a previous news coverage. But when I heard that it was close to where I live in Agusan del Norte, in the town of Remedios T. Romualdez or commonly known as RTR to be exact, and would include traversing the path leading to Tagnote Falls, I told myself why not?
The town is known throughout Agusan del Norte and Caraga Region as one of the area’s biggest rice producers. Hidden seven kilometers away from the town proper is Tagnote Falls, which is located near the foot of the Mt. Hilong-hilong.
If you don’t have your own ride, going towards the staging area in Barangay San Antonio would be a fun, exciting adventure when you try to get a motorcycle ride in what the locals call “skylab,” a product of how Filipino ingenuity meets practicability.
Last month, the Province of Agusan del Norte, through its tourism office headed by Daniel M. Calo, organized a trek to promote and highlight Tagnote Falls and Mt. Hilong-hilong as one of the many adventure tourism destinations the province has to offer.
From Barangay San Antonio, it is an easy 30 to 45 minutes walk through creeks, flat land filled with plants and trees, culminating in a short uphill stride before reaching the two-tiered water falls. Hundreds of participants from all walks of life—ranging from the youngest hiker, aged 7 years old, to the oldest trekker in his 60’s—joined the activity. Seasoned climbers were also around to assist those with less experience.
With diverse participants, the few minutes of trekking became a fun-filled activity for everyone, especially when crossing the cold creeks became a short obstacle course. The falls has two natural pools on top of it while another lies at the water drop.
Children who lived near the area welcomed our big group when we reached the falls. They started showing off by jumping off the top of the falls for a cool dip. This later enticed the other trekkers to follow the young participants’ lead. Calo shared, “We are still in the process of developing the area for people to come here and experience nature at its best. Hopefully, RTR is not only known as an agricultural center but as an adventure eco-tourism destination since there are actually two more waterfalls as you go up towards the mountain.”
I wanted to explore the two other waterfalls but unfortunately my foot that was about to heal got swollen again. I consoled myself with the thought, “No pain, no gain.”
Now as I’m trying to endure the pain, I couldn’t help but ask myself: what did I gain? Serene lush forest, tumbling waterfalls, cool and clear waters. A pocket of paradise discovered at the foot of a majestic mountain.
Counting the pros, I realized the experience was priceless and I’m sure I would come back to trek and explore more of RTR’s adventure path. But for now, I’m contented with my Tagnote experience.