Guinzadan unfolds a hidden gem

After more than one hour of trekking thru stone walled rice paddies, vegetable gardens, concrete foot bridges, and a rugged mountain trail with giant pine trees and other forest trees and shrubs as roof, you come out to the grandiose Pengsaan falls.
The cascading water is under the jurisdiction of Guinzadan Norte, one of the barangays of the well-known producing vegetable town of Bauko.
We were not able to beat the time of 30-45 minute walk because we had been taking photos along the way and duck walking because the soiled pathway was slippery caused by continuous drizzles.
My companions who are millennials enjoyed hiking under the cold drizzle through intertwining branches of trees and shrubs and sliding and crawling on the slippery path.
There was a time when we thought of going back due to the continuous light rain and thick fogs, but the resonating sounds of various species of insects and birds and the fragrance of a mountain orchid seemed to encourage us to move on.
In one instance, we contemplated to withdraw because the creek we were trailing was murky and that we might not have good photos.
As we moved up, we saw interesting but puzzling two creeks, the right side was clear and the opposite side was murky. We decided to follow the right side.
Then we reached the waterfall which is beautiful. It’s like a giant crystal curtain unfurled in a huge arena for a live music festival or a championship football game. The sounds of the plummeting water was soft and reverberating, which could rock a tired man to slumber.
It has a shallow pool at the base, where one can sit or lie flat to soak a hiker’s hardened muscles.
Two deeper pools are found a few meters below the base of the waterfall.
There are added attractions such as a typical iGuinzadan house, stone graves, a acduan (spring) that was used and is being used to supply the potable water needs of Guinzadan, the rice terraces, and the forest that was sustained thru the indigenous value of inayan, etc.
According to an old woman in the barangay, she said that the cogon roof of the traditional house was changed to GI because cogon is rarely found nowadays.
In an interview with a male elder from Guinzadan, he bared that Bauko Mayor Abraham Akilit is very instrumental in documenting and promoting the tourist spots in Bauko. He did it before he was elected as the Local Chief Executive of Bauko in 2013.
In 2011, the newly retired NIA-CAR director Abraham Akilit brought some UP college students to the office of the late Gov. Leonard Mayaen and the Provincial Tourism Office. He informed us of his after-retirement activity, which was the documentation and preparation of brochures of some of the tourist attractions in Bauko. Furthermore, he also organized and introduced organic farming in some areas of the vast vegetable gardens in the town.
On the 2012 Begnas festival, Engr. Akilit facilitated the launching of the municipal tourism brochures and framed photographs of Bauko that were documented, photographed and printed by the UP students. He also promoted the sale of organic products of the municipality..**Francis B. Degay

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