Falls of Happiness in Ilocos Sur
Sangbay ni Ragsak, which translates to Falls of Happiness in English, is a hidden gem in the mountains of Suyo in Ilocos Sur, Philippines (not to be confused with the one in Sagada).
It’s a beautiful attraction where you can swim, relax, or go rafting; they have one bamboo raft which you can use for free. Definitely a must-try! There are no watchers or life vests though, so please be careful when rafting or swimming; the water's quite deep in the middle, some rocks are slippery too. What’s great about this place is that it’s not as packed as other similar attractions, which is why if you want your quiet time, this is the place to be. You’ll get all the quality time you need with your loved ones here. When we went to Sangbay, there were only three groups; us and the two others. Not bad on a weekday. If you’re planning to take a break and spend time with nature, you should definitely visit the Falls of Happiness. It will leave you smiling after you feel its waters.
HOW TO GET THERE | from Metro Manila If you’re going to commute (EASY)… Ride a bus going to Abra, Candon, or Vigan (I recommend you take a Partas bus), then ask the conductor to drop you off at Bitalag Junction. From Bitalag Junction, you can just rent a tricycle and negotiate with the driver for the fare, that's it!
If you’re bringing a car… Use a GPS system (or any navigation software app) and set the destination to the Municipal Hall of Suyo. From there, just keep going until you see the concrete Urzadan bridge, then the Bailey bridge next (a large one made of wood and steel). Once you cross Bailey Bridge, you’ll see a two-lane road. Look at your left and you’ll see a waiting shed with Brgy. Patoc-ao’s marker, that's the direction you'll be entering (to the left road going up).
Now, if you’re riding a motorcycle, you can proceed and go straight up until you see the trail going to the falls. No one is there to attend to that area, but you can look for a sign that says Sangbay ni Ragsak so that you don't miss it. There is also space for you to park there. If you’re using a car, you can park it somewhere near Bailey Bridge, then just walk all the way up to the start of the trail.
The trail heading to the entrance of the nature reserve is an easy one, but please be mindful of your steps; some parts can be slippery, most especially if you’re wearing the wrong footwear. It takes around ten (10) minutes or less to get to the entrance of Sangbay. Once you arrive at the entrance, expect the caretaker and his monkey to greet you cheerfully! 😊 Just pay the entrance fee, register your names in the logbook, and pay for the cottage. Easy!
It’s advisable that you bring the following: snacks, drinks, a jacket, towel, extra clothes, tissues or wipes, shades, and sunblock. You can also bring a picnic mat if you’re planning to go sunbathing or want to sit near the falls. It's good to know that it can get cold in the water, so you might want to bring your essentials with you when you go the falls (then leave the rest in the cottage if there’s someone who can look after your stuff). Also, it would be best to leave before the sun sets, as mountain roads can be dangerous at night. That’s it! Hope this helps and enjoy your trip! See you on the next post.