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According to an Ilocano story of old, there was an extraordinary man named Lam-ang who went in search for those who murdered his father and killed them all singlehandedly. Soaked from dirt and blood from all the killings he had done, he then bathed in a river. The dirt and blood that was washed off from him killed all the fish and animals that it came contact with.
That river is the Amburayan River.
You can read more about the epic Biag ni Lam-ang here.
A couple of days after New Year last year, with nothing planned to go or visit that day, my family and I decided to go for a picnic at Amburayan River. Whoever was available that time, joined us and off we go.
This is my first time to travel here in part of Benguet. My siblings and my mom have been going to Kapangan and/or Kibungan occasionally. Some of my siblings would hike to schools there and give donations that they have collected from kindhearted sponsors. These schools are hard to reach so they have limited supplies.
For me and some of my companions though, that was the first time that we are seeing this part of our province.
We started out as early as we can be. When your family decides to go somewhere, there will always be delay so it takes patience.
From our town to the river is about an hour and a half drive. Most of us are still not that rested from the New Year celebration so we dozed off or took naps along the way.
We stopped at the view deck which is close to where the river is.
After taking as much photos as we like, we then headed to the river.
There were already lots of vehicles parked along the road for the parking are was already full. Or so we thought. So we parked along the road as well.
We registered and paid the necessary fee and then we were told that there are still available parking at the back so that's where we parked.
Each of us took what we can carry and went in search for a spot.
There were lots of people lining the riverbanks and many are in the water swimming and having fun. I feel jealous already I want to go swim right away.
We did not want to go far and good thing we were able to find a good spot.
We positioned ourselves across this rock.
I'm not sure if you can see it but I can see the outline of a face of woman/man with long hair.
The water here is about chest deep so many dared to dive and jump off from this rock or swam to this rock.
The kids tested the water right away and tried to search for fish or crabs or whatever interesting thing they can find. Unfortunately, they were disappointed.
Below is a reminder to clean as you go and keep the river clean. However, there are still those who leave their trash behind. Be a better person always. Do not throw your garbage anywhere wherever you go.
These guys enjoyed swinging from these vines. Different groups would go and do that too and then leave. I guess they were testing their strength as to who can pull the vine but no one succeeded for the vine was still there until we left. Nature is powerful.
My desire to swim was cut short for when I tried crossing the river, I felt the chill.
The Amburayan River's source is the mountains of the Cordilleras. January is still a cold month here in the mountains so the water traveling from the mountains to the creeks and other tributaries before joining the river is cold and refreshing but I can't stand it for a long time.
This almost 100 km body of water travels to three provinces namely Benguet, La Union and Ilocos Sur before rushing out to South China Sea.
I just enjoyed observing the people, enjoying the sound of splashing water, sounds of laughter, smoke from somebody's cooking, the rushing river, the coolness of the air just a relaxing day it was.
Nothing lasts forever though.
My reverie was broken by a cry from one of my nephews. I knew instantly it was a cry of pain and horror and help. His cry of "Mommy!" just grips you with concern. It cuts through the air. Apparently, a sharp object, probably a stone edge sticking out cut through between his toes cutting one of his toes. He is not that used to blood yet and it freaks him out to see blood. Seeing that amount of blood coming out from his wound is too much for him. I quickly ran to him and carried him to his mom and she tended to it. Good thing we brought along a first aid kit.
Always bring a first aid kit when you are outdoors especially when you have kids with you for you do not know what can happen.
It was about time to go home anyway for we still have to travel more than an hour and we want to go home while there is still light. So we decided to pack our stuff and leave so we can tend to our nephew's wound better.
At the registration booth, we asked the staff if they can tend to my nephew's wound. They directed us to the health clinic further up the road. Since we don't know the area, one of the staff was kind enough to come with us to show us where the clinic is.
There are restrooms where you can change near the booth. When everyone has changed and ready to leave, we got into our care along with one of the staff and headed to the clinic where they patched up my nephew, good as new and he was his normal self again.
We passed by this rice terraces on our way home. I didn't notice this when we were on our way to the river for I was napping in the car. We stopped by the road and took photos. There were still patches where the rice were not harvested but almost all were done with their harvest.
It was not captured in this photo but there were flower gardens too where only a few flowers remain.
That was our last stop and then we headed straight home.
We have planned on going back to Amburayan River when we had a break from constructing our house. However, it was not possible because of restrictions brought about by COVID. I hope soon we can go back again and make more memories.