A dubious future for Edralin Falls

October 30, 2017

Edralin Falls is  a well-known spot in Kasibu in Nueva Vizcaya, and one meteorologically spastic afternoon my friends and I made a visit, although with one caveat: according to Tony, the falls is changing considerably due to the influx of visitors and settlers. If you happen to be the casual, touristy type, that would be of no or minimal concern. But for people who geek over nature and wanting it to stay that way, it can be quite disappointing. Already along the way, there are swathes of land that have been cleared for chayote (Sechium edule, Family Cucurbitaceae). Upon entering the dirt track that leads to the falls, we saw machineries for the purpose of paving the road, undoubtedly for the benefit of tourists, and to attract more tourists. When we reached the parking lot, we  heard raucuous yells and laughter from visitors who came before us. Fortunately they did not stay long thereafter, although a small group of men passed us by, obviously intoxicated. We learned later on that they were sternly asked by one of the falls' caretakers to leave. Plus points for that.

 

Because it's a three-tiered falls whose uppermost levels are not visible from below, it's not possible to take a photo of the waterfall in all its entirety. So below are just snapshots of its parts, along with life forms that call it home.

 

 According to Eli Malay and Alberto Barrion, spider specialists, this is a new species of Hersilia. 

 This stick insect is probably from the genus Ophicrania:

 A tiny plant with dis-proportionally large flowers,is this Hedyotis (?), from the Family Rubiaceae.

 Begonia brevipes (Family Begoniaceae).

 Medinilla amplifolia (Family Melastomataceae), is a large epiphytic shrub whose presence is announced by its flowers littering the ground below.

A nicely marked cricket.

 Another Begonia brevipes (Family Begoniaceae), but with more marked leaves:

 Tony and Berna Gerard. If you look closely enough, you will notice a clearing that some locals have used for the cultivation of crops.

 The girlfriend:

 A sheer drop punctuated with boulders:

 There appears to be a series of smaller falls from this point, but because it started to rain again, we opted to go back. The trail is very narrow and the rocks slippery in some places.

 A tree fern frond (Cyathea, Family Cyatheaceae) gets weighed down by rain.

 

 A katydid with tessellated pattern.

 The high moisture content of the surroundings encourage the growth of epiphytes on the trees, including mosses, ferns, and orchids.

 

 

 

 

 Neurobasis luzoniensis, female:

 This blue-flowered plant is Rhynchoglossum klugioides (Family Gesneriaceae).

 The management grows some seedlings in the vicinity, mostly exotics and fruit trees.

 Before we left, we picked up trash left behind by the undisciplined. But if truth be told, there is a spot from the falls itself that has served as garbage disposal, and in the cottages are left-over foods. Already we found signs of families infiltrating the vicinity to grow cash crops. This situation is chronic within the country: local government units utilizing areas for the attraction of tourists, but would not and could not prioritize the conservation of such spots. If you go to the website of the municipality of Kasibu, you will find that they are advertising the falls as "A good place for picknicking, Birthday Party, and Swimming."

 

It's all the money, one can argue.

 

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