Some destinations are reserved for the brave and willing. These places yanks you out of your comfort zone from the get go; unapologetically offering no luxuries, not even the convenience of a paved road.

San Nicolas, Pangasinan belongs to this category. A town bordered by the Caraballo mountain range, it is home to a treasure trove of undiscovered gems that have yet to capture everyone’s imagination. It has rivers, waterfalls, nature trails, undisturbed wildlife and scenic viewpoints. It has stories to tell, too, as the Villa Verde Trail – a mountain pass that was once used to travel between Pangasinan and Nueva Vizcaya, was the site of a bloody 3-month battle between Filipino-American and Japanese forces towards the end of World War II.

There are certainly no shortcuts available to reach any of its attractions, and some wonders remain unbeknownst even to locals. Off-the-grid and off-the-beaten, it calls out to true explorers who will commit to adventures like no other. Come here only if you have the heart. Come here only if you are prepared to endure in exchange for being let in on its beautiful secrets.

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