the first man's river
The town of Adams reportedly got its name from a mountain river of crystal clear waters flowing
downstream and teeming with fish of all types. The natives, having heard of Adam (Adan in Ilocano) and the
river (karayan) that flowed out of the Garden of Eden from the Spanish friars, called this river 'Karayan ni Adan.' The
name was appropriate for this river was a rich source of their food and water. In other words, the
river meant life. Over the years the name was used to refer to the whole area and, eventually, was shortened
Adams is nestled within the lush old-growth forests of the northwestern portion of the Cordilleras,
the last such forests in northern Luzon. Getting to the town proper requires a steep climb up to over a thousand meters
above sea level. Vans and pick-ups can easily negotiate the dirt roads in summer, but during the rainy months,
it is best to use 4x4's. Beyond the town center, if you want to see more of Adams, you have to switch to motorcycles
or mountain bikes. Otherwise, you have to hike, swim, or climb precipitous slopes.
Freshwater bodies of water abound in the area. There are four major rivers, twelve
waterfalls, countless creeks, springs and ponds, including one at the peak of Mt. Linao where you can easily catch a glimpse
of deer or wild pig lapping up its cool waters, or wild duck wading in them.
The forests are covered
with moss and are host to centuries-old trees whose trunks are so huge they are far wider than a man's
extended arms. Trees include the white and red lauan, guijo, yakal, molave, narra, and others whose scientific names
are barely pronounceable. The rare ventricosa plant and numerous orchid species add color to ground.
With such forest
cover, it is hardly surprising that Adams has rich faunal resources --birds, mammals, reptiles. Birdwatchers
can test their skills identifying the differences among the common emerald dove, turtle dove, and zebra dove. Green
imperial pigeons, scops owls, rofous hornbill (kalaw), woodpeckers, serpent eagle, and the Philippine hawk eagle, among
other types, can also be spotted soaring above the treetops of Adams. Apart from deer and wild pig, monkeys
and civet cats run around the forests. Monitor lizards, pythons, and various kinds of snakes, including brightly-colored
species, crawl the slopes of the mountains.