Kowa bonga ! Kawasan Falls here we come !

With the first two days of the last week of August 2011 declared as Holidays, we saw this as an opportunity to visit another local attraction in Cebu. This time our destination is the ever popular Kawasan Falls of Barangay Matutinao, Badian, Cebu. Because of the two day holiday we decided to stay overnight there, besides it’s a 2 to 3 hour one way trip and we wanted to take a side trip at famous beaches of the nearby town of Moal Boal.

Leaving at about 8 a.m. we arrive at around 11 a.m. atBarangay Matutinao, Badian, Cebu. We have to take a short stop at Moal Boal to buy seafoods for lunch. To reach the falls, we have to take bring all our gear and take a 20 minute walk down a rocky and somewhat narrow path to the falls. This trail is great for hiking as you can experience the sound of chirping birds and see lots greeneries and if you are somewhat lucky you might just see a group of monkeys. I’ve been to Kawasan falls a lot of times already, I forgot exactly when was the last time Ivisited but for sure that was a long time ago because I remembered that we used to cross 2 or 3 bridges made of bamboo or used to wade at the river to reach the falls. Now even the path to Kawasan Falls has not escaped progress as the pedestrian bridges have all been converted into cement bridges and they are working on installing street lights from the main highway up to the falls. Perhaps in the next few years, they will cement the path all the way to the falls. But I prefer that they rather not do it as I believe that walking in that rugged path is part of the alluring call that draws people to this place.

Anyway after the somewhat exhausting hike we finally arrived at the falls and negotiated for a room. Unlike before where there are only several rooms available, now there are several mini hotels just nearby and even beside the falls. The last time I was there, there was no air-conditioned room available. Now we were offered an air-conditioned room for P3,500.00. Since the capacity of the room fits 10 people and there were ten of us we booked that room.

For lunch we grilled the fresh squid that we bought from the fish market of Moal Boal. Although excited to take a dip in the cool waters of Kawasan Falls, we decided to take a little siesta for 1 to 2 hours considering that there are still many people in the falls because of the long holidays. Besides we were in no hurry as we were staying there overnight.

A trip to Kawasan would not be complete without visiting the source of the raging waters of this popular falls. So we decided to do just that. The “source” is about half an hour walk from the main falls where we were staying. The path is narrower than the main trail and it is not advisable that you do this if you have a heart condition, asthma or any other physical condition as it involves climbing steep steps, crossing several narrow bamboo bridges, wading through river banks or doing a balancing act on stones just to get across.


 

 

But despite the obstacles and the challenges going to the source is very rewarding because as you walk the trail you can see a lot of beautiful sceneries. Words or even pictures are not enough to capture the beauty of the sceneries that you can see or the fullness of the experience that you can have while you are walking on your way to the source. You pass by several beautiful small falls and a magnificent dam.

The walk to the source is more exhausting than the first path that leads to the first falls. But when you hear the gushing sounds of the powerful waters that emanates from the source of the falls, you feel a deep sigh of relief because you have reached your final destination and now you can plant your flag and claim that you have indeed conquered Kawasan Falls!

 

 The source of the Kawasan Falls gushes out of a rock opening. Just beneath the source, there are several layers of small pools which are not so deep and in which you can bathe in. Because of the strong currents of gushing waters, it is as if you are taking a bath in a whirling Jacuzzi pool, but the difference is that when taking a bath in the source, you experience a different feeling or a sense of being refresh as you immerse yourself in its cool and refreshing waters. We spent several minutes enjoying the water in the source and even took back a bottle of mineral water taken direct from the source.

On our way back we saw somebody selling fresh water shrimps. They said that the restaurants below are selling this for P 500.00 per serving (About 25 pieces) but they are only selling it at an estimated P 500 per kilo. We took this opportunity and bought some to add to our dinner menu. The good thing about it is that since there is no weighing scale to nail the exact weight of what we bought, it must have been more than a kilo based on our estimate which of course was a real a bargain.

By the time we got back to the main falls, the sun was already on its way down as it was nearing 5 p.m. It was already an ideal time to dip into the cool waters of the main falls. The entire group went for a swim in the main falls and enjoyed every minute of it. Someone than brought up the idea that we will rent a raft to go behind the falls and then into the falls in order that we might be able to feel the power of the gushing water as it empties itself on us. Rental for the raft was P 300.00 for an hour. We negotiated with the owner that we will rent it for the same price for 30 minutes and another 30 minutes for the next day to which the owner agreed. If taking a swim in the cool water of Kawasan Falls was fun, experiencing the mighty power of the falls as it goes down upon you is double the fun ! It’s like taking a shower using super pressurized water ! The flow of the water is so strong that if you lie down in the raft and pass through the falls, the water will literally undress you. (Trust me I’ve tried it and had a hard time battling against the falls in order to keep it from undressing me hehehehe) 🙂

 

Swimming and rafting for almost 2 hours, burned away our energy so we replenished it with an exotic dinner of pork stew and boiled fresh water shrimp (The one we bought earlier) After dinner the rest of the group decided to watch some movies and chit chatted, while I went to the falls again for a night swim. By 10 p.m. we were all exhausted and went to bed.

The next day after breakfast, the others wanted to take a swim at the falls and exhaust the rental for the raft.I had my fair share of the cool waters of Kawasan falls already the night before so I decided not to join them. After their swim, while the others were rinsing off and preparing their stuff, I decided to do some exercise by taking the 20 minute trek and brought some of the stuff back to the van. On the trail somebody was looking at the trees above and I asked him what he was looking at. He pointed to a group of monkeys swinging in the trees. He explained that a hunting ban was strictly enforced in the area by the local government, which of course is very good as it preserves the wildlife and maintains the ecological balance in the area. After unloading the stuff at the car, I went back to the falls again doing another 20 minutes of walking. Passing by a coconut juice stand, I bought two glasses at P 10.00 each to refresh myself from the exhausting walk. When I went back to the falls, they were still not done, so I decided to carry some more stuff and went ahead. I was pleased with myself; all in all I did an hour of exercise by walking the rugged trail and carrying stuff to the van.

And the cost for all of this excitement? Well we pegged it at about P 700.00 per person but take note that it does not include transportation and some meals since certain individuals sponsored for the group meal. Take note also that we got an air-conditioned room. I’d say an overnight stay at Kawasan would amount to P 1,000.00 including everything. But bring P1,500.00 just to be safe.

After waiting for several minutes of waiting in the van, the rest of the group arrived and we drove to Moal Boal. After having a sumptuous lunch at a carenderia in Moal Boal market, our next stop will be the pristine white beaches of Moal Boal.

Enjoy the crystal clear cool waters of Kawasan Falls !  Its only an three hours and a half from Cebu City.  Entrance fee to the falls is very minimal. (About P 50.00 last time I checked, Cottage at P 400.00) Here are some suggestions on how to get to Kawasan falls Cebu:

By private car: From Cebu City, take the SRP road to Talisay and continue to the National hi-way all the way to Carcar City. After passing through the Carcar city Rotunda, take a right and go across the mountain road to Barili. You will pass by the towns of Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara and Moalboal. Upon arriving at Badian, just follow the national road leading to barangay Matutinao where the falls are located. The entrance to the falls is just right across the main hi-way although the main falls itself is about 15 to 20 minutes leisurely walk.

By public transport: In Cebu city take the bus  to Badian at the South bus terminal located in N. Bacalso Ave. or you can opt for a van, the cost for both is less than a P 150.00. Ask the bus conductor to drop you off at Matutinao Badian Church. Beside the church is the entrance to the falls.

Kawasan falls location map:


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Category: Asia, Cebu, Philippines
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