Badian, Cebu, Philippines

KAWASAN FALLS, CEBU: Canyoneering

7/21/2015


CEBU & CATMON

DAY 1: JULY 21, 2015
We arrived in Mactan International Airport a little delayed at around 11 in the morning. We hired a van to take us on a city tour. It was convenient enough to lessen our luggage and backpack problems. It was a chill outing— perfect for a “barkada” or group outing. Now we’re all set!


The first test shot/group photo we took in Cebu.




It was almost time for lunch and we were all hungry. So for our first agenda, we went to CNT and tried their famous Cebu Lechon.

Some of the places we visited were Magellan’s Cross, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Fort San Pedro, and Cebu Metropolitan Church.




Our last stop was the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod located near the on-going construction of the SM Seaside Mall. It was constructed last 2012 in honor of the first Visayan saint, St. Pedro Calungsod. It has a minimalistic design with made up of towering 100 walls. According to the architect, each walls has unique height and width to represent like people. No one is the same and yet they are all connected and they exist together as a cluster.






It was time to call it a day. We headed to the North Cebu Terminal and took a bus to Catmon. A relative of our friend Luis offered us their place so we got free accommodation for the night. (Yay!) Their family was welcoming and accommodating to us. The rest house itself offers a great seaside view too! After dinner, we went to sleep to prepare for a long day ahead.


 
BADIAN

If you try to google “what to do in Cebu,” one of the answers would be Kawasan Falls. It is the most famous falls in the Cebu province. There are two ways to explore Kawasan Falls: the first is through a cemented path leading the the Falls, with another roughly 15 minutes trek the smaller falls; and the second one, which is more extreme, is by canyoneering. Canyoneering or canyoning is an activity which involves swimming, trekking, bouldering, climbing uphill slope and cliff-diving. 

DAY 2: JULY 22, 2015
Since every land transportation was booked beforehand, we had a van waiting to take us to Badian, Cebu. We prepped ourselves and went on a 4 hour ride to Badian. It was near lunch time when we arrived on the jump off trail of Kawasan falls. Of course, safety first, so we were all given helmets and life jackets. For a group of 11, we were assigned three tour guides. These guides will ensure our safety and teach us how to properly execute cliff diving and aid us as we swim along Matutinao River.

After we ate our lunch, we took a 15-minute habal-habal or motorcycle ride to the hiking jump off. We took a 10-minute hike downhill, and the guides surprised us to our first cliff. It was sort of now or never moment for us, take that jump or you won’t experience canyoneering. So we eventually lined up, hoped we would live afterwards, and jumped the first cliff.

Here’s a picture of us before jumping and a picture of us all smiles after conquering the first jump!





In comparison to the next jumps, the first cliff was nothing! A mixture of sliding and running before jumping were needed. You got to feel the dropping frenzy in the body and the ice cold water rush as you fall down the river! Definitely a extreme and unforgettable experience!







The best part about canyoneering is the unfathomable thrill. For adrenaline junkies, it gives you a life-or-death feeling, but trust me, canyoneering here is safe! I seem to have a lot of energy as we went through the trail. It does not drain your energy fast compare to hiking mountains. It is one of the reasons why I enjoy trekking to waterfalls, the weather is breezy because of the rushing water down the stream, and the ice cold calm water that relaxes you after the trek. But in the case of canyoneering, you experience it all at the same time.



The river itself is between two cliffs with hanging vines, trees and plants. Some rocks were slippery but the guide will assist you if you’re having difficulty. Here is a part of the trail where you will pass sublime cave. Limited sunlight passes through the area but a few parts of the water gets touched by the rays.




I was not brave enough to jump this cliff.

It was a 30 feet high cliff with a narrow horizontal allowance between cliffs. Personally, it is ironic for me to be scared of heights since I climb mountains. I also hate the dropping feeling, so i called off this cliff. Almost everyone tried the jump and successfully landed safe!



We had been swimming, jumping and sliding off cliffs for roughly 3 hours. Our body’s were a little of numb from all the jumping into the cold water, good thing the next part of the trail was mainly hiking. Along the hike, our guides saw a small snake swimming along the waters. They do not usually show up along the trail. One probable reason why the snake was found was because someone held onto one of the vines which caused the snake to fall off the branches above the cliffs.



We continue the trekking and found the smaller falls. It was 1 meter high with 2 levels of rocks with cascading waters. It signals that we were close to the falls.

Not far from the mini-falls was the first out of 2 great falls. This was the last cliff diving we were allowed to jump. This falls beats the 30 feet jumped we encountered earlier. It looked surreal, calm and less crowded.


Another 10-minute trek and we have arrived at Kawasan Falls— the highest falls in the province. Aside from canyoneering, they also offered river rafting for only 300Php per raft. We took the offer, for a second I thought we were just gonna use the raft to get a closer look at the falls, the next thing, we were under the falls waiting for the strong rushing water to fall on our shoulders and backs!


For a price of 1000Php, every Peso was worth it! Canyoneering Kawasan Falls was one of the extreme adventures I ever had, and yes I would definitely recommend it. But just like in every mountain hikes, it is your duty to take care of yourself and your companions. Take every step with caution. Look out for each other. This was one of the fun things I ever did and I would definitely try it again! And I’m looking forward to it!



After four hours of exercising all the muscles in our body, we were finally done! All safe and contented with the adventurous thing we did that day, we headed back to our van. We had a quick prep before sundown and hit the road to Oslob.

If you’re planning to try canyoneering, Contact Kuya Botoy: 09158562263

ITINERARY:

DAY 01: CEBU CITY

🚩Manila to Cebu

🚩Cebu City tour: 3200PHP for a van rental for 8 hours | prices go as low as 1300PHP depending on number of pax and hours | Divided by 11 pax.

↠ Lunch: 100-150PHP for a mid-range meal
🚩Magellan's Cross: free
🚩Fort Santiago: 30PHP
🚩Basilica del Sto. Nino: free
🚩Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral: free
🚩Colon Obelisk & Heritage Monument: free
🚩Sandiego-Yap Ancestral House: free
🚩Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod: free
🚩Cebu to Catmon: via Ceres Bus | 70PHP | Accommodation location
🚩Accommodation: Free since our friend Luis has a relative here
↠ Dinner: free

Total Cost (Day 1): 491PHP per pax in our group of 11

DAY 02: CANYONEERING IN KAWASAN FALLS
🚩Wake up at 5am
↠ Breakfast: free
🚩Van rental: 4300PHP | Divided by 11 pax
🚩Catmon to Badian: 3 hours via van | inclusive in van rental
🚩Badian Canyoneering in Kawasan falls: 5 hours depending on your pace | 1000PHP per pax
↠ Snacks: 50PHP (we only had our snacks after canyoneering)
🚩Badian to Oslob: 2.5 hours via van | inclusive
🚩Oslob Accommodation: BCD's place | 1600PHP good for 4pax | We booked the Violet room. Check the latest rates of BCD's place here.
↠ Dinner: 100-150PHP for a mid-range meal



Total Cost (Day 2): 1941PHP per pax in our group of 11

DAY 03: OSLOB
DAY 04: BOHOL
DAY 05: CHILL IN CATMON
DAY 06: GO HOME

*An itinerary made by: Rae Argallon & Luiz Zulueta. Prices may change and travel time may vary.


Watch our Cebu-Bohol getaway here:

FOOTNOTES:

Credits to Team Pangngalangan | Badian, Cebu | July 2015 | Updated August 2018


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