Summer is definitely here! It’s been a few days, nay weeks, and months even when there seems to be no stopping the increasing humidity all over the Philippines. Umbrellas offer little help when you are walking outdoors, tree shades are no longer enough to hide from the sun; you can’t even run home to seek refuge from the intense heat unless your house is air-conditioned. The heat permeates everything that even if you just sit still perspiration beads starts to form and in no time at all you’ll be sweating. This season calls for day trips, outings, weekend getaways and sojourns to cooler land and destinations.
What’s your idea of a best summer escape and activities? For this travel blogger – it’s conquering waterfalls and enjoying cold springs =)
That’s what me and travel buddies did recently, we took the bus, head out to Cebu South and visited Kawasan Falls and River System. Yeheyyyy! If you can’t beat the summer heat, enjoy it to the max!
First we drop by Carcar to buy our lunch and drinks, took a long time to wait for our second bus with route “Bato via Barili” so we decided to have some Jollibee swirly beats to cool off. =)
No Halo – Halo? Swirly Bits It Is!
Then we got on the second bus and it was jam-packed hehe
This was my second visit to this famous waterfall in Cebu while it’s Titus first time, Doi and Kenneth have been to Kawasan numerous times. Also tagging with us is Vince who is a first time visitor to the Philippines from Canada. We want to introduce the countryside to him and the amazing nature that Cebu is blessed with and what better tourist spot to fulfill this goal than Kawasan? Yah I know there are other summer destination choices in Cebu but please humor me for now and agree hehe.
Want to know what we did to get to Kawasan? Read this Travel and Commuting Guide to Badian.
After the ‘eventful’ bus ride to Badian, we finally arrived in the Barangay Matutinao, the gateway to the famed waterfalls system.
The local guides who were by the roadside saw our group disembarking from the bus and offered their services but we have to decline because we don’t need to be guided.
We’ve been to Kawasan before and honestly even without a guide you can make it to the main waterfall and also the second falls even if it’s your first time. It’s only the way to the third waterfalls that is a bit tricky and will require a guide if not one from your group has been there previously.
Visiting Kawasan Falls of Cebu
To get to the main falls you only have to follow the river. There are many points along the 30 minutes trek to the main falls that is already good place for swimming – water is clear, clean and looks so inviting.
Titus who was carrying the heaviest load and sweating profusely nudged me time and again that the waters we were passing on is fit enough to go swimming. “We can stop and swim now.” Lol.
He was of course joking but there may be a bit of hopeful wishing thrown in there. Trekking in itself is tiring; trekking at mid-morning with the sun blazing so hot is punishment. But we trudge own, knowing that the reward waiting for us is worth it.
Note: Kawasan Entrance Fee is P10 per person.
If you are looking for souvenirs or kawasan keepsakes, there are shops along the way that sells various things like bamboo and coconut shells carvings, trinkets, swimming clothes as well as foods and drinks. If you get lost, although I doubt that, you can also ask the tindera for direction.
Bridge over the River system of Kawasan
We finally arrived in Kawasan main falls, good thing tourist are still few – mostly Koreans and locals and several westerners. Vinny was an addition to the foreign visitors who went for a Day Trip in Kawasan hehe.
The water looks so refreshing – a play of emerald and turquoise. It’s also a warning that water is so deep after a few meters from the river bed.
In the middle of a lush protected forest, Kawasan remains as beautiful as it was when I first visited it more than a decade ago. When I wade my feet in the water, I was surprised though, it’s not cold as I remembered it. Maybe it’s because the summer heat has really been intense with global warming getting into the picture, or perhaps because since my first visit, I have been to lots of waterfalls where the waters is beyond chilly.
Anyhow, Kawasan is beautiful, period.
Pictures after pictures were taken of Kawasan, with and without us in the frame.
There were tourist who rode on the bamboo raft to get to under the falls. I can imagine their excited shouts as the water falls on the backs.
After more than 10 minutes of doing nothing but trying to get the best shot of the waterfalls and the surrounding area, Doi mentioned “we’ll stay at the second falls where there are hut cottages and shallow area for swimming.”
The second falls works for us perfectly especially that only Doi and Titus knows how to swim in our group. Lol.
So we went back on the trail to climb the second falls, but in the middle of the road, unfit me pleaded to Titus that we stop and rest so I can catch my breath. Loser hehe.
Finally, the second falls of Kawasan!
We were so hungry from the long bus ride and the trek that the moment the sluggers who happened to be carrying the Carcar lechon and liston manok for lunch arrived at the hut, everyone scrambled to prepare food so we can eat, we did not even have time to take pictures of the lechon hahah. Which if you have been around Philippine travel bloggers a lot, you’ll know it’s a no – no not to take pics of local foods hehehe. Anyhow, I think Vinny did not scramble but the rest of us sure did haha. We were attacking food and eating with little talking lol.
More tourist and visitors arrived. Some did not stop at our area and climbed further to the third falls.
This is our hut for the day at the second level of Kawasan
The pool of Kawasan falls was cold but not bitingly cold. That record of ‘intense cold’ still belongs to Bomod-ok Sagada in my books.
Adventurous ones climbed to the top of the water spray and then jumped into the water. It’s funny to see how some repeatedly makes the sign of the cross or took a lot of time before finally making that jump after being cajoled by their friends waiting on the bamboo raft. Heheh.
Falls / Rock jumping is an activity that I think I will not ever do but it sure looks like those who dared had lots of fun. My guts have limitations haha.
We took a break from swimming and wading to eat some chocolates. =) Ahhh life!
This is by the way our hut we rented for our day trip in Kawasan. Rate is P300.
After the chocolates, we went back to enjoy the cool waters of this waterfall system in Cebu. We shared stories about Kawasan and possible sidetrips to our adventure. The third falls was hanging on our head, we were on the fence whether to go or not to.
To get to the bamboo raft behind us, I have to be assisted, that area is already deep
Amongst us, Kenneth was the only one who made it to the top falls of Kawasan on previous visits and she kept on urging us to go. But she told us it will take more than 30 minutes to get there and the climb will be more challenging and pathways are slippery. The condition of the path up was not a really concern to us, what was discouraging was imagining us trekking in the midday heat and away from the waters.
So other suggestions were put on the table like going to Moalboal after Kawasan to hit the beach or the public beach just across the road where we got off the bus. But the issue with that is we won’t have a place to wash off before going home if we hit the beach. Going to Mantayupan Falls in Barili was also mentioned as well as the popular Ice Cream station in the same town.
Free Diver Doi in her elements in the water
After mulling things, we’ve decided it’s better to head to the third falls or Top Kawasan Falls instead of going to the beach. That decided we all got ready, except Doi, she was tired from the all-nighters she’s had lately. Two days after our Kawasan trip, she went with another travel blogger friend of ours to Camotes Island without any decent sleep for days. Lol. That is what you call passion for adventure and travels hehehe
Click to continue reading: The trail to the 3rd Falls of Kawasan