Every year, I always tell myself that I will blog more. But I kept putting it off because of other more seemingly important things (like traveling some more… [I was out of the house every month visiting exotic places in the country!], accepting more online work assignments [so I can support my travels] and watching hours and hours of reruns of my favorite TV series and movies [yep, that’s about the only energy I have left after a long day of traveling and working]) and before I knew it, years have passed, unpublished travel photos and videos got buried in my “baul” (musty old trunk..lol!) and the rest, as they say, is history. Teehee.
Well, on my MOMTRANEUR blog, I will be a better blogger, a better time manager, a better me. I am following the lessons I learned from my previous blog post How to Attain Higher Productivity at Home and Work and I will do more things that make me happier like what I mentioned in Random Thoughts This Rainy Night. So on this post I will start my long overdue travel diaries.
And because Cebu is probably my most visited place in the Philippines aside from Boracay (where I vacayed for long periods of time from 2002 to 2015), I’ll particularly start here my lone trip to the breathtaking Kawasan Falls in Badian. This was 2 weeks before I officially met my now bestest friend, soulmate and love of my life, Mahal. He knew me since high school but I didn’t really know him (well, I was popular, what can I say? Hahaha!) However, that time I was on the way to Cebu, we were already texting because he invited me before to like his resort’s FB page and I was already hearing good things about Oslob (another place in Southern Cebu) that I wanted to go and visit that place. I ended up staying at his mini resort, Oslob New Village Lodge and swim with their famous whale sharks. This was already after my Kawasan day trip. When we became us years down the line, he admitted that I was his crush since high school. He also knew I’m into travel blogging. He said he will tour me too to the various tourist spots Oslob has to offer ( which he did, countless times, even to this day). Of course another blog post will be allotted for that. In the meantime, you can read about our love story. Hihihi!
Anyway, first things first — my trip to Kawasan Falls…
This happened in March 2012, went back there a few times in 2013 with Mahal when I vacayed in Oslob for a month, then again in 2014 when I vacayed in Oslob for two months and we’re planning to come back with baby Tuz in tow this time come January 2017 for Mahal’s and his mom’s birthday. And I think not much has changed since then. This I can somehow surmise because Mahal used to bring his hotel guests to and from Oslob and Badian when he was offering private transportation there. He said it looks the same every single time.
Kawasan Falls, located in Badian, Cebu is one of the most peaceful and beautiful natural places I’ve been to. It’s only 130 kilometers southwest of Cebu City (about three hours of bus ride).
Kawasan Falls is located inside the mountains of Barangay Matutinao, Badian. Once you reach the entrance of the place, visitors will have to walk uphill for about 1.5 km to get to the first waterfall.
You can take photos along the way and buy souvenir stuff such as beaded accessories and t-shirts at the shops located along the pathway.
FROM MANILA TO CEBU CITY – WHAT IF I HAVE A BIG LUGGAGE TO CARRY?
My flight from Manila to Cebu was at 4:30 am via Cebu Pacific. I arrived at Mactan International airport at around 5:15 am since we left Manila earlier than expected. I only had one day of stay in Cebu before I was to head to Siargao for my 15-day vacation. Originally, I was just supposed to wander around the city and wait for my next flight. I actually got this Cebu flight under Cebu Pacific’s Php8.00 promo fare so I can also get another promo fare from Cebu to Siargao. Coz if I buy Manila-Siargao flight, it would cost so much more. I am also aware how Cebu Pacific flights can get delayed so just to make sure I will be able to make my flight to Siargao, I booked this Cebu flight a day in advance.
One of my concerns was this big luggage I have (yep, I still don’t know how to travel light. LOL!) which I thought of just depositing in a hotel room as I go around Cebu city. But then I thought I’ve already toured Cebu City so many times that I ought to do something different like explore parts of Cebu I’ve never been to before. And that was when I thought of Badian. I heard before that the beach there is nice. I hoped that is still the case. Plus, there’s also Kawasan Falls which I’d like to see.
So my first concern was my luggage. I didn’t want to rent a hotel room if I’ll be out all day and night. It’s a good thing that Mactan International Airport has a luggage depository located at the right side of the airport near the arrival area.
Here’s a photo I took of its terms an conditions.
Since I plan to leave my stuff there for 24 hours at the most, I paid Php500.00. I think this is better budget-wise than taking a cab to a nearby hotel (which would probably cost me Php500 back and forth) and then paying for a room for one night. I can just go back to the airport after my Badian trip and sleep there on the shiny airport floor if I have to later on. Jem and I have done this in Singapore Changi Airport before while waiting for our Ho Chi Minh flight and I wanted to duplicate that experience. ^_^
HOW TO TRAVEL FROM CEBU CITY TO BADIAN
So, after I deposited my baggage, I headed outside to where the metered taxis are located , hailed one, and asked the driver to bring me to the South Bus Terminal along N. Bacalso St. where I’ll ride a bus to bring me to Badian. Fare cost Php197 plus P10 taxi entrance fee to the terminal.
Going inside the bus terminal, I had to pay Php5.00 entrance fee. Then I looked for the bus going to Badian and found a Ceres Aircon Bus with the signage: Bato Moalboal Barili. It was 6:45 am then and the bus was scheduled to leave at 7:00 am. Perfect! There were only a few passengers inside. I napped for a moment until we took off. I asked the conductor to tell me when it’s time to go down to where Kawasan Falls is. Fare from Cebu City to Kawasan costs Php131.00.
Passing through the southwestern coast of Cebu was an adventure in itself. I took a seat at the right side of the bus so I can have a wonderful view of the coastline. It’s also the part of the bus where the sun isn’t shining so my whole ride was quite comfortable.
WHAT TO DO ONCE IN KAWASAN FALLS?
After 3 hours (around 10:00am), I got off at Kawasan. Across the street, there’s a huge sign of Kawasan Falls so you won’t miss it when going to this part of Cebu.
As soon as I got off, local men flocked around me hoping that I’d get them as my tour guide. Two were very persistent. But when I told them I don’t have enough budget for two guides (at Php200 each), one guy backed off and the one who remained agreed to Php 150.00. After all, I can do this walking tour of Kawasan Falls by myself. I just have to follow the path of the river. But I guess having a guide was better. At least someone carried my backpack for me and took some of my photos as well.
The river was shallow and pristine. My tour guide told me that the day I chose to visit was perfect because the rain has just stopped. Had I been there the previous day, I would’ve seen brown murky water. So thank God for that. I guess this trip was really meant to happen when it did.
It was a good 30-minute walk with lots of photo ops in between. ^_^
When we got to the first wooden bridge (which we didn’t cross), there’s a shop there where we had to pay Php10.00 for entrance fee. Kids who are 7 years old and below can get in for free.
The tour guide told me that about 3 weeks ago or so, an earthquake hit that part of Cebu (and Negros) and caused landslide in the Kawasan Falls area. I took photos of the landslide to show you:
That was quite freaky. Anyway, after crossing this second bridge, we were halfway there.
I saw two souvenir shops along the way. There were also a couple of open cottages for rent.
We then passed by Cebu Electric Cooperative. The tour guide said that when the flow of the water here is strong, the flow of the waterfalls tends to be weak. But when the cooperative sees that a lot of tourists are visiting, then they would turn on the pressure of the waterfalls and the pressure here on the dyke would be weakened. Hmmm…. interesting…
A few more steps from the dyke and I can already see Kawasan Falls. It was so beautiful!
THINGS TO REMEMBER ONCE IN KAWASAN FALLS
The tour guide told me that tables are being rented there for Php300.00 so if I don’t want to be billed, we should be careful not to leave my stuff on the table or they’ll consider it rented. There’s also a raft for rent at Php300 per hour plus life vest for Php50.00. The raft will bring me to the falls so I can bathe under its refreshing waters. But because this trip is unplanned and I didn’t bring much money with me, my tour guide probably pitied me so he told the rafts man that I was his cousin so I can ride the raft for free together with two other foreign visitors. Woah. I wasn’t expecting that. That was really nice of him but I felt guilty at the same time. I said I’m okay and I’ll just stay where I am so I can take pictures. He insisted and said it was okay so I said okay I’ll ride the raft. Of course one of my concerns is my stuff. What if he runs away with it? For some reason my gut told me not to worry so I trusted him, left him all my stuff except for my waterproof camera and enjoyed my time on the raft and under the waterfalls. He took photos of us from afar since he was also carrying my Nikon DSLR.
This day trip to Kawasan Falls was really very much worth it. Kawasan Falls was everything I expected it to be which was why we kept coming back here almost every year. I planned to make the most of my trip to this southwestern part of Cebu so I decided to head to Badian beach after here which I will share with you on my next post.
SUMMARY OF COST
- P8.00 – Cebu Pacific promo fare from Manila to Mactan Airport
- P500 – deposit of my luggage at Mactan Airport
- P191 – white metered taxo from Mactan Airport to South Bus Terminal
- P10.00 – entrance fee to South Bus Terminal
- P131.00 – Bus fare from South Bus Terminal to Kawasan
- P10.00 – entrance to Kawasan Falls
- P150.00 – Tour guide fee
- P300.00 – Rafting to Kawasan Falls per hour
- P50.00 – life vest rental
Bring extra money for your food and drinks, miscellaneous stuff and other things you’d like to spend on like souvenirs.
*Please note that prices can change without prior notice.
VIDEOS OF KAWASAN FALLS
For now, please enjoy these videos I took while I was bathing under the cool and refreshing Kawasan Falls.
For more photos, please head to my FB Page:
Til tomorrow for my Lambug Beach Badian Cebu Day Trip Guide!