Have you ever dreamed of going in an adventure where you traverse dangerous waters to be rewarded with a breathtaking experience with an untouristed waterfall in the end? Then you are in the right blog to breath life into that dream. Kabutongan Falls in Malabuyoc offers such escapade for those with adventurous heart and the ultimate break to your mundane city life only to those who have the courage to embrace it. The river trek is more than enough to pump some adrenaline into your system and give your muscles a good stretching. You will be rewarded with one of the most satisfying waterfall experience for all your efforts and a good story to share to the monotonous city folks. Imagine a rock beautifully shaped by an undying flow of the waterfall dropping in the emerald colored water with cave swiftlets and bats flying in and out of the cave beneath it. I know it's too much for your senses to visualize I was overwhelmed too when I was there.
It was another weekend of adventure for the Project Waterfall team. We originally plan to explore Catmon and the town's hidden wonder but we were discouraged by the commercialization of the area. Somehow for us it has lost its charm and add in the waiting list for people that you need to make a reservation first inorder to experience what is freely given by nature. So we decided to scratch it out of the list and go back to Alegria to conquer the remaining waterfalls and do a short side trip in Malabuyoc in the process.
That is how it came to be Malabuyoc was just a side trip and we are hoping to be done with the town before lunch but it turns out we spend majority of the day in this small municipality all because of that beautiful spot in Kabutongan. And we never regret a single moment of it.
It was Sunday and our thirst for adventure is burning like a midday sun. We left Cebu around 5 in the morning and arrived earlier than expected, a few minutes before 8 am. Based in our experience in that day we have proven that the non air-conditioned bus really is faster than the air-conditioned one plus it is much cheaper. I always prefer the latter because I crave for a good dose of fresh air in rural area and the unobstructed view of the scenic landscape is priceless. We get off the bus near the church of San Nicolas de Tolentino and I admire the cleanliness of this small town. They even have a free WiFi access in their waiting lounge.
We consumed our breakfast as fast as we can to save more time for the adventure ahead. We are a group of 8 explorers and we were supposed one more companion who spend an overnight vacation in the neighboring town. Unfortunately, that companion was unable to wake up early due to being drowned with booze and men the night before. For our itinerary going solo is possible but it is highly recommended to stick with a group because we spend most of our time making justifiable deals with habal-habal and tricycle drivers to take us where they don't usually go. It only costs us Php 10.00 per pax in going to Kabutongan from the Malabuyoc town proper in a tricycle.
The landmark where to stop is the wooden gate in the left side of the highway. From then on we took a short trek in a scenic forest that looks like the African Savannah and pass through a huge tower transmitter. We pass by a herd of goat and some domesticated dogs on the way.
The first sign to know you are in the right path is a road which leads you down to a river and you can ask the locals here for directions. It is really not that hard you can just follow the source of the river.
On the way to the waterfall, we meet a really enthusiastic local who shares a story with us about a cursed who was absorbed by the rock near the river. He even lead us to its location and said recently a lot of faith healers dig a piece of that rock for its healing qualities. As much as I love a good folklore story such as this I usually take it with a grain of salt. And I couldn't even make out a human feature in the rock and it is hard to spot due to its normalcy. He have to throw a stone directly into it so we would know where to look.
After almost a thirty minute relaxing trek, a beautiful small waterfall signal us that we are near our destination. A wooden arch welcomes us in the small resort they have build around the waterfalls. We paid the Php 10.00 entrance fee before we were let in and registered our name in the guestbook they have. The resort have small cottages, bathing area, diners and some small rooms for those planning of an overnight stay. Don't worry they have justifiable prices as of now for the establishment.
Honestly, I was disappointed at first because I thought that was all there is to it. There is a clean river to dive in and a small waterfall that look more like a stream. The thoughts that keep running in my head at that time is we can't possibly be spending an hour in this dull place. I never expect a hidden beauty lurks somewhere in that area. As I was busy trying to get a good shot of waterfall I did not noticed my companions moved on to a path I did not noticed.
For those who possesses an adventurous spirit must proceed to the challenging river trek ahead. Leave all the dull companions in the comfort of the resort. Fortunately for our group we share that kindred spirit and accepted the challenge which awaits us even if not all of us are ready to face such ordeal. Another beautiful gateway of natural rock formation welcomed us to the starting point of the river trek. What awaits us is more than I anticipated and I was filled with so many emotions while traversing it alone.
I have no idea what lies ahead of us so I guess that plays a huge part of my excitement in this experience. So I ask around if there's really a waterfall ahead. Hey! I have to make sure that my trek is worth it. I get a nod from almost every people I've encountered on the way. They say that it is not that far so that comes as a good reassurance on my part because I wanted to traverse it alone without any guide to lead me which way to take.
My explorer and loner side kicks in when I noticed the team left without me. I was like "screw them! I will enjoy this experience alone" in my head. So instead of going in the regular route which is is by following the river I took the cliff side of the valley ignoring the danger sign the locals posted.
That route started out as a breeze because there is a clear trail but as I go on I started to regret I ignored that signpost. The trail get really narrow and steep later on on and some parts I literally have nothing to step on so I mostly depend on some vines and rock to hold on to. In some parts I was literally hugging the side of the vale. Every time I look downwards to the team, who are having a hard time traversing through the huge boulders below, I got dizzy. I definitely have no fear for heights but in that situation it is so hard not experience an inkling of fear everytime I move my body to a foot barely holding on to a rock. My mind is filled with "what ifs" in that moment "what if I'd fall down that cliff will I be okay and still to continue this adventure..." add in the huge boulders waiting to catch me below if ever I'd be careless and accidentally made a wrong choice.
|The Gang Enjoyed The Experience. Hope You Will Too!|
HOW TO GET THERE?
Tip! Take the earliest bus possible.