Saturday, May 2, 2009

a Cebu favorite- the Kawasan Falls, part 1

Having traveled some 100 kilometers from the big city for about 3 hours and then hiked some 30 minutes uphill, I was more than eager to be in Kawasan again. It is Cebu’s most famous waterfalls and I’ve been there twice or thrice. My last visit was some 10 years ago so I wanted to come back, with camera in tow of course.

the rush downstream
a roiling stream beyond the second major falls

The first time I went to Kawasan was some 20 years back, during my backpacking days in college. Things have definitely changed.

Kawasan stream
the river of Matutinao, downstream

The trail upstream requires you to cross from one bank to the opposite side several times, so part of the thrill in the past was to balance yourself on makeshift bridges made of bound bamboos absent any hand railing. Now, there already are three concrete bridges that allow for easy crossings.

arched branches
arched branches provide shade over the river

When before, I felt that I was entering into some uncharted territory through thick green forested thickets and muddy sludges, today, the track is semi-paved with pounded soil or concrete. Still, the trek may be lighter but thanks to a successful community-based environmental management, the “jungle” feeling still holds strong. To its credit, the Kawasan Nature Park, has been awarded numerous times as the cleanest and greenest river in the Philippines.

under the bridge
a concrete bridge before the first major falls

Except for the occasional local bather or laundry washer, a trek to the falls in the late 80s was an exercise of solitude and the occasionally eerieness. Today, the 2 kilometer road already sports modern conveniences from T-shirt stores to ambulant vendors selling cold drinks and ice cream. Who can say now that the journey cannot be leisurely and easy?

a couple of smaller falls
two smaller falls downstream of the first major falls

Part 2: the major falls

To go: Badian is about 90 km south from Cebu City via the southwest Carcar-Barili highway. The Kawasan Falls is in Matutinao, which is marked by a modern church of the same name.

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spearman said...

Kawasan Falls is a great weekend escape while in Cebu Philippines. The water is cool and refreshing! Nice place to hike also...

peenkfrik said...

This makes me want to go back there and bring a camera too! ;)

rohan_cyber_one said...

great shots! really nice views and very good angles....nice!