Early mornings on the secluded Sambawan Island is relaxing. I planned to wake up by 5:30 in the morning to catch the slow rising of the sun. Unfortunately, my body did not cooperate. We spent a lot of energy and got too drunk the day before, that our bodies demanded more sleep. I fought with myself and eventually was able to witness the beauty of the sunrise on the island.
It was already 8 AM when we were fetched by our arranged trip to Kawayan, Biliran. The trip only took an hour since there were only the four of us as passengers and the ocean was still calm, thus the boat was able to speed up a notch higher.
Meeting you at Kawayan port are “habal-habal” (motorcycles) bound for Naval. The trip to Naval from Kawayan port was roughly around 40 minutes. As we reached Naval proper, we then looked for a place to stay. We found Brigida Tourist Inn just 10 minutes walk away from Naval terminal. The place was quite okay for backpackers and we got it for a cheap deal. Our room was air-conditioned and has a private toilet.
We took a short rest and quick preparation for our next adventure. This time we will be chasing waterfalls. Biliran is blessed with plenty of waterfalls. So the plan was to hit at least 3 out of the list we wrote on a tissue paper.
Here we go!
After having our quick lunch in Naval terminal, we then looked for a “habal-habal” we can charter for our whole trip. We had the driver see our list of waterfalls to assess which of the can be visited within the day. With less research, it wasn’t in our knowledge that each of the waterfalls on our list is located quite far from Naval and each of them are distant from each other. Some were destroyed due to the recent Typhoon Haiyan. With lesser options left, we voted to just visit at least two from our list.
Almeria is a municipality adjacent with Naval. It is where a lesser known waterfall, but never of beauty, has been sleeping awaiting for its further discovery. It took around 30 minutes from Naval terminal to get to the drop-off point. Getting to the location will never be a bore for you will be enjoying the scenic views that you’ll pass. Plenty of vividly green hills, mountains, and rice fields are just right along the roadside.
Upon reaching the drop-off point, you’ll have to hike for at least 15 minutes to reach the waterfalls. The driver told us to just follow the trail, and so we did. We hiked through the steep descending trail where boulders and timbers blocking the way due to the recent super typhoon.
You’ll know you’re near once you can hear the gushing sound of the waters. Excited to take a plunge due to the heat of the sun, we hastened our pace. Upon reaching the spot, we were happy to see that there were no people around except for few locals. The place was solely ours. One must be careful when stepping on the rocks for there are treacherously slippery and shaky few, that it did not even exempt me from its unforgiving schemes. Full body flop! Lagapak! Ang sakit bes! Luckily I only got few scratches on my knees and elbows and I was able to save my phone from the water.
The water was cold. A perfect quench from the heat of the sun. We took a dip. We even dared to get closer to the waterfall and jumped near it. Though one must take extra caution since cold waters could easily give you muscle cramps, and of course the waters are quite deep.
Getting back to the drop-off point was a hell of a challenge. Exhausted from swimming, comes the 15 minutes hike on a constant ascending trail under the heat of the sun.
Tinago is one of the famous and tourist packed waterfalls in the island of Biliran. It is located in Caibiran, right on the opposite side of Naval. Took us around two hours to get there, since you have to cross the whole width of the island. The place is already developed and commercialized. We were greeted by several tourist vehicles when we arrived at the drop-off point. One must pay an entrance fee at the front office. As expected, there were crowds of tourists enjoying the waterfall. We waited for several minutes for some of the tourists to leave. We just took a quick dip and snapped some photos.
Luckily, we were able to snap moments where there were only a few people on the spot.
As the sun started to set, we went back to Naval, had a short rest and quick shower, then looked for a place where we can have dinner. We strolled for a while in Naval before we settled to our place and had our night rest.
The following morning, we got up early to catch the first trip to Ormoc City (4 AM). Had our breakfast on the city and secured our trip back to Cebu. We arrived in Cebu by exactly 10 AM, then we went to our respective home.
List of expenses:
|Sambawan to Kawayan||1300 php for the whole bangka|
|Kawayan to Naval||75 php/head|
|Brigada Tourist Inn||900 php/room/night (good for 4)|
|Chartered “habal-habal”||350 php/head (for the whole tour)|
|Tinago Waterfalls Entrance Fee||10 php|
|Naval to Ormoc City||130 php|
|Ormoc City to Cebu City||525 php|