Biliran Waterfalls Adventure

Early mornings on a secluded island is somehow 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 the day and got too drunk the night before, that our bodies demanded more sleep.  I fought with myself and eventually was able to witness the beauty of sunrise on the island.

Sambawan island sunrise
By 8:00 in the morning, 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 waters are still calm.

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 on 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 visit at least 3 out of the list we wrote on a tissue paper.

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 to assess which of the waterfalls we could visit within the day. Unfortunately, with less research, we didn’t know that each of the waterfalls on our list are located quite far from Naval and each of them are distant from each other. Some are destroyed due to the recent Typhoon Haiyan. With lesser option left, we voted to just visit two from our list.

First stop: Bagongbong Waterfalls.

Bagongbong is a lesser known, but never of beauty, waterfall of Biliran. Bagongbong is located in Almeria, a municipality of Biliran next to Naval. 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 on the roadside.

one of the scenic views
Upon reaching the drop-off point, you’ll have to hike for at least 15 minutes to reach the actual waterfalls. The driver told us to just follow the trail, and so we did. There are steep descending points on the trail, and there were also fallen trees and boulders due to the recent typhoon.

trail right from the drop-off point
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 a few locals. The place was solely ours. One must be careful when stepping on the stones for there are treacherously slippery and shaky few, that it did not even exempt me from its unforgiving schemes *full body flop, front first*. 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 close 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 challenging. Exhausted from swimming, comes the 15 minutes hike on a constant ascending trail under the heat of the sun.

Next stop: Tinago Waterfalls.

Tinago is one of the famous and tourist packed waterfalls in the island of Biliran. Tinago 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 highly developed and commercialised. We were greeted by several tourist vehicles when we arrived on the drop-off point. One must pay an entrance fee at the front office. As expected, we were greeted by a crowd of tourists enjoying the water. 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 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 (4AM). Had our breakfast on the city and secured our trip back to Cebu. We arrived in Cebu by exactly 10AM, 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

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