One thing that traveling taught me is to love extreme adventures. I’ve always been a safe girl. Before, I’m afraid of motorcycle rides because whenever I’m in one, my brain is processing all possible scenarios of accidents and death that can happen. Yes, I’m paranoid like that BEFORE. But now that traveling exposed me to a lot of experiences and realizations, I learned to overcome the fear and learned to focus on the overflowing adrenaline instead. And my overflowing prayers too. So far, what I did in Badian, Cebu is the most extreme I’ve done in my life so far.
HOW TO GET THERE:
from Cebu City: Ride a jeepney or taxi to Cebu South bus Terminal. In the terminal, ride a Ceres bus (P120) that says Bato via Barili. Ask the konduktor to drop you in Kawasan Falls or Matutinao. Travel time is mostly 2 to 3 hours.
from Oslob: Ride a bus going to Bato. Then from Bato Terminal, ride a bus to Cebu City via Badian (P60). Travel time is 1.5 to 2 hours.
Highland Adventure PH
First thing you need to know in Canyoneering is that you need a tour guide. There are a lot of tour guide services available in Badian, you just have to take your pick. I think only few agencies are accepting walk-ins so I advise to reserve a slot ahead. Also, it is a famous activity so far so better be safe by booking ahead. And since this is an extreme adventure and you’re trusting your life to these people, choose a tour guide service that operates legally. I chose Highland Adventure PH, recommended by a friend and, as well as, Drew Arellano.
Highland Adventure PH’s packages rate depends on the number of people. On a group of 5, we paid P1,300/person (with 30% down payment for reservation). The package includes:
- Habal habal ride from Matutinao to Kanlaob
- Entrance and exit fees
- Canyoneering snacks (Fudgee Bar) & bottled water
- Life vest, helmet, dry bag, knee pads, and rubber shoes (if they have your size)
- Lunch (2 ulam) with unli rice and softdrinks in Kawasan Falls
- Tour guides of course
Unfortunately we are affected of the temporary closure of Kanlaob River Canyoneering by the local government because of increasing number of unregulated tour guides and trash in the river. It was effective as of June 1 to August 1 ,2016. So hey dear reader, please promise me to be a responsible traveler by NOT supporting illegal guides and NOT throwing your trash anywhere? Thank you.
I contacted Highland asking if they can’t accommodate us because of the issue but what I didn’t know is that there’s two other rivers for canyoneering. Kanlaob is the most famous site because it’s downstream leads to Kawasan Falls and also because it has the prettiest view. We did our canyoneering in Cancalapi since Kanlaob is closed. Cancalapi is pretty as well, with its clear water and green surrounding the river. But also it is not yet human-friendly for the there’s still no trail and cliffs are hard to climb.
With our two young friendly tour guides, we rode a habal habal first up a mountain I don’t know. From there we started trekking to our starting point. When we arrived to the starting point, we were surprised that we need to jump in a 15 ft cliff (agad agad!) to start this crazy adventure. There’s no other way than this, so yes no excuses. We prayed first then we jumped and, promise in that moment, the adrenaline is too high that I can’t stop laughing and feeling infinite. (Naks!)
One thing you need to know about me is that I have no fear of heights. But these cliff jumpings, which are also my first time, made me feel like I have one. Later on, I discovered that I’m not really afraid of the fall but of what can happen after I hit the water (Nakapagnilaynilay talaga ako sa taas). I’m still working on this fear but thank you for the friends who just keep telling me to jump. Because I did and I’m safe and I’ve experienced it.
Four hours of climbing uphill slopes and rocks, jumping 20ft cliffs, sliding through small waterfall, back floating, swimming in the fresh water, slipping in the rocks, finding a good spot to pee, laughter, jokes, trash talks, entering caves, picture taking and hesitations at first but doing it eventually is basically what happened. My body hurts as hell that night but no regrets because this is definitely a one of the books experience!
Kawasan Falls Ending
Cancalapi River does not lead to Kawasan Falls so we need to ride a habal-habal to the famous falls. We arrived around 5pm in a Saturday so yes, people everywhere. But I couldn’t care more because I’m so mesmerized by the turquoise water of it. Why is it so blue and beautiful!!?? We just took photos and didn’t got the chance to try the rafting (P300/raft/unli tao) because we are so hungry.
Kawasan Falls has three levels. The Highland camp is in the second level so we need to hike a little to get there. Good thing is that food and unli rice awaits us so we are so eager to climb. After eating, we swam because how often can you swim in a a turquoise water??? It is very deep though so we stick with our life vest because we are so tired to float. If you’re brave enough, go try the 60ft jump here and the Tarzan rope.
I know that my words can’t really describe everything so here’s a video instead: