Like most of my travels, the invitation I got for this is just 2 days prior to the actual trip. It might not be considered as an on-the-spot getaway but it is still spontaneous knowing that I was supposed to be in Bantayan Island the day before the actual trip, so I declined my Bantayan escapade. I weigh both of them and it turns out #chasingwaterfalls is more fun than shore lines. Hahaha!
Kabutongan Falls, Malabuyoc
Before I proceed on sharing our experience there, I would just like to make a little introduction about the name of the first falls in our itinerary. It was probably named “Kabutongan” for the reason that you will need to pass a field filled with coconut trees before getting to the falls. “Butong” in bisaya is coconut or coconut tree.
Kabutongan Falls is probably the easiest of all destinations that we have visited during this trip. It is located in Barangay Looc, Malabuyoc. The usual way going to Kabutongan Falls is actually a different route than the one we took since we used a shortcut which is found near an orange lumber house along the highway.
We are on our way to the falls when we met Kuya Joel, our guide. We were not actually planning to get a guide but he approached us and offered to be our guide for just any amount we would like to give. Since he was local in the area and we are not actually quite sure of the way as well, we took Kuya Joel’s offer and let him lead the way.
Say Hi to Kuya Joel
Kuya Joel was actually a very fun and caring guide. Before we even left his house, (since his house was along the way going to the falls) he looked at us and asked if is it okay for us to get wet since me and Hanna are wearing trekking shoes and you need to pass at least 1-2 knee-level rivers to get there. He even asked us if our phones are waterproof because he said that there were also some people that he guided towards Kabutongan Falls who have cameras that are waterproof (which I think what he was referring to are GoPros). We told Kuya Joel that it’s okay so we then proceed crossing rivers and passing through a lot of coconut trees.
The place was actually very peaceful. I wouldn’t say it was not developed yet but it is just that the vibe that it gives me is just like that when you are just visiting a friend’s home. The huts, which are the accommodation they offer, are simple but decent. There are also a lot of flowers planted near the stones which makes the landscape more appealing.
The falls have 4 levels but unfortunately, we are only allowed until level 2 since the path going to 3 and 4 are restricted due to the recent rainfall. Nonetheless, both level 1 and 2 are stunning enough that it made our trip worth it.
Level 1 is just like a natural outdoor swimming pool since it is located just right at the side of the huts. The turquoise flowing water and the level of depths is what makes it an ideal outdoor pool for those who just want to stay in one spot and enjoy nature at its finest. The stones at the sides are actually a little elevated and the water is a bit deep so it is ideal for jumping and for those who are looking for just a little bit of adrenaline.
Level 2 is a few meters away from Level 1 which will require to do a little trek and to cross a shallow river in between two cliffs. The cliffs here reminds me so much of the Marmol Cliff in Tuburan. The level 2 pool is a little smaller in size compared to the first level but I was astonished to see fishes in the pool. It just clearly shows that the place was untouched by human development and the natural feat was preserved.
Mainit Hot Spring, Malabuyoc
Mainit Hot Spring as oppose to Kabutongan Falls is a little crowded. The pools are filled with people, both local and foreign guest alike. They surely enjoyed taking deeps at the steaming pools so we decided to explore the area since they said that it has 7 levels.
Level 1 is where the Hot Springs are located. It plainly just like a stream with steamy pools at the side. The stream itself is not hot, but the pools at the side ranges from warm to 42° hot. That’s like half of the boiling point of water and they said that it can cook an egg. Ha! Who would want to submerge their skin in a water like that?
But after seeing several guest tried taking dips and even our very own guide, Kuya Joel, submerge almost half of his body and just taking small strolls in the pool as if it was nothing, we can’t help but try it. It took me a while to adjust to the temperature but after a few minutes I was able to get used to it and was able to have my feet up to my knees submerge for around 20 minutes. Hahaha! Achievement Unlocked! It is definitely a hot spring that might cause you trust issues if you get to excited and take a dip without reading the signs. Hahaha!
Level 2 is a little elevated than Level 1, you will need to hike up through a carved stairs. There is actually no pool in the second stage. It mostly just streams and trees. However, what I like about the second stage is the canopy that the trees provide. The trees in these areas are tall and their branches spread horizontally at the top that provides a very refreshing canopy and shade. It is also the start point of a mini-cave experience.
Level 3 is the mini-cave stage. You need to pass through small caves to get to the next spot. The third stage have a small pool but deep enough for jumping from Level 4. Basically Level 4 is just at the top of level 3, or to put it into a more descriptive way, it is just one big boulder away from level 3. You need to pass to one more small cave to get to Level 4.
Level is where most of the people are staying. It was probably because it has a pool and a jump off (the one that I mentioned in Level 3). There are actually no huts or tables in the fourth stage. Stones are your new best friend if ever you choose make get on a picnic there. The cliffs are what’s majestic in Level 4 and the elevated stones that is very instagram-friendly.
Unfortunately, we are running out of time and we still have one more destination to go so we cut it short and stopped at Level 4. It was until the day after that we realized that the path we took going up from Mainit Hot Spring is actually the same path that leads to Montaneza Falls. It would have been nice if we continued but we will definitely be going back again to visit more falls in the future.
Cancalanog Falls, Alegria
“All good things comes to those who are patient.”
This is probably the a quote that might describe our journey to Cankalanog Falls. We took a motor taxi (habal-habal) going to Cancalanog Falls because it is not your close-to-the-mainroad type of a waterfalls. Even with us taking a ride going there, it took us around 45 minutes or almost an hour to get there. I felt like an ass-less dude after that ride cause it definitely went numb. Hahaha!
But hey, there’s more!! What happened after that almost an hour ride? Yep, you guessed it right. It doesn’t stop there. You still need to trek for a good 20-30 minutes to get to the falls itself. The route is a sloop so you definitely need to watch your step cause if you won’t, the next thing you will know is that you are already rolling on a cliff.
However, don’t get discourage just yet. Despite whatever I wrote in the first two paragraphs, the scenery alone while taking a hike going to the falls is already worth it. Even the view you get while riding the motor taxi is breathtaking. The view of hills and peaks are very appealing you could almost wish you could take a trek at each of them in the future.
Cancalanog despite all the struggle you have to go through is my favorite of all the three destinations that we’ve been. The water is just so majestic and fishes are all visible even from afar. It is even more ideal for jumping too since it is even higher and much deeper than the first level in Kabutongan Falls. We definitely enjoyed our #chasingwaterfalls expedition. There are still a lot of waterfalls that we haven’t been yet and we will definitely visit them soon. Stay tuned guys!
₱ 172 – Bus Fare from Cebu City to Looc, Malabuyoc
₱ 150 – Bus Fare from Alegria to Cebu City
₱ 35 – Tricycle Fare from Looc, Malabuyoc to Mainit Hot Spring
₱ 35 – Tricycle Fare from Mainit Hot Spring to Alegria
₱ 300 – Roundtrip motorcycle Fare to Cangkalanog Falls
₱ 45 – Breakfast at South Bus Terminal
₱ 60 – Lunch at an eatery in Malabuyoc
₱ 20 – Snacks
Entrance Fees, Guide Fee, Etc.
₱ 20 – Kabutongan Falls Entrance Fee
₱ 30 – Life vest rental (I didn’t rent a life vest though)
₱ 75 – Guide fee for Kuya Joel (₱ 300 as a group)
₱ 20 – Mainit Spring Entrance Fee
₱ 30 – Cangkalanog Falls Entrance Fee