YEYYYYY!! I just broke my 3 month hiatus from blogging and travelling. That’s what happens when life (mostly studies) gets the hold of you. I was making my thesis for the past 3 months, so coming back to the ‘wild’ feels like coming home of some sort.
I have tried the Kawasan Canyoneering back in 2015. Back when it wasn’t as mainstream as it is now. A lot has changed since then. Nothing stays the same. Well except for my height. (I cry T_T)
Before I get to the crazy, fun part, let me first introduce my friends who were with me. Paulette, Mike, my girlfriend for the day, Jade and the couple who is the main reason why we’re going to the Kawasan Canyoneering, Moses and Urte. With us is our guide, kuya Yan-Yan and Kuya BJ
Moses wanted to show Urte around the Philippines. Kawasan Canyoneering was part of their itinerary. Since we were very supportive friends, we joined in on their PDA-filled shenanigans. Most of us in the group had tried the river canyoneering except for Mike and Urte.
Here’s the rundown of what happened on our trip.
We initially planned to take a bus bound for Badian around 2 in the morning. We knew it was a 3 and a half hour trip from the city so we started our trip very early. It took us a while and was stuck at the South Bus Terminal for quite some time. We were waiting for a non-aircon bus. There were already available aircon buses but were looking for a cheaper ride. By 3:30 AM, we were finally on our way to the south side of Cebu.
We arrived in Badian around 6:30 AM. It was drizzling but the dark weather can’t stop my happy disposition. I was really in a happy mood and was joking the whole time, that’s how positive I was on our trip. Paulette, the designated leader of our group, booked the same tour guide group they had on their first trip to Kawasan Canyoneering. They were really satisfied with the group’s performance. And after our trip, I can see why.
If you’re reading this and haven’t tried canyoneering before, one thing you should do first is to eat. It’s a 3-4 hours trek. That will really burn you out especially if you have an empty stomach to begin with. That’s what we did first right after we left our bags to the guides’ headquarters. We ate our breakfast at a nearby local eatery. I brought the burger I bought for the trip and just ordered a hot chocolate (Milo, because I wanted to beat the energy gap sooooo bad). We didn’t waste so much time. We were all excited even if we’ve tried it before.
Another thing you should remember if it’s your first time is that you will get wet. You will be swimming and jumping off waterfalls. So don’t bring anything that you don’t want to get wet. We only brought our waterproof action camera in hand. Some important things that we didn’t want to get wet were placed in a dry bag brought by our guide. Things like extra batteries, eyeglasses, water bottles, snacks and little bit of cash. The rest of our stuff were left on the guides’ headquarters. By 9:00 AM, we were all set and ready to go.
One of the things that changed from what my canyoneering experience before is the route. During our first try, the starting point was in Alegria (Municipality next to Badian). Now, the route has changed. The canyoneering starts at the borderline of Badian. There was a conflict between the two municipalities that brought to the rerouting. Too bad. I not only made the trek shorter, the thrill of the first jump was gone. During our Alegria route, there’s this first falls wherein you literally need to jump in to start the canyoneering trip. Now, you’ll slowly go down the canyon through a makeshift stairs. If only the two municipality would just end their feud. Tsk-tsk.
On a brighter note, we still enjoyed the trek. Our guides, kuya Yan-Yan and kuya BJ were really funny and so entertaining. There were no dull moment with all the non-stop love (hugot) and green jokes.
Another thing that you should be reminded when you’re trekking the canyon is to always let the guide pass first. Don’t ever think of doing things on your own. The guides know the canyon more than you do. Always ask them first if where you want to climb or go to is safe.
I wouldn’t tackle more about what went through on our canyoneering experience. Our photos will do the talking.
By the end of the trek, we were all hungry, thirsty. Not to mention, exhausted. Good thing that part of the package for the trip was a set meal of our choice. Plus UNLIMITED RICE! Nothing beats a good late lunch with the view of the Kawasan Falls nearby. We started our trek around 9:30 in the morning and ended by 1:30 in the afternoon. The rest of the afternoon was spent just relaxing by the waterfalls and taking lots and lots of photos. Talk about having a mini-photo shoot sesh.
Kawasan falls is a go-to place for both tourist and locals especially during the weekends. So don’t be surprise to see a lot of people around the area. It’s a bummer especially if you’re trying to find a perfect shot with the extra photobombers in the background.
We decided to pack up and head back to the guides’ headquarters around 3:30 in the afternoon. The crowd was too much for us to bear. By 5:00 PM, we were good to go and ready to head back to the city.
CONCLUSIONS & SIDE NOTES:
- Start your trip early to end your trip on time
- If you’re coming from Cebu city, start your trip as early as 2:00 in the morning.
- You aren’t allowed to go to the canyon without a proper guide.
- Book a guide beforehand. It will be easier on your part. (Information about our guide is down below).
- Wear proper foot wear. It doesn’t matter what you wear be it a bikini or just a plain shirt and shorts. The most important thing is that your shoe game is on point.
- The Guide group we hired offers shoe wear if you didn’t bring your own (or if you don’t want to bring home wet shoes).
- You are allowed to bring your action cameras. Non waterproof gadgets aren’t advised.
- The trek guides usually bring dry bags with them. You can hand them small items that you think you might need on the trip. (i.e extra batteries, small cash).
- I brought a DSLR with me on the trip which I wanted to use when we reached Kawasan Falls after our canyoneering.
- Since they don’t allow heavy items on the trip such as my DSLR, they delivered it right after our trip to where we ate our lunch. It cost me another Php 100.00 though.
- Don’t start the trip hungry. You’re going to need all the energy for the trek.
- Halfway through the trip, there is what I call a checkpoint where food is being sold like barbecue and other grilled food. If you didn’t bring enough money with you, your guide will pay for you and you can pay them later.
- Included in the canyoneering package (based on the group we hired) is a bottle of water and some snacks which you could eat along the way. It also includes your meal after the trip. So YEYYY!
- Always follow your guides’ instructions. They know more about the place than you do.
- Wear your lifejacket and helmet at all times. Doesn’t matter if you have Michael Phelps kind of talent in swimming, you need to wear it for your safety. Trust me, there are people who died because they neglected this rule.
- Have fun without causing crazy antics. For your safety and the safety of the people around you. (Wow, I’m starting to sound like a mother, aren’t I?)
IN A NUTSHELL:
2 AM – Meet up at South Bus Terminal
3:30 AM – 6:30 AM – Travel time from Cebu city to Badian
6:30 AM – 8:00 AM – Briefing and preparation for the trek
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM – Breakfast at a nearby local eatery
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM – Final preparation for the trek
9:00 AM – 9:20 AM – Travel time from the guides’ headquarters to the drop off point.
9:20 AM – Registration at drop off point
9:20 AM – 9:45 AM – trek down to the canyon
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM – Rest before entering the canyon
10:00 AM – 1:45 PM – Canyoneering
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM – Late lunch
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Swimming and lounging around Kawasan Falls
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM – started packing up and head back to the guides’ headquarters
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – wash up, pack up and preparing all our things
5:00 PM – Rode a bus back to the city
HIGHLAND ADVENTURES TRAVEL & TOURS
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