After dipping in seawater, we were now itching to refresh ourselves with cold fresh water. And good thing again, it's just 10 minutes away. Our next destination is Matutinao, where Kawasan falls is located.
|Bye bye Banhigan!|
You see a motorcycle that can drive you to Matutinao for Php 200 - Whoops! Don't get too excited to hop on. Buses only charge Php 9 from Banhigan to Matutinao. The best part, they're available every 30 minutes or so. Do yourself a favor and choose the 4-wheeled giant.
As we alighted at Matutinao, motorcycle drivers flocked us. The bad news came from them - that Kawasan was temporarily closed (this was in August of this year; it's probably open by now). BUT they can transport us using another route, albeit a little expensive. Of course it's a clever deal considering the situation. I don't blame them, they need to find a way to profit also. In the end, we humbly said no to the offer.
|Welcome to Ka... Shoo! We are closed.|
We just went to the lady, in charge of guarding the way to Kawasan falls, sitting near the big sign that says "Kawasan Falls Nature Park Temporarily Closed" and talked her on giving an exemption to two poor travelers who are just curious to see what Kawasan Falls looked like (we've been to the falls many times though).
It was a big NO. Smooth talks just couldn't get through her. Next to her was a funny looking old man (we called him Lolo). Lolo suggested we try Canyoning falls. What he really meant was Canlaob falls - recently known for its canyoning activities. I've heard of Canlaob before, but never got the chance to visit the place. So Lolo said he's willing to be our tour guide - but again, the price just wasn't right. I was smelling bad entourpreneurship. This was a trip with no itinerary in mind so we had to be keen on spending. With good intentions, we declined the offer. However, we already knew where our next destination is.
|Oh boo! Next destination please.|
Before jumping into another bus, we asked around for more information about Canlaob falls. Where and how to get there, how much to pay. Those are very essential. A little research goes a long way, so never be afraid to ask the locals.
Info from locals: Canlaob falls is located at Barangay Sangi, the first barangay in Alegria. The bus will drop you off near the market where you can ride a motorcycle that will take you to Canlaob.
Déjà vu. You see a motorcycle that can drive you to Sangi for Php 200 - Whoops! Don't get too excited to hop on. Buses only charge Php 10 from Matutinao to Sangi. And you'll arrive in as fast as 3 minutes.
We arrived swiftly at Sangi and stopped near a bakeshop. We asked a lady how much a motorcycle charges for locals and she said it's only Php 20 per head. It took us a lot of time, and a lot of frowning faces, before we found an honest driver. Here's a tip: go straight to the point - tell the driver that you're paying the usual fare. The good drivers will always agree.
The motorcycle ride takes 15 minutes. On our way, I talked to the driver (let's call him Dodong) and asked him what's the deal with some drivers overcharging. He said that they usually do that when they know you're not a local. When Canlaob became popular, many tourists came and most of them didn't mind the price.
Well, not all people are "tourists".
We arrived at our destination. There are no other modes of transportation from here, so we asked Dodong to wait for us since we're not going to take long. Maybe 30 minutes, max.
This is just the first part of a long stretch of river. Many entourpreneurs, mostly young boys, greeted us and asked if we needed a guide. They could assist us to the lagoon. We smiled and said no, explaining we aren't keen on exploring too much of the river.
|Kids jumping into the pool.|
But we kept on walking...
|This was flora before but they shaved it to have a bigger space for cottages.|
|The cottage might as well be bad news. They're putting a resort.|
|Washing bodies and clothes.|
|You need to cross the other side.|
|Wanted to jump in here already.|
Fifteen minutes of walking and the landscape keeps getting better and the water clearer.
At last we reached the lagoon. This is the farthest we could reach without needing to climb bigger rocks, or using ropes and helmets.
Oh fresh water! Aside from some boys playing Tarzan-swing, we actually had the lagoon to ourselves. I hurriedly jumped in, rubbing off all the dirt I gathered from my journey from Banhigan up to here (sorry to everyone using the water downstream). I swam to the mini falls, did the Tarzan-swing, and laughed with the kids. We enjoyed every bit of the lagoon that we forgot the time. It was past the thirty minutes we had agreed upon, so we hurriedly went back. Good thing Dodong was napping and didn't notice the time.
|I'll be back to Tarzan-swing again.|
This may sound a bit exaggerated but it was the most refreshing feeling I had for a long time. Like eating ice cream after staying too long under the sun.
Hey, speaking of ice cream, after the salty water at Lambug and the fresh water at Canlaob, for the next destination, why not have something sweet? :-)
How Canlaob's fresh water flowed nicely thru Mustachio's pocket:
Bus Banhigan to Matutinao Php 9
Bus Matutinao (Badian) to Singi (Alegria) Php 10
Motorcycle to Canlaob river (roundtrip) Php 50