Let’s take a break from all the Aussy adventure and move on to something a little closer to home. I’m not exactly an extreme sports/adventure junkie, but something in me thought it might be a fun idea to try out Canyoneering in the South of Cebu. First off, I have no idea what it is or what it entails- but the photos seem pretty cool and when you’re a blogger like me, you do it for the insta. LOL I ended up really enjoying myself though! Watch this little video we made of our adventure, and keep reading!
We called on a few of our friends to join us for a little Sunday Funday, but saturday night won over us, and Slater and I ended up doing it alone. That wasn’t exactly a bad thing though. Less people in the group mean a faster trekking pace, and less people for the guide to watch over- so I’m guessing it’s probably safer.
If you don’t have a car, you can hop on a bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal and have them drop you off at Barangay Matutinao (in front of the Matutinao Church) for P110-130. Rates depend on whether or not the bus is air conditioned. Since it’s about a 2-3 hour journey, I suggest taking the air conditioned bus! I haven’t exactly tried it, but I heard people fight for seats, so it’s best to come early and get comfortable for the long day ahead.
We skipped this whole process and brought a car instead. We parked at Matutinao Church and met our guide there. His name is Lemuel Aspacio (firstname.lastname@example.org +63 926 112 0868) and you can check him out at his very well curated Instagram feed here. You will need a guide to help you navigate the canyons, and I do highly recommend Lemuel. He grew up in Badian and he knows these canyons in and out. Plus, he practically saved our lives! (You’ll see how in a bit!) Lemuel’s fee is P1,300 per person, inclusive of Habal Habal rides, a Helmet, Lifejacket, Aqua Shoes, Entrance fees and lunch at Kawasan Falls. We brought our own gear, but they will be happy to bring some for you in case you don’t have any. He also had his own aqua bag, so you can leave your camera and phones with him while you trek.
At the beginning of the journey, you’ll be asked to jump off an approximately 2-3 story high cliff into the water. Note that the cliff is not a flat platform- its quite slippery and rocky. Yep- they make you start hard! If you’re too chicken to do this (cause guys, I’m not kidding, it kind of freaks you out!), you may fall in line behind the hoards of tourists and climb down instead. Being that there were only 2 of us and we were (for lack of a better term) atat, we
were forced chose to jump down.
After the jump, you slowly move forward and… well- do more jumps, and slides, and climbs. It sounds difficult, but the cool breeze makes it a whole lot easier. Also, another good thing about trekking with less people is that you get to move ahead quickly and avoid the crowd. (This also lets you take better photos :P)
And as you can see from above (and deduce from his instagram feed), Lemuel likes taking photos and asking you to pose (cheesily) for him as well! He kept asking us to stop and pose whenever the other tour groups fell behind. LOL (Maybe he knew I’d blog about this :P) I say why not? All in good fun!
I knew there would be a lot of “action” on this trip, so I chose to wear aqua leggings and a rash guard to avoid getting cuts and scrapes. Honestly though, I thought about bringing a one piece swimsuit to change into just so I could take nicer looking photos- but I figured it would be better to get into the experience instead of thinking about my pictures too much. Besides, I didn’t want to cause a tourist hold up and have angry people staring at me thinking I’m a lunatic 😛
I was mostly excited about this slide down because it seriously looked so cool! Slater got to do it before me, and it totally hyped me up even more. I made sure to turn the Go Pro on so I could take a video of me sliding down too. Guys, panoorin nyo nalang ang video below para makita nyo kung gano ka fail ang pagbaba ko LOL. Lemuel told me to keep my legs together so I put my right foot on top of the left. With the strong current pushing me down though, I ended up twisting around and lying face down while sliding down. It hurt guys!!! Buti nalang talaga I didn’t wear a swimsuit LOL.
And this is the crazy part. We were about to jump into another stream, but Slater said he wanted to take a video, so we stopped for a bit and turned on the camera. Just then, a huge branch from a tree above falls down literally inches away from us. Lemuel jumped from one side of the Canyon towards us and pushed us to the wall so we wouldn’t get hit. We were wearing helmets so even if we did, it wouldn’t have been that bad. But Lemuel wasn’t, and the branch almost cut his head! That branch was about the size of 2 large men combined! It was sharp and heavy and could easily have killed us!!! If we didn’t pause for a second- we’d definitely be goners. All of the other guides ran towards us and asked if we were okay because they heard it all the way from where they were! Guess there really must have been a guardian angel taking care of us then. Phew!
After a looong and tiring journey, we end at the beautiful, yet sadly commercialized, Kawasan Falls. There, you can relax and have lunch like we did, or you can rent a raft and enjoy the view or even go under the falls. It wasn’t quite as tranquil as it looks though. There are just one too many colorful umbrellas on the side, too many vendors, and a whole lot of tourists. So just be prepared!
From Kawasan Falls, you can walk back to where you parked and take a quick shower at the public restrooms. I’m quite the neat freak and I saw poop in there while coming in, so I skipped that part and just decided to shower at home. (TMI) On the way back, we saw a Milk Station (the first time I’ve ever seen one in my life) and thought it was a cute quaint little place for a snack. It was. Except it didn’t really taste nice. But the view was cute, and you can pee there if you need to! 😛
All in all it was a loooong but super worth it trip, and I’d definitely recommend it for a fun day trip in Cebu! So go out of your bubbles and get exploring!