Upon invitation of my good friend Reynero “Tata” Escultor, Vice-Chairman of Kawasan Nature Park Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KNPMPC), I decided to include Kawasan Falls in Barangay Matutinao in the town of Badian, 105 kilometers away from Cebu City, in the itinerary of the study tour of the staff of the Socorro Empowered Peoples Cooperative (SOEMCO) based in Bucas Grande Island, Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Philippines. On board 4 hired vans, we left the Hidden Valley Resort in Lamac, Pinamungajan, Cebu at exactly 7:00 o’clock in the morning of April 22, 2011. We passed by the towns of Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Barili, Dumanjog, Ronda, Alcantara and finally Badian. We travelled a few more kilometres until we reached Barangay Matutinao at 10:00 o’clock. From the junction we walked towards the direction of Kawasan Falls with Annabella Esbillas, KNPMPC Treasurer serving as our guide . . .
Along the way, we stopped on a stall to pay the Php 10.00 per head entrance fee. The SOEMCO staff also took turns buying souvenirs such as breaded necklace, bracelets and t-shirts prominently printed with “Kawasan Falls.”
We walked on gravelled road along tributaries crossing in the process three small bridges. As we went deeper into a rainforest, some of the female employees were already starting to feel exhausted. But the roaring in the distance announcing our approach to the phenomenal natural attraction had mobilized our strength to proceed. The roaring increased and became more and more thundering as we went on. Finally, after 30-minutes of walking on a 750-meter road, we reached the First Level of Kawasan Falls. Candidly, it seemed I was hypnotized by the close encounter with this natural spectacle . . .
Since it was a Good Friday, the spot was on a festive mood full of local and foreign tourists enjoying a swim on the turquoise plunge pool . . .
I was preparing to settle and take more pictures but our tour guide signaled that we have to proceed to the second level 250 meters away as our billeting area was situated therein. Hence, we proceeded and maneuvered on sometimes steep and narrow but oftentimes comfortable trails. On our way, my sight was glued at the enthralling view of a fan-type mini falls . . .
Our tour guide signaled that we were already about to reach our destination. I stopped for a while as I was fascinated to see this spillway . . .
We were warmly welcomed by Ms. Myrna Divinagracia, Ms. Milagros Batongmalaki and Mr. Iasuro Belarmino, Kawasan Nature Park Multi-Purpose Cooperative (KNPMPC) Chairman and members of the board, respectively. After taking a sumptuous dinner prepared by the cooperative, the hospitable officers oriented the group on the cooperative’s history, governance and management. Afterwards, the staff engaged in a free-for-all swim into the plunge pool. . .
Scared with the thundering sound of the falls and the plunge pool’s depth, some female staff were just contented with taking pictures of nature and posing with the majestic waterfalls scenery as background . . .
To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to proceed to the Kawasan Falls water source. As I climbed on a steep and sometimes slippery trail, I passed by and took shots of this enthralling view . . .
I slogged further into slippery stones for 30 minutes until I reached the 3rd level cascading Kawasan Falls . . .
Kawasan Falls – Final Thoughts
The sight of a flowing water rapidly dropping in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff is truly a wonderful experience among the SOEMCO staff. The lessons learned on how to operate a cooperative-run nature park are really worth the time, money and efforts.
Finally, the view of a multi-step waterfalls, or a series of waterfalls one after another of roughly the same size each with its own sunken plunge pool, which characterized Kawasan Falls will surely go down as one of the most exciting trips I have had undertaken in my life.