CAMIGUIN | Habal-Habal Rides to Katibawasan, Tuasan Falls of Camiguin


The moment I was obsessed with long exposure photography, I was also enthralled with waterfalls, maybe because the first is the best way to capture the beauty of the latter. I even purchased an ND filter to take better photos of Camiguin waterfalls.

On a recent trip, two waterfalls located in the province of Camiguin were added on my list; both are might with opposing features. Habal-habal is most preferred by people in Mindanao as a way of transportation because it can go on different terrains. Few visits to this part of the country and I already mastered the art of habal-habal riding.

With a habal-habal, Katibawasan Falls was the first destination I’ve checked in Camiguin. Located in the town of Mambajao, the province’s capital, the 250-foot high waterfall is situated at the foot of Mt. Timpoong. Entrance fee is Php 30. It was crowded during my visit with some of the tourists enjoying the freezing cold waters in its basin.

The falls is not that visible from the entrance because of the narrow cascade of water plus a crowd of trees that cover it. You need to descend for tens of steps before you can actually see the mighty falls. With its height, framing it in the camera was a challenge. Finding the right place and angle was really tough.

Mighty yet meek, a little contradicting but the exact words I used to describe Katibawasan Falls. The smooth surge of water coming down sprinkles to the basin that provides temporary bliss to everyone.

“This is the most beautiful sight I have ever seen,” a tourist yelled as he took a selfie in front of the waterfall blocking my frame. I was not sure if the statement was meant for me. I wanted to contradict him that there are a lot of other attractions better than this, but I refused to say a word.

I continued to take photos of the highest waterfall in Camiguin. The habal-habal driver told me that it is alright for him to wait if ever I decide to plunge into the chilling water. I soaked my hands and fretted that the cool water might give colds. He was surprised when he saw me going out of the park.

Concrete Roads to Tuasan Falls

With a lot of curves, slippery curves, I am slowly discovering the art of habal-habal riding. Tourism department of Camiguin worked a lot in making the tourist destinations accessible to visitors by the concrete roads. But I am disheartened with the on-going project to Tuasan Falls.

It was the first time Jun, the habal-habal driver, made his way to Tuasan Falls and thanks to a signage and a DPWH worker for giving us the directions on how to get to the other known waterfall of Camiguin. Horde of workers was busy doing their own job including a bulldozer and a backhoe being manipulated to dig and level the planned path.

I can already hear the sound of Tuasan Falls but it was out of sight. After few meters, I saw it, exactly behind the truck which was also being loaded with soil and boulders. A large board stands on the other side of the stream that shows the project name, and the budget for concreting the way to the attraction.

Unlike Katibawasan which is high and gentle, Tuasan is lower in height but forceful. Rocks, of different sizes, clustered from the basin all the way to the stream where the water flows. It was 2 in the afternoon and the searing heat of the sun, plus the idea of concreting the road to the falls, hindered me in to stay longer at the tourist attraction. I called Kuya Jun and got to the next destination, the Cold Spring of Sto. Nino.


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