1000-Peso Travel Challenge: Chasing Waterfalls in Malabuyoc and Alegria, Cebu
I am not sure if I have already mentioned this on this blog that one of my travel goals is to visit all the cities and municipalities of Cebu. I have been planning to do this since I created Laagan Nga Bata in 2013. Four years and a new blog name later, I still haven’t ticked this off from my imaginary bucket list.
That is why I decided to challenge myself this year to travel as many spots in Cebu whenever I can, and spend only 1000 pesos or less. My goal here is not only to visit all the beautiful destinations in Cebu, but also to prove how easy it is to travel around our beautiful island without actually burning a hole in my pockets.
Luckily, I have few blogger friends who supports this project and I am happy to share with you that we were successful in doing our first 1000-Peso Travel Challenge!
I originally wanted to visit all the waterfalls in the southwestern side of Cebu, but I don’t think one day is enough to visit all of them that is why I decided to choose the peaceful towns of Malabuyoc and Alegria for now.
Our initial plan was to visit Kabutongan Falls, Montaneza Falls, and Mainit Hotspring in Malabuyoc, and Canlaob Falls, Cambais Falls, Montpellier Falls, and Cangkalanog Falls in Alegria. But because we left Cebu City a little later than planned, we had to adjust our itinerary and only got to visit Kabutongan, Mainit Spring, Montaneza Falls, and Cangkalanog Falls. It was fine because we definitely enjoyed the whole trip.
Kabutongan Falls in Malabuyoc
Kabutongan Falls is located in Barangay Looc, Malabuyoc. It is one of the places I would surely love to revisit in the future. Or the town of Malabuyoc in general. The place is so peaceful and serene, staying there will actually keep you off the grid.
It was a sheer drop of luck that there was a man in our bus who led us exactly where the road going Kabutongan Falls is. We were supposed to be dropped off at the town center, and from there find a ride going to the waterfalls. Had we not been told the exact location, we would have paid a God-knows-what amount. We only paid an extra 10 pesos to the bus conductor and we were dropped exactly at the spot where the trek should start.
Please note that as of this writing, there are no road signs yet indicating where the falls is. Just inform the bus driver that you are heading to Looc, Malabuyoc – just a few meters away from the bridge. Look for this orange house for reference.
Kabutongan Falls has four levels. It took us about 15 minutes to trek from the main road going to the first level. Unfortunately, upon arrival, we were told that Levels 3 and 4 were temporarily inaccessible due to rock falls. I would have wanted to see the main drop, but rockfalls can be a major hazard so we had to consider our safety first.
But I wasn’t going to get discouraged right away. After all, we had the whole place to ourselves!
I was mesmerized by the clean turquoise basin of the first level. I simply had to take a dip.
Right after our quick dip, we continued our trek to Level 2. We did not stay long at this level though, since we decided it’s time we take our lunch and proceed to our next destination.
Mainit Hot Spring and Montaneza Falls in Malabuyoc
Our arrival at Mainit Hot Spring is the exact opposite of our peaceful and serene trek in Kabutongan Falls. The place is obviously a frequent go-to place to locals and tourists, as we were greeted by a maddening crowd.
The time we finally had the chance to experience the hot spring, we decided to go directly to the area where the temperature is 42.6 ° C! It was scalding hot, none of us actually decided to dip our whole bodies.
Now here’s the funny part; we saw a path leading somewhere so we decided to follow it. We had no idea that path would actually lead us to Montaneza Falls. I knew beforehand that Montaneza Falls is just near Mainit Spring but, I thought the entrance would be somewhere else. Hah!
There were giant boulders everywhere. It was as if we were entering a series of caves. Sadly, we did not finish the whole trek and stopped somewhere in Level 3 or 4 since we did not have the luxury of time, considering we have one more place to go. One day, I would definitely go back to this place!
Cangkalanog Falls in Alegria
Cangkalanog Falls is probably the one place I have been looking forward to visit since I discovered it a year ago. The journey to this place is one hell of a ride, that I thought it was a perfect place to end our quick getaway. It took us about 45 minutes or so to reach Cangkalanog Falls via motorcycle. If I remember it correctly, we passed several hills, and trekked an additional 15-20 minutes, before we reached our destination. I never thought the location of this waterfalls would be so far.
It was all worth it, anyway. The spectacular beauty of the basin is somehow similar to that of Hinatuan Enchanted River in Surigao del Sur. Too bad I don’t know how to swim! I would have jumped right there and then if I had a life vest. Unfortunately, we did not get to rent one.
Instead, we walked a few meters more and settled on this small creek.
Chilling like a boss, huh?
₱ 172 – Bus Fare from Cebu City to Looc, Malabuyoc
₱ 150 – Bus Fare from Alegria to Cebu City
₱ 35 – Tricycle Fare from Looc, Malabuyoc to Mainit Hot Spring
₱ 35 – Tricycle Fare from Mainit Hot Spring to Alegria
₱ 300 – Roundtrip motorcycle Fare to Cangkalanog Falls
₱ 45 – Breakfast at South Bus Terminal
₱ 52 – Lunch at an eatery in Malabuyoc
₱ 8 – Snacks
Entrance Fees, Guide Fee, Etc.
₱ 20 – Kabutongan Falls Entrance Fee
₱ 30 – Life Vest rental
₱ 75 – Guide Fee (₱ 300 as a group)
₱ 20 – Mainit Spring Entrance Fee
₱ 30 – Cangkalanog Falls Entrance Fee
TOTAL: ₱ 972