Palawan offers a long list of waterfalls to visit, and you can go on ‘eenie-minnie-miney-mo’ on your choices and still end up with a good one. If you’ve crossed off Tibag Falls in Bacungan from your list and is looking forward to another adventure, you might want to look further down south. The southern areas of the province, home to mountain ranges, hills and valleys, host several waterfalls, many still unpopular to tourists. A lot of you are probably familiar with Estrella Falls in Narra, but how about going almost to the southern tip of mainland Palawan? If you’re into disconnecting from the bustle of the city and into some adventure down south, here’s another hidden gem: Kapayangan Falls in Barangay Malihud, Bataraza.
Okay, let me insert some facts here, as I can’t help my news writer instincts. My intention of promoting Kapangyan Falls is as a support to RA 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009, which says that we must “promote a tourism industry that is ecologically sustainable, responsible, participative, culturally sensitive, economically viable and ethically and socially equitable for local communities”.
That being said, let’s go on to a lighter mood now, and go ala ‘Dora-the-Explorer’ with me. Looking for an adventurous trek and a majestic view of waterfalls chasing into each other for this summer? Kapangyan Falls is a perfect choice for you!
What the Place Offers
Trekking through slopes in Bataraza’s forest will satisfy your appetite for mountainous adventures. The main falls reaches around 20 to 25 meters in height, with a moderate flow of clear cold waters. Enjoy the 2 to 4 meters-deep of super-cold water to rejuvenate and relax your tired muscles. The cascading water can beat (well, almost) your favorite spa or masseur.
How to Get There
Barangay Malihud is around 225 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa. Bataraza, which is Palawan mainland’s southernmost municipality is at least a 5-hour ride via van from the city.
Kapangyan Falls can be reached by trekking a six-kilometer trail of mountain slopes, through ravines surrounded by green forest. It will take you about 45 minutes before you can reach the final cascades. The entrance to the trail is possible via the national highway traversing Malpot Road of Barangay Malihud.
The way to the falls is slippery and occasionally rough, which is caused by water showers that make the soil soft and mushy. The stones nearby are also slippery and covered by moss, so care is immensely advised.
What to Wear and What to Bring
If you’re a bit sensitive to grass and bushes, wear long-sleeves and long pants with swimsuit as your undergarments (yes you may!). Wear slippers or easy-dry hiking shoes, depending on your preferences. Lastly, only bring what you need, such as a bottle of drinking water, snacks, packed lunch, extra clothes and, of course, your camera.
On your way home, or maybe before you start trekking, you can drop by to admire a “Japanese-inspired” house in the mountain. Arigatou gozaimasu for bearing with me!
There’s a big signage in one of the trees that says “Huwag magtapon ng basura dito,” so I guess there is no need to elaborate here—please properly dispose of your trash!
For security reasons, coordinate with Captain Jofrael Bahande of Barangay Malihud. It is also advisable to coordinate your trekking activity with the nearest 412 Marine Company station of Malihud or in Rio Tuba, Bataraza. Although, I think what I did was a little bit OA haha! See? I’m heavily guarded!
It is also highly recommended to visit the falls with a guide from Bataraza’s Municipal Tourism Office. You may contact Recto Gervacio or Roderick Selga through this number: 09127100305. There is no entrance fee [yet] and no fixed price for the tour guides. You can negotiate a price with them.
About the Author: Catherine Santos, more locally known as ‘Katya Santos’, is a broadcast-journalist working as Writer/Managing Editor of Palawan News and as Puerto Princesa correspondent of CNN Philippines. During her not-so-free time, she loves working as a Virtual Assistant (VA) for local and international clients. Katya loves watching Koreanovelas and Japanese anime or movies, and her ultimate dream or #travelgoal is to see Japan.
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