Sunday, January 3, 2016

BANGON WATER FALLS

Location: Barangay Tinaplacan, Calbayog City, Samar, Philippines

The three-tiered Bangon Waterfalls


Bangon Water Falls is a scenic 3-tiered waterfall with a combined height of 60 meters located in Barangay Tinaplacan, Calbayog City. It is just one of the 20 water falls in the area. This is the reason, why Calbayog has been tagged as the “City of Waterfalls”. Barangay Tinaplacan is just one of the 157 barangays of Calbayog.

I was enjoying a cool dip in the second upper falls of Bangon


Going to Bangon Falls is a double treat as one can have the option to enjoy both Bangon and Tarangban Falls. The latter is an upstream trek of 21 minutes. But my team of three consisting of the Habal-habal driver, Baltazar Salomon and my guide, Julio Garbo, opted to trek first to Tarangban Falls before we settled at Bangon Falls. The habal-habal ride is just approximately 10 minutes starting when you drop in Barangay Tinaplacan along Maharlika Highway or Pan Philippine Highway. The habal-habal drive cuts through an uncemented road nestled in scenic mountain slopes of coconut trees.

The best pool basin on the falls second layer


One can reach Bangon thru a habal-habal (single motorcycle) which costs P300 for a minimum of two passengers and the guide costs P200. But there can be one guide for a maximum of six people. I was alone then with my driver and guide.

Putting back my clothes for the sake of photography


From the point where the habal-habal parked, one may trek upstream for around 10 minutes. One has to trek against a running stream cascading downstream coming from the falls. Solid and massive rocks where you step on might be slippery and you have to look closely on it to avoid slipping down.

End of the habal-habal drive where 10-minute trek starts


When I visited this waterfalls on December 29, 2015, I came from my hometown in Barangay Malajog which is closer compared to Calbayog City and I boarded a public utility jeepney for a fare of P30 and it took 54 minutes for the road travel to reach Brgy. Tinaplacan. But if you are coming from Calbayog City, it is 45.2 kilometers with a P40 fare in a public utility transport. Barangay Malajog is just another one of the 157 barangays of Calbayog.

Entry point of the 10-minute trekking trail leading to the water falls


As per my diary, when I took a small public utility jeep coming from Barangay Malajog to Barangay Tinaplacan, it took me 54 minutes with just a distance of 21.2 kilometers for a fare of P30. But when I took an airconditioned bus coming from Calbayog City passing Barangay Tinaplacan for a distance of 45.2 kilometers, it only took 45 minutes.

Part of the 10-minute drive along uncemented road leading to the jump-off point of the waterfalls


If you are in Calbayog, you can also visit the following:

Capul Island, San Antonio Island, Dalutan Island, Sambawan Island, The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Shrine, Ciriaco Hotel, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Other Calbayog tours, San Juanico Bridge, MacArthur Landing Memorial National Park, Limasawa Island, Tarangban Water Falls, Tabokno Waterfalls, Dakdak Beach Resort, San Rafael Farm (Babatngon, Leyte), Kalanggaman Island, Biri Rock Formations, and Pink Beach of San Vicente Island

As to the budget, it can be broken down as follows:

SN Particulars Amount
1. Round trip bus fare from Pasay City to Calbayog City (P1,200 one-way)
2,400
2. Round trip public utility transport from Calbayog to Barangay Tinaplacan (P40 one-way)
80
3. Guide fee for a maximum of 6 pax
200
4. Share in double passenger habal-habal ride
300
5. Affordable and decent accommodation in Calbayog City in 3 Gems Pensione overnight (good for two) with an address in JPR Subdivision, Barangay Obrero with landline at (055) 2094055
550
6. Average costs of meal in Calbayog (Jollibee, Chowking and other fastfood) for three meals for an average of P100 per meal
300
7. Average cost of meals during bus stops at least two not to include the bottled water of P30 for 500ML
300
8. Matnog terminal fee
30
9. Northern Samar Port terminal fee (Either Allen or San Isidro)
25
10. Comfort room usage fee during bus stops for P5 (3 stops)
15
TOTAL
P4,200


There are a number of hotels in Calbayog City ranging from the luxury hotel of Ciriaco to budget accommodation but for a backpack traveler like me, I prefer 3 Gems Pensione House.

HOW TO GO THERE

You might find this link useful if you opt to travel by bus to Calbayog City

Please note that when you travel by bus, you have to pass through the Pan-Philippine Highway along Bicol Peninsula heading for Matnog Port of Sorsogon province, the tip of Luzon Island. Then, a ferry boat of 1 hour and 30 minutes will take you either to San Isidro or Allen ports, both part of Northern Samar and the bus drive will take you for another 1 hour and 30 minutes heading to Calbayog City. If there are no delays most particular in the ferry boat travel, it will only take 17 hours from Manila to Calbayog City but be prepared for additional money for your meals during bus stops for meals averages to P150 not to include the drinking water. The cost of the ferry fare is already included in the bus fare. However, the terminal fee in Matnog and Northern Samar is shouldered by the passenger.

Or you may also opt to travel by plane where Calbayog has its airport and this link maybe of great help to you.

OTHER CONCERNS:

To avoid costly food during bus stops, take with you food and drinking water. In addition, it is also very cold in the bus as you are boarding an airconditioned one. Thus, take with you a thick jacket.

It is also advisable to take with you additional cash for the crossing in Matnog to Northern Samar sometimes you get delays and so you need to spend additional cost for your meals.

It is also cheaper to travel in group as expenses can be shared. Chartered vans are available in Calbayog City and you can even maximize your travel itinerary on a Samar-Leyte-Biliran trips where I tried it in a group of 10 for 8 days and we only spent approximately P14,000 which we opted to take a bus travel from Manila to Calbayog City and going back to Manila we took our route via Cebu City by plane coming from Maasin City of Southern Leyte.

Do not worry, if you spend this amount. There are a lot of places where you can visit in Calbayog but that will entail additional cost. Good luck and enjoy.

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