1K-Peso Challenge: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls ♫♪ But I Did!

cancalanog falls

It's been quite a long time since I went waterfall hopping so a few weeks ago, I jumped at the idea of going to the South again to chase waterfalls. I felt like I needed some form of exercise these days aside from cleaning the entire house everyday and biking around town. So.. chasing waterfalls, it is! 

Thankfully it was a Sunday so I had some time to sleep the night before. I wanted to have all the strength I could to keep myself alert and awake during our adventure. We originally planned (or did not really) this activity with our fellow bloggers, courtesy of Bean in Transit, as a challenge to ourselves to spend only Php 1000 or less in exploring different parts of Cebu. Yey! 

Sunday came and only four of us decided to go, teneng! Our call time was at 4 am, then moved to 5 am, but we eventually left at around 7 am! Haha. Our destinations: Malabuyoc and Alegria! 

I didn't expect that it would be soooo far. We took a Ceres mini-bus and it was literally a butt-numbing ride, with all sorts of stop along the way. I think it took about 4 hours before we finally reached our first destination. 

First stop: Kabutongan Falls, Malabuyoc

It's likely called Kabutongan because the place is surrounded by coconut trees. The moment we got off the bus, I immediately inhaled the fresh air! For real - whew!! 

malabuyoc, cebu

It was just a 15-minute trek or so to the base of the waterfalls, thanks to our accidental talkative local guide, Kuya Joel, who gladly offered his help when we're on our way to the falls. And we gladly accepted his offer since we couldn't afford to get lost at 11 am! Lol. 

malabuyoc, cebu

malabuyoc, cebu

It was sheer joy when we arrived because we practically "owned" the place as we were the only ones there! The water was so crystal clear and clean. Welcome to level 1 of Kabutongan Falls. 

kabutongan falls, malabuyoc, cebu
*Bloggers being bloggers, of course. 

malabuyoc, cebu

malabuyoc, cebu
*One of my favorite photos

malabuyoc, cebu

Here I was semi-camouflaged with a big rock. Haha! The real challenge was how to get to that rock in one piece when you don't know how to swim. 

malabuyoc, cebu

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how people who love the water but don't know how to swim take the challenge and enjoy it. Nyahaha! 

malabuyoc, cebu

One group shot courtesy of my Bluetooth remote control and tripod. ;) 

malabuyoc, cebu
*Sunday Squad

The waterfalls have 4 levels but unfortunately, we were only allowed to be until level 2 because of the recent rain and at that time, we didn't have an experienced guide to go up to the last level. We all still enjoyed our stay though! 

malabuyoc, cebu
*Entry to level 2

There was nothing really spectacular with level 2 so I didn't take lots of photos anymore. We decided to move on to the next falls after taking our lunch. 

malabuyoc, cebu
 *Rea being Rea. 

malabuyoc, cebu

Second stop: Mainit Hot Spring, Malabuyoc 

With our guide, we took a tricycle to Mainit Hot Spring just a few minutes from our first stop. The word mainit means hot so it's technically Hot Hot Spring? I think it is. 

Mainit was quite the opposite of Kabutongan because there were many locals and tourists. We had to wait for our turn to try the hot spring. There were 3 springs with different degrees of hotness (lol!) and we chose to go directly to the hottest which was approximately 42º C. We only dipped our feet and we didn't even last long, ouch! 

malabuyoc, cebu

mainit hot spring, malabuyoc, cebu

Upon following some people while walking, we didn't realize we were already heading to another waterfalls. We later found out that it was Montaneza Falls which was really part of our original itinerary. We had to navigate into narrow and rocky paths to reach the falls. It's actually a bit scary with all the huge rocks or boulders.  

montaneza falls, malabuyoc

montaneza falls, malabuyoc

Our funny guide came looking for us all the way to level 4 (I guess) and we knew it was about time to go. After dipping our feet in super hot water, we made our way out to our next destination - the town of Alegria


Third stop: Cancalanog Falls, Alegria

It was already 4 pm when we're still trying to decide whether we should move on to the next waterfalls or not. We originally planned to go home by 5 pm. But somehow, we need something more to end the day right. The motorcycle drivers we asked said that it would take another hour to get to Cancalanog/Kangcalanog Falls (lots of spelling variations online). 

After a few seconds of discussion, all of us decided to go to the falls since we were told that the last bus trip would still be at 8 pm. We still had time! And so we started another butt-numbing and shaky motorcycle ride up the hills and the mountains. 

The ride took about 45 minutes then we had to trek downhill for another 15-20 minutes (it might have been longer). I think we walked fast enough. We didn't even rest along the way. But it certainly wasn't a walk in the park! As you will see below, we had to walk through vast trees and immense forest.

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu
*Into the woods

When we arrived, we had the best time because once again, we "owned" the place. We enjoyed the fresh and serene atmosphere, as well as the photo sessions. Lol.

At first look, I really wanted to jump! But ennngg, earth to me! The attendant said it's around 15 ft down there and I don't think I could survive that without a life vest. Haha dang! The water was so tempting, although I expected to witness the usual waterfalls. As you can see though, it's super cute! 

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu

This makeshift bridge would move with just a little action from you. I told my friends to save me in case I'd fall. Took a little courage to cross it. Haha! 

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu

I safely reached the other side though! And back.. 

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu

We ended the day with a cold dip... somewhere we could truly enjoy (because our feet could still reach the rocks below, lol). At this point, we put our phones down and enjoyed the cold water, the peaceful scenery, and the funny conversations. Ahhh, nature at its finest. 

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu

cancalanog falls, alegria, cebu

All's well that ends well. At around 6 pm, we were on our way home. The way back was even more challenging because we had to walk in an upward direction. And I didn't have drinking water anymore. Waaah!

I tried to savor as much fresh air as I could, hoping that I could put it in a bottle to take home. Yeah, bottled fresh air, why not? But by the time I'd arrive, it wouldn't be fresh anymore. Haha, just rambling. 

I caught a glimpse of the orange sunset on our motorcycle ride home and the day somehow reminded me of the song Waterfalls by TLC. So would you go chasing waterfalls? Or would you stick to the rivers and lakes that you're used to? 

Update! I've sort of revamped my YouTube channel and created a video for this adventure! Yup, just for the fun of it. It's not of high-quality but I guess this will do for now. ;) I'm not even sure how often I'll have time to edit and post my gazillion videos that I've been saving on my phone. Lol, but I'll try. Hope you'll find time to subscribe here -- Blissful Snapshots YouTube


Since this is also a budget challenge, I'm going to outline the expenses to prove it's really 1K. ;) 
By the way, we will have another challenge next month. Yey! 

Transportation (per pax):

Php 172 – Bus from Cebu City to Looc, Malabuyoc 
(but I only paid Php 145 because my starting point was Minglanilla, Cebu) 

Php 35 – Tricycle from Looc, Malabuyoc to Mainit Hot Spring

Php 35 – Tricycle from Mainit Hot Spring to Alegria

Php 300 – Motorcycle to Cangkalanog Falls (Roundtrip) 

Php 150 – Bus from Alegria to Cebu City 
(but I only paid Php 133 because my drop off was at Minglanilla, an hour away from the city) 

Food (my expenses were different from the rest):

Php 52 – Simple lunch in Malabuyoc

Php 15 - bottled water (because I forgot to bring)

Other Fees (per pax) 

Php 20 – Entrance Fee: Kabutongan Falls 

Php 30 – Life Vest (because I'm not a swimmer, lol)

Php 5 - I had to use the comfort room, sheesh. 

Php 15 - I just told the attendant to keep the change (from my payment for life vest & CR).

Php 75 – Guide Fee (our own discretion)

Php 20 – Entrance Fee: Mainit Hot Spring 

Php 30 – Entrance Fee: Cancalanog Falls 

TOTAL: Php 927 (for me) or Php 939 if you're coming from Cebu City (and would still be less if you skip the life vest, comfort room, and other personal stuff)

Challenge Achieved! 

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