5 reasons why you should go canyoneering in Alegria, Cebu
1. A road trip south of Cebu is always worth it. If you leave early in the morning, an entire day for canyoneering should do it, with enough sunlight to spare for the return trip to the metro. Drop by the Carcar Public Market for their famed chicharon and lechon (arguably the country’s best) paired with puso or hanging rice. You could take your lunch in the nearby beaches such as Lambug Public Beach in the adjacent town of Badian. If you’re planning for an overnight stay, you can find a number of accommodations in Badian or Moalboal, towns that offer plenty of must-visit attractions.
2. Conquer your fear. Of heights, that is. There’ll be lots of cliff jumping and water slides that you must accomplish to finish the course. There’s no turning back (did you hear about one participant who took two hours before she finally jumped?). Don’t worry, you should be fine even if you don’t know how to swim, since you’ll be wearing safety gear (helmet and life vest). Just make sure you pay close attention to your guides (required) and follow their instructions. Trust us — this is a perfect and extremely fun way to overcome your phobia once and for all.
3. Experience something extremely awesome. And at reasonably affordable rates at that (unlike some “extreme” adventure activities that will cost you an arm and a leg). Some tour groups offer packages (canyoneering, lunch and transpo), but our group only acquired the guides’ services for the canyoneering activity at P600 per head (check out the Adventure Seekers Facebook page). As long as you have strong knees and a good heart, you’re going to pull it off. In Kanlaob, extreme adventure equates to extreme fun.
4. Gain a deeper admiration and respect for nature. Sorry, but no gadget can capture the exhilaration and awe that canyoneering in Kanlaob brings. Even the best photos can’t give justice to the beauty of the place that nature has shaped and nurtured for years. The activity, though, is a perfect introduction to similar nature adventures you might want to engage in as it will keep you alert, safety conscious and aware of your surroundings, which you need to respect every step of the way.
5. See one of the country’s most beautiful, most pristine places. And we hope it stays that way, unlike the neighboring waterfalls in Kawasan, which has been uglified by overdevelopment, an excess of concrete works, commercialization, and a complete disregard for environmental laws. The Canyons of Kanlaob, in contrast, are unspoiled. In between jumps, the adventurous visitor gets to admire such inspiring, breathtaking natural beauty: flowing from several levels of falls, onrushing waters gather into cool, turquoise pools between stalactite cliffs and boulders, a lush forest canopy overhead. The Canyons of Kanlaob are a special place indeed.
Kanlaob Falls is located in the canyons of Alegria, Cebu, some 121 kilometers from Cebu City. That’s a three-and-a-half-hour drive aboard a private car or V-Hire (van-for-hire) via the Carcar-Barili Road. (You can also take any of the Alegria-bound buses at the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City.) Upon entering Alegria from Badian, watch out for a junction to your left with a signage that reads “Kanlaob Falls.” Take that road. If your vehicle can manage rough roads, continue driving until you reach a cluster of shacks where guides brief visitors for the activity. You can also take any of the habal-habal motorcycles parked at the junction. Some of the drivers will offer to be your guide.
Photos by N.S. Villaflor