Thursday, May 14, 2009

Camiguin: Killing Time at Katibawasan Falls

Deep in the lush forests of Camiguin, five kilometers southeast of its capital town, nestles an enchanting hideaway for those who want to be pampered by nature's comforting embrace. 

Right smack at the foot of Mt. Timpoong, Katibawasan Falls is one of the island province’s prime attractions that draw in hordes of tourists who either want to gaze at the spectacular cascade, take snaps of its natural allure or plunge into the refreshing waters of its pool.

Before coming to Camiguin, my colleagues and I included the falls in our itinerary of must-sees in the island. To our delight, it was on top of the list of sights that our tour organizers had arranged for us. Right after lunch, we immediately prepared ourselves for the afternoon frolic to the falls as well as the other scenic attractions of the island.

Along with other tourists gathered at Villa Paraiso Hotel, we hopped into one of the vans that shuttled us to the cascade. After a few minutes of winding through Camiguin's well-paved highway and entering its verdant woodlands, we reached the narrow dirt road that leads to the falls. At the entrance, we heard the thunderous rush of falling water, which whetted my desire to see the gushing spectacle that’s only a few meters away from where we parked.

Together with other people, I hiked into a clearing teeming with hawker stalls selling various souvenir items. Some of my colleagues got hooked with the colorful merchandise on display so they lingered there. I moved on and met the tourist spot's hairy receptionist—a little monkey tied to a tree who behaved for a snap.

Walking further, I found myself dwarfed by towering trees, lush shrubs, vines and flowering plants and then finally caught a glimpse of what we came for.

Seen from where I stood, Katibawasan Falls looked so surreal; it was such a sight to behold. I was instantly awed by its more than 70-meter slim drop that headed straight into a lagoon where several people were having a great time swimming in the ice-cold turquoise waters. To get a closer view, I followed a group of youngsters who went down through a concrete staircase that led to a viewing deck, which the local government had built to make the descent more convenient for visitors.

Staring at the falls from the viewing deck, I felt caught in a time warp; it seemed as if the minutes moved in slow motion as we kept snapping at ourselves with the cascade as backdrop. Katibawasan Falls was so spellbinding you could hardly notice the passage of time. We’ve been there for almost an hour but it felt as if it’s only seconds. What a way to kill time! :D

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