Chasing waterfalls in Biliran

Lush green palm tree jungle surrounds us when we park the scooter. We walk for about half an hour, and the only sign of human interaction is the path we walk on and bunches of cut coconuts laying by the side.

The green gets tighter as we walk, and some places we can´t avoid getting stung by spiky plants closing upon the path we are following. The only sounds are the birds and insects surrounding us and the odd animal that escapes the path when we come too close.

The path ends up in some steep stairs going down, and we hear the boulder sounds of a waterfall coming closer. It is dreadfully hot, and we start walking faster to cool down in the water.

What meets us first, is the second pool of the waterfall. Then, looking further up, we can´t believe our eyes. We are standing looking up steep, wet walls on three sides with dripping water, and above the upper pool, the waterfall rushes down in top speed making a cloud of water drops all around.

Bagongbong waterfall in Biliran
Bagongbong waterfall

We are the only ones there and are completely vowed by the beauty of where we are. We stand still gazing at this magic for a moment before we strip down to our swimwear and balance over wet rocks to the top pool for a dip. This must be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines!

It´s cool in the shadow of the high walls, and the water is refreshing our overheated bodies after the walk.

We are in paradise. We stay for a few hours eating the fruit we brought for lunch and soaking in the pureness of this magic place.

Going for a swim in Bagongbong waterfall
The refreshing waterhole

There are no other human beings to see before we are well driving down the hills on our scooter again.

Bagongbong waterfall definitely took my breath away in so many ways. Yesterday, sitting on the side of the road in San Juan, Leyte, with our backpacks we didn´t know the Island of Biliran existed.

We had traveled two and a half-hour over the sea from Malapascua in a tiny Bangka, a traditional fishing boat, without knowing where to spend the next night.

As we looked at the map where we were, we asked a man stopping buy with his scooter if it was nice on the Island we pointed at the map, and he said yes.

He drove to town to get us a motorcycle taxi that drove us to the other side where we got an even smaller fishing boat to get us over to Biliran which was the Island we had pointed at on the map. Little did we know that this Island would make such an impression.

The next day, we jump on the scooter again, eager to discover more waterfalls. Not too far from our hotel in Talahid beach, we drive off towards Ulan-Ulan waterfalls through rice paddies, small villages and curious children smiling at us.

We park the scooter and start walking. The spectacular views of endless palm tree jungle catch our eyes as we still are in an open landscape.

Thick palmtree jungle in Biliran
The thick palm tree jungle covers the hills around us

We pass a single house with a friendly man and a curious child asking if we want a guide. As we don´t want any guide, they smile back and wish us a nice walk. We still pas a few scooters that have made their way further in than we did.

As we walk further, the jungle starts closing around us, and except the odd coconut falling as men are cutting them down not far from the path, there are less and less signs of human interaction.

The path is clearly more used than the one we walked on yesterday, and as we start hearing the sound of a waterfall, we meet a few locals that are working on fixing the path after the rainfall.

The boulder sound of the waterfall is interrupted by the aggregate they use to keep their machines going. The tiny dirt path is being covered with concrete to make it strong to survive landslides in the rainy season, and they are now making a rail to hold on to on the side so that it is more prepared for visitors.

We walk down the steps that lead down to the first of the waterfalls. There is a family at the bottom taking a bath in the pool of the waterfall. They leave shortly after we arrive, and there are only us and a local girl left.

The breathtaking Ulan-Ulan waterfall in Biliran
The breathtaking Ulan-Ulan waterfall

The water is refreshing after the warm hike, and the sounds of the water falling aggressively into the pool, overrides the sound of the aggregate on the top of the stairs, and we forget human interaction for a while.

On the way up to the next pool, we stop talking to the workers. They have carried the massive aggregate and all their work tools through the same path we had walked from where they parked their scooters.

They will have to carry it all back before nightfall and then the same procedure the next day. They are still smiling and tell us how grateful they are that we come and visit the waterfall.

Just above the place, they are working, we find an upper pool. Recoletos falls, a smaller waterfall rushes into it, and the stream goes further down to feed the Ulan-Ulan beneath us.

Water hole above Ulan-Ulan falls in Biliran
The water hole above Ulan-Ulan falls

We have another bath to cool down and enjoy being all by ourselves in the beautiful nature. We eat the fruit we brought for lunch and have another cool bath before starting on the hot trek back to the scooter.

We drive around the Island. Beautiful sea views, more rice paddies, more villages, and more curious children. Mats with rice that is set to dry in the sun are covering the roads, and some places we have to drive outside the road to avoid them. Even with the wind, we feel the heat.

Drying rice on the road in Biliran
Drying rice on the road

We drive off to Tinago waterfall, marked on the Island map we got from the hotel. There are several scooters parked and a girl taking a small fee to enter. We are so overheated that we need to cool down, so we pay the fee and walk down to the waterfall pools.

There are concrete seats made with a roof for shade all along the river that flows down from the waterfalls pool. Young boys and girls are jumping from the cliff on the side of the waterfall.

Tinago waterfall in Biliran
Tinago waterfall

Some younger kids are playing in a natural slide that goes from the first pool and down to the next. We get intrigued by them and jump in as well, getting pushed down the natural slide by the massive strength of the current.

The kids are giggling as our much bigger and clumsier bodies are dragged down the short stretch, and sign to us to go again.

We play for a while until we are cooled down enough to continue on the hot road around the Island back to our hotel.

Yet another amazing day has come to an end, and we must say goodbye to this beautiful lush green Island with its amazing waterfalls. Until next time Biliran. I know you have plenty more oasis to explore.

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