Talisay More to Discover
John Kendrick Ceciban (The Freeman) - September 27, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Talisay City has become synonymous to lechon – the scrumptious roasted pig that, for many years, has tickled the taste buds of many a traveler. In time, visitors to this neighbor of Cebu City have also come to discover the Lagundi Reef, a dive spot that offers colorful sea life, and the Laya Cave, a dry cave tucked in the mountain barangay of Candulawan.

But there is certainly more to discover in Talisay. In the hidden corner in the mountain barangay of Campo Cuatro (4) lies the Bocaue Falls, described by those who managed a visit as a “segmented-type waterfalls” that has distinct “separate flows of water forming as it descends.”

Not many have seen its splendor and as the Travel Cebu team has found out, it is not a wonder why: The road to the falls is no walk in the park – literally – but one that can bring joy to the adventurous at heart.

The falls is located about three kilometers from the main road in Barangay Campo Cuatro and there is no other way to get there but with one’s own two feet. There is no fee, for now.

One of the most accessible starts to the trail is a narrow pathway that descends from the main road to Sitio Riverside. The pathway leads to the bank of the Mananga River, which provides a perfect vantage point to breathtaking views of the mountains and greens that surround it.

The Travel Cebu team was a bit lucky that the river was relatively dry that day, thus, crossing to the other side was easy. It would be tricky going across when the water swells especially during the monsoon season.

Upon reaching the other side, a 10-minute walk leads to the base of a connecting river from which huge rocks jut. This is where the adventure truly begins, as the next kilometer or two will be about climbing up steep slopes; navigating over and through slippery rocks and thick foliage; and making sure no accident occurs.

Here are some of the lessons we learned and recommendations we hope to get across:

1) The site is practically raw and undisturbed. We hope that the city government can put safety measures and regulations in place. For a start, a rope that trekkers can hold on to while going up the slopes (and in going back down) will go a long way. Signs will also be helpful to warn climbers of danger spots.

2) Climbing over slippery rocks is a risk in itself. Climbing with water gushing down, especially during rainy season, will be more dangerous. Care and caution will be paramount.

3) While residents in the area are helpful enough with directions, practically everyone who dares to go up the mountain go on their own accord. Perhaps the city can look into the possibility of assigning guides that the Department of Tourism can accredit. As there is no quick way to go back down, the guide can act as a first responder in the event of an emergency. This will also ensure that tourists follow the regulations that may be put in place.

4) To visitors, we recommend adequate preparation.

• We suggest bringing plenty of water and even food. The climb up can be exhausting, especially to less experienced trekkers.

• We also recommend wearing proper hiking or trekking attire but keep a fresh set of clothes handy. There is no way to avoid holding on to or sliding down rocks so be prepared to get dirty – and even wet.

• A towel or two will help keep the sweat off the face.

• Bring a first aid kit. You’ll never know when an accident strikes and you also can’t avoid some bruising.

• It is also better to slip in some rain gear as there is nowhere to seek shelter on the way up when the rain decides to pour.

• Climbing equipment like ropes and helmets are recommended highly.

• While it is best to be equipped, very heavy bags are not ideal as they can weigh you down while climbing up.

• Physical preparation is recommended, as the climb and the descent will require muscle action. Stretching exercises and even jogging days before the adventure can help prevent injuries.

• Climb as a group. You will certainly need a helping hand along the way.

The Travel Cebu team suspended the climb midway as we realized safety had to be our first priority, but the point we managed to reach, which gave us a spectacular view of the forest and a serene experience in its midst, made us realize every sweat and bruise was well worth it and, yes, that there is so much more of Talisay City that is simply waiting to be found. JMO

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