We were looking for Paadjao Falls that day, our last stop before heading back to Gasan for the sunset. It was a very long day (we covered almost every town, save for Mogpog) but I was looking forward to shooting some refreshing silky waterfalls. Ironwulf, one of my travel companions, had been there once several years ago and described it as a nice cascading falls
We asked around for directions but we were given some confusing answers. Most have not even heard of Paadjao Falls but suggested we visit the Kawa-kawa Falls (maybe they have renamed Paadjao to Kawa-kawa, we jokingly remarked). It later turned out we were asking directions in the wrong town: we were in Sta. Cruz while Paadjao is in the nearby town of Mogpog. Quite perplexing that most would not know where Paadjao is even if Mogpog is directly adjacent to Sta. Cruz.
We ended up in Brgy Bangcuangan where Kawa-kawa falls is. Its called Kawa-kawa (pretty common name for a falls) because of its deep cauldron-like catch basin ("kawa" literally means cauldron). Several kids were enjoying a late afternoon dip when we got there. We were also met by the barangay captain who enthusiastically showed us around the falls area.
We learned that they are "developing" the falls and would soon be building cottages nearby to accommodate visitors. I have mixed feelings about developing natural attractions like falls. Building walkways and viewing stations are OK, but turning it into a full-blown "resort" is another thing. I've seen very bad cases like Batlag falls in Tanay Rizal.
We looked around and took shots from different POVs (check out Lagalog's takes). Whats nice with the Kawa-kawa falls area is that you are not limited to a single cascade. There are many mini-waterfalls downstream, some very accessible, some needs short climbs over slippery boulders.
I particularly liked one small falls that intersects Kawa-kawa's downstream in a perpendicular manner. I had go over a moss covered boulder and slide down to a small stream. Lost my balance a couple of times and had to use my tripod for support.
From a bridge that serves as an entrance area I spotted more small cascades further downstream. Unfortunately, time is running out and we have to head out. But its certainly worth exploring, maybe if I get another chance to visit Kawa-kawa. I just hope that it retains its beauty even when the resort crowds come pouring in.
Some stuff to consider while "falls hunting":
1. Sometimes locals use another name for the falls other than the one in the guide book
2. Folks in one barangay, more often than not, don't know the name of the falls found in a nearby barangay, if they are aware there is one there. They are even curious why in the world you would want to go there :)
3. Photograph falls on an overcast day, it makes for a good exposure.
4. Don't forget to bring something to protect your gears from moisture/water: dry bags, plastic covers, and umbrellas.
Its been exactly 1 year ago today since I wrote my first blog entry. I'd like to thank you all my friends for sharing the journey with me.
My 2nd entry to "That's my World" meme. See other entries here.