Section 2/4 : The Chasing Waterfalls
The Part 1 of my extreme adventure blog in Samar was just about our journey to Pinipisakan Falls which was only one fourth (1/4) of the said adventure, It wasn’t easy for there were some obstacles and challenges along the way; nevertheless, the saying that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations was true as proven by the splendour of Pinipisakan Falls.
When we arrived at the junction, we rested for a while, then ate our delicious lunch to fuel up our jaded and exhausted bodies.After that, we changed our attire to wetsuit for we would be swimming in cold water and at the same time to avoid hypothermia. Sir Joni, our very efficient guide, provided almost everything needed for this adventure including the wetsuit.
This was one of the things I really wanted to see first-hand — the beauty of Pinipisakan Falls. I was even mesmerized by the photo I saw on Facebook. I thought it was in another country. But now I saw it in my own naked eyes. It’s a marvellously stunning paradise that looks like in a fairyland setting! .It’s a glimpse of Eden, so mystical. . . And it’s just here in Samar, in the Philippines! We Filipinos should be proud and boast of it to the world.
💦We just couldn’t resist taking pictures with this ever beautiful waterfalls.
Above Pinipisakan Falls is a series of waterfalls and beyond those tiers of waterfalls lies a dark yet hidden secret — an enthralling mystery which will later unfold.
To get to that mystery, we had to cross a river with very strong current. We were complete with safety equipment, courtesy of Trexplore the Adventures that accompanied and guided us in this adventure. We got through the other side of the river safely by holding on to a safety line so as not to be carried away by the strong current.
💦Pinipisakan Falls looks like a two-layered cake.
And tada!!!! We’re on the top of the waterfalls. The first layer of the waterfalls had a shallow pool so it was just safe to wade in it but it was kind of slippery, so vigilance was a must.
💦Just follow the falls. . .
Going up to the falls was kind of tough because there were no trails, no handrails or whatsoever. As we went up we just relied on something we could hold on to which could carry our weight like rocks or branches or roots of trees. At times, we sought the help of Kuya Guide, hehe.
What I love about this adventure are the sceneries of untouched natural beauties. I want nature to stay as it should be, as if no humans have stepped on the place. That is why leaving no trace should be kept in mind and heart by everyone to maintain the beauty of our environment.
There were about three tiers of cascading waterfalls that we had come across. Each has different features. At times, we would wade in waist deep water where there were branches of trees hovering above us. Seeing this kind of scenery and experiencing this kind of moment seemed like we were in a place called Encantandia, hehe!
💦And we kept on going up, walking, wading and chasing waterfalls.
This part of the trail going to the cave looked like a mini curved cemented road. But don’t be deceived. These are all natural rock minerals crafted by the flowing waters and the element of time, Amazing? Right?
And finally we saw the last part of our chasing waterfalls episode. But wait, it’s not just as simple as that. It signifies that we have arrived at our destination and the mystery is revealed. In the middle of the jungle previously hidden and now proudly showing its glory is the mysterious Sulpan Cave.
Section 3/4 : Spelunking Sulpan Cave
*My heart beat fast like drum rolls. I was scared again because of the idea of entering a cave. My wild imaginations were fleeting in my head. They seemed so real which made me shiver from fright.
In Sulpan Cave I discovered that everything was raw and in its natural state. We could never see human residues even though this had been explored by Sir Joni’s team. Sir Joni is to be commended for consistently implementing the leave no trace policy.
The cave was indeed magnificent with a verdant scene of a jungle that almost covered it, a curtain of beautiful waterfalls in its entrance and its cathedral-like size ceiling, Who would have thought that a gargantuan cave lurked in the middle of the jungle?With these wonders, I left my fears behind and took a deep breath and courageously entered the cave.
Sulpan Cave is a wet and dry cave meaning that some parts of the cave could be explored by wading or by swimming through the underground river and the remaining dry area by simply walking and ambling and be awed by the surrounding beauty.
Here’s the wet deal.
Swimming in an underground river is not new to me because I had this experience when I went spelunking with Sir Joni in Lobo Cave which is also located in Samar. I love caving while swimming because the water is very cold. No warm discomfort is felt I and no sweat would ever drop from the body. Awesome, right?
Just look at those exquisite stalactites hanging on the ceiling of the cave. How splendidly designed by nature they are!
The dry part.
If you have been amazed by the wet parts of the cave, how about the dry area?
Along this dark chamber, our sight was greeted by different delicate rock formations. That was one reason why we should really be careful in everything we do inside the cave to avoid unnecessary damage to some rock and other cave minerals.
When the stalagmites (ground) and stalactites ( ceiling) unite, a column or pillar is formed. We found one huge pillar in Sulpan cave.
We explored the cave and we reached its end point after almost three hours. That’s how huge the cave is!
This part of the cave is called Eel Lake and reaching it signified that we were already at our final destination. It is named Eel Lake because there had been a sighting of a huge eel living in this part of the cave. Yikes!
Finally we reached the end part of Sulpan. It was already night time when we got there. I thought that this was still part of the cave until I saw glittering objects above and some silhouettes of waving objects. It seemed that we were saluted and acknowledged for having successfully arrived at the endpoint. Later I found out that what I saw were just trees and stars.
*Before we went back to the campsite, we ate our snacks. Who would have thought that these simple snacks of crackers and cheese were a great delight to our appetite. Hehe!
I know this blog is already lengthy but I just want to share these interesting and intriguing finds inside the cave.
In the middle of this dark chamber, we saw not just one but a few plants. We all know that the cave is dark and no amount of sunlight can penetrate it unless there’s a hole above the cave. I wondered how these plants were able to survive. Maybe they are the mushroom kind of specie or maybe not. . I really don’t know. Haha!
A snake, a spider, bats and many bugs … these we encountered in Sulpan. Living things inside the cave show that the cave is alive and the ecosystem is healthy. ( Wew, I love Sulpan.)
Notice, the one I’m holding on to is a huge log from a dead tree. We saw a number of logs inside the cave. After a heavy rain, the flash flood carries some logs that get stuck inside the cave. I wonder what happened to those trees before they were carried away by the flood. Hmmm sigh…
We headed back to the trail where we started this venture. And the last crazy thing we did was jumping over the waterfalls in a pitch black night scene. We just relied on our headlamps to have little amount of light. I was the second to the last one to jump. I was scared of this idea but I wanted to finish this feat, because I was tired and hungry already. Eventually I jumped even though my mind was screaming with “bahala naaaaaa, nganong ni-enter, hahaha!”
Finally we were done. And the moon with its light appeared to somewhat congratulate us for having survived this extreme adventure. Wew!!! Job well done, guys.
With that a very delicious dinner was served to us in our simple abode for the night.
And lights off!!!!
The Last of the 4/4 Parts. The Last Feat!
Morning came. Our extreme adventure in Samar didn’t end in Sulpan Cave. The next thing we did was swam the Blanca Aurora River. This was not just an ordinary swimming because we swam by just letting the current drag us to our destination.
The first place where the current of the river brought us was under the waterfall curtain of Pinipisakan Falls. This place was just amazinggggggg!
Along the river there were parts that were impassable so we walked by the riverside. But that way wasn’t easy for there were rocks, huge rocks along the way. So we climbed up and down the boulders, scrambling or crawling through them whatever way was possible. Hehe!
It was really tiring doing those risky yet thrilling activities but the tiredness would just vanish whenever I saw something that captivating to my sight.
After almost two hours, we reached the place where the canoe that would bring us back to Barangay Aurora was waiting for us. . I was a bit sad for leaving this mystical place but thankful for the opportunity to experience first-hand the magnificence of Sulpan Cave and Pinipisakan Falls.
But wait there’s more…I thought we had already finished seeing waterfalls but then again just nearby, there was Blanca Aurora Falls. I envied the residents here for they could just immediately go to the falls whenever they want to. Huhu!
In the town of Catbalogan, we saw this very cheap yet savory Tahong (mussel) barbecue which cost only five pesos per stick! So yummmmy! One reason why I wanna go back to Catbalogan, hehe!
I’m so happy I surpassed the challenges I encountered in this extreme adventure — that I didn’t give up in the first place. I did not allow fear to hinder my way. I have experienced all the challenges I’ve met along the way and saw all the wonders I’v never thought I would see in my entire life. As what the quote says, “let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you” I tell you, it was well worth the effort.
How to go to Catbalogan (Samar Island):
You can refer here to this link :
How to get to Pinipisakan Falls and Sulpan Cave:
Dealing with extreme adventures amazes me. It scares me to the max and the possibility of accomplishing what you thought was impossible is truly amazing. Reaching there, despite all the fears is victory.
So how to get there?
Ride a bus bound to Calbayog from Catbalogan bus terminal. Tell the conductor- driver that your drop off point is San Jorge, Samar. Before going to the falls, you need to get a permit in San Jorge Municipal Office and get prior coordination with local guides for security reasons.
After that, charter a habal-habal to take you up to Barangay Blanca Aurora. Then, ride a canoe or boat and experience upstream canoeing until you reach the drop off area. Then you have to hike for almost an hour to reach Pinipisakan Falls.
I have no idea how much you’ll spend on DIY (do it yourself ) basis when going to Pinipisakan Falls and Sulpan Cave, but if you like a hassle-free adventure (for more details click here), book your tour with Trexplore the Adventures in the amount of Php 10,000.00 ($200.00 2-DAY tour) which already includes the following :
- Life vests/wetsuits
- Transportation (from Catbalogan to Pinipisakan Falls and back to Catbalogan)
- Food (Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner which is no doubt delicious)
- Local porters
- Trexplore guide
- Photo documentations
What to bring?
- Pack light so bring small packs and dry bags
- Water container
- Water and trail snack
- Sunscreen for hike. (I use Sevensense sunblock spray because it’s non-sticky and white pigment free.)
- Strong climbing or trekking shoe/sandal
- Extra clothing
- Waterproof Camera/Videocam
For bookings, tour packages and rate inquiries contact:
TREXPLORE THE ADVENTURES
CAVE MASTER: Joni Abesamis Bonifacio
ABESAMIS STORE ALLEN AVE.
CATBALOGAN CITY,SAMAR 6700
055-2512301 / 5438550
0919-294-3865 / 0927-675-0062
Those naughty potatoes roll so fast that I could hardly catch up with them PINIPISAKAN FALLS and SULPAN CAVE. I wonder what place will they be venturing next. So stay tuned for my next chasing potato adventure.
Have you tried extreme adventures? If so, tell me about it. I would love to hear from you? Please connect thru my FB page and Instagram. Join me in my adventure and misadventure. Let’s chase those potatoes. OH YESSS! Thanks for visiting.