Sumilon Island to Aguinid and Tumalog Falls
Text by Gabrielle Malvar
Photos by Gabrielle Malvar and Louise Santiago
Ever dream of climbing a waterfall? A personal item on my bucket list was accomplished with the help of Bluewater Sumilon Resort. Part 2 of Out of Town and on Sumilon Island involved the exploration of nearby wonders Aguinid and Tumalog Falls. As a water enthusiast, this was my trip of a lifetime. A Filipino feast after trekking an 8-tier waterfall is as good as it gets.
It was 5:00 in the morning and Tito Pete’s Angels, Celine of Celineism, Louise of Wonderfilled Journal and I, were set to chase the sunrise. Trekking the advanced trail to find the perfect viewpoint was definitely not recommended, but we geared up, advised the staff and found ourselves a decent seat of limestone amidst the sun break. It was a surreal moment observing nothing but the line where the sky meets the sea and the light of 5:47am.
At the trek’s end, we decided to snorkel and relax at the Sandbar before the invasion of the day tour that allows visitors a taste of what Sumilon has to offer. Guest of the resort can relax privately as the day tour is limited to a specific time and area of the island. We returned later during the day and enjoyed interacting with the visitors while still finding privacy on the side of the Sandbar.
After a fulfilling breakfast on Sumilon, we venture off to the main island of Cebu. It was a short boat ride of 10 minutes give or take a nap due to the exhaustion from watching the sunrise. Bluewater Sumilon offers scheduled boat rides to and from the Mainland Bancogon Dock in Oslob. From there we took the resort van to Tumalog Falls. Parking is uphill and half a kilometer away so we braced for a brief motorcycle ride to reach the falls. You can also enjoy walking down the mountain which I highly recommend if you have a fear of roller coasters because that ride downhill was, for lack of a better word, extreme.
Before reaching the falls, you can find those fish that eat the dead skin off your feet. The fish pedicure for 20 php (Falls’ entrance fee) was a steal considering this spa treatment back in Canada is around 15$/600 php for 30 minutes! I’d recommend Tumalog Falls for the spa treatment and picture-perfect scenery. Swimming proved to be difficult as you’re always invading someone’s photoshoot.
From there, we angels made our way to Aguinid Falls in just under an hour drive. A mandatory briefing was held to explain the 5 levels of the trek. Aqua shoes, waterproof bags and other equipment can be rented on site. Although it is recommended to wear proper swim/trek attire, it’s not a requirement. As an ill-equipped water goddess, I decided to trek barefoot in a long black dress.
Each level varied in skill and activity making Aguinid Falls perfect for anyone. We were accompanied by tour guides turned photographers Kuya Marc and Ate Thelma. Level 1 and 2 were relatively easy to complete. I recommend bringing flip-flops to protect your feet from the small broken rocks found at these levels. By inserting your flip-flops onto your wrists you can still use your hands to climb. And oh boy do you need your hands for the climb of level 2.
Level 3 is where you find a small picturesque waterfall that is relatively easy to climb for a stunning photoshoot. My favorite level was level 4 which allowed thrill seekers to cliff jump. It is a small waterfall with an even smaller pool that is just deep enough for a safe landing. I had to jump at least 5 times to get my fix. You can really feel the clarity by immersing in the calcium rich fresh water; such a cool and highly addictive sensation.
You will feel a sense of accomplishment reaching the immense falls of Level 5. This is where you swim and enjoy nature’s gift. I was in absolute bliss swimming in its waters. There weren’t as many tourists as Tumalog Falls. With only about a dozen other hikers we crossed on the way, Level 5 was our private paradise. The water falls strong and vision is impaired, but the resulting photos were worth it. The spa day continues as the weight of the water removed all the knots in my back.
What goes up must come down; the descent of Aguinid Falls was the real challenge. We relied heavily on our tour guides who supported us both physically and emotionally during this experience. Many thanks again to Kuya Marc and Ate Thelma of Aguinid Falls for our survival and photographed journey.
A Filipino feast was waiting for us courtesy of Bluewater Sumilon. This gorgeous boodle kamayan style featured mouth-watering seafood and classic Filipino meat dishes. Served with the Philippines’ freshest fruits and a signature coconut refreshment, I couldn’t ask for a better day.
Many thanks to Bluewater Sumilon Resorts for the accommodations. This has been my favorite adventure in the Philippines so far! An extended thank you to our coordinator Sir Tito Pete Dacuycuy and Louise of Wonderfilled Journal for subjecting her camera to the falls!
For more information on making this experience yours, visit
BLUEWATER SUMILON ISLAND RESORT
Address: Sumilon Island, Oslob, Cebu 6025 Tel: +6332 318 9098
Mobile: +63917 631 7512 or +63998 964 1879
Email: [email protected]
Book Online via Agoda
Also see: 7 Must See Destinations In The Philippines That Have Yet To Be Discovered