Monday, 8 December 2014

Malabsay Falls is just one of many beautiful water falls in Mt. Isarog. If you are brave enough and has a good experience in mountain climbing, I suggest that you can go and explore the thick rain forest of Mt. Isarog then find the other water falls and enjoy the beauty of nature. Make sure you have a local guide who can help you find the way to the other water falls because there are slippery paths and clefts on your way. 

The best route to go to Malabsay Falls is the Panicuason trail. Although there are other routes and trails the most advisable and safe road is the Carolina to Panicuason way because it is the main road that will lead you to the Girl's Scouts camping ground that also serves as a paid car park. Then you have approximately 30 minutes hike to Mt. Isarog National Park. From there on you have to follow the trail downwards to Malabsay Falls which is only about 15 minutes walk. 

For persons who are going to visit Malabsay Falls for only a short period of time, the best option I recommend is to rent an ATV from Crossroad petrol station (Shell), Magsaysay Avenue, which is about 22 quid or USD34 or 1500 Philippine Pesos for 4 hours. (Please take note this was the rate in mid summer of 2013 and I am not certain if the ATV rental is still going on at this time I'm writing this).

What to expect in the vicinity of Malabsay Falls? First of all I would like to inform you that the place is not properly developed for tourism. There is no cozy restaurant or bar neither a souvenir shop or a bed and breakfast nearby. The truth is that the park has been somewhat neglected by the Philippine government. The national park above hasn't got the right facilities for tourists specifically for campers and hikers. There is also limited space to camp down  around the area of Malabsay falls. The last time I was there I find no adequate place for backpackers to stay overnight because the cottages there have been abandoned after they were destroyed by several typhoons who came to the region of Bikol. I believe until this year 2014 the place is still the same. 

However, if you are indeed a typical mountaineer, a camper who is used to the wild and rough surrounding of tropical forests, the place is just right for you. You can choose where you can pitch your tent and build your camp fire but make sure you ask permission from the park rangers and authorities. If you are a foreigner and coming from outside Naga City it is advisable that you first go to DENR Forestry for further legal information and guidance about your climb.

Don't forget there are also mosquitos and other bugs too, so make sure yourself is protected from insect bites as you go to sleep. Enjoy the refreshing water of Malabsay, the sounds of crickets in the evening and the warm sunshine of Malaya. Happy backpacking!

Click HERE and HERE to read more about the experience of others in Mt. Isarog.


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