Article by Fe Esperanza Trampe (@fehnstagram)
Summer is here and it’s time to head to the beach. Sure, nothing beats seeing clear blue seawater brush against grains and grains of white sand, but doesn’t it get boring after a while? Why not try some other kind of adventure?
Let the crowds fawn over the white sand of Boracay. Head on over to Tibiao, Antique instead. It’s a place where you can soak in adventure, relaxation, and culture all at once.
It’s like a natural Disneyland with all it has to offer. Each of its barangays are worlds of their own, and we’re breaking down four of these unique places (and what you can do in them!) for you.
Up the slope of the Bandirahan Mountain is Barangay Tuno. If you’ve heard of it before, it’s probably because of the famous kawas open for relaxing baths. Before melting away in one of these oversized kettles, busy yourself with exciting adventures that this mountainside community has to offer.
Trek the Bugtong-Bato Falls
The first level of the Bugtong-Bato Falls
In the heart of the mountain is a seven-tiered waterfall flowing from one of the coldest springs around. The first three levels can take less than an hour to trek. The latter four will need at least five, not counting the time you’ll spend just marveling at the majestic bodies of water as they come down from above you.
The second and third levels of the Bugtong-Bato Falls
It’s definitely a trek worth taking once you see the water cascade from one tier to another. The slopes are steep and you’ll need to climb actual walls to get there, but like our girl Miley Cyrus said: it’s not about how fast you get there. It may not be about what’s waiting on the other side, but it sure is damn beautiful.
The third level of the Bugtong-Bato Falls
There are pools deep enough to wade in sitting by the feet of each waterfall. The downpour of water from one level to another is just right; you can enjoy a relaxing shower underneath it. And because the water comes from a spring, it’s cool, safe and delicious to drink.
Cruise Down the Tibiao River
The Tibiao River is a long stretch of flowing water traversing through so many clusters of rocks, it’s simply calling you to ride its current.
If you choose to heed its call, there are two options for you to choose from. One is the kayak which you can take on your own or with a guide. The other is the raft which you can share with up to four people.
A raft being readied by guides
Kayaks are best for when the current is just right. It’s a narrow piece of material, and there’s a chance you’ll fall, but when you get the hang of it, you’ll cruise down the river with ease.
Rafts are better suited for stronger currents. Its material is more resistant to the big boulders that line the river, and it’s a safer – and more exciting! – way of greeting each one.
Always check on the river’s temperament for the day. White water rafting or kayaking adventures are best during the rainy seasons. When summer comes and the river dries, there may be days when neither activity can be done.
No worries, though. There are still a lot of things to do in Tuno.
Melt away in a Kawa
After tiring yourself going up mountains and down rivers, why not reward yourself with a nice warm bath? Baths up in Tuno are not taken in bathtubs, but in kawas. These are oversized kettles that were previously used in the manufacturing of sugar. Now, they’re bathtubs which can fit up to two people at once.
They heat up the hot bath the old-fashioned way, with a fire burning underneath the kettle. Instead of bubbles or bath salts, kawa baths are peppered with different leaves and herbs. You’ll definitely feel like tonight’s dinner boiling away in your very own kawa.
Enjoy your time mixing in the water. You can do it as you read a book or as you stare at the beauty of the Tibiao River in front of you. There are kawa baths abound in Barangay Tuno. Take your pick among the many accommodations that provide them. There’s even one right beside the Bugtong-Bato Falls for the more daring adventurers.
A hut at the Kayak Inn, one of the many accommodation options in Tuno