June 30, 2017
Splashing at Can-umantad Falls, Candijay, Bohol
Entrance Fee: P20/pax
Location: Candijay (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Google Map: 9°49'47.8"N 124°25'10.6"E
Anda to Candijay
It was a no-frills bus ride from Anda to Guindulman (P10, 15 mins), then another bus ride to Candijay proper (~P10, 15 mins). Candijay is clean and orderly, but there is no proper lodging for travelers. Either you go back to Guindulman, or for better accommodations, go all the way back to Anda. Neither is there wifi in the commercial establishments.
Lodging at the Pink House
Luckily, as I was asking around from locals, I was directed to the Pink House. Residents within the gated area where moms and their kids. The good lady of the apartment complex accepted me for a night at P250, after a lot of haggling (but no use of air-con! normal rate, P300). At that rate, I could have stayed a few more days, but the mosquito infestation was beyond belief! Despite using a mosquito net as blanket, I was still riddled by bites. I had to leave Candijay the following day for lack of another place to stay.
Candijay Tourism Office
I went to the tourism office where a lovely Sam (Samantha?), entertained my queries. She communicated my arrival with the tourism head, Mr. Fred, who was already at Can-umantad Falls entertaining Cristalle (daughter of cosmetic surgeon, Vicki Belo), who was doing a shoot for a promotional campaign. Mr. Fred asked me to take the motorbike ride to join him at the falls.
It was a long arduous motorbike ride on bumpy mountain road (P150 one-way, 30 mins) until we got there to the top (not via the terraces). Can-umantad Falls is both magnificent and stunning. It has a long narrow drop until it hits a bulbous mound spreading it into a curtain-like water canopy and down into a splash pool. I put my mask on and tried to check-out under the plunge pool, but due to last night's torrential downpour, the water was cloudy - visibility was zero. Nonetheless, wading in the plunge pool made for a very refreshing dip, given the difficulty of reaching the place. On the way out, I tried climbing up the series of steps passing through the rice terraces and onto the main road where I re-grouped with the tourism staff.
Mr. Fred and the Candijay tourism staff were there to welcome me. The staff together with the local barangay officials were very helpful - offering to take pictures and general assistance. Mr. Kagawad even offered lunch for the staff with me as a tag-along. I rode with them, but instead of going back to the office, Mr. Fred went the extra mile to take me to another tourist attraction - Canawa Cold Spring!
The film crew was there, busy taking shots and video of Cristalle as she posed by the falls in her revealing swimsuit. Like her mom, she is pretty. Normally, I would say, "beauty is in the blood". However, and shame on me for thinking this, but my thought bubble was, "beauty is in the surgery!" As a friend once remarked, "if you have money and you're still ugly, that's already your fault!"
Getting to Can-umantad Falls isn't for the faint of heart, but it was all worth it! You'll thank yourself for making the effort. When you visit the falls, visit the nearby Canawa Cold Spring as well.
Next stop: Canawa Cold Spring
How to get to Can-umantad Falls from Candijay proper
- take a habal-habal ride (single motorcycle) from Candijay proper all the way to Can-umantad Falls (P150 one-way, 30 mins into the mountain interior). There is no transport going back so you might like to have the tricycle wait on you - which they may charge P50/pax.
- Can-umantad Falls is not too far away from Canawa Cold Spring. Try to arrange both destinations on one trip
- beware to passing through Eleuterio's Resort property - they have no warning sign or notice whatsoever, but the owner will charge you an outrageous exit fee. This is the only tourist ambush in the area. This has nothing to do with the Candijay Tourism Office.
Bohol FYI / Tips
- the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located within the Alona Beach area
- the tourist attractions in Bohol are far apart and spread-out. It would be difficult to visit them all using public mass transit. Better hire a van (P3500/day) if in a big group, or rent a motorcycle (P400/day + gas)
- Bohol relies on its tourism for revenue. As expected, everything they can capitalize on from tourism is extensively used and developed
Tagbilaran Port to PanglaoYou can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
- don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
- in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)
Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
- Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
- Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
+63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
- SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
+63 32 233 7000
Things to do, Places to go in Bohol
- Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
- Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
- Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
- Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.
Carlos P. Garcia Island
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