In a strange way, Biliran reminds me of Adams in Ilocos Norte because of its many waterfalls within a small area, and of Camiguin due to the density of mountains within its confines. Biliran though, has a charm all its own.
While I love shooting waterfalls, I still have my apprehensions getting my gear safely. I lost my Nikon D200 many years back on a waterfalls mishap in Camiguin and up to now, I tend to be prudent when crossing streams, walking across slippery rocks, balancing on boulders. Anyway, we divided our days getting to different waterfalls after an overnight on Sambawan/Sambauan Island, deciding to make the Agta area as our base instead of Naval. There's really something special about waterfalls that make it worth visiting even after knee-jarring hikes. The science says something about getting a dose of invigorating ions that balances things out. Well, even if you don't know the science, you can feel it anyway.
|Ulan Ulan Falls in Sampao|
We went to town for lunch and proceeded to Ulan-Ulan Falls in Sampao on the same day. It's some 40-50 minute walk from the point on the road when the tricycle cannot proceed further. The recent spate of rains must have turbo-charged the falls as the spray reached us even as we descended from about 150-200 feet away. I took my sweet time coming down, admiring the thick fern and tree cover and at the same time, wondering how on earth do I shoot amidst all the moisture spraying in our direction. It was getting dark when we ascended, no sunrise to shoot (not that we would have the time to chase it anyway) as there was a low pressure area affecting the southern parts of the country.
We visited the popular Tinago Falls, easily the most accessible an hence most visited of all the falls on the island. Why? You drive or ride up to the gate and descend a short flight of stairs and there you are, no hiking needed. There was an ampitheater-type sitting area fronting the second catch basin and a small pagoda-like view deck right in front of the main basin -- I seem to recall that both were non-existent before. Tinago is still nice though I felt they could've been contented with the pagoda and left the forest cover where the ampitheater now stands. We headed out just when visitors were streaming in, some playing loud music, others going for selfies, still others preparing to picnic.
|Mainit Hot Springs|
|Kinaraja/Karaja Falls near Mainit|
For more on Biliran, visit www.biliranisland.com