Kawa Falls: Quick, Refreshing Side Trip from Pico de Loro


A stretch of Ternate-Nasugbu Highway dawned after some hours of trekking down. Tricycles line up the roadside; its drivers were having a chitchat at a shack, waiting for passengers en route Nasugbu bus terminal. Almost an hour drive from this jump-off point of Pico de Loro would reach the bus station. Along the route, a tiny yet refreshing wonder contains itself quietly within a lush forest.


A chance to wash off the dirt collected from a series of hiking bloopers helped us decide to take the misty, slippery path traversing Pico de Loro. Ariel, a trail guide our age, hailed us a tricycle and negotiated on our behalf for a side trip to a certain Kawa Falls before we head back home.

READ ALSO: Pico de Loro, Beyond Her Monolith

Without producing off some friction between our butts and the tricycle seat yet, the driver pulled over at an unassuming part of the highway; no single signage pointing to such waterfall in sight. We followed the beaten track within a bush and heard a soft sound of gushing waters after a short while. It has been a relaxing rhythm to hear, considering hours of arduous hiking and the day-long sweaty odor coming from our exhausted bodies.


We reached the end of the bushy path and found ourselves having to walk upon a humongous staircase-like rock surface where a barely trickle stream flows through. A little ascent showed us how the locals gave the site's name — the waters cascade at a small pot-shaped basin, hence the term kawa, a large pot in Tagalog dialect. It's not that wide such that it can only fit about ten to fifteen persons. Half of the circular swim hole was meters deep while the other half though shallow, cannot be stepped upon as slippery mosses cover the floor. It holds water that was cold enough to ease our cramped leg muscles and knees that suddenly turned to jelly after the hike. A fascinating anecdote from Ariel narrates that locals used to put bottled beverages deep below the basin to keep them cold.


We're fortunate enough to have the forest to ourselves when we arrived. Apparently, tired hikers take side trips to this ideal picnic spot when they ply the route to downtown Nasugbu; litters had been an eyesore then, a handful of trash left by other hikers who spent some time the day before. Ariel's group conducts periodical clean-ups but empty bottles, snack wrappers and remains of burnt woods somehow spoiled the side trip.


It might be small, unpopular and not as majestic as anyone would expect but Kawa Falls was a saving grace. Sans the rejuvenating dip after the strenuous hike, we could have been the bus passengers that anyone would not want to seat beside with.

Pinoy Travelogue Experience: Pico de Loro, Beyond her Monolith | Kawa Falls: Quick, Refreshing Side Trip from Pico de Loro
Pico de Loro Travel Guide: Quick Guide: Pico de Loro (Mt. Palay-palay)


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