Kawayan, Libagon, Southern Leyte
Uwan-uwanan Gorge is a hidden jewel in Southern Leyte. It is THE place for trekkers and adventurers.
To get to the gorge, you have to cross the same river multiple times (I stopped counting after 5). When you get to the gorge, you have to walk, swim, crawl, climb through boulders and dead wood with thick ropes to get to the three main falls. You could reach the first in about an hour.
I was only able to get to the second falls, and I was happy. It was not an easy trek — and I found myself praying to God for my life as I was climbing a huge boulder with nothing but an old rope to hold on to. My efforts were rewarded with the sight of cascading water that turned silver when the rays of the sun touched it. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
I highly recommend this place for serious trekkers and nature lovers. But, proceed with caution and (please!) leave nothing but footprints.
How to get there:
From Maasin or Tacloban, take a bus or van to Kawayan, Libagon. The place is about 3 hours from Maasin and 5 hours from Tacloban.
Go to the Barangay Hall to register (costs Php5) and ask for a guide (rate starts at Php200, and you have to supply the guide’s meals).
Wear light footwear (which at some point you may have to take off when climbing steep boulders). It may be wise to wear light helmet if you plan on climbing the second falls.
Bring waterproof (and shockproof!) electronics or wrap them in those clear resealable plastics — the place is not called Uwan-uwanan for nothing (uwan being the local word for rain), as the gorge seems to be constantly raining because of a myriad of mini falls trickling along the gorge walls.
By the way, the place actually looks better than these pictures here. (I wish I brought a better camera).