Mangasang Falls: Tagbao’s Beautiful Secret

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A couple of weeks ago, my friend Marven told me about a waterfall near his home that he wanted to check out. See, he lives in Barangay Guba in the highlands. If you’re wondering where Guba is, it is located next to Barangay Sirao (where the famous Ayala Heights is located.) Anyways, long story short, we decided to give it a try. Check out the photos of our adventure!

Since Marven is a teacher and he doesn’t have a lot of free time, I grabbed the chance when he mentioned that he wasn’t very busy (this was around two weeks before classes officially started.) So, we agreed to meet at his family home in Barangay Guba. I wasn’t really familiar with the place, but he assured me that if I “follow that road in Ayala Heights towards the direction of Sirao Peak for about 10 to 15 mins, you will reach a fork in the road.” And that is where he will be waiting for me.

And true enough, thirty minutes later (not 10 to 15 mins like he said because I basically stopped numerous times because the view was fantastic!) I reached a fork in the road. He wasn’t there, of course. I whipped out my phone to text him but I found out that there was no signal. Just when I was about to panic, I heard someone call my name. It was Marven. In their living room. It turned out that I parked my bike right in front of their house. Haha! Two minutes later, we were on our way to Barangay Tagbao.

Barangay Tagbao is located around 15 minutes away from Guba. According to Marven, the ride from Lahug to Barangay Guba or Barangay Tagbao on a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) would cost you around Php 100.





You’ll know that you’ve finally reached Barangay Tagbao when you see this bridge. This foot bridge is used when the river overflows during really heavy rains.

Guests are required to write their name in the official barangay log book. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay anything. The local men will even willingly take you to the falls if you ask nicely. 🙂

Coincidentally, Marven is quite popular here. He is, after all a teacher in another nearby barangay. Hehe. So, asking for help was pretty easy. We even got two guides! Hehe.

The guides said that we had two options: the river trail and the mountain trail. They recommended that we take the mountain trail because they looked at me and decided that I was an “inexperienced’ trekker. Well, they were right so I didn’t complain. Haha.

Around 20 minutes later, we started our descent towards the river.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I DID return to Tagbao the following day. This time, I was accompanied by three cousins who became envious when they saw my photos. Marven couldn’t come with us on the second day because he had to go somewhere.

Anyways, me and my cousins decided to take the river trail so we could take more photos. It indeed proved pretty challenging because of the numerous boulders which litter the river bed.

[Day 2] Team Inexperienced. Hahaha.

[Day 2] The rocks are ridiculous, by the way. It’s like you’d want to hug each one. They’re that pretty. Haha!

[Day 2] The river trail involves leaping, wading, tunneling, and sometimes even swimming. Wearing slippers is a terrible idea. So, wear hiking/trekking shoes, sandals, or some pretty durable non-slippery sneakers.

This beautiful drop is located just a few hundred meters from the actual Mangasang Falls.

Marvelous!

Some of these rocks can be pretty slippery. So, please be extra careful.

[Day 2] The group resting right on top of the main drop. Sweaty and wet but it’s okay! 🙂

There it is. The main pool below us.

Living room with a view. Hehe.

[Day 1] One of our guides gamely poses for a photo. Haha. This rock is at least 20 feet high.

[Day 2] Now the real challenge is the climb down. You’d have to really hold on to something sturdy and solid. One slip and you’re in the water below.

So, there she is, ladies and gentlemen. Mangasang Falls – the hidden gem of Barangay Tagbao, Cebu City. Others are saying that the waterfall is actually called Managsanga. But I’d rather believe the two local guides who told me that it is indeed Mangasang. Hehe.

[Pronunciation: Mang – Ga – Sang]

According to our guides, the water can be twice as ‘heavy’ during the rainy season. She still look gorgeous, right?

I was supposed to post photos of us enjoying the water. But since we all couldn’t swim, I thought it would be boring to share photos of us sitting on some rocks and scooping up water to keep our hair wet. Hahaha. So, please enjoy these rocks, instead. 🙂

[Day 1] Here is a photo of our team on our way back to the top. Pretty challenging, right?





Remember, if you want to visit Mangasang, please make sure to drop by the barangay gym to register. Also, please help keep the place tidy and immaculate by placing your trash back in your bag or by picking up the trash you see. 🙂

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