Cool and beautiful Malabsay Falls in Naga City

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Scenic view of Malabsay Falls in Panicuason, Naga City
Scenic view of Malabsay Falls in Panicuason, Naga City

Malabsay Falls up close
Malabsay Falls up close
It was drizzling. Rain droplets randomly dropping on any surfaces: on the leaves, on the bark of trees, on my skin, on my hair, on the wet ground and on the pool of water. But I didn’t care. Malabsay Falls, one of the beautiful waterfalls in Naga City was before me. Cascading in torrents, dropping 40 feet from the rock wall’s lip, plunging into the 20 feet deep water below. I was mesmerized.

Waterfalls always refreshes the tired soul. It always lifts sagging spirits and I have always delighted in visiting one. Never mind if most of the time, it is difficult to visit. In the case of Malabsay Falls, it entails of going to the entrance of Mt. Isarog National Park which is a bit out of the way, up in Barangay Panicuason, way past the Panicuason Hot Spring Resort.

Downhill trail going to Malabsay Falls
Downhill trail going to Malabsay Falls

Once you enter the park, one has to register at the entrance and pay P50. But it is quite refreshing. Forested, with trees big and small, bushes and shrubs harboring interesting fauna. It sometimes can be cool but, most of the time, like any othe Philippine forests, can be humid.

There’s actually two trails, both leading to different waterfalls. As we were only visiting Malabsay Falls, we took the right path. The trail has seen better days. It was slippery and wet. Well trodden. Portions of the cement stair has broken off with some parts leading to nowhere but a steep slide down.

Riding ATVs to reach the jump off point to the waterfall
Riding ATVs to reach the jump off point to the waterfall

But at a high promontory overlooking the cascade, a beautiful sight unfolds. You see the waterfall up close. Hear its thundering plunge. Get mesmerized at its beauty. And you get energized. You walk further down, oblivious of the slippery boulders, the cool flowing water and wet bark of a cut tree blocking the way.

And when you turn facing beautiful Malabsay Falls, you just feel a bit of contentment. You ponder. You smile and take photographs. You sit on the steps and just gaze. Should I take the plunge? Should I swim at its waters? Should I try to jump from that promontory? Will it be safe? You think all these things while the thundering cascades drown out other sounds.

You rise and remove your slippers and know what to do.

Malabsay Falls is best enjoyed with ATV rides and a side trip to Panicuason Hot Spring Resort. Trip made possible by Biggs Diner, Bicol’s well loved themed restaurant. Follow them in Twitter and LIKE them in Facebook.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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