Adventure Diary: Pinipisakan Falls and Sulpan Cave




Pinipisakan Falls is located in the town of San Jorge /San Hor-he/, island of Samar, Philippines. A few meters behind it is the Sulpan Cave, which is full of exciting adventures. It is just 30-45 minutes away from my hometown, Catbalogan. We used to go to Blanca Aurora Falls in San Jorge when we were kids, but Pinipisakan is hardly visited by the locals due to its distance and perilous passage route. It is not recommendable if you will visit with children. We had to climb the mountains, and the path was steep and slippery. You have to be extra careful when going there because there will be a tendency for you to fall many times. I accidentally slipped on a huge rock, but I was fortunately able to stretch my hand and only my chin was hit. I guess I was lucky, but my right hand and leg got very painful during the entire trip. Hence, I had difficulty in going up and needed assistance from the porter whenever I had to climb the waterfall and step on large boulders.  Moreover, I can still say that it’s worth taking the risk. I had fun in the end and I am still looking forward to coming back to this place.



Pinipisakan Falls


Sulpan Cave

 
Blanca Aurora Falls


For those who are planning to go there, I recommend you to get in touch with Samar cave master, Joni A. Bonifacio, because he already knows everything and he has contacts for boat rentals, permit, porters, etc. He could also arrange everything for you. According to the locals I have interviewed, most of them have not been there yet and some were scared to visit it due to their belief that caves are homes of enchanted creatures. The porters who went with us only stayed at the campsite. They probably have not explored the entire cave yet because they don’t have the necessary gears and equipment to do that. I actually went to San Jorge before to take a photo of Pinipisakan when I joined the Sparks Samar Photo Contest for amateur photographers held in August 2015 (I did not win XD), but none of the locals I have spoken with knew how to go there. They also told me it was very far, so I ended up taking photos of Blanca Aurora instead. Fortunately, I was able to meet Kuya Joni so I always go with him to explore the beauty of our island whenever I have time.



HOW TO GO THERE:

1. From Catbalogan, we rode a van going to Calbayog (fare is about PHP 120) and told the driver to drop us off at San Jorge. There is also a bus at the public terminal (fare is PHP 50), but you still have to wait until it is loaded with passengers before it can go. We were chasing time, so we just rode a van.

2. From the drop off station of San Jorge, we rode a habal-habal, a public motorcycle. It took us about 30 minutes. Expect that some parts of the road are rough; it’s part of the adventure. ;)

(Photo Courtesy: Joni Bonifacio)

    
3. One-hour boat ride. You can bring an umbrella or sarong, wear a hat or whatever because the rays of the sun is freaking painful. Don’t forget to put some sunblock on your skin if you’re planning to get a tan.






4. One to two hours trekking, depending on how fast you are. Although I know you will be excited, please take it slow or else you will fall many times. The tracks are very slippery whether it’s raining or not because most of it is covered with moss.


(Photo Courtesy: Joni Bonifacio)


5.  If you are still alive after doing 1-4, Congratulations! You are now at the campsite of Pinipisakan. 




 My cavemates with the porters 
(Photo Courtesy: Joni Bonifacio)

ACTIVITIES:


After gearing up and taking some rest, we climbed huge boulders to go to Pinipisakan falls. The waterfall has four layers. We had to climb so we can reach Sulpan cave.



Me being helped by Kuya Lando because the rocks were very slippery
(Photo Courtesy: Joni Bonifacio)


We also had to cross the river so we could reach the waterfall. We used a rope so we won't be carried away by the strong water current.




My cavemates with the cavemaster/tour guide, Joni Bonifacio

Me, my cavemates, and our very kind porter
(Photo Courtesy: Joni Bonifacio)



map of Sulpan cave (Source: http://trexplore.weebly.com)




Sulpan cave offers many exciting activities. We have to climb big rocks and swam in the river many times. Unfortunately, we were not able to traverse the cave til the other entrance because my cavemates already felt cold, so we had to go back. 


Here are some of the photos I took inside:












We jumped off from the cave on our way back.




It was already dinner time when we arrived at our campsite. After eating, my cavemates already slepright away because they were very tired. I guess the reason I wasn't very tired is that Kuya Lando, the porter, has been helping me all the way. Hence, I decided to take a photo of the porters first. Bonding time! :)



the porters residing in San Jorge


Kuya Lando, our porter from Calbiga


On the second day, I woke up at 6 am so I could take a photo of the Pinipisakan falls because I was not able to take a good photo during our exploration due to the bright sunlight. When I came back, my cavemates were already in time to eat breakfast.


Breakfast by the river


grilled freshwater eel from the river


Our way home was the most exciting part for me because we swam in the river and let the water current bring us back home. I let myself dragged by Kuya Lando because I was very scared to go to the river at first. Eventually, I had fun being carried by the water current, bumping on some rocks, and jumping off waterfalls. The following photos are taken by Kuya Joni because my camera is not waterproof. XD








We also had to climb big boulders again, because some parts of the river are risky due to the very strong water current and big rocks. We have to pass on the side.









The boatmen were waiting for us exactly where they dropped us off on our first day of exploration. We got dry when we reached the port, so we did not change clothes anymore. Don't worry, we didn't smell bad because we were in the water most of the time. When we reached Catbalogan, we were welcomed at Kuya Joni's house. Ate Rhine, his wife, prepared a very healthy and delicious meal for us. She is a very good cook. I really appreciate her cooking. Yummy! :) 







CONTACT(S):

Samar Outdoor Shop 
Allen Avenue, Catbalogan, Samar
09192943865

WHAT TO BRING:

  • extra clothes for sleeping at night (and undies, too XD)
  • cap/hat/umbrella/sarong
  • anti-mosquito lotion
  • sunblock lotion
  • alcohol or hand sanitizer
  • a strong and effective deodorant
  • wet tissue
  • small towel
  • drinking water and some snacks
  • waterproof camera (if you have, and if you are interested in taking photos)
  • waterproof flashlight at least 2000 lumens (not really required but highly recommended)
  • very good shoes with spikes or soccer/trekking shoes so you won't slide because the tracks are very slippery
  • dry bags or cellophane (you will need it) ;)

***Meals, life vest, safety gears, and other necessary equipment were already provided by Kuya Joni. :) 


THINGS TO REMEMBER:


Respect the environment. Don't leave your trashes behind and don't get something that is not yours.

Respect everyone and be polite at all times. It will pay you off. If you are kind to people, they will also be kind to you.

It's okay to take it slowly but surely. Your life matters. :)


BEST SEASON TO GO:


Any season as long as there is no typhoon.




Comments

  1. Hello, Just asking a permission to use your photo of pinipisakan falls as my FILIPINANA area in my classroom to show my students the wonders of visayas.... I'm from Lavezares N. Samar but not yet been there so, I don't have a photo of my own..... I hope for your approval. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go ahead, please. Thank you for asking my permission first. You may send me an email at drupe0906@gmail.com if you need a picture with better quality. :)

      Delete
  2. Awesome adventure! Looking forward to do the same. Reading from several reviews, I can say Calbayog is lucky to have Sir Joni. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice! We'll be exploring here with Sir Joni in the coming months. :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How I Spent Less Than €20 in Budapest for 3D2N

Why I Love Czech Republic