Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Get There: Mag-aso Falls in Antequera, Bohol

Mag-aso Falls is located in Barangay Can-omay, Antequera, Bohol. This tourist attraction has a beautiful twin cascades with approximate height of 20 feet dropping down to a cool and deep natural pool. Situated inside a forested area being maintained by the Antequera Local Governmen Unit (LGU), Mag-aso Falls offer an alternative getaway in Bohol apart from the usual beaches, heritage sites and Chocolate Hills. Since it is not that touristy compared to other Bohol tourist spots, there is a big possibility that you can enjoy the falls all to yourself if you go there on a weekday.

Mag-aso Falls is not often included in packaged tour itineraries because it is out of the way of the usual Panglao-Loboc-Chocolate Hills route. However, getting there is relatively cheap and easy and you don't have to hire a private vehicle as public transportation is readily available in going to Antequera. 

1. Antequera is a 4th class inland municipality situated 18.5 kilometers from Tagbilaran City. Here's a Google Map photo showing the location of Antequera:

2. From Tagbilaran City, there are passenger jeepneys and buses going to Antequera. If you're in the city center, hail a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the terminal of jeepneys going to Antequera. Travel time from Tagbilaran to Antequera is approximately 30 minutes.

Mini-bus going to Antequera from Tagbilaran City

3. Once you reach the town proper of Antequera, look for habal-habal motorcycle which can take you to Mag-aso Falls. The falls is located in Barangay Can-omay and is less than 2 kilometers away from the town proper. There is a well-established dirt road in going to the falls.

The Holy Rosary Parish Church in Antequera still stood after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol last October. However, its walls and belfry cracked due to the tremors thus masses are not being held inside the church anymore. This church is within the Antequera town center and you may disembark here and look for habal-habal to take you to Mag-aso Falls.

4. You may ask the habal-habal driver to wait for you while you are in the falls or you may ask for his cellphone number so yo can contact him once you are ready to leave the place.

5. There are two entrance fees being collected on the way to the falls. You have to pay 10 pesos at the first booth and 20 pesos at the main entrance. 

6. Before reaching the falls, you need to descend through 197 concrete steps along a lush forest.

A viewing deck will offer you your first glimpse of the falls

7. Picnic tables and chairs are built near the falls. There is also a dressing and comfort room. However, these facilities are not well maintained.

Concrete structures altered Mag-aso's natural setting though it offers a convenient and safer access for the tourists.

8. Bring your own food and drinks as there are no stores near the waterfalls.

9. Extra care must be taken when swimming especially in the deep part of the pool where the falls cascade down. Flash flood are known to occur during rainy days and there have been reported incident in the past where the flood claimed lives. It is better to avoid going to the falls during rainy season.

The strong earthquake which struck Bohol last October 2013 caused the boulders beside the bigger cascade and the tree trunk to fall down to the basin.

A foreign tourist showered beneath the smaller cascade of Mag-aso Falls

10. Since the falls is within a forested area, it is also better to slather your skin with mosquito repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

Suroy Pilipinas blogger and his mom during a recent visit to Mag-aso Falls

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