Travelore: Mambanao, Burauen, Leyte

Just a few kilometres away from the sawang or center of Burauen, Leyte hides a sandy shore on a bank of a pristine river. This place is called Mambanao by the locals. Its crystal clear cool water, unpolluted by human wantonness is the perfect place to go to on a hot and humid day.

To get to this little piece of paradise, one must traverse through a trail frequently plied by horses with sacks of copras on their back. The trail is planked by the side of the mountain at the left with small springs bubbling at random crevices. At the right is a ravine that falls off to the river.

Getting to the sandy bank is about a ten minute hike. You will never lack conversation topics along the way. With its beautiful flora and fauna and colorful butterflies fluttering around, this is a piece of paradise that needs to be preserved. It is a wonder that only a few of the towns people know of this place.

Descending on the ravine, you can hear the strong rapids emitted by the two nearby waterfalls.

The sandy bar where most of the people like to picnic at offers a warm shade.

The view of the rest of the winding river from here is spectacular! Towering trees abound from both sides of the river bank on top of rock formations. Its just the rippling river, the green trees and the blue sky as far as the eye can see.

There is a rock formation here wherein you will see the "face of Mambanao".

This area offers a good vantage point to observe young boys scaling the rocks and diving through the deep part of the river.

The water near the sandy bank is shallow and calm. If your child is good at following instructions like mine, you can leave her at this side without any fear or worries.

Further on is a cave that I dare not explore.

Going the opposite direction, one needs to traverse through boulders of rocks to access the two waterfalls.

With perfect environmental factors, one can even witness a couple of rainbows dancing on the foot of these waterfalls.
I love this place totally. It reminds me of my childhood and how my lola would bring my brother and I to the riverside to wash our clothes. If you are in Burauen, this is a must see. You might want to bring your own rubber tube and instead of hiking back, ride a tube back down.


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