Canyoning or Canyoneering Philippines: 7 Waterfalls at Bangon Falls, Catbalogan City, Samar


PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio
MISSION for today should Chasing Potatoes and I choose to take it, is canyoning or canyoneering through seven waterfalls in Bangon, Catbalogan City, Samar.

Canyoning vs. Canyoneering

First off, what is the difference between canyoning or canyoneering? None. The two are synonymous. Both are catch words for a hybrid sport in which participants traverse along a canyon using a variety of techniques including hiking or trekking, swimming, rappelling, bouldering, climbing and bushwacking. Side effects could be broken bones, vertigo, hypothermia, heat stroke and dehydration. This might sound disheartening and scary to some of you but this sounds like a grand adventure for me!

Hiking through Barangay Manguihay, Catbalogan, Samar

Just a few minutes motorcycle ride from the center of Catbalogan City into the fringes of its jungle lies Barangay Manguihay where the popular picnic spot for the townspeople-Bangon Falls is located. While swimming and relaxing in the cool river during hot days or in the weekend is a popular activity for the locals here, our group was looking for more than the usual adrenaline rush!

From Barangay Manguihay, just follow the water pipeline up and it will lead you through the forest.


Along the way you will meet see and interact with locals as they do their activities of daily living. Some men are carrying timber downhill.


There are also salesmen on foot selling various appliances like this man who is selling a stereo/karaoke set. Along the way, you will hear the houses blast Curacha and if you are a true-blue Waray, this brings back memories of fiestas and the urge to dance.


You will also meet a steady stream of men of all ages, sometimes elderly women too, coming to town to bring their organic produce. From root crops to vegetables to upland rice, their baskets are filled with pleasant surprises that's good for the tummy.


Our one hour trek ended at the water treatment facility.


This Catbalogan City's main water source.


Rappelling orientation

We had to strap on our harness and excitedly wait for our descent.


At this point, Sir Joni of Trexplore run through the rappelling drill with us again, making sure that we understood the steps well. We only learned the basics like inserting the rope into the carabiner, locking it, and breaking our descent.


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Canyoning over 7 waterfalls

There were seven waterfalls to conquer. The highest, Bangon Falls has a 5-meter drop.

The best part for me is rappelling. There is the thrill of not knowing what lies beyond but you know you are safe and secure.

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Jumping off cliffs is my least favorite. I noticed I needed more and more minutes to compose myself with each jump.

Holding hands para sweet!

My knees buckle with every free fall. Juice ko! I think my greatest fear is not knowing the depth and worrying that I'd be caught by the whirlpool. At one point I didn't jump far enough that my heel bone hit a rock.

Some tips when cliff jumping:

  1.  Survey your landing zone. Make sure it is deep enough(4 meters plus) to jump into.
  2.  Make sure the area where you are going to land is clear before you jump to avoid accidents.
  3.  Dive feet first because your face is too important to damage! But seriously, just imagine the water hitting your face, up your nostrils and where else! Ouch!
  4. Relax. Don't panic. Find your perfect timing and confidence. Don't succumb to peer pressure. 
  5. Glasses or goggles are not recommended. It will just fly off. If you are wearing contact lenses like I do, keep your eyes closed until you resurface and there is minimal water on your face.
  6. Jump away from the whirlpool! I repeat, jump away from the whirlpool!


Don't go chasing waterfalls...please stick to the rivers...that you are used to...
PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Going with the flow can bruise your tailbone! So here's a tip for you when you are floating downstream, pull your tailbone up to protect it from jutting rocks. Yes work out those glutes and enjoy the view up above. You'll see the sunlight playingwith the leaves as butterflies, fireflies, and rare species of birds fly by.

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

The best adventures in Samar, Leyte, and Biliran is not complete without Sir Joni of Trexplore. He makes things safe and possible!

Groufie with Sir Joni! PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Some tips when you are rappelling:

  1. Survey the area and plan your route.
  2. Don't let go of the rope you use for break. I am right handed so I always have to remind myself to hold on to the rope even when I am panicking.
  3. Find a good foothold. I love crevices because they help keep me stable especially if the wall is mossy and slippery.
  4. If the rapids get you, keep calm, relax, and push yourself up slowly.
  5. Stretch out your legs for stability. It also protects your kneecaps from bumping into sharp edges.
  6. Look down and check your route. Make sure there are no roots jutting out that could snag your rope. Don't step on loose rocks.

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Swim away from the waterfall!

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Walk. Skip some stones. Get tanned!

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Rappel pa more!

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Relax in the wading pools but mind the gaps because the current is strong. It can suck you! I needed the guide to pull me out!

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

The struggle is real!

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Walk through reeds and look for the basket carrying Moses.

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

This was a half-day activity. We started at 8am and ended at 1pm. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Joni Bonifacio

Want to experience the same adrenaline rush? Contact:

JONI ABESAMIS BONIFACIO OF TREXPLORE THE ADVENTURES
ADDRESS: ABESAMIS STORE, ALLEN AVE., CATBALOGAN CITY, SAMAR
PHONE: 055-2512301/5438550
MOBILE: 09192943865/092750062
EMAIL: INFO@TREXPLORE.PH/ SAMAR@TREXPLORE.PH/ TREXPLORESAMAR@GMAIL.COM


Package includes:

  • transportation from city proper to jump off point
  • equipment
  • lunch
  • certificate
  • copy of photos

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