Jawili initially looked too far and too time-consuming to fit in my itinerary. But when I ended up with an extra morning on my second day, this was the first destination that came to mind.
Jawili Falls and Jawili Beach could be accessed via the town of Tangalan. After breakfast the second day, I boarded a tricycle going to the Tangalan jeepney terminal (Php8) and found myself the first jeepney passenger. I had to wait for a while, but it was a good thing the jeepney left even if it wasn’t full yet. Fare to Tangalan is Php20, and travel takes around 30-45 minutes. I asked the driver to drop me off at Tangalan town proper and told him that I was going to Jawili Falls.
There are tricycles in the area, and drivers offer a round-trip tour to Jawili Falls and Jawili Beach, stopping in certain interesting spots for photos. As of my visit in January 2015, a round-trip tour was the only option available for those who plan to commute because of the limited number of tricycles in the area. It’s not possible to ask to go to Jawili falls and Jawili beach on a one-way trip, simply because there might not be any available tricycle when it’s time to go back to the town proper.
The tricycle driver and my tour guide, Mang Cesar, quoted me Php260 for the entire trip (and simply implied that I can just give extra tip since we will be stopping in certain areas).
Our first stop was at the church of Tangalan, an old edifice built in the 1800s.
The church has an ancient, solemn look to it. It was empty at the time, but it was open and I was able to look around. I took some photos and stayed a while, and then we proceeded on our long trip to Jawili Falls along a road that was paved at some points and rough in others.
Apparently, tricycle is the only public means of transport from Jawili to Tangalan and the neighboring areas. And because it’s not always readily available, residents usually have learned to shop for their long-term needs whenever they go to the market in town.
Jawili Falls is a 7-layer falls inside a compound. It has accommodations for visitors staying overnight, although it seemed like I was the only visitor at the time (it was a Monday). I paid Php5 entrance fee to the caretaker, and my guide accompanied me to the top of the falls (climbing concrete stairs at the first part of the ascent, and then walking in rocks–with some climbing involved–in the latter part). According to Mang Cesar, the falls usually get a lot of visitors during the weekends. The water is clear and good for swimming, although there were shallow parts during my visit because it’s not rainy season.
After reaching the top of the falls (it goes farther, but the next areas are no longer accessible), we went back down and proceeded to Jawili Beach, which is located just a few meters away. There were no other people there, too, and there wasn’t much to see. There were no cottages or huts along the beach, and the Northeast Monsoon wind at the time was causing strong waves. So, I just took a few photos and asked Mang Cesar that we go on our way.
On the way back, we got into a little accident–one of the rear tires of the tricycle exploded. The vulcanizing shop was a bit far from where the incident happened, so it appeared that the tire would not be fixed right away. Mang Cesar went to inquire from the houses in the neighborhood, while I went to talk to a couple of locals. I found out that Mang Cesar knew the people in the area (and that, according to him later on, most people in the neighborhood are related either by blood or marriage).
One of the residents lent him a tricycle. And despite the accident, Mang Cesar still brought me to our last destination on our way back to town–Agfa Point. This is a cliff with a single lighthouse, which overlooks a beach that features interesting rock formations.
After exploring Agfa Point and taking some photos, we went on our way back to town, where I boarded a van back to Kalibo. The entire trip took a whole morning, including commute from Kalibo to Tangalan, and back.