When I hear about Matalom in Leyte, Canigao Island comes to mind. But recently, this beautiful waterfall has been making rounds waiting to be explored – the Mahayahay falls. It is also locally known as Karap-agan falls. I am a sucker for waterfalls and if I am to choose between this and the beach, I’d honestly pick the fresh water adventure.
Coincidentally a year ago on the same day, I visited a majestic waterfall with my college friends and this time the Mahayahay falls with my high school buddies. It was the perfect timing since we just had our reunion the day before.
We started our road trip in Hilongos Leyte with a pickup vehicle and others on their motorcycles. After passing Matalom proper, we turned left to the mountainside on the corner where the “sabungan” (cock fighting) in barangay Caridad Norte until we reach the end of the road. This is where we parked our rides.
P.S. Park at your own risk, we can never tell when bad luck strikes. Don’t leave valuables behind.
Ironically, “mahayahay” could mean “easy going” or “easy life” but the road to this hidden beauty wasn’t easy. You will drive through a rough and rocky road, trek along the river and over a tree, literally. It was challenging but not very hard. You just need to be careful and watch your step because it is slippery, as most things wet. 😀
The trek took around 10 minutes but we were in a slow pace since it rained in the morning. Note that it is an isolated place so we brought our own food and drinks. It is important to wear comfortable clothes also to easily get around any obstacle. But everything will be worth it once you get to the falls.
Actually, it was just this year that I heard about this waterfall, thanks to social media. I have been to Matalom several times since high school days but never knew of the place. Mahayahay falls has 2 layers of water drops and for me, you should get up close to the second level to fully experience it.
It was a sight to behold as the sound of the gushing waters, coolness of the air and quietness of the surroundings will give you serenity. The thing I love about waterfalls is their unique characteristics and for me, this one offers a great package.
Let me tell you these 5 things that I love about Mahayahay falls.
1. Second Level Platform
The mini-platform on the second level provides a nice picnic area. Not that I suggest you eat your food here but you can sit down while you relax and have a chit-chat with your buddies. If you bring your food here, please make sure you bring with you your trash after.
2. Swimming Pool
You can also enjoy a mini-pool that is deep enough to jump in. But if you are planning to, please test the waters first so you know which part is shallow. You need to jump just right in the center coz other than that, you may hit a rock so be safe always.
3. Jump Site
If you are an adrenaline junkie, like me, I’m sure you want a higher jumping site. You can do it from the second level and this time the drop zone is a little smaller. It is just right where the water drops and notice the guy in red pointing on the drop zone, he is already standing on a rock. It means do not dive head first. 🙂
Here’s a clip of my jump. Again, jump at your own risk! 😀
4. Beautiful Background
For photo junkies, the waterfall will definitely give you a wonderful background given you have a waterproof camera. I personally love how the water is spread to the rocks almost evenly.
5. Natural Shower
Last but not the least, you can enjoy the natural shower that feels like a rainfall. The water is gentle enough to give you a relaxing massage. Here you have unlimited time to be in the shower without worrying about the water.
Isn’t it a beauty? I bet this will definitely beat the heat especially during summer. That’s another reason why I prefer waterfalls than the beach coz it’s refreshingly cool and doesn’t get me super “tanned”! This is my definition of relaxation. 😀
How to get there:
From Manila, you can take a flight to Tacloban to reach Leyte but it’s a very long drive down south to Matalom.
From Cebu, you can take sea trips to Hilongos that is two municipalities before Matalom and just a 20-minute drive. You will take a turn in barangay Caridad Norte where the “sabungan” (Matalom Sports Center) is located and take around 5-minute drive on a rocky road. You will need your own ride for this trip. Note that there are no signboards or directions to the waterfalls so your best guide would be someone who has been there or ask the locals.
Perhaps the reason I have not heard of Mahayahay falls previously is because it’s a hidden beauty less known to many. And now as I share our awesome experience, I would like to emphasize this golden rule again and again.
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time.
So how’s your summer so far? Let me know what you think of this wonder and spread good vibes! 🙂