Moments after sunrise, I found myself in a multi-cab (public utility jeepney) heading north to the town of Titay. This town is about 16kms north of Ipil where it has in its interior barangay, a gem which could awaken this otherwise sleepy town to tourists and visitors. This gem is the beautiful curtain-type cascades known to a few as Tagbilat Falls.
Yes, you heard it right. The falls has an awkward name that makes everyone wonder why it was named as such. Yet it can be assured that its natural beauty makes you forget its name. The falls is located in the interior barangay of Malagandis.
How to get there?
From Ipil, I took a multi-cab bound for Titay. Fare is Php 18. I got off near the public terminal which is before the municipal hall. The next question is where to find a habal-habal driver that can bring you to Brgy. Malagandis.
Titay Municipal Hall
There are shops at the terminal where you could ask to be referred to a habal-habal driver. In my case, I asked from one of the bakeshops and they referred me to Ramil. I negotiated for Php 200, he pleaded to add Php 50. I did not haggle because he will act as my guide to the falls.
Tourism framework for Tagbilat Falls is not yet there. Expect to negotiate or haggle with the habal-habal drivers for your trip to and from the falls. I read from blogs that the rate is Php 200. But you need to give an extra since they will act as your guide.
With the agreed price of Php 250, off we go to Malagandis thru the municipal road also known as CPMC Road or the Malagandis Road. The road is rough all the way to Barangay Malagandis. From there, we took the Losadan Road and stopped before a certain house.
There were no signages directing us to Tagbilat Falls. Ramil, the habal-habal driver remembered that spot where the trail to the falls starts. The locals advised us to follow the electrical wires as this would lead us to the falls.
We followed the electrical lines and the foot trails. It’s a good 15-20 minutes hike with the last 200 steps being the most challenging part. It’s a downward, sloping, slippery hike and with nothing to hold on to except for the sticky sappy rubber trees.
The trail starts at the side of this house
Just follow the electrical wires
First glance of Tagbilat River
The trail ends at an abandoned shack which may have served as an outpost or cottage for the falls. And there, in all its natural beauty, the Tagbilat Falls unraveled before my eyes.
Tagbilat Falls (Malagandis Falls)
If locals were to speak, they call it the Malagandis Falls. The water came from Tagbilat River which drops on a cliff, creating a curtain-type waterfall. It then flows for several kilometers before it joins the Bacalan River that empties to Sibuguey Bay.
Tagbilat River originates from the mountains near Titay-Tampilisan border, an area known as the Central Subanen Ancestral Domain. And according to the locals, the river was named Tagbilat because the waters were shallow and the level is only up to a woman’s private part.
The falls though leaps at a height higher than a woman’s private part. It leaps beautifully from a cliff, a dark rocky wall the curves inward like a cavern that hides behind the water curtain. Tagbilat Falls is set in contrast with the lush greenery, the silence broken by the sound of water hitting the rocks and the pool below.
Tagbilat Falls is a sight to behold. Truly wonderful.
I wished to stay more at Tagbilat Falls. I gazed at its sheer beauty one more time before retracing the path back to the old unpaved barangay road.