Kawasan Falls is arguably the most famous waterfall system in the Philippines. Its multi-tier design is a famous venue for canyoneering where participants trek into a forest before diving into its crystal-clear waters.
It’s a must-do activity in Cebu for many adrenaline junkies that is worthwhile despite how exhausting it can get.
Unfortunately, we may not be able to experience this famous attraction in 2023.
The provincial government suspended canyoneering operations in Kawasan after inspections revealed illegally built and abandoned structures along with several easements near the falls.
The suspension order took effect on Friday, June 2nd, assuring the public’s safety as government officials clear out these hazardous areas.
Provincial Governor Gwendolyn Garcia reiterated the importance of keeping the iconic tourist spot safe for tourists and locals alike, stating that any mishap at the waterfall can tarnish Cebu’s booming tourism industry.
ILLEGAL AND ABANDONED STRUCTURES
The municipal government of Badian, together with local police, discovered several key places that may pose dangers to canyoneering participants.
Metallic spikes and abandoned structures believed to have been illegally built were found along the trails of the waterfall system. These may have been destroyed following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in 2021.
The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) also discovered a “life-threatening” passage of water at the abandoned CEBECO Dam, which is one of the most famous trails for canyoneering in Badian.
These structures have reportedly been ignored by the municipal government, forcing the province to step in and manage operations.
BADIAN LOSING P1M DAILY
Badian’s local government unit is reportedly losing around P1.1M worth of income daily due to the closure of Kawasan Falls.
Since the municipality heavily relies on tourists, the closure has affected not only the LGU, but also the many tour contractors offering treks to the falls.
The falls reportedly accommodate 700 tourists on weekdays and 900 on weekends. Each participant pays a P1,500 fee to join the activity, with private contractors receiving P1,300 for their tour guides and the use of the equipment.
The closure has also reportedly affected nearby establishments, such as Lambug Beach, which is a few meters away from Kawasan.
Accommodations are also taking a hit, with some tourists already canceling reservations. These establishments primarily cater to tourists who visit the town to experience canyoneering.
According to the town’s tourism officer, around P100,000 is given to the LGU, and the rest is divided by the many travel operators offering canyoneering services.
The return of Kawasan Falls is still indefinite, so we may never know when this iconic tourist attraction may return. However, this is a much-needed development to protect the safety and cleanliness of the waterfall system.