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Chasing Waterfalls at Port Barton

Port Barton is a small village located 23km northwest of Roxas City in Palawan Philippines. It is a community built on fishing and pearl-farming with tourism entering their top spot as source of income. This place suggests a quieter and laid-back vacation compared to El Nido. Tours are much cheaper, accommodations offers the standards, no five star hotels, no night life - just the unspoiled and sophisticated town perfect for backpackers and those seeking peace and privacy. 

This town doesn't have hospitals, just a small medical center and public transport is minimal. Only few trips (1 or 2) scheduled daily. No jeepneys, no tricycle. You'll only see habal-habal. Even the location is remote you can't possible do a day tour.

This small town is my destination and highlight for my birthday travel!

I checkout early for the 9AM trip to Port Barton but when I came to San Jose terminal, the van had just left and the next one will be at 10AM. It is still 8AM so I knew I learned the schedule incorrectly. Good thing the dispatcher was kind enough to let me catch the van that had just left. With his motorcycle, he took me to Robinsons Mall where the van will pass, I paid Php 300.00.

The travel to Port Barton is half good and half not because as you're nearing the town, the roads are getting rough. Most of the time I was awaken by the shaking and dropping of my head from the backseat. The local government really lacks effort on this matter because almost all roads in Port Barton are not paved.

Stop over
Travel time is 3 hours only including the stop over.

Streets of Port Barton, Palawan

Port Barton Tourism Office
We knew we were in Port Barton when a young man opened the door and introduced their van service, the Recarro (the one I'm riding) but they drop us at the tourism office which is beside the Barangay hall and Basketball court.

Map and the Eco Tourism Card in Port Barton, Palawan
Environmental Fee costs Php 50.00. You'll need this if you are touring the islands.

The place where I'll be staying is just 2 blocks away. Princess Michaella has lots of plants. The dorm rooms are good. Every room is good for 4. For the first night I stayed with a Korean girl but we didn't talk. The only thing I didn't like is the wife of one of the owners. She doesn't have a welcoming face, eyebrows touch each other and she seems to lack concern on guests. I only saw her smile when I checkout and paid her. -_- Anyway, she's not a big deal, because the tourist spots in Port Barton are worth more!

Expect the new building that will soon be finished, just in time for summer.
The brown and woody building holds the Dorm Rooms
Dorm room; Costs Php350.00 per bed. Common CR. No problem on water.

One thing to note is the electricity in town only runs from 530PM to 1AM. So charging your phone and cameras need strategy.

The owner of the place where I stayed was very kind and accommodating. I forgot his name though, but he arranged me for the waterfalls tour and island hopping tour to his friends. Because of him, I got to spend my afternoon with no hassle.

Lunch first @ Gacayan Restaurant. Every locals in town suggested this resto because the food is cheap (Less than 100) and ready-made.

I initially plan to walk my way to Pamuayan Falls since maps will be provided in the Tourism Office but they suggested to ride a habal-habal. It costs Php 300.00 two-way so I availed it. I allotted more for this activity anyway so it wouldn't hurt. There are also motorcycles and bikes available for rent. But since I don't know how to operate a motorcycle, I just availed the tour.

My tour guide is called 'Bunsoy' (In English, it means 'youngest'). So Kuya Bunsoy is a talkative guy and he's friendly. As soon as he knew he'll be touring me he said "Kahit iguide ko pa sa Falls yan!" ("I'll even take her to the falls"). Ang ganda ko lang. Charot! The initial arrangement was he'll just drop me at the entrance then I'll walk my way to the falls (since I know I can! Lakas lang ng loob). But due to his kindness and my charm, he guided me through it. 

We start at the street along the basketball court in front of the school. It is a straight path wherein if you'll encounter a fork, always take the right path - that's a general rule! You'll know you've reach the entry to the falls when you saw the sign board. The entry is a small river.

When we arrived at the destination I thank God that I chose to ride a habal-habal, if not, I'll be panting at this moment, it was FAR! Really! It will take me 2 hours by walk, or by run. 

Other guests watching Kuya Bunso preparing to dive from the top
Pamuayan Falls is a beautiful Falls which has a pretty strong current. My guide said that even during El Nino the water here didn't dry up. Water can be as deep as 12ft but it shallows up to knee-high. This makes it perfect for kids. The surrounding is full of rocks and trees and it is refreshing. Even in the middle of the afternoon, you'll feel no heat. There is a big nipa hut near the falls.

When I arrived there are foreigners and a few Filipinos after me. I stayed there for an hour then I get intrigued by what other fellow Pinoys called Bigaho Falls. I knew there's another waterfalls in Port Barton but didn't plan for it because based on the internet, you'll need to rent a boat for this. Kuya Bunsoy confirmed that the road to Bigaho Falls is now paved so it can be accessed by our motorcycle. So we went there.

Kuya Bunsoy said he already went there but not using the new roads. I just trusted him and went on with the ride. We went straight to the road going to San Vicente. He said this is the same road that connects the two (Port Barton-San Vicente) aside from the road that includes Roxas City. The only downside was, the dust was too thick. It's SUPER THICK if I'll step my feet in the ground it will be dipped in an almost knee-high dust. It is not just the feet, but our bodies and the motorcycle were covered too. We'll be going to the falls anyway, so we can wash it away.

 Have your sunglasses ready during the habal-habal ride.

Everything's going well until it is passed 2 hours and we still haven't reach Bigaho Falls. We're almost nearing Poblacion in San Vicente by seeing the private beaches! So we turn around and look for other ways. We turn here and there and I instructed Kuya Bunsoy to finally ask some locals for the way. But hopelessly, we didn't find it. I just instructed him to take me back to Port Barton before we run out of fuel which is already showing its warning. No I don't want to get stranded in this road less traveled!

Entrance is free. There is just a registration notebook and donation box.
As we went back, we're almost near the Pamuayan Falls entrance (again) when a local instructed us where is the entrance to Bigaho Falls. Again! A spark of hope, we can still come home fulfilled.

My feet after the habal-habal ride. It's much thinner in the picture, but there's a time where my feet and sandals are all white! You wouldn't see traces of the pink color.
We finally found the entry way to Bigaho Falls! It is not that far from Pamoayan Falls. Err! Lesson learned. There are no signs stating it is the way going to Bigaho Falls. You'll just know it when you see tents and tractors and people.

The path to Bigaho Falls is much more established. The stairs are made of wide stones and is pretty safe. You can go there with no sweat, just the dust from travel.

A rocky way up
The falls is all mine. Harhar!

Wew!! My day was fulfilled when I saw this falls. The flow of water is weak but it is enough to have a 6-9ft basin. I just dipped my whole body and head to wash away the layer of dust. Duh I need some scrubbing!

After our trip we went back to Port Barton happy and tired. I paid Kuya Bunsoy double for the side trip and road trip. Wahaha!

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.” 

Recarro Vans
+63 909 351 3037 | +63 905 485 8597

Princess Michaella
Location: 2 Blocks away from the Tourism Office. They will give you a map though.
Contact No. 0948 236 1099

Habal-habal ride
Kuya Bunsoy
Contact no.  0918 758 2073

The Happy Teller,


Glens is a full time Systems Developer and part time wanderer. On weekends she's mostly at home watching series, anime or anything of her interest. Sometimes, she can be seen backpacking or hiking. But she can ditch that over comfort food and bed weather.

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