Basak Falls and Malingin Falls: Expecting the Unexpected

“As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned. That’s what you call God’s will.”


I remembered my Sixth Grade teacher telling us over and over again, that the secret to happiness is not to expect. For a 10 year old kid whose mind is filled with Dragonballs and Tekken Matches, I didn’t understand what he meant. I mean, who wouldn’t want to experience happiness? When you see your crush coming to you, bringing chocolates and wearing that shy smile, who are you not expect? When your mom promises to bring you to Jollibee after attending Sunday mass, how could you not expect? When it’s almost your birthday and your grandmother asks you what your favorite color is, how can you keep yourself from expecting? I was thinking maybe back then, my teacher was again using idiomatic expressions or talking figuratively.

I didn’t realize that it would take me another decade to understand what he meant.

Two months ago, my recently found friends who explored the hidden gems of Talisay (Igutan Cave and Waterfalls) with me, finally put into realization our plan of visiting Basak Falls of San Fernando, Cebu and Malingin Falls of Carcar.


Together with some other fellow, we explored another hidden gem of Cebu. Because the plan was just to visit waterfalls, we didn’t prepared much, wore only shorts and swimming attires, and put in mind that in mind that it would just be another “pabebe” activity.



This 80 feet falls is located in San Fernando, Cebu. This is accessible by riding a motorcycle from Balud Chapel to the drop off station (the habal-habal drivers know where to drop you off). The road is actually very steep and because we didn’t expect that it would be a “trek-like” activity, we had a hard time adjusting our slippers and avoiding the sharp needles of grasses along the way. After a short trek, a 10-feet high waterfalls awaits every visitor in the area. While most visitors stay on this level, our group decided to go to the connecting 80-feet tall waterfalls – which is directly below the second level. However, going to the second waterfalls is not that easy. It would entail almost an hour and half trek and dealing with thorns and itchy spikes of plants as well as steep and pointed rocks on the cliff. Before reaching the area, we have to pass several gold mining sites (according to our guide).



Compared to Basak Falls, Malingin has a better trail; however, we still need to deal with steep, slippery and loose soil before arriving at this pristine and majestic waterfalls. This is accessible from Gaisano Carcar wherein you can take a habal-habal ride to Sitio Gimbaliwan, Brgy. Canasuan / Kanasuhan. From there we trekked downhill, held unto crags and passed by the flowing river which goes directly to what the children calls as Kawa Falls. From Kawa Falls, we swam our way to its connecting waterfalls – Malingin Falls.

Sitio Guimbaliwan Chapel
Trail to Malingin Falls
Kawa Falls
That “Canyoneering-like” path to Malingin Falls


Malingin Falls Topview

We earned a lot of bruises and scratches because of this activity. It wasn’t the “pabebe” that we expected. For the record, it can be classified as one of those minor climbs that seemed like a pre-climb for a major event. Nevertheless, after our evaluation, we were glad with the outcome. Yes, we didn’t prepare for such kind of activity. Yes, we were not dressed for trekking. But we learned so much. And it is on those unexpected adventure that I came to value my colleagues more. It may be traumatic for some, but it’s surely worth taking.

And I think I understand now what my teacher meant with what he said – that the secret to happiness is to not expect at all. Because in those unexpected moments, you become unaware on how the universe will conspire to make everything fall into pieces, as if it has been perfectly woven by time and destiny. It is in those unexpected moments that you’ll realize on what you are capable of doing. It is in those unexpected moments that you’ll realize that you are not a robot, a programmed machine – doing the same routine over and over again.



Not from Cebu? See Travelbook for details of this epic trip!