Sometimes, nature’s beauty just have to speak for itself. In an island of 30 waterfalls, Biliran Tinago Falls is just one of the nature beauties in the small island that’s hard to conceal for so long. Tucked in the forest of Caibiran, near the heart of the island, the falls (Tinago in Tagalog means hidden), no longer hidden, is probably the most popular falls in the province. The inner Naval-Caibiran road is well paved, passing through a series of low rice terraces towards the jump-off known as the Tinago Falls Eco Tourism Park. It’s accessibility makes it a local favorite for both tourist and island natives.
An Eco Tourism Park
It’s my first foray in Biliran Island. I knew from my friends who have been here that I’ll go gaga over the waterfalls in the island. Though in my recent trip there with AirAsia Philippines for a familiarization tour, we’ll only visit one falls. Hey, it’s better than nothing. Biliran Tinago Falls was in our itinerary. I was excited but I had my expectations low since its popular and accessible. Places like that usually are misdeveloped and crowded.
An afternoon drizzle greeted us at the jump-off of the eco tourism park. Since my companions were busy changing outfits, I went ahead and hurried down the concrete steps hoping to be the first one at the falls. I wanted to take a picture of the waterfalls with less or no people. The park was developed as expected. There’s a large washroom and changing area near an open field. Also a covered picnic area by the river banks for visitors.
Biliran Tinago Falls
I thought the falls would still be quite a walk from the developed structures I passed by. It only took a few minutes on the trail until I caught sight of the Tinago Falls. It was a thing of beauty really. I like that development didn’t infer with how it looks. I was the only one there and I savored the moment of its pristineness unperturbed. Even for a few minutes before my companions arrived.
The 80–90 feet high falls gushes out water into a splendorous arc down the wide basin of the falls. The basin is large enough and deep but swimmable by the shallows. I’m glad I took photos already as I was itching to join my companions for a dip. I had to do a light balancing act by the rocks to reach the basin. I welcomed the tingle of cold damping my feet in between cascades as I hope from one rock to the other. Then the refreshing submerge. This is how waterfalls should be enjoyed.
Tinago Falls is located in Baranggay Caibiran, Biliran Island. Biliran can be reached via Tacloban City. Travel time is 2–2.5 hours on land. From Tacloban City, ride a van headed to Naval, the capital of Biliran. Van fare is Php 120. From Naval, hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) to the falls in Caibiran. Travel time is 45 minutes with a fare of Php 500–800 (depends on your haggling skills). The habal-habal can seat up to 3 pax.
AirAsia Philippines flies to Tacloban City daily from NAIA Terminal 4.
Tinago Falls Eco Tourism Park entrance fee is Php 20 for adults and Php 10 for children. Visitors may bring their own food.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.