Leytescapes : Babatngon Con Brio

During one warm April afternoon, in our one-of-a-kind shared office (where a bunch of people from Philippines Communitere are working to create Tacloban Youth Hub) me and my colleagues suddenly felt the need for a dose of nature and water to clear our minds. We pondered for a while and then a Eureka moment came and it was to have a quick motorbike trip to Babatngon (hooray for humans with travel machines!).

Babatngon? The name of the town sounds complicated, more like a tongue twister. I lived in Ormoc City for 16 years but I have never really ventured away from my hometown (as a self-confessed introvert, it is a daily ordeal to force myself out of my room so go figure).

There are only a handful of places in Leyte that rings a bell such as Palo, Biliran, Kananga, Palompon, Bato, Maasin and Tacloban, the rest seems alien to me each time someone asks about it (imagine my face with question marks for eyes).

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Lush greens always please my eyes.
Rice Fields
Vast rice fields, showing why Eastern Visayas is one of the top agricultural hub in the country.

In the northern part of the island of Leyte, along the shore of Carigara Bay lies Babatngon, a small plain enclaved by an arc of mountain ranges, in the northern mouth of the San Juanico Strait.

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A lot of places remain to be discovered.
Horizon
Nature therapy never fails.
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The sun shining bright over us.
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Roads we good for most part of the trip.

It was a refreshing trip away from Tacloban City, the roads were wide although not all were in good shape (some were literally dirt roads).

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Lush stretch of mangroves.

What I enjoyed the most (apart from not having to drive) was the endless horizon of greens alternating from rice fields to forests along with the sight of children heading home from school.

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Countless waterways, if only they can come up with more eco tours.
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Children on their way home after classes.
Having clear blue sky is enough reason to go out.
The weather was on our side that day.

After about 30 minutes of drive, we finally reached the town proper. We had to ask the locals where the waterfall was located. It was apparently next to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources site.

Babatngon Falls on a weekday.
Babatngon Falls on a weekday.

The perks of going on trips on a weekday is you avoid the crowd and you have the entire place to yourself (almost). There was an entrance fee once you reach the area. They charged P10 and if you want to use the pool, you will have to pay an additional P10. Quite a cheap deal and the water was refreshingly cold. The downside of Babatngon Falls were the trash some of the visitors left in the area and it needs a bit of sprucing up.

We spent a couple of minutes and decided to go around the town proper.

I wouldn't mind studying with this background.
I wouldn’t mind going to school daily with this scenery.

I was quite impressed by the recycled bottles that they used as decors in the campus. I remember how my highschool classmates and I would hangout after class. We simply just sat on grass and talk for hours (no mobile zombies then), sometimes we would organise a pick-up game of volleyball or Japanese game.

Children playing football.
Children playing football.
Goal keeping!
Goal keeping!
Part of the fun is the chase.
Part of the fun is the chase.
This pretty little girl was trying to bully me.
This pretty little girl was trying to bully me, she went near me and smiled then said, “Maraksot ka”.
Little girl walking home.
One of the most scenic school that I have seen in Leyte.

We left the campus and bought

This boy reminded me of my old pastime.
This boy reminded me of my old pastime which involve sitting idly and just watching the sea.
Out to fish
Out to fish
Babatngon's fishing community.
Babatngon’s fishing community.

After seeing the waterfront, we realised that it was 30 minutes past 5’o clock. It was a pleasant quick getaway, I wish I had more time to explore the historic places around Babatngon.

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