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Exploring Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring...on Foot Nov 11, 2017

Exploring Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring...on Foot

Location: Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring, Loboc (municipality), Bohol (province), Philippines
Adventure Guide, Pictures and Video by: Jeffrey Huerte Jeffrey Huerte

Busay Falls

Busay Falls Access
To begin with, Busay Falls is only seen, not experienced. You either see it from the floating restaurant before it turns back or view it from the top while doing the zipline or cable car. For the more daring, you can actually go near Busay Falls on an SUP - but you usually take refuge in a tame eddy where you are safe from the strong current.

In a Nutshell
What we did was to trek down the slippery trail from the zipline station into the river bank, jump into the raging river, swim to the falls and go behind it! I'm not recommending this to anyone - specially not this rainy season when the river is high and the current is strong.

Exploring Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring
one slip and it will hurt

The Details
The trek down to the river from the zipline was too slippery with hardly anything to hold on to - best if you can get a disposable walking stick. It wasn't designed for people to go down to as it's not part of the tourism offering. Parts of the trail were gone and we had to blaze what seemed like the old trail - the forest already took over. From the elevated river bank, we jumped butt-and-back first so we don't go too deep and hit some rocks. And then we had to swim across the river against the strong current. My dive mask was only for eye protection - visibility was 2 inches! On the foot of the falls, we had to hang dearly on some rocks to get near the falls. And then we had to go behind the falls itself amid its pounding force pressing down on you.

5-Seater Cave
Jeffrey told me that while being on the inner side of the falls, you could actually dive down and enter a zero-visibility underwater cave and emerge on a clearing right inside the falls. Diving underwater in zero -visibility to enter a cave underneath a waterfall? This is fucked-up crazy! Inside the cave is pitch black except for the outside light underneath the water. This light illuminates your path back - so going back is easier than coming in. Jeffrey has done it and told me that inside, weird as it sounds, are 5 chairs for 5 people. Apparently, some strange people that been hanging out there in the past. No one in town know who these people are. In this current age, only Jeffrey went inside the cave even though locals have long known about it. I thought we would go inside as well - afterall, we already went on the inner side of the falls. But Jeffrey deemed the water too aggressive to attempt the dive under. In a way, I was relieved.

Busay Instik
An inner section of Busay Falls, hardly seen by anyone, with water more violent, is what the locals commonly call Busay Instik (Chinese Falls). Apparently, it has a penchant for Chinese tourists. How? Sorry, my lips are sealed (or ask me in private). Ask a local - you might get the story.

Cave behind Busay Instik
Underneath this waterfall is another cave - a bigger one. This cave has a fascinating story. I've heard 2 versions of it so far:

  1. The Woodsman and the Cave - Jeffrey's version has been handed down from great grandfather to grandfather, to modern times. It goes that a local harvesting wood for fuel, fell into the plunge pool of Busay Instik. The strong water pushed him down and inside the falls and into a cave where he was trapped for 3 days! The water coming down the falls was so strong it would push him back in whenever he attempts to go out. Finally, fearing he would simply die inside without anyone knowing where he is, he carried a heavy rock with him as he took steps outside the cave and into the avalanche of water from the falls. The weight of the rock kept him from being thrown inside. Finally, he was able to get out.
  2. Francisco Dagohoy the Rebel (1724-1800) - a more historical and romanticized version by former tourism officer, Dodette Bernaldez, takes us back to the rebellion against the Spaniards. Story goes that Francisco Dagohoy himself was running away from the enemies. To avoid capture, he jumped from the falls and hid underneath the cave for 4-5 days. Perhaps the revolutionaries knew about the underwater cave or perhaps Dagohoy, fearing for his life, simply jumped and discovered it. His pursuers took him for dead.

No one ever attempted to venture inside this bigger cave - or to even verify that there is really a big cave under Busay Instik. The pummeling water is simply too strong and the plunge pool is too deep for anyone to brave it.

Jimili-an Spring

Beaching ourselves on the other side of the river, we walked the riverside trail to Jimili-an Spring. The spring is occasionally dammed to irrigate the rice field. Mothers often take their kids to bath while they do laundry. For us, we simply took a short bath where the water plunges down into a pool with fortified rock walls. The plunge point makes for a good back massage. The water was cold with visibility at 2 feet.

Loktob Spring

Continuing with our trek along the river bank, we again jumped into the shallow part of the river from an elevated bank, butt/back first to cross the river to Loktob Spring. At this point, I was fatigued so swimming across the river and defying the strong current nearly wiped me out. The river at this point is about 5 meters deep.

Finally, we entered into Loktob Spring directly from the river. The inside of the spring area was full of submerged plants. It felt creepy swimming on it towards the water source as the plants grazed our chests and tangled with our arms. The water coming out of the spring was strong and cold. There is one deep section about 7ft-deep where you slide down your body on a small opening between some rocks. You could feel the spring water push you up. Still, visibility was around 1 foot.

Eskaya, the luxury resort in Panglao has already purchased the land in and around Loktob Spring and is already slowly developing the area. It is not clear what fate awaits this spring area, but their policy in Panglao should be a good benchmark.

We walked back home on foot - barefeet on my part as my flip-flop was mangled.

Ending Thoughts
This was an amazing adventure - not for the frail-hearted though. You can even go more extreme on this like venturing inside the small cave underneath Busay Falls in the summer when the river isn't raging. But save the big cave at Busay Instik to the professionals. This is not an offering by the tourism office or any private resort. Only Jeffrey can take you on this one. Feeling a little like Tarzan? Give this a try!

Thank you for another amazing adventure, Jeffrey!!!

--- TheLoneRider


If you ever attempt this, here are my tips:

Facebook Users

Reader Comments:

Karen HuerteKaren Huerte
(Nov 15, 2017) your stories are always engaging and entertaining to read

Juan HuerteJuan Huerte
(Nov 15, 2017) Thanks Git

Jeffrey HuerteJeffrey Huerte
(Nov 14, 2017) Thank you sir!

Next stop: Loboc Reflection

Google Map Loboc, Bohol, Philippines

tourist attractions in Bohol tourist attractions restaurant in Loboc restaurant
Villagio's Pizza Villagio's Pizza - wood burning oven, hand-tossed pizza
    Loboc Town Plaza, Loboc, Bohol

Bohol FYI / Tips

Tagbilaran Port to Panglao

You can charter any tricycle from the port all the way to Panglao (~P300), but if you want to do it on the cheap,
  1. don't take the tricycles lined-up inside the port. Walk past the port gate and immediately outside, you'll see many tricycles. Take one to the bus terminal in Dao (~P15)
  2. in Dao, take the jeep that plies the Panglao route (~P20)

Tagbilaran (Bohol) to Cebu City by boat

** schedules and rates keep changing, call for latest schedule
  1. Weesam Express - departs 6:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 4:00 PM
    one way: Economy (aircon) P500.00, Economy (non-aircon) P400.00, First Class P600.00
    round trip promo (at least 2 days advance booking): Economy (aircon) P600, Economy(non-aircon) P500, First Class P1200
    round trip promo (1 day or on the day booking): Economy (aircon) P800, Economy (non-aircon) P700, First Class P1200
  2. Ocean Jet - departs 6-7:05-8:20-9:20-11:40AM, 1-2-3:30-4:20-5:30-6:30PM, 2 hours, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
    Open Air / Tourist Class P800, Business Class P1000
    +63(32)255 7560 / +63 (32) 255 0115 / 0917 638 0000
  3. SuperCat (2GO) - departs 5:50-11AM, 3:45-5:25-8:15PM, arrives Pier 1 in Cebu
    P 500.00
    +63 32 233 7000

Things to do, Places to go in Bohol

  1. Chocolate Hills - this is a clustering of more than 1200 hills within a 50km2 area. They range in height from 30-50 meters. What's unusual is their near-perfect conical shape resembling an individual chocolate chip. No one knows how they were formed. Entrance is P50/pax.
  2. Tarsier Conservation Area - located Upper Bonbon, Loboc. The tarsiers are no longer being played at by tourists as circus props, but instead, visitors now view them in cordoned-off areas in their natural 6ha habitat. As they are territorial and nocturnal, they are predictable on where they can be viewed. P50/pax.
  3. Alona Beach (Panglao) - Alona Beach is the tourist hub of Bohol. It has 1.5 kms of white sand beach lined-up by bars, hotels and restos. Alona is also the jump-off point for Balicasag Island, a world class dive destination.
  4. Danao Adventure Park - located in Barangay Magtangtang, 72 kms (2 hours ride) from Tagbilaran. Adventure activities include river trekking, tyrolean traverse, rappelling, bouldering, rock climbing and ziplining.


  1. Exploring Combento Cave Pool June 29, 2017
  2. Visiting Cabagnow Cave Pool of Anda Jun 28, 2017
  3. Exploring Anda, Bohol June 25-30, 2017

  4. Dauis
  5. Freediving at Molave Point, Dauis Nov 6, 2017
  6. The Return to Hinagdanan Cave Nov 5, 2017
  7. Exploring Hinagdanan Cave Oct 24, 2017

  8. Candijay
  9. Roadtrip from Candijay to Ubay July 1, 2017
  10. Firefly Tour in Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  11. Freediving Canawa Cold Spring of Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017
  12. Splashing at Can-umantad Falls, Candijay, Bohol June 30, 2017

  13. Corella
  14. Cycling to the Tarsiers of Corella Oct 26, 2017

  15. Loay
  16. The Ride to Morning Hill Oct 22, 2017
  17. The Ride to the Old Spanish Tower Oct 21, 2017

  18. Loboc
  19. 37 Days in Loboc - Thank You and Goodbye Oct 8-Nov 14, 2017
  20. Exploring Busay Falls, Loktob Spring and Jimili-an Spring...on Foot Nov 11, 2017
  21. Stand-Up Paddle Yoga with Joan Christine Nov 3, 2017
  22. Loboc River Cruise on a Stand-Up Paddle Oct 29, 2017
  23. Exploring Guimba and Sog-ong Caves of Loboc Oct 22, 2017
  24. Ziplining and Cable Car Ride at Eco-Tourism Adventure Park Oct 22, 2017
  25. Savouring Villagio Pizza Oct 19, 2017
  26. Wet and Wild Bonbon-Alegria Downhill Ride Oct 18, 2017
  27. River Cruise on Loboc River Oct 17, 2017
  28. Back Road Ride from Loboc to Loay Oct 17, 2017
  29. Leisurely Ride to Loktob Spring Oct 14, 2017
  30. Sweet Ride to Busay Falls Oct 13, 2017
  31. Bike Climb to the Virgen de Guadalupe Oct 12, 2017
  32. The Ride to Cruz Daku (Big Cross) Oct 11, 2017
  33. Exploring Loboc, Bohol Oct 8, 2017

  34. Panglao
  35. Coastal Cleanup with Plastic Free Bohol Sept 16, 2017
  36. Exploring Panglao June 12-18, 2017
  37. Yoga with Ging and Rai at Oasis Resort June 18, 2017
  38. Freediving with Ben Meerhaeghe at SeaQuest Dive Center June 16, 2017
  39. Scuba Diving Balicasag Island with SeaQuest Dive Center June 15, 2017
  40. Bohol Revisited June 12, 2017
  41. Exploring Bohol Nov 28-30, 2015

  42. Sevilla
  43. Killer MTB Ride from Sevilla Oct 30, 2017

  44. Sikatuna
  45. Solo Ride to the Sikatuna Tree Park Nov 2, 2017

  46. Tagbilaran
  47. 30 days in Tagbilaran, Thank You! Oct 8, 2017
  48. Breakfast Talk with Tagbilaran's Finest Oct 8, 2017
  49. Exploring the Cafe Scene of Tagbilaran Oct 7, 2017
  50. Yoga for 60+ Students at the University of Bohol Oct 4, 2017
  51. Chocolate Overload at Dalareich Chocolate House October 2, 2017
  52. Talk on Philosophy and Spirituality to 12-Graders at the University of Bohol Sep 27, 2017
  53. Celebrating the International Day of Peace Sep 23, 2017
  54. Judging a Student Debate at the University of Bohol Sept 15, 2017
  55. Fitness Workout with Chie at Bohol Tropics Resort Sept 13, 2017
  56. Modified Ashtanga Primary Series by Jing Yoga, Tagbilaran Sept 12, 2017
  57. Tagbilaran Revisited Sep 7-12, 2017
  58. Hello Tagbilaran! June 19-25, 2017

  59. Ubay
  60. Exploring Cambugsay Healing Hills with Lars Jensen Nov 22, 2017
  61. Visiting Ubay Green Park Nov 18, 2017
  62. The Ride to Sinandigan Boardwalk and the Yamashita Treasure Hunt Nov 18, 2017
  63. Ubay in a Nutshell Nov 17, 2017
  64. In Search of the Next Destination Nov 14, 2017
  65. 2 Days in Ubay July 1-3, 2017
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