After climbing Bugtong Bato falls and finding it easy, Flord mentioned that there is a bigger falls that we could go to. we thought to go to the Igpasungaw Falls in Sebaste, Antique. The challenge in this falls is endurance, balance, determination, and teamwork.
The town of Sebaste, Antique is formerly called Ipayo. It was changed into Sebaste which was taken from the name of the birthplace of St. Blaise, patron saint of the town. It is also only a barangay before belonging to the town of Pandan. Through the Executive Order issued by President Diosdado Macapagal, Sebaste was recognized as an independent town. This was then strengthened by the issuance of the Republic Act No. 4870 on May 8, 1967.
Sebaste is known for the miraculous statue of St. Blaise. People can ask for blessings by putting their heads below the image of the town’s patron. Sebaste is also known for Igpasungaw Falls sitting in the Nabang Mountain. The Nabang Mountain is also abundant with different flora and fauna. The list of this includes Kamagong and Narra, two of the known Philippines native timber trees but also considered among threatened species. Living in the woods of Nabang Mountain are different bird species like parrots, red-breasted pigeons, orioles, and dalawidaw. Meanwhile, living in the Ipayo River are eels, shrimps, and shells.
In this article, we’d like to share how we endured the strong water current of the Igpasungaw Falls and other details you may need to know about the Igpasungaw Falls, Sebaste, Antique.
How to Go to Igpasungaw Falls
The town of Sebaste, Antique is only two towns apart from Tibiao. So, if you’re within the Antique province, you can just take a bus going north, Kalibo. Travel time may only take less than an hour.
If you will be coming from the outside of Antique province, particularly in Kalibo or Caticlan, both in Aklan, there’s a bus or van bound to San Jose, Antique. Its route includes Sebaste, Antique. Travel from Kalibo or Caticlan going to Sebaste town center may take two to three hours. Expect a fare of at least P 90 to P100.
If you are in Capiz province, you’ll take two rides. First is a bus bound to Kalibo. Then, the second will be a bus bound to San Jose, Antique via Sebaste.
Iloilo has one of the busiest airports in Panay Island. In case, you will be coming from here, you can ride a bus or van bound to the north west of Panay via Sebaste town center. Travel may take more or less five to six hours. You can expect a fare of at least around P 120 to P 250.
Once you reach the town center of Sebaste, you can hire a tricycle or motorcycle (habal habal) for a fare of at least P 20 per person. For at least within 15 minutes, this can drop you off at the starting line of the trail going to Igpasungaw Falls. Going back to the town proper via public transportation can be a bit of a hassle. Public vehicles are rarely seen in the area. So, don’t forget to ask the tricycle or motorcycle driver if they can wait or can come back to fetch you at the drop off point.
Aside from your transportation expenses, prepare your payment for an environmental fee which costs at least P50 per person and for tour guide fee which costs around P250. Tour guide fee is already good for a group with a minimum of 5 members.
At Municipal Hall of Sebaste, you can pay the environmental fee. They can then assign to your group a tour guide.
At the starting point of our trek is going through the fields and forest. It is only an easy walk since the trail is already marked.
We then reached the river and walk alongside it. After an about 30-minute walk, we then had to cross a waterfalls which is only about two steps wide.
Our next challenge was to cross a series of bamboo bridges, some of which has no handrails. These bridges get us across small waterfalls or ravines.
After another 30 minutes or less, we crossed an area of the river, calf deep and with a strong current. Here, we used ropes that helped us keep our balance against the strong water current. This then got us on the first waterfalls.
The second waterfalls are the crowds’ favorite. It is a three-tiered waterfall that has a pool with just the right depth for swimming. Here, you can take photos and have fun by sliding down from the lowest tier.
Igpasungaw Falls has four or more series of waterfalls but only three to four waterfalls are possible to be visited.
The adventure of crossing with ropes and secret caves too was really fun and each level had huge falls like each one was an exhilarating moment. One of the prettiest falls I’ve seen.
For me, Igpasungaw Falls is a series of surprises. We saw the first one and we were wowed only to find out there’s more. And, wait there’s more and there’s still more. It’s like it’s not going to end.
Sebaste has only a few stores and has no ATMs. Prepare your pocket money and food before going in this place.
Don’t forget to advise a tricycle or motorcycle in advance if you need a ride going back to the town center of Sebaste. Another option is to hire a shuttle service to help you get around the town or even around the Panay Island.
Taking a hike up to Igpasungaw Falls can be easy since the trail is already a bit marked. The challenges are in crossing bridges over ravines and small waterfalls and going through strong water current of the river. The water current flowing through the waterfalls and the river can often be really strong. So, please be careful on your way while enjoying the trek and scenery.