Jawili Beach, Jawili Falls, Hurom-hurom

OK, so it's been over 30 dgerees C for the past few days and the sun has beaten down on you relentlessly. You live in a nice and attractive provincial town in the northern part of Panay. Where do you go to cool down?

There are two fabulous opportunities to enjoy beautiful surroundings in the shade and cool water andthese are Jawili Beach, with the nearby Jawili Falls and the natural spring Hurom-hurom. On these pages we present some impressions.

Cool spot to park
Jawili is a barangay of Tangalan and is situated at about 30 km from the provincial town of Kalibo on the road to Caticlan and Antique. In a sharp left bend the falls and beach are clearly signposted. Soon we find our way past the antique church along a shady country road until we reach Jawili and we are resented with a dilemma: the beach or the falls? Over a small bridge we drive towards the beach where we find a splendid spot to park the car under the palmtrees. We grab our swimming gear and find a pleasant location to spend the morning.

Wide beach at Jawili
Next to a small sari-sari store amongst the shade of the tall palmtrees we are greeted by a marvellous view of the beach. Scattered along the shore there are fishing boats and a cat is inspecting them. Unfortunately, she is way too shy to come over and say hello. The beach itself is nice and wide, the sand is clean and fine-grained, making this a good spot for a beachwalk. Just like down the road in Kalibo, the sea here is quite shallow up to some 50m or so. The temperature is very pleasant and has a gentle surf which only adds to the enjoyment. In other words, this beach is highly recommended to those who want to enjoy a beach off the beaten track.

Fishingboot on the beach
The many palmtrees directly on the beach provide us with plenty of shade so that we alternate swimming in the sea with sitting around and drying up in the warm air: lovely! Today the surf has mixed a little too much sand through the water, so snorkling is less than spectaculair. From experience we already know that snorkling generally isn't that great off a beach, in contrast to coral reefs such as those found around Mararisson. Instead we settle for lazyly floating around in the water. After having spend the better part of the morning on the beach, we decide it is time to honour the falls with our presence.

Lovely cool water in lower basin
A short drive of only a few minutes brings us to the sign that enthusiastically proclaims that the falls consist of 7 individual basins. After having paid the entrance fee it turns out that this water is literally crying out to us! My word, the water is so fantatically cool, just the right temperature! A few kids are climbing up and down and are performing tricks, such as sliding down one of the smaller waterfalls. We wisely take more care of our behinds and therefore merely look on. The sides of the basin however are quite slippery with algae, but the water is incredibly clear. The pond is too deep to stand in only in the middle. For those less than adventurous souls, you can get into the water from a shallow entrance and then just wade in.

View down onto the 7 basins
After having dried up, we follow the steep staircase toward the top to see if we can follow the river for a bit. Having tested the 2 lower basins ourselves, we now get a nice view of the upper 5. Looking down on the basins from this point, it becomes clear that Jawili is truely a nice location, situated between the woods and the beach. Far away we can see the blue glow of the see and even hear the gentle roar of the waves. Here, on top of the falls, it is quiet except for the occasional screams of the kids below. A very special place indeed! According to some web sites, Tangalan offers other attractions as well, but we were unable to locate them. However, one thing is certain and that is that Tangalan is well worth a visit.

Nipa hut to rest in
At the top of the falls, there is a nipa in fairly good nick that offers a shady spot to rest from the climb, as well as a magnificent view of the surroundings. We try to follow the river upstream for a while longer along the footpath, which in places consists of no more than a couple of strategically placed rocks in the river. Repeatedly we are fooled into thinking that soon we will reach the source, but the riverbed continous. Twice we need to perform a climb to be able to continue, until we finally decide to turn back. The source of the river remains unclear but seeing the steep rockfaces on either side I strongly suspect it is a mountain stream. Remarkably beautiful an peaceful surroundings! Slowly we decend onto the lower levels until we reach the car. Only now we notice that there is in fact a bandstand, suggesting that every now and then events are organised here. Completely refreshed we embark on the return trip to Kalibo. Once again, only just before it gets dark.

Authentic entrance
A few days later, we're on the road again. This time to visit the natural spring Hurom-hurom. The spring is situated some 5 km outside of the lovely village of Nabas on the road to Caticlan and the wel known tourist spot Boracay. After we locate the correct turn-off by asking around (it is a paved road on the left, just after a road-side shop), we have to follow the road through the forest for a few more kilometers. We pass the entrance to a small army camp where the armed guard gives us a friendly smile and procede through the narrow street in a barangay with on one side a river, uncomfortably closeby. Not a road for when it is raining hard, so much is clear. Almost at the site of the spring, there's already an opportunity for swimming, but we resist the temptation and continue on to the spring itself. Near a couple of sari-sari shops we park the car and buy some snacks. We enter the site by crossing a narrow bridge over a river. The shop at the entrance also serves as the booth for entrance fees. A nice and quiet nipa hut catches our eye and we settle in. Since the other huts around us are deserted, we use them for changing into our swimming gear.

Pool with REALLY cold water
The site is frequented by a few dogs (some of them puppies) and chickens and the whole atmosphere is a very friendly one. When we arrived, only a few families were already there but a scholl class arrives just as we prepare fro the first dive. Whow!!!! This water is REALLY cold, but of course it comes straight from the spring in the rockface and is incredibly clear. Because the walls of the pond are made of concrete, the natural looks of the place have suffered a bit, but the beautiful surroundings and fantastic water make this a memorable visit nonetheless. The bottle of cola that we brought with us goes into the water to remain cold. The entrance shop sells charcoal for barbecues but we settle for a few San Miguel beers. Not quite unexpectedly, that too appears nice and cool.

Just before dark we gather our stuff and gently stroll back to the car. The owners of the sari-sari stores all say goodbye and wish us a happy trip back. In any case, again we enjoyed a fantastic day!

We're taking it easy on the way back in the dark. We follow a small truck with only 1 rear light that is making good progress as we follow the winding road through Campo Verde towards Kalibo. Just before we arrive in Kalibo, we end up in slow traffic consisting of tricycles so we decide it is better to stop off at our favourite bar and restaurant Bagobos for a drink and a good meal.

Heerlijke en natuurlijke vruchtenthee - Delicous natural fruit teas