Toploading to Dagubdub Falls

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I held on to the rope securing a tiny pink bicycle to the roof of the jeepney, ducking every once in a while to avoid a low hanging branch of a tree. Squeals of nervous laughter and delight interrupted the steady vroom of the engine. We were speeding along the dusty, dirt roads of Sibuyan in the province of Romblon, riding on top of the roof of a jeepney.

I blame The Walking Dead for this picture

I blame The Walking Dead for this picture

Rewind to a few minutes earlier. My friends and I waited on the bridge for the jeepney our guide Dhie was on that will take us to Dagubdub. After taking advantage of the empty roads and taking zombiepocalyse-styled shots, a jeepney finally arrived. It was full, to say the least. Inside the jeepney, all seats were taken, including the makeshift benches they had in the middle. Up top, the entire roof was packed with all sorts of cargo and people. We weren’t even sure if we were supposed to go on, until Dhie popped her head out of the window and told us that we will be top-loading to Dagubdub.

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So yeah, day three of our Romblon backpacking adventure found me and my friends, top-loading on a jeepney from Cantingas to Dagubdub. Another means of transportation added to our ever-growing list of ways to go around Romblon.

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While I was reluctant to let go of the rope securing a pink bicycle to the roof, this kid (below) sat cooly in front, listening to music, like a boss.

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This has got to be one of my favorite moments from this trip. I’ve never had top-loading in my bucket list, but I sure am happy to have been able to cross it out anyway. Does that make any sense at all?

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There I am, all smiles, near the front of the jeepney.
Photo Credit. Kate Marquez

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These kids were playing by the houses near the tourist office in Dagubdub

After about thirty minutes on the road, we were dropped off at the Dagubdub Picnic Grove’s tourist office. From here, you’ll get a scenic view of majestic Mt. Guiting Guiting.

Our group posing before the hike. Check out Mt. Guiting Guiting in the background.  Photo Credit: Grazel Gorriceta

Our group posing before the hike. Check out Mt. Guiting Guiting in the background.
Photo Credit: Grazel Gorriceta

There is a short hike to get to the falls. The hike wasn’t difficult, mostly over grassy terrain that gradually changed to rocky as we got closer to the falls.

This was at the first level

This was at the second level, if I’m not mistaken

A boy preparing to jump

A boy preparing to jump

On top one of the cliffs overlooking the first level

On top one of the cliffs overlooking the second level

There are four levels to the falls. I wasn’t expecting much but I still ended up a bit under whelmed. Each one was small. But the water was clear and gave my friends and I plenty of chances to jump off them.

This was the third level

This was the third level

My friends and I having a laugh while we sat in the gushing water of the falls

My friends and I having a laugh while we sat in the gushing water of the falls.
Photo credit: Grazel Gorriceta

Mostly, the trip to the falls was a good chance to cool off from the immense summer heat. I could stay submerged in those waters all day.

I've known this couple for a while now and they do this pose everywhere they go

I’ve known this couple for about two and half years now and they do this pose everywhere they go

At the cliff overlooking the fourth level

At the cliff overlooking the fourth level

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Since there are limited jeepneys, we rushed back to the main road at around 11AM. The next jeepney was expected to pass by at around 11:30AM and we didn’t want to miss it and wait another couple of hours for the next one.

The view on our walk back to the main road.  Photo Credit: Grazel Gorriceta

The view on our walk back to the main road.
Photo Credit: Grazel Gorriceta

Perhaps not surprisingly, the same jeepney we rode from Cantingas to Dagubdub is the same one that would take us back. Is this the only jeepney that travels this route? Apparently, it is. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

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The ride back to Cantingas was quite uneventful. There are fewer passengers on their way back so we were able to sit inside the jeepney. We arrived in Cantingas a little past noon. Just in time for lunch.

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 This post is part of a series I wrote about a recent backpacking trip around Romblon, with a side trip to Boracay. Check out the other posts by clicking on the links below:

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