The "kawa" hot bath of Tibiao, Antique is definitely one of the stops of every tourist who has set foot on the beautiful coastal province. The kawa, used as bath tub is actually a giant vat used in muscovado mills years back. The traditional hot bath uses firewood to heat up the water in a kawa blended with different herbs truly relaxing for bathers.
In Barangay Tuno, a guide led me to a short trek to Dot's Kamalig, a hut lodge offering a Kawa Hot Bath. I arrived at the place at around 4:00 pm. My eyes got delighted at the sight of the "kawas".
I also learned that just a few meters from the lodge is a 7-tier waterfalls. A real bonus! So I decided to take a short hike to the beautiful Bugtong Bato Falls. Please click BUGTONG BATO FALLS to see the story.
It was past 6 pm when I finished my trek to Bugtong Bato Falls in Barangay Tuno. Just a few meters away is the Dot's Kamalig where I would rest my tired head. I was exhausted since the morning from trekking Mt. Igcoron in Valderrama so I really looked for the kawa hot bath. The caretakers in Dot's Kamalig were so accommodating that I even joined them in supper with lutong bahay menus.I was so at home since I am a pure Ilonggo. I can even fluently speak Kinaray-a.
After a satisfying meal and a little time to rest, I was a bit excited and little nervous to dip in a kawa with pre-heated water and herbs.
The water was so relaxing added its soothing aroma. The fire was rekindled when I was in place.
I asked the attendant, "T'yoy, wara ka dyan ti wasay? (T'yoy, don't you have an ax?)"
answered, "May ara eh. Paminta dulang kag bombay kulang, bulalo ka dun.
(I have, of course. Added laurel leaves and bulb onion, you're a bulalo
then.)" We all burst into laughter.
The low fire
kept burning, we talked about many petty stuffs, and my eyes wanted to
close on their own. And oh, I had been boiled for almost two hours!
I went back to my room like drunk and hypnotized. Unexplainable feeling. For sure, I had a real good sleep alone in a bamboo hut lighted with solar rechargeable garden torch. The thundering sound of Bugtong Bato Falls further deepened my sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to the voice of the birds and the relaxing sound of the falls.
I once again explored the multi-tiered falls, enjoyed the cool dip and joined the host in a breakfast I personally requested--- fried dried fish with real hot sinamak dip, boiled eggs and steamed camote tops.
I left my home for a night heavy hearted. I trekked back to the barangay proper with friendly, smiling encounters.
A habal-habal took me to the highway. I spent the rest of the day traveling to Kalibo, then to Roxas and back to Iloilo.