Adventures on a Motorcycle: Four Falls in One Day

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

bukal falls laguna

Those who know me can attest to the fact that, unlike most Filipinos, I truly truly enjoy taking public transportation. From casual people-watching, to nodding my head to a beat only I can hear, commuting has always been one of the best parts, I believe, of traveling. It's also a great way to know more about a place's character. But, once in a while, I hop into a motorcycle and enjoy the convenience that comes with its two wheels.

Such was the case when my best friend of fourteen years Tophe and I decided to go to Laguna and chase some waterfalls.

We left Angono, Rizal at around 2AM, taking the east road to Laguna. It was still dark. The sky was still littered with stars and the moon seemed reluctant to go down. I don't know if all drivers feel this way but the time appeared to have become distorted when you're not merely a passenger. We passed by Tanay, Pililla, Mabitac, Lumban, and Sta. Cruz without me realizing we've been on the road for more than two hours. I honestly didn't notice I've been driving that long!

At any rate, by 5AM, we arrived in Brgy. San Salvador in the town of Luisiana in Laguna. You guessed it! Our first stop was Hulugan Falls.

It was still dark so we decided to wait for the crack of dawn. It was quarter to six when we started the trek to Hulugan. We were the first ones to there and it was such a relief to have the place all to ourselves, even if for just a short time.
hulugan falls laguna
Find me.
hulugan falls in laguna
Having a place all to yourself is one of the many magic of going on adventures
Trek to Hulugan falls as early as 6AM to have the place all to yourself
After several photos, we proceeded to our next destination: Talay Falls.

Talay Falls is not as grand as Hulugan, but it possesses an entirely different kind of charm – the kind that tells of an unassuming beauty. And the way to there is also quite enchanting, especially in the early light.
Talay falls in laguna
Into the Woods
Talay falls in laguna
Talay Falls from the side
The Unassuming Talay Falls

A few more minutes from Talay is the third of the trio of falls in San Salvador: Hidden Falls.
hidden falls laguna
In order to get to Hidden Falls, one needs to use this rope to get over the slippery boulder
hidden falls in laguna
The early sunlight makes for an even more dramatic effect
hidden falls in laguna
ET Phone Home. :D
For some reason, Hidden Falls is my favorite among the three. Perhaps because of its apparent un-attainability – you can't get near the actual falls as it's surrounded by slippery rocks, and the pool surrounding it goes as deep as forty feet! It reminds me that some things are just meant to be admired from afar.
hidden falls in laguna
A very rare selfie.
(How to commute to these trio of Falls? Click here.)

It took us three hours to explore the three falls. We opted not to go for a swim in any of them since there is one more stop on our itinerary. But since it was already nearing lunchtime, Tophe treated me to some Pancit Habhab and Bibingkang Laguna from one of the stalls on the way to Hulugan. For just Php10, you'll have a filling meal of Habhab. Add Php100 and you'll get 3 pieces of Bibingkang Laguna which, oddly enough, tastes better when cooled down.

After our brunch, we then proceeded to ride towards Majayjay.

Our last stop was Bukal Falls aka Kilangin Falls (when you ask people from Liliw).

The jump-off is in Brgy. Bukal – a small community that's pretty out-of-the-way and easy to miss if you're too prideful to ask for directions.

We proceeded to the Barangay Hall and paid the entrance fee of Php20. A guide, aged 14 by the name of Micko, accompanied us throughout the 30-minutes-to-an-hour trek.
bukal falls
The glass-like surface of Bukal 
Here, despite the number of people who have already "set camp," Tophe and I decided to take a swim, for the water was inviting. It was blue and red in some places and looked rather delicious. It was very clear and refreshingly cold too! To hell with pasma! I felt recharged!
bukal falls laguna
Don't you just want to jump in?
(Know more about Bukal Falls, like how to get there and more, here.)

All in all, it was one Saturday well spent! In spite of the wrong turns, the delays, and a total of eight hours travel, all was worth it.

In the end, it's really all about the journey. Arriving at your destination and finding that it's as wonderful as you thought it'd be, is just a bonus.


Angono, Rizal to San Salvador, Luisiana, Laguna via Manila East Road



Total Distance: 93.34km
Total Travel Time: 2.45hrs

San Salvador, Luisiana, Laguna to Bukal, Majayjay, Laguna


Total Distance: 17.70km
Total Travel Time: 1.15hrs

Full Tank (Binangonan south bound) - Php85
Registration Fee at San Salvador - Php20 x 2 = Php40
Tour Guide Fee (Hulugan, Talay, and Hidden) - Php300
Brunch (2 orders of Habhab for Php10 each, 3 pieces of Bibingkang Laguna for Php100, 2bottled water for Php15 each) - Php150
Registration Fee at Bukal - Php20 x 2 = Php40
Tour Guide Fee (Bukal Falls) - Php100
Full Tank (Majayjay Town Proper northbound) - Php90
Meryenda (Kwekkwek, Turon, and Bananacue) - Php40

Taking the east route has two advantages: no toll fees, and significantly less traffic.
The roads are good and the views are even better. Street lights are not that many though, so be extra careful.
Always, always, practice the Leave No Trace Policy!

I hope this BFF Adventure inspires you to have your own. Take care and as Tophe told me: May the Falls be with you.

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