The Twin Falls of Laurel, Batangas

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

celineism

Far in the land of crater lakes and balisong, the town of Laurel in the province of Batangas keeps a duo of natural wonders mostly known only to its residents. The twin falls of Ambon-ambon and Malagaslas provide an attractive alternative for those who are looking to beat the intense summer heat. It's also great to pair it with a trip to nearby Tagaytay or Taal Lake, adding a bit more adventurous spin to an otherwise laid-back excursion.

Related Adventure: Guide to Taal Volcano

The falls are located on separate sides of a forest cover in Brgy. San Gabriel. From the jump-off in Sitio Salipit, each falls can be reached in more or less 30 minutes on foot. It'll then be a short trek to and fro the two falls. 
Ambon-ambon is the more rugged of the two. The trail to here is composed of crossing streams and going over large boulders. The falls is composed of two water drop-offs. It has a characteristic large slab of rock, on which a jet of water slides off to a swimming basin. Ambon-ambon is closed off with an enclosure of towering rock walls. Here, there are only four to five picnic huts and the surrounding flat area is limited to comfortably accommodate maybe 30 people.
ambon-ambon falls batangas
The trail begins with crossing this bridge
ambon-ambon falls batangas
The trails consists of stream-crossings
ambon-ambon falls batangas
The trail to Ambon-ambon may be hard but there are numerous places for photo ops
ambon-ambon falls batangas
The top tier of Ambon-ambon
ambon-ambon falls batangas
A jet of water slides off a slab of rock

Malagaslas, on the other hand, has an easier trail. The area is larger and more developed, making it more suitable for picnics. A number of cottages can be rented and food stalls are also available here. The sandbagged pool which is fed by the cascading waters of Malagaslas is larger and is just deep enough for a relaxing soak.
malagaslas falls
The pool is fed by the cool waters of Malagaslas
malagaslas falls batangas
Smaller pools are available farther up Malagaslas
malagaslas falls
Aside from the main swimming basin, a total of three small pools are available in Malagaslas
malagaslas falls batangas
The main basin is large and deep enough for several people

HOW TO GET THERE
From Cubao or Pasay, take a bus going to "Tanauan City/Lipa." Alight at the Tanuan City bus terminal and take a tricycle to the city market. Here, walk to the jeepney terminal where you can board a jeep to Laurel. Get off at Laurel's public market and rent a tricycle to Sitio Salipit. Tell the driver you're bound for Ambon-ambon/Malagaslas Falls.

EXPENSES
Bus Fare Pasay vv Tanuan City bus terminal (Php101 x 2) = Php202
Tricyle Fare Tanuan City bus terminal vv Tanuan Public Market (Php20 x 2) = Php40
Jeep Fare Tanuan Public Market vv Laurel Public Market (Php50 x 2) = Php100
Tricycle Fare Laurel Public Market vv Sitio Salipit (Php75 x 2) good for 4 = Php150
Registration Fee per pax = Php20
Tour Guide fee = N/A; trail is relatively easy

Budget per pax (excluding food and other incidentals) = Php512
malagaslas falls batangas
The picnic ground in Malagaslas

SAMPLE ITINERARY
05:00 to 05:30 - Meet-up at Pasay Bus Terminal 
05:30 to 07:30 - Pasay to Tanuan City bus terminal
07:30 to 07:45 - Tanuan City bus terminal to Tanuan Public Market
07:45 to 09:20 - Tanuan Public Market to Laurel Public Market
09:20 to 10:00 - Laurel Public Market to Sitio Salipit
10:00 to 10:30 - trek to Ambon-ambon falls
10:30 to 11:30 - Photo op/ swim
11:30 to 11:45 - trek to Malagaslas
11:45 to 15:30 - Lunch/swim/photo
15:30 to 16:00 - trek to jump-off
16:00 to 16:40 - Sitio Salipit to Laurel Public Market
16:40 to 18:00 - Laurel Public Market to Tanuan Public Market
18:00 to 18:15 - Tanuan Public Market to Tanuan Bus Terminal
18:15 to 20:30 - Tanuan to Pasay
IMPORTANT REMINDERS
  • ALWAYS PRACTICE THE LEAVE NO TRACE PRINCIPLES
  • A good of portion of the road to the falls  are not yet developed
  • Parking is available at the jump-off
  • There are food stalls in Malagaslas, none in Ambon-ambon
  • Cooking/grilling is allowed in both areas provided you bring your own wares and grills
  • There are no washrooms immediately within the vicinity of both falls, but the nearby houses in Malagaslas offer their bathrooms for a fee
  • You may contact Ate Dores to assistance to get to the falls. You may also request her to prepare you food. (details below)
malagaslas falls batangas
Ate Dores (second from right) in Ambon-ambon Falls

CONTACT DETAILS
Ate Dores Cabillo
+63 919 772 4883

Did you find this guide helpful, or have something you need clarifications? Say hi and leave a comment below!

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