DIY Guide to Hulugan Falls via Tanay

Friday, January 12, 2018

how to commute to hulugan falls

I’ve never really minded going back to a place. I find that there’s much to be learned in returning.  So when my husband wanted to come to Luisiana in Laguna to see Hulugan Falls – which I have already been to twice – I happily obliged.

It was already something new in the very beginning. The first time I went there, I drove a motorcycle with my best friend. The second time, I was on a private van with a TV crew. This time, we used public transport to get there.

Now, I know of two ways to commute to Luisiana. One of them required going all the way to either Cubao or Pasay which seemed redundant for someone living in Rizal. Laguna is literally a few towns away. So we opted for the other way. We got on a jeepney to Tanay early in the morning, and the rest was, erm, history?

Related Adventure: Four Falls in One Day

Well, the one-way trip, it turned out, involved four jeepney rides and a short stint on a tricycle to get to Hulugan. It took us approximately four hours. Pros: there was hardly any traffic, plus the scenic views. Cons: butt-numbing and no air-conditioning.

I had fun notwithstanding. Commuting gives a whole new dimension to a place, don’t you agree?

At any rate, I’ve noticed one significant change in Hulugan Falls: the road now goes all the way to the trailhead. Walking time is therefore lessened. Everything else looked fairly the same. And I’m glad for it  – means the locals are taking care of the place.
A post shared by Dennis Dela Cuesta Murillo (@thedennismurillo) on

There was still something new about our experience, though. We got to stay as long as we want. No one’s rushing us, and so we took our time to appreciate the falls. There were also not a lot of people that day, which was a relief, considering it was a holiday when we visited. Oh, right – the holiday was confined to Manila. So that explains it.

Well, enough of the blabbering. Let’s get right down to the guide.

But first, the Leave No Trace Principles:

04:20 to 05:20 – Jeepney from Tikling to Tanay
05:20 to 05:30 – Walk to the jeepney terminal and get on a jeepney to Siniloan; wait for it to get full
05:30 to 06:20 – Tanay to Siniloan
06:20 to 07:10 – Siniloan to Pagsanjan (jeepney with Sta. Cruz placard)
07:15 to 08:00 – Jeepney from Pagsanjan to San Salvador (“Bodega”)
08:00 to 08:15 – Tricycle to registration area; pay fees and get a guide
08:15 to 08:45 – Trek to Hidden and Talay Falls
08:45 to 09:00 – Rest, photo op
09:00 to 09:30 – Resume trek to Hulugan Falls
09:00 to 11:45 – Rest, swim, photo op
11:45 to 12:20 – Trek back to the trailhead
12:20 to 12:40 – Freshen up, lunch at the registration/visitor’s area
12:40 to 13:30 – Jeepney from San Salvador to Pagsanjan
13:30 to 14:45 – Jeepney from Pagsanjan to Siniloan
14:45 to 15:00 – wait for jeepney to Tanay to get full
15:00 to 16:15 – Jeepney from Siniloan to Tanay

Related Adventure: 8 Waterfalls Near Manila

(As of November 2017; per person unless otherwise stated)
Jeepney fare, Tikling, Taytay vv Tanay – Php40 x 2 = Php80
Jeepney fare, Tanay vv Siniloan – Php 47 x 2 = Php94
Jeepney Fare, Siniloan vv Pagsanjan – Php32 x 2 = Php64
Jeepney Fare, Pagsanjan vv San Salvador – Php25 x 2 = Php50
Tricycle Fare, San Salvador “Bodega” vv Registration/Visitor’s Area/Trailhead – Php30x 2 = Php60
Registration/Environmental Fee (Hidden, Talay, and Hulugan Falls) – Php30
Tour Guide (no set rates) – Php500

Estimated budget per person exclusive of food = Php878
Suggested budget per person – Php1,200

If coming from anywhere in Rizal, jeeps to Tanay regularly pass by main thoroughfares. If outside of Rizal, jeepneys bound for Tanay are available at the Cubao Terminal beside Telus, near Farmer’s Market. There are also some in the terminals at Star Mall, and EDSA Central.

Alight at the Tanay Town Proper. Sometimes, the jeep goes all the way to the jeepney terminal here. If not, ask the driver to drop you to somewhere near it.

In the terminal, get on a jeep to Siniloan. It could take a while for the jeep to get full so allot some time for waiting. 30 minutes should be more than enough. Expect the ride to be crammed with goods and poultry.

Related Adventure: 250-Peso Adventures

Once in Siniloan, alight at the terminal in the town proper. Here, get on another jeep bound to Sta. Cruz, and alight at Pagsanjan. In some cases, jeepneys to Sta. Cruz are already waiting on the curb right before the town proper and the driver would announce this to the passengers. You may choose to take this jeep.

Ask your driver to drop you off somewhere you can get a jeep to San Salvador. The location might change, but when we went, it was beside a grand old Spanish-era house. Once in the jeepney to San Salvador, get off at “Bodega”- the jump-off to Hulugan Falls. Most drivers are familiar with this place. Just say you’re heading to Hulugan.

To get back, just follow the directions in reverse. Once in Tanay, there will be plenty of jeeps bound for towns in Rizal, Cubao, and Megamall/Crossing.

Related Adventure: DIY Guide to Mt. Pinatubo

- There are toilets in the terminals in Tanay, and Siniloan
- There are parking spaces in the registration/visitor’s area
- Mobile reception in the falls is iffy. It gets more stable in the registration area
- There are sari-sari stores around the registration/visitor’s area
- You may choose to forego Hidden and Talay and go straight to Hulugan
- Check out also this Landscape Photography Vlog by my husband:

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