Laguna is not only known as the birthplace of our national hero “Jose Rizal” but it has been a great destination for weekend getaways, family bonding, team buildings, educational tours and field trips etc. due to its natural wonders, cultural gems, hot springs, magical waterfalls, and mountains.
I’ve heard that there is a recently opened magical waterfall in Laguna, just 2-3 hours’ drive from Manila. Albeit the road is still under construction, muddy and slippery, a lot of people are curious to visit the place.
We’ve been climbing mountains for the past months and I wanted a different adventure and a new scenery. So, I set the date, invited the group and prepared the itinerary.
The Hidden Gem
Hulugan falls is one of the hidden wonders of Laguna. It is Located in San Salvador, Luisiana which is being portrayed as the little Baguio of the Philippines because of its zigzag road and elevation.
According to the man I spoke to, a visitor from Manila took photos of the waterfalls and posted it on Facebook. From then on, more people are coming to see the place to experience its splendor. As with any other places I’ve been to, I also tried to gather a mythical story about Hulugan Falls but our guide didn’t say anything.
The best time to visit the place is during weekdays and dry season or summer. However, expect that there will be more people at the scenery so you might have more photo-bombers. After the road construction, definitely, the place will soon be crowded and that’s the reason why we take the opportunity to visit as early as now.
Two other gem
There are three waterfalls in the area namely: Talay Falls, Aliw Falls, and Hulugan Falls. Going to Hulugan, you can either choose the short yet difficult trail (30-1hr trek) or the long trail which you will pass Talay Falls first. We did the latter. Aliw falls is at the next barangay so I suggest coming early if you wish to visit all three. Furthermore, the jeep going back to Sta. Cruz is only up until 7:00 PM and bus to Cubao is only until 8:00 PM. Expect traffic if you leave Sta. Cruz around this time, you’ll reach Manila at 11:00 PM.
It is also necessary to make sure your things are waterproof because even from afar, the mist will still reach you. It is best to use GoPro or any waterproof camera as well for shooting videos and photos. As for your outfit, shorts and T-shirt will do but make sure to wear sandals with strap.
The best part was when the rainbow showed up not just once but 3 times so close, so bright and magical. Rainbow is so rare, I’ve only seen it a couple of times at a distance. I’m curious until now about this phenomenon and I wish there is a mythical story behind this (at least).
Things to bring:
Extra clothes, waterproof camera, water, dry bag, plastic bag for wet stuff. Food and snacks (there are stores and canteen at the jump off but you can save if you would bring your own).
Bus Fare – Php140.00
Jeep to San Salvador – Php30.00
Registration Fee –Php15.00
Guide Fee –No fixed rate
Total budget – Php500-700
HULUGAN FALLS ITINERARY (Side Trip Talay Falls)
07:00 AM – Meet up at Buendia, Pasay
07:30 AM – Jac Liner / DLTB Heading to Sta. Cruz Laguna (Pagsawitan, Sta Cruz)
10:30 AM – Arrival Sta. Cruz Laguna
10:30 AM – Ride a jeepney bound to Lucban; Drop off – Barangay San Salvador, Luisiana
11:00 AM – Arrival San Salvador, register and sign in 15 pesos per head (Kapitan’s House)
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM LUNCH at Kapitan’s Place
12:00 PM – Start trek to Talong Aliw
01:30 PM – Arrival at Talong Aliw (20-30 mins walk)
01:30 PM -2:00 PM Picture taking, swim,etc
02:00 PM – Start trek for the Hulugan Falls
03:00 PM – Arrival at Hulugan Falls
05:00 PM – Back to San Salvador, Kapitan’s House
05:00 PM – 6:00 PM Rest, shower / Log Out