Date of Trip: December 6, 2015
Date of Trip: December 6, 2015

To discover home, is to discover oneself.

Laguna’s most celebrated ecotourism site was Pagsanjan Falls (now known as Cavinti Falls), as it was mentioned in numerous elementary and high school textbooks. However, this is not the only treasure that the province could offer. The province is endowed with different natural wonders including lakes such as Pandin, Yambo and Sampaloc Lakes; mountains such as Mt. Romelo and Mt. Kalisungan; and caves, such as the Cavinti Underground River and Caves Complex. Just recently, or about 2 to 3 years ago, another set of gems is added in Laguna’s natural treasure chest, the 4 waterfalls of Luisiana.

As a pre-Christmas vacation trip, my friends and I decided to go to Luisiana and chase some waterfalls. On our way to Luisiana, we did some toploading, since most of my friends never tried  it before. However, we needed to wait until we pass through the municipality of Pagsanjan to do it. It could be that the municipality has an ordinance forbidding such activity. Upon arriving in Brgy San Salvador, we went straight to the registration area. Once we’re done with the registration and some last minute preparations, we started our trek to the 4 waterfalls.

  • Talay Falls, Brgy San Salvador
Talay Falls
Talay Falls

This was the first falls we visited during our trip (although you may opt to  visit this after you’re done with Hulugan Falls). It is relatively the smallest falls among the four falls, in terms of width and possibly height as well. Talay Falls is a two-tiered waterfalls, the upper tier is narrow but high, while the bottom tier is broad but low. We were able to reach this falls after doing a number of river crossings and passing through a long muddy trail.

  • Hidden Falls, Brgy San Salvador
a "candid" photo of my friends
a “candid” photo of my friends near the Hidden Falls

This hidden gem is located just few meters away from Talay Falls. Its name may be based from the fact that the falls is hidden by big mossy boulders, which you need to climb to reach or even see this falls.  Since the area was a bit small, it was really hard to take photos of the falls without the lens of your camera getting smeared with water (as you may notice in my photo). In spite of the murkiness of the water cascading from the falls during our visit, it was still amazing.

  • Hulugan Falls, Brgy San Salvador
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the great Hulugan Falls

Next in line was Hulugan Falls. This was the highlight of our trip to Luisina, as with most of the people who visited the place. We opted to visit Talay Falls first since we wanted to stay here longer. Although the area was jam-packed with visitors, there was still enough space for everyone. Hulugan Falls was really amazing and truly breathtaking. The volume of water cascading from the falls was unbelievable. We got really wet even when we were still few meters away from it. Surely, I could definitely say that this is one of the best sceneries I’ve ever seen.

  • Aliw Falls, Brgy San Jose
Aliw falls, our third and last falls for the day
Aliw falls, our third and last falls for the day

Being in a different barangay, we visited Aliw Falls last. We were really tired after we went to the first two falls, but since we were already there, we still pushed ourselves to go to Brgy San Jose and visit this falls. The name of the falls is a Tagalog word which means entertain or amuse. Although our guide did not know why it was given such a name, I’m guessing that it is due to its amusing or soothing effect to people. Although it was not as humongous as Hulugan Falls, it surely was enormous. The view of the falls was indeed charming in its own special way.

During the last few days before our trip, it had been raining hard, and therefore, made the trail really muddy, making the trek a little bit more challenging, but it sure was more fun. Although the aforementioned waterfalls were given the most attention, visitors will surely be amazed by other relatively smaller waterfalls along the trail.

Since we wanted to relax, we stayed at a nearby resort overnight, and decided to leave early in the morning. The experience was really astonishing. I just couldn’t believe myself for being ignorant of this wonderful place, which is just few hours away from home.

When we left, we took nothing but picture, we left nothing but memories.

Additional notes:

  • Waterproof camera and cellphone cases are highly recommended, with or without rain, because of the heavy splash from the 3 falls.
  • It is also suggested that you wear shoes for maximum protection. Yes, it will be muddy and your shoes will be covered with mud, but your feet are always more important than your shoes.
  • If you want to go to Aliw Falls, you may do so, but pls inquire first at the registration area in San Salvador.
  • Pls be mindful of everyone around you, pls, DO NOT SMOKE around them.
  • Always be reminded of a simple rule: garbage in, garbage out. Help in protecting and conserving our environment.
Travel Guide    
Route Mode of Transportation Estimated Travel Time
Bus Terminal (Cubao) to Sta Cruz, Laguna (Pagsawitan*) Bus (Sta Cruz Bound)* 2.5 hours
Pagsawitan to Luisiana (San Salvador/ Jump-off Area) Big Jeepney (Lucban Bound) 40 minutes
Jump-off area to Hulugan Falls** Foot 2 hours
Hulugan Falls to Jump-off/ registration Area Foot 1.5 hours
Registration area (San Salvador) to Dafi Resort (San Jose)*** Tricycle 15 minutes
Dafi Resort to Aliw Falls Foot 40 minutes
*Jeepney terminal going to Lucban, Quezon    
**Including sidetrip to Talay Falls    
*** if you want to go to Aliw Falls    

 

Estimated Budget (in Pesos)  
Transportation (one-way)  
DLTB/ HM Bus Terminal (Cubao) to Sta Cruz, Laguna (Pagsawitan*) 149
Pagsawitan to Luisiana (San Salvador/ Jump-off Area) 30
(San Salvador/ Jump-off Area) to Dafi Resort*  
   
Registration fee 15
   
Guide fee** 100
   
Food (Lunch)*** 80
   
Resort fee****  
           Adult 40
           Kids 30
           Overnight 50
   
Accommodation (Good for 4 people, electric fan)***** 300
*going to Aliw Falls  
**Actually based on the prerogative of the group. During our trip, we paid Php 100  each. It included the trip to Hulugan Falls, Talay Falls and Aliw Falls. We are 6 in the group, so we gave our guide a total of Php 600.  
***Actually the food in the area is very cheap, you could actually have a meal for less than Php 50.  
****Only applicable once you use their pool. They won’t charge you for entering their resort if you will just pass to visit Aliw Falls  
*****Depending on the group’s prerogative  

Here are some of our photos during our Luisiana adventure:

The big jeep that will take you to Luisiana
The big jeep that will take you to Luisiana
the muddy trail going to Talay Falls
the muddy trail going to Talay Falls
a relatively narrow portion of the trail
a relatively narrow portion of the trail
small body of water that is easy to cross
small body of water that is easy to cross
Date of trip: December 6, 2015
One of the river crossings that we did during our trip
our friend Marion helping Patrick cross the river
our friend Marion helping Patrick cross the river
my chasing waterfalls buddies
my chasing waterfalls buddies
Date of trip: December 6, 2015
Taking a closer look of the second tier of Talay Falls
Marion taking some random pictures
Marion taking some random pictures
simple rock climbing going to Talay Falls
simple rock climbing going to Hidden Falls
Hidden Falls
The Hidden Falls, which is very close to Talay Falls
our first view of the great Hulugan Falls
our first glance of the great Hulugan Falls
on our way to our last falls, Aliw Falls
on our way to our last falls, Aliw Falls
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the grassy trail that we needed to pass before we could reach Aliw Falls
crops field that you need to pass through to go to Aliw Falls via Dafi Resort
crops field that you need to pass through to go to Aliw Falls via Dafi Resort
rice field along the trail
rice field along the trail

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