Wherever you are in the Philippines, chasing after waterfalls isn't so hard to do. There's always bound to be one at a town near you. You don't have to be an expert in the outdoors. Simply get out of the city and tackle a woodland terrain to discover one. Some are even given decent pathways that lead to them by local authorities or private organizations, making the intrepid getaway a little less dangerous for kids and old folks.
Before I hit the outdoors again this year to visit more waterfalls that I've long salivated over, check out the following ones that I've visited for the past four years and cross out those that you've already seen for yourself. For your convenience, I've categorized each based on the level of difficulty one can be reached:
|Pinagbutasan Trail to Pasukulan Falls|
Exact Location: Abucay
Level of Difficulty: Challenging
The whole ordeal that is hiking to Pasukulan Falls can take a traveler a total of 12 hours on foot -- six hours of hiking to Abucay from the jump-off point in Orani and another six hours from the waterfalls to where you came from. Being a popular sidetrip among mountain climbers of Mount Natib, it's less explored by locals, even those of Bataan. It's secluded and there's a big possibility of encountering snakes along the way so make sure to get the service of a hike guide.
Begin your adventure at six in the morning to finish everything by six in the evening. Make sure to bring a flashlight for your hike back that's past sunset. You can traverse another trail through the woodlands of Abucay to reach its town proper after you've reached the waterfalls, but that's something I can't recommend simply because I didn't experience it. My recommendation is to go back where you came from -- in Orani.
Read more about Pasukulan Falls.
Exact Location: Real
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The municipality of Real is just less than three hours away from Metro Manila where most tourists come from. If you happen to live in Laguna or Rizal, it can be a more quick getaway for you. The mountainside highway where the trails to Balagbag and Nonok Falls fork from is well paved so reaching each attraction on foot is quite easy. Both are just a few minutes away from each other from the highway anyway so visiting them in one trip is highly recommended.
Balagbag Falls is sensational for cliff-diving while Nonok Falls has a more gentle appeal for intimate soaks. The latter is a bit more secluded so much so that you can't tell the time when you're there.
Read more about Balagbag Falls and Nonok Falls.
Exact Location: General Nakar
Level of Difficulty: Both easy and difficult
The hike to both Maktang Falls and Lulumnan Falls from the shoreline of General Nakar is easy. Reaching these General Nakar attractions from either Aurora or Infanta is another story.
Maktang Falls is a secluded attraction that sits at the foot of Sierra Madre. Its swimming area is an intimate space unlike most waterfall sites in the Philippines. With just enough space to move around in for 8 to 10 people, the plunge pool is remarkable for letting any visitor stay as close as possible to the falls itself. In contrast, Lulumnan Falls has a more open scenery that's obstructed by less trees. Its plunge pool, though, is deeper than Maktang's.
Read more about Maktang Falls and Lulumnan Falls.
|Majayjay Falls (a.k.a. Taytay Falls)|
Exact Location: Majayjay
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Also known as Imelda Falls or Taytay Falls, Majayjay Falls is a little more than two hours away from Metro Manila. There's a set of guestrooms nearby at the jump-off point of the short hike although a lot of travelers prefer to camp out near the attraction. It's also where a huge parking space is located for visiting tourists. Along the way, you can see a variety of plants for amusement, including a fancy hanging bridge. The water that flows here is so cold that whenever tourists left a bottle of soda half-submerged, they would always retrieve it like it came out of a refrigerator.
Read more about Majayjay Falls.
|Scenery at Vera Falls|
Exact Location: Mount Malinao
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Albay is more than the famous attraction of Mayon Volcano. There's also Mount Malinao where the secluded Vera Falls can be found. The route to the site of the waterfalls is a little more than a 30-minute drive from Legazpi City and you have to tackle a well-paved but sloping terrain to reach it. It's where nature is still pristine which is a big lure to adventurous tourists visiting Albay. To keep things organized, the ones maintaining it has established a minimal entrance fee to the attraction for the preservation of the scenery and maintenance of its public restroom.
Read more about Vera Falls.
|Scenery at Baratubot Falls|
Exact Location: Palaui Island, Sta. Ana
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
To reach Baratubot Falls, you will need to explore the inland terrain of windswept Palaui island and not take the easy boat ride from mainland Sta. Ana to reach the island's other attractions. Dock at Punta Verde beach to commence your short hike of the Lagunzad Trail as the waterfalls is located in the middle of the whole island where the scenery is secluded and highly vegetated. Along the way, you'll see young Agtas or Aetas and massive, age-old trees.
Read more about Baratubot Falls.
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