Tag Archive | Waterfalls

Secret of Panguil; The Beauty of Buntot Palos Falls

(It is given. Laguna is a province blessed with unique landscapes, green mountains, cool bodies of water and rich historical treasure. We all know the mighty Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Rizal Shrine and so many attractions that you must see. But ever heard of Buntot Palos Falls?)

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If you think that Pagsanjan Falls is the only must-see waterfalls in this province you are very much wrong. Buntot Palos (Eel’s Tail) is the hidden grandeur located in the town of Panguil. Finding a perfect place for weekend escapade have made me browse hidden wonders of Laguna; and Buntot Palos Falls not that famous like Pagsanjan Falls topped the list. With my curiosity and wandering feet itching to see this wonder made me plan and write-down itinerary for the whole trip. Together with my officemates, off we went to see and marvel in this hidden beauty one fine Saturday morning.

We met-up in EDSA Shaw and upon completion of the group, we rode jeep bound to Tanay, Rizal. It was still early when we depart from Shaw yet traffic was all over. Non-stop chitchats and celebrity gossips, healed our boredom of being caught in traffic. It took us at least one hour to reach Tanay. From Tanay, we need to ride another jeep bound to Siniloan. Since it was weekend, the roads in Rizal were not congested.

On the way, I just realized that Rizal boasts good landscapes, beautiful view of Laguna de Bay and bursting green hues from trees. It was already 10 a.m when we arrived at Siniloan. The driver of the jeep helpfully assisted us to ride again on the jeep that will pass Banlian Panguil. Our driver aided us to alight at Banlian Barangay Hall. You have to pay for the registration fee which is 20Php and have a guide that will take you to the falls. Since the way through that awesome falls is full of robbery stories, securing a guide (complete with walkie-talkies) is a must.

So it was 11 a.m when we started the hike. The trail is shady since trees are lined up and it was a little bit cloudy when we went there. On the way, we encountered farmers with their horses transporting their crops (bananas and coconuts) down on the plains.

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(View while ascending. Mountains of Sierra Madre, ricefields of Siniloan and the peaceful Laguna de Bay)

Some part of the trail are easy, some are combinations of rocks and boulder and some are muddy. We were so hungry because we didn’t take our breakfast yet. Since it was too late for breakfast and upon finding a very shady area we ate our packed lunch. Our guide being accommodating never lost stories to share about the place. (Sorry, I forgot his name). When we were nearing the falls, the booming sound greeted us. We were hyped at the moment upon realizing we were already near on our motive. A few minutes more, we already saw the river and the falling waters. But before reaching the waters you have to descend on the steep ravine which you can’t hold anything but twigs and rocks. Few minutes of rock hopping and…Tadahh!

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(The mighty and grand Buntot Palos. Standing in approximately 80 meters.)

Marveled in beauty and stunned in awe. This 80 plus meters falls is simply breath taking. The clear and cool waters, irresistible and shame if you don’t plunge.

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(Boulders filled with moss, vines and creeping shrubs carpeted the walls of rocks.)

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(Camera wh*ring. Yours truly in the basin ground of the falls. Glad no falling stones!)

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(Playing like a kid. Just excuse my facial expression.)

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(One more photo!)

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(Simply breath taking)

How to go there?

1. Ride any jeepney bound to Tanay, Rizal. (Jeeps and FXs are available in EDSA Shaw or Santolan Station LRT2.

2. Upon reaching Tanay, ride another jeepney bound to Siniloan. Ask the driver to alight you to the terminal of jeep that will pass Banlian.

3. From Banlian, register on the Barangay Hall and secure your guide.

Road Less Travelled to Pagsanjan Falls.

(If you think that the only way to see the Pagsanjan Falls is passing through Pagsanjan by rowing your boat against the waves you’re pretty much wrong. There’s the Pueblo El Salvador del Mundo Eco Park of Cavinti, Laguna. The road less travel to the beautiful Pagsanjan Falls)

It was 5 o’ clock in the morning. I am still sleepy. The sun was not yet rising in the east side of the sky. The LRT train was quietly moving approaching Cubao station. It was been planned to visit the prestigious Pagsanjan Falls. I am a little bit nervous for we don’t know how to go there exactly.

Its five and a half when I alight from the train and walked to the bus station bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. My friend was already there and we rode the available bus. The trip last for three hours. As always the Laguna province got beautiful sceneries along the highway. Lush mountains, greeneries, buffalos busy on grazing grass in hilltops and stunning Mt. Makiling surrounded by morning dews.

We had arrived in Sta. Cruz city proper and alighted in Pagsawitan. We don’t know what will be our next transportation, the locals were very kind to give us directions. When the first jeepney bound to Cavinti stopped to pick passengers, we hurriedly rode.

We passed the Pagsanjan town (having many good preserved bahay-na-bato (stone houses) dated back from Spanish times) then Lumban and finally to Cavinti.

The town is quiet and not so many people roam the street. Asking for directions on how could we go to the pagsanjan Falls we were directed to ride a tricycle that will escort us to the eco park. After 15 minutes, we arrived in the entrance of the park.
The staff were accommodating, we registered and paid Php225/pax for the entrance fee, tourist-guide fee and safety gear rentals. After the tourist-guide briefed us on dos and don’ts we started our journey.

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We hiked a fairly 15 minutes till we arrived in the station where our real journey to the Pagsanjan Falls begin. Along the way, you couldn’t help but wonder in awe to see big trees, springs and wild birds free flying in the sky. Everything is peaceful and quiet. You will hear nothing except the mighty sound of falling waters in the falls.

Fog at pagsanjan

(Trying to see what’s down there. The place is heavily covered by fogs and mist)

As we reached the station, we couldn’t see the rivers for it was heavily covered with fogs. Our guide teach us how to handle our safety gears correctly. Then the adventure begin!

IMG_1040(Safety garments first!)

Rappelling on almost 50-feet cylinder-like steel to descend down on very long staircases. If you got some fear of heights, well don’t dare to try 🙂

Rapel!

Upon descending down…Taddah!!!

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Heavily forested and fresh air! A kind of air you wouldn’t breathe here in Metro Manila. Climbing down you’ll see…

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And More Stairs!!!

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Approximately after 30 minutes we’re halfway close to the falls. Booming mighty sounds of the falling water is getting louder. The fog that was once thick was slowly melted by the sun.

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A clearer view of river from the top! At first we were bit dissapointed because the water is not that clear. A few minutes more…

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Whatta view! Isn’t it? Mother Nature I love you!

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And this…But the most stunning part of this adventure…

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The mighty roaring Pagsanjan Falls!

The water seemed to be muddy, but trust me it is not! We rode the raft to shoot the rapids so we can go to the Devil’s Cave (the cave behind the waterfalls). It is really a must-try experience. I helped the rafters to pull the rope for us to move and proceed to the cave.

Rushing waters fall in our heads. Cold and refreshing we’re totally soaked! Inside the cave, you may plunge into shallow waters. (Good Choice! I didn’t brought with me my iPad or else I am saving to buy another one!) The cave is dark and your voice echo as you speak. After few moments we decided to leave the cave. It’s really cold inside and we’re having headache.

All in all, the experience is different. Not just a mere hiking or rappelling 🙂

 

How to go there?

1. Ride any bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna and alight at Pagsawitan.

2. From Pagsawitan take a jeepney destined to Cavinti.

3. From Cavinti ride a tricycle that will escort you to Pueblo El Salvador Eco Park.

 

Friendly Tips:

1. Always wear comfy clothes.

2. Bring water and food. There are no stores inside the eco park.

3. Bring spare clothes.

 

IMG_1153(Have a dip!)

 

For more pictures visit my Facebook page 🙂