I was looking at the sky. There was no star, just the sight of coconut trees engulfed by darkness.
It was my intention to let our tent open, and left the net closed to let the air enter. It rained that night but by the time we slept, it suddenly became humid. It was another new experience for me, camping in the middle of the jungle.
That day we explored Aliw Falls and next morning, we were about to discover one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Luzon, the Hulugan Falls of Luisiana, Laguna.
It was part of the two day travel my friends planned to explore the 3 waterfalls in the town, that day was also the birthday celebration of my friend and fellow blogger, Mike of The Traveling Panda. They’re the same amazing people I met when I traveled to Batad, Ifugao.
I remember staring at the sky, feeling the fresh air when I dozed off to sleep.
Then I suddenly woke up to the sound of the heavy rain and wind. I was hoping our tent could withstand it, but my hope was crushed when I felt water dropping, sprinkling all over my face and body. I tried not to move, and not to waken my friend and travel buddy Ronald inside the same tent. Ronald is one of my closest in the gang. It was just coincidental that he shares the same name with my kuya (older brother), but in our case, I am the kuya. 🙂
I admit I was in denial at first telling myself everything will be okay. It was just a matter of minutes when I felt water on my feet. That was it, I knew in time our tent will be flooded with water.
I just sat there thinking what to do when I saw Ronald woke up. We chatted, discussed for a while, both thinking of our next move. The rain was mad and the water in the tent started to rise. Right there and then, we decided to move out.
But when I got outside, it was freezing cold. We were at the heart of the forest and mountain, a place where the temperature could drop when raining.
We knew there was only one way to go, seek refuge to our tour guides’ sleeping area. We were thankful to our guides Nico and Ariel for helping us to get to their place. It was just a bare framework of a house in progress, no walls and just roof.
After a few minutes, another member of ours arrived. Archie also suffered the same fate as ours. It was cold and open air. We slept on some chopped woods enduring the rain, cold night and mosquitoes.
The next morning, the soup prepared by Mike was an ease for us, but the rain hasn’t stopped. Our first location was Talay Falls, I will create a blog post about this waterfalls. But right now, let’s focus on the most captivating work of nature I’ve witnessed that day, the Hulugan Falls.
It was still raining hard and we were all soaking wet on our way to another hour trek to Hulugan Falls. I’ve been mountaineering this past months but it was my first time to hike during a heavy downpour. Sure, it was challenging, the steep trail and the mud.
I couldn’t remember how many times I slipped during the trek. Of course, seeing a big man like me slip can trigger some laughter at times, LOL! but that didn’t stop us from being cautious. We were exploring the mountains, one wrong slip can be very dangerous.
Passing through some rocks, we were finally face to face with this beautiful waterfalls. It was funny, we couldn’t resist looking at one another checking if our thoughts and feelings were the same.
Archie even said, “Amazing, right?”
It was huge, tall and majestic. The splash of water has created this dramatic mist, which was surprisingly relaxing. The wall of the falls was filled with green plants making it look even more spectacular.
Of course, we were able to take photos of the falls in wide shot, from afar. But the best experience happened when we got closer and closer.
When I got really close to the falls. Wow! The first feeling was the amazement of its power as it touches the water and rocks. The wind can take you aback for a while, the water and mist was just inexplicable.
It was another awe moment for me, literally a jaw dropping experience, which was pretty much enjoyable because of the sweet taste of the mist when my mouth was wide open, totally amazed by this beauty of nature.
All five of us were having our own moments with the falls. Some were taking selfies with go pro, while others were planning if they could make even closer. As for me, I just enjoyed it. I sat on a rock tasting the water, the mist, enjoying the strong wind that compliments the entire experience.
Before I had this notion that some of the best waterfalls in the Philippines are located in Mindanao. Creations of nature that I also longed to experience. But Hulugan Falls is just unbelievable and what’s more amazing is it’s just in Laguna!
So if you plan to see a waterfalls that can literally leave you speechless, you don’t need to go to Mindanao. Start traveling to Luisiana, Laguna and experience Hulugan Falls.
But again, to capture and experience an immense beauty has its price. And for Hulugan Falls, it’s the one hour trek. This might not appeal to some, but for travelers and people who want to experience something new and adventurous, try this and it’s worth it.
For me, despite some mishaps that happened, no regrets. This travel has given me a lot of my needed adventures – from the heavy downpour that night that made us evacuate our tents in the middle of the jungle, to the difficult muddy trek while we were all soaking wet. These are the kind of experiences that can definitely make us better…tougher.
If I had to endure that same process again just to witness Hulugan Falls? Well, bring it on! Because Hulugan Falls is worthy of every sweat and effort.
Travel Guide to Hulugan Falls
Via Private Car
Pass through South Luzon Expressway until you reach the Calamba Exit. Then go straight to Pagsanjan then Luisiana. You can also go through the Manila East Road.
Via Public Transportation
There are daily trips from bus companies like HM Transport, Greenstar, JAC etc bound to Sta. Cruz. In Sta. Cruz terminal, there are jeepneys going to Luisiana. The drop off point is the Barangay San Salvador welcom Arc. Walk until you reach Kapitan’s house, register and get a guide.