Laguna is known for its hot springs and lakes. Whether you’re into trekking or water rafting to cliff diving, its a perfect destination for nature tripping. Plus its near Metro Manila and will took around 3-4hours travel by bus if your living in Quezon City. I’ve never been fond of water activities because I don’t know how to swim. But last Saturday, I was able to gather up my courage and take on the challenge.
The Water Rafting
Our first stop is the White River rafting in Magdalena Laguna. To get there, we took Greenstar Bus in Buendia (P140 fare) going to Sta. Cruz. Its also the last Bus stop for Greenstar. It took more than three hours because of traffic. After that we ride a jeep going to Magdalena. When we arrived at the Magdalena Town Proper, we were fetch by the tours owned by Kuya Raf. Going to their office where they briefed us about the white river rafting in Magdalena. How the area were used by Filmmakers as a location site for movies local or foreign. After the briefing we were asked to choose for helmet and then rode a jeep going to the starting point of the river adventure.
While there we were asked for photo ops at the bridge. Kuya Raf is also taking picture of us, I just hope I could get some copy of it. 😀 After taking some pictures, we started the rafting. The river is calm. The only time the water speeds up is on the rocky parts. If your holding your action camera, you can take good quality photos. I’m still using my old phone though, just water proofed this time. 🙂 Still I get a chance to take amazing photos. Anyway, in between we had stops maybe because our two tour guides are tired? 😀 And to get some photo ops as well. There are parts where we do a mini cliff jumping. The first one is 12 ft. Looking down its hard for me to jump. Knowing I’m no swimmer. I’m just relieved because our tour guides are on standby. 😛 At the end of the route is the dam where you can also jump 22 ft high and slide at the dam. I quite hesitated at first when I jumped 22ft. But still I was able to do it. Though I had a little twinge on the lower part of my body probably because I jumped with my feet apart. It should be feet together to lessen the impact. But still I did it. It will be a good starting point specially when I’ll do canyoneering in the future. While water dam slide is cool as well. There are kids there who are swimming as well. And boy they really are good swimmers.
The total package we paid for the water rafting experience is as follows:
750 – Kuya raf’s package (water rafting, jeepney transfer)
100 – 1 pack lunch and bottled water
50 – Tour Guide Tip
The Hulugan Falls
We finished our water rafting at around 1:30PM, without eating our lunch we immediately proceeded to our second destination which is the Hulugan Falls. We were able to get there because we hitch hike on a van. Getting there you need to pass the zigzag road of Pagsanjan. But its not that long compared to zigzag ride to Mt. Pulag. 😛 Anyway, on commute, you need to ride a jeep from Sta. Cruz going to Lucban and ask the driver to stop at Brgy. San Salvador Luisiana and then ride a tricyle going to the registration area. Btw, upon entering the arch of the Brgy. San Salvador, you’ll be asked if you have any tour guide, if none, a tour guide will be assigned to you. After eating our lunch we started our trek going to the hidden paradise. The way to Hulugan Falls is muddy. We did not pass the forest, but rather we took a much shorter route as per our Tour Guide Kuya Joey, which is a road construction site. Apparently, they are improving the infrastructure to have a more convenient access to the falls. Its a 45minutes walk, it will be more depends on who you’re with. The way down to the falls is hard because its muddy and slippery. You need to be extra careful because its a cliff! 😛 Going down might seem forever but it will be paid off when you see the Hulugan Falls. When you heard the sound of the falling water, its a sign that you’re almost there. 😀
Upon reaching our destination, it was an spectacular view. Sitting in front of it is relaxing. Hearing the splashing water and seeing the green surroundings. Plus a small rainbow forming because of the water mist hit by sun rays. Its picture perfect and looks like a painting. Though, there are so many people and it will be a struggle to get a nice shot to Hulugan Falls. You need to be extra cautious and wait for your turn specially when crossing the rocks. I got overly excited too and was advised by the guides not to. I felt ashamed. 😛 It took us more than 30mins of taking pictures can you imagine? 😛 And I don’t own any action camera but my friend. We take turns 😀 After we satisfied our picture savvy self we decided to go up.
Going Up, our tour guide brought a plastic full of garbage and water bottles. I’m certainly sure its not ours because we brought our own wet bag. Its sad that tourist forget their garbage. I hope they are familiar to the quotation:
Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time
We should be a responsible tourist. We only just paid a small amount to witness such a wonderful creation of God and yet we’re insensitive of our actions that could damage the environment. I felt sad seeing people leave their garbage. You actually don’t need to bring plenty of water, just a 500ml bottle will do. In fact we consumed ours while going up. This is a reminder to us. We need to preserve its beauty so that future generations can enjoy and can also experience what we’ve experienced now.
Sorry if I went off topic, I just felt sad of what I saw. Anyway here’s the total Cost of our Hulugan Falls trip.
100 – for the guide fee (We’re a group of 5, so we paid our tour guide 500, normally their rates starts at 300. But its a donation basis and no fixed amount.
15 – Registration fee
15 – for the shower
15 – Tricycle going to Highway
30 – Jeep going to Sta. Cruz
140 – DLTB bus from Sta. Cruz, Laguna to Cubao
There are other falls that’s worth a visit in Laguna. If you have time be a tourist in your own country. 🙂 For all we know, its really more fun in the Philippines. 😀
As always, here’s a slideshow of my trip.. 😀