Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chasing waterfalls...

So, on a hot summer afternoon, Matty, Maya, Martin, and I went to Luisiana, Laguna to visit three waterfalls. I didn't expect a full-fledged hike and was thinking this to be more similar to a visit to Daranak Falls, for instance. Or even to Pagsanjan Falls, in which we were basically in a boat the whole trip to the waterfalls. So, I didn't bring water or food... thinking that these would be available along the way. 

But I was wrong. To visit the three waterfalls, we had to really hike, go over boulders, and cross streams... something I typically wouldn't do wearing running shoes. But since when have I planned day trips involving mountains properly, right? 

And so as we were hiking, I can't help but play TLC's song "Waterfalls" in my head. The chorus particularly resounded because we typically stayed in lakes or at sea when we go wakeboarding. This is only the second time I've trekked with Matty (I'm not counting the hike to see Yambo Lake, see) and the first time with Maya and Martin. 

Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.
I know that you're gonna have your way or nothing at all,
But I think you're moving too fast.

The song may be tragic but the four of us certainly had fun during this adventure. 

With our trail guide, Bert, we navigated through the brush and the pandan plantation (or at least it looked like one) to our first waterfalls, Talay. Since we came at the tail-end of summer, the waterfalls didn't have much water. The pools were rather small too (but still deep). It didn't matter too much because we just wanted to be in the great outdoors! Bert advised us from jumping into the water. I thought that this was good advice because there were two more waterfalls in our adventure and it's difficult to climb if one's clothes are wet and dripping.

So, a more grueling climb later, complete with boulders and a rope, we reached the second waterfalls, called Hidden Falls... probably it's part of the Talay Falls, only a few meters more up the mountain. And Hidden Falls proved to be the more crowded one, with people actually sitting comfortably under the waterfalls (yes, that's how weak the water flow has become at this time of year!). There's traffic going to and from the waterfalls due to the narrow ledges. One needs to be a confident swimmer to jump in here because the pool is quite deep and life vests aren't provided. 

Not too difficult, I thought of our hike, as Bert navigated through the winding paths towards the third waterfalls, Hulugan Falls. The path was narrow but it wasn't a very steep descent... Until I saw the rocks we had to climb and the algae-laden stream we had to cross to reach the waterfalls. Foot injury alert! Whatever happened to the girl who hiked to Mt Maculot's Rockies twice, free-climbed, and didn't think about being blown off by the wind while crossing the narrow strip of rock to get the best seat to view Taal Lake?!?

Right; that girl has an injured tendon and was already thinking what should be done if the girl got injured.

Anyway, the relatively easy, albeit stony hike to Hulugan Falls, was fun. We all jumped into the water and got refreshed after the hike. It was a well-timed field trip too because at some point it will start raining and the rivers will start to swell... I don't think I'd want to be caught anywhere near Hulugan Falls' mighty current when the rainy season arrives.

Off to the next adventure!