I have been seeing a lot of photos taken at various mountain peaks and waterfalls on Facebook and Instagram. One time, there was a friend who posted a photo of Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna. Since it was close to our hometown, my high school friends and I went on a day trip to see the beauty about two weeks ago. IT WAS AWESOME.
We were supposed to meet at 6am in Sta Cruz, Laguna (about 3 hours from Manila) but due to us being ourselves (except Giselle who is always on time), we got delayed to 3:30 PM. Huwag po kaming tularan.
Instead of bringing a car, we decided to commute since we were not sure about the parking situation in the area. We went to “Pagsawitan” where the “gigantic jeeps” headed to Luisiana are. We just told the barker that we’re headed to Hulugan Falls then we were dropped off at Brgy San Salvador in Luisiana.
There are tour guides who would readily accompany you. Since we arrived late (about 4PM), they told us that we may not be allowed by the barangay captain to continue with the hike. Buti na lang effective ang batting eyelashes namin. Haha. Not. We told him we had flashlights (aka cellphone hahaha) and that we had no other opportunity to hike. Partly true. Pwede namang after 3 months, pero angtagal pa non. Saka “start the year right” nga, diba? Kailangan first week of January may mga hiking trip nang ganap. Hahaha. It was a good thing that Kapitan was very nice. Love you, Kap!
Here are some tips for your future Hulugan Falls experience:
Tip #1 – Arrive early! Kuya said that it’s best to arrive at 5-6 AM, or anytime when the sun is still up. You’ll get to see rainbows on the waterfalls. The early bird catches the worm… and sees the rainbow. Corny ko no? Also, there are other falls you could see. Our tour guide told us he could have showed us two more falls (I forgot the names) only if we arrived earlier. #fail
Tip #2 – If possible, go on a weekday. The place is usually packed with hikers during weekends. Meaning, maraming photo-bombers sa pictorial nyo ng friends mo.
Tip #3 – If you can, bring a car. You can park outside Kap’s house. The area is safe and the people are actually warm and kind.
Tip #4 – You only need 15 pesos per person as the entrance fee. Of course, you have to tip your guide.
Tip #5 – Bring extra shoes or slippers, and extra clothes. I was so excited to use my hiking shoes but I haven’t worn them for years so they eventually gave up on me DURING the hike. There is a store at Kap’s house and another one nearby. They sell slippers (100 pesos per pair), water, and food. They would also let you change your clothes in cubicles outside their house.
Tip #6 – Bring a flashlight or make sure your phones are fully charged. Also, bring a nice camera (read: waterproof).
Tip #7 – Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before the hike. Also, you can apply OFF lotion just to be sure. If you have asthma, bring your inhaler. The hike towards the falls would take only about 30-45 minutes. I rarely hike but I think it was not so hard; there were just some steep areas that could be quite challenging.
Tip #8 – Bring or rent a tent if you want to bond a little longer with Mother Earth. You can spend the night to stargaze and eat some s’mores. I think I would go back someday to do this.
I hope this post somehow triggers the wanderlust in you. Let’s support the local tourism; it actually helps the locals to earn more. 🙂