Laguna might be known for its hot spring resorts, location of the country’s biggest freshwater lake, Laguna De Bay and being home of Philippine’s famous amusement park, Enchanted Kingdom but this province situated Southeast of Metro Manila has a lot of natural attractions waiting to be explored. Multiple waterfalls can be found in the province but for this article we’ll be talking about Hulugan Falls located on Laguna’s little Baguio, the town of Luisiana.
Knowing Hulugan Falls:
Hulugan Falls is one of the few falls that you can visit in Brgy. San Salvador, Luisiana. Locals would agree that it is the most stunning among all. Standing 230 feet, you’ll be amazed by its natural beauty and to be drizzled by its strong water drops is an experience you must look forward to. As per our guide, with the effort of the barangay’s ex captain the place was finally opened to the public last 2015 and since then many tourists were captured by its charm.
How to get there?
From Manila ride a bus (Buendia, Cubao or Alabang) bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Upon reaching Sta. Cruz town proper, ride a jeepney bound to Luisiana. Jeepney terminal is located at the back of Jollibee Sta. Cuz, fare is P50 each and tell the driver to drop you off on Brgy. San Salvador. Upon arrival you’ll be seeing a sign “To Hulugan Falls” at your right. Walk to your right and you’ll be greeted by tour guides. Once they assigned a guide, they’ll accompany you to the old Captain’s house for registration. After registration, you have to ride another tricycle going to the jump off (80 Pesos per ride good for 4 pax).
Make your way to SM Calamba and look for jeepneys bound to Sta. Cruz on its transportation terminal. Fare will be P60 each and travel time is around 1 hour. Upon reaching Sta. Cruz town proper, ride a Luisiana bound jeepney (located at the back of Jollibee Sta. Cruz). Fare will be P50 and travel may take another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Dropped off at Brgy. San Salvador and walk to your right, have a tour guide assigned and have your group registered at the Captain’s house. After registration, ride a tricycle going to the jump off.
Journey to Hulugan Falls:
On this trip, we only decided to visit Hulugan Falls. Upon reaching the jump off, we make our way to the right where we were greeted by the “I Love Hulugan Falls” sign. Long tables and chairs are also available on the area where visitors can take a quick rest. After this part, this is where the real tricky trek starts. You have to descend a very steep natural stairs and since it poured the day before we went, the trail is too slippery, muddy and a bit complex. Good thing is they managed to put bamboo railings that one can hold and use as support all through his journey. We also have a very nice guide that holds and assists us anytime we need.
The trek may take around 30 minutes and after a tiring descent, you’ll be rewarded by the majesty that awaits you. It rained the day before we went to Hulugan, making the waterfalls white in color, larger than usual and water drops powerful. Regardless of its color and not being in its best glory (as per guides and locals), I was just stunned and overwhelmed by the beauty right in front of me at that moment. It’s such a gem that doesn’t deserve displeasure.
We have to put all our belongings inside a big plastic bag (prepared by our guide) to keep our things dry. Due to the strong current of water, we were not allowed to go below or near the falls itself for our safety. You can take photos on the big rocks around the area but make sure to be careful since it can be too slippery. Make sure to bring as well waterproof phone cases so you could take good pictures without worrying about your phone getting showered. Enjoying being poured by water drops from the falls is a must experience! It’s like bathing one rainy day back on your childhood days.
Getting Back From Hulugan Falls:
You have to take the same route to get back above. It may be extra tiring as you’ll need additional strength during ascent. Still, be mindful of your steps because one missed step could make you slide. Upon reaching the top where “I Love Hulugan Falls” sign is located we took some time to rest and that’s when I noticed that I lost my gold ring given to me by my mom. Our tour guide was too kind and decided to went back to the trail to look for it but unluckily, he didn’t find it. (He even went back to the falls by the next day to look for my ring again but still didn’t find it).
We continue our ascent until the drop off and ride a tricycle going to a house where we can take a bath and change clothes (P20/ligo). After fixing our things, we ride another tricycle back to the main highway and waited for a jeep back to Sta. Cruz.
Additional Information To Know:
- Aside from Hulugan Falls, you can visit the other two falls in Brgy. San Salvador namely Talay Falls and Hidden Falls. You’ll take around 1.5 hours of trek when visiting the three waterfalls.
- Registration Fee is 40 Pesos only. During this pandemic, they don’t require any requirements but you have to fill out their registration log book with your passing temperature.
- Standard guide fee is 500 PHP (mandated July 2020) for Hulugan Falls.
- For a recommended tour guide, you can contact Kuya Jayson. Once you are sure, tell him your desired date to visit so he can reserve you under his name. Kuya Jayson’s phone number is 09094522936.
It’s such a refreshing activity anyone could try since we have been forced not to leave our home for the past months due to the pandemic. We’ll surely be back and will try to visit the other known “Aliw Falls” on the nearby barangay. Please follow health protocols and safe travel to everyone!