The province of Laguna still have a lot of unrefined beauty to offer to everyone who seeks adventure. One of its gems can be found on the town called “Siniloan”. The town of Siniloan, also tagged as “a waterfall sanctuary”, is situated between the plains of Sierra Madre and Laguna De Bay. Just 2-3 hours away from Manila, a weekend trip to this sanctuary is a perfect idea for a jampacked escapade one true adventurer could imagine.
Mt. Romelo and its falls:
Mt. Romelo is an ideal mountain for first- timers as the mountain only stands 240 MASL. One can reach the summit for about more than an hour or two but when you visit the during rainy season where trail becomes too muddy, the difficulty of the trail could climb up to another level. Aside from the mountain summit, Mt. Romelo is also an oasis of several waterfalls anyone would love to see. One could not see much on the summit but people look forward more on its hidden majestic waterfalls. Currently, they’re promoting seven of its waterfalls but as per our guide, there’s still more waterfalls on the mountain that only locals know.
How to go to Mt. Romelo?
Ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (Buendia or Cubao). Upon reaching Sta. Cruz, ride a jeepney bound to Siniloan (fare is P50). From Siniloan town proper, charter a tricycle going to Brgy. Macatad (fare is P30 each) just tell the driver to drop you off on the registration house to Buruwisan.
Ride a van from Starmall Shaw Blvd. bound to Tanay. From Tanay public terminal, ride a jeepney bound to Siniloan. From Siniloan town proper, charter a tricycle going to Brgy. Macatad just tell the driver to drop you off on the registration house to Buruwisan.
Start of trail:
For this trip, we decided to visit Mt. Romelo and four of its waterfalls in an overnight experience. Since we’ll be spending the night on its campsite, we opted to start the trek late. We reached the jump off on Brgy. Macatad at almost 10 AM, logged our names and paid for the registration fee of P50 each. We were welcomed by our tour guide, Arnold, who we already contacted beforehand. After registration, we walked for few hundred meters to the nearest food house to have tapsilog as our early lunch then we started our ascent at almost 11 AM. The first part of the trail is a mild slope uncovered by trees and the scorching heat of the sun made our initial trek way too tiring. It made us realize that it was a wrong decision to start in almost noon (lesson learned haha!) After meters of struggling, we reached the part of the trail where trees already cover the trail and the trek became more manageable. We were lucky too that the course was not that muddy.
After spending some time of rest on shades and huts on the area, we took our final ascent to the top. We reached the summit at around 12:30 PM and just took few photos for few minutes because it was too hot! There’s no trees or shades available on the summit and the burning heat made us decide to just continue walking down the trail. Few meters down the summit is a sari-sari store where you can buy some refreshments. Not far away is another picture taking area called “skyview”. You can enter skyview and the other heart/start backdrop and take photos for a fee that you have to pay on the caretaker.
We continued the trek and after another hour we set foot on the camping site. The camping ground lies beside the Siniloan River just above the known Buruwisan Falls. There are “bahay kubo” that can fit around 5-6 people that can be rented for only P500 (overnight) or you can simply pitch your own tent. The camping area is completed with basic facilities such as public comfort room and “sari-sari” stores for your food needs. We just settled our things and started our journey down to Buruwisan Falls. The way down to the Buruwisan Falls is very steep that you really have to be careful because one misstep could make you stumble. Take note that the trail down to the falls is not as easy as the summit trail and could be another level as it will require series of climbing rocks and conquering abrupt tracks. After few minutes of striving effort will lead you to the majestic Buruwisan Falls. It is the most accessible falls and the most visited. Many consider this as the most stunning among all. It’s such a rewarding experience to finally bathe on its waters after a tiring day of trek and being under the sun. We stayed here for more than an hour just enjoying its cold waters and appreciating the grandeur of this 170 ft falls.
Few meters from Buruwisan, we reached our second waterfall named “Lanzones falls”. It’s smaller than Buruwisan, the area was a bit gloomy due to trees covering the area and it’s located on the other end of Buruwisan so both of its drifting water meets on the same river.
After enjoying two falls on our first day, we climbed back to the campsite to prepare for dinner. Good thing, there’s a store on the camping site that offers cooked rice. We spent around P60 for a half kilo rice. We relished dinner over rice and canned tuna meal and had a chitchat with the locals until we took a rest and had a good night sleep to prepare for another adventure by the next morning.
We woke up at around 6 AM to have some breakfast before starting another long day. The stores on the site also offers cup noodles, pancit canton and hot coffee/chocolate so breakfast would not be a problem. We started our hike to the other two falls by 7:30 in the morning. First stop was the Sampaloc Falls located north of the campsite which took us around 45 minutes to one hour to reach. We did few river crossing and climbed rocky slopes. It was a continuous ascent-descent trail until we reached the 40 ft falls. I think this was the hardest to get so its charm is the most untainted.
Last stop is the Batya-Batya falls which means “basin”. It Is a two-level of cascading waterfall located downstream of Sampaloc Falls. It became my personal favorite as going towards batya-batya, you have to pass through a dreamy-like/enchanting river that lies between high rock formations. You even have to pass across a part of the river that’s more than 5 ft in height! One should be careful and guides usually ties rope for assistance.
We went back to the campsite, packed our things and started our trek back to the jump off. It was past 12 noon when we reached the tapsilogan to eat lunch and took a bath.
If you wish to visit Mt. Romelo and its waterfalls, you can contact our recommended tour guide, Arnold. He is a college student who works as a tour guide on the side to earn extra living. You can contact him on his phone number 09065049465 or on his official facebook page here.
- Siniloan tourism promotes seven waterfalls on Mt. Romelo namely: Sebakon Falls, Diwata Falls, Sampaloc Falls, Sapang Labo Falls, Batya- Batya Falls, Lanzones Falls and Buruwisan Falls.
- Guide Fee depends on how many falls you want to visit. For our case, we paid P1500 for an overnight stay for summit and four falls.
- Registration fee is P50.
- Some stores on the campsite and along the trail might be close during weekdays.