I would write a long post about how and why you should go to Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna, but I figured there were enough travel blogs already for people to learn about it. So, instead, I would want to write about my friends and why it’s ideal to be with your friends when going to Hulugan Falls.
Here are five reasons:
Para hindi kayo awkward ni Manang Tour Guide.
Upon arriving, you will be met by a tour guide who will be accompanying you throughout the day. You will be asked to choose between two routes: (a) a shorter route (approximately 30 minutes of trekking), which will bring you directly to Hulugan Falls; and (b) a longer one (approximately 1.5 hours of trekking) which will lead you to two other falls (Talay Falls and Hidden Falls) before you finally head to Hulugan Falls. Whichever you choose, it will take time trekking. If you insist on going alone, which is rare, you’ll spend at least half an hour walking with Manang Tour Guide, which could be awkward; however, it is more likely that if you go alone, you will be sharing a tour guide with another group, which could be more awkward, especially if it’s a group of friends or family. Haha!
I went with three of my friends: Alyana (med student, future doktora), Sharmaine (licensed accountant, future municipal treasurer), Riggs (licensed chemist, future drug lord. Haha!), and me (no license, no future, pero masunuring anak. Hahaha!)
2. Para kung madulas ka man, may kasama kang tatawa.
Here’s the thing: if you take the shorter route, you’ll reach Hulugan Falls faster but the trail is steeper and much more tiring, not to mention that you won’t be able to see Talay and Hidden Falls. Meanwhile, if you take the longer route, it will take you an hour more before reaching Hulugan Falls. When it’s rainy and the trail is slippery and muddy, some tour guides may also choose to skip Hidden Falls if they finds it risky, so you’ll have to clear that up with your tour guide beforehand. Our group decided to take the longer route (#YOLO).
We were lucky enough that it didn’t rain the night before our trip so the trail was ‘more friendly’. Nonetheless, it didn’t guarantee an accident-free trekking–especially the hike from Talay to Hidden Falls, which challenged our rope-grippling and rock-climbing skills. As a matter of fact, kung tulad ka ni Dok Yana na medyo ‘gravitationally-challenged’ (wow, may ganun ba’ng word!? Hi Yana!), by the time you reach Hulugan, you probably would have fallen several times already. In my mind, I was thinking, ‘kaya siguro Hulugan na, Falls pa!’ (Note: so far, wala pa naman daw na-a-aksidente ng todo sa lahat ng pumupunta, puro dapa at dulas lang. So, in case gusto mong mauna… Hahaha!)
3. Para may kasama kang kumain ng bibingka.
One important thing to remember: make sure to have your meal before starting the trail. The area isn’t developed yet so there’s not much stores to buy from, although there are a lot of fruit and bibingka (rice cake) stalls before reaching San Salvador, Luisiana. There’s also another bibingka stall at the start of the trail, in case you forgot to buy snacks on your way there. It costs P35 apiece but you can also buy 3 pieces for P100 (inclusive of a small weaved basket where the rice cakes are in).
We only had marshmallows and ‘chichiria’ with us, and we thought it would be enough but we didn’t even touch the snacks we brought when we got there. Pag-uwi na kami bumili ng bibingka kaya naman lamon kung lamon!
4. Para may kasama kang mag-tampisaw sa Hidden Falls.
Tampisaw is the word. Of the three waterfalls, only the Hulugan Falls is allowed for swimming, but if you can and if the weather allows, you may get close to the cascade of the Hidden Falls, too. (Talay Falls is smaller compared to the other two and is completely off-limits. Meanwhile, if you get to Hidden Falls, you’ll probably understand why it’s not allowed for swimming.)
It’s all worth it! Hidden Falls is really amazing. Definitely the best way to recharge before coming back down for Hulugan Falls! Just be careful not to step on areas that are off-limits. Your tour guide will warn you, anyways. And your friend will be there to help you, too, in case you slip.
5. Para may kasabay kang mag-langoy, mag-picture, at magbabad sa Hulugan Falls.
By the time you reach Hulugan Falls, you probably would be too tired from the trek already. No worries, because Hulugan Falls has got you! When you see it, you’ll understand why it needed some effort to get there. The waterfalls is just amazing, a perfect way to end a tiring trek.
We really took our time bonding in there; we didn’t even get out of the water the whole time we were there. It’s a shame we weren’t able to bring a water-proof camera, so we had to rely on Sharmaine’s phone for pictures. And on Ate Jennifer, our tour guide, for taking pictures of us!
May mga bagay talagang masayang gawing mag-isa, at may mga bagay namang mas masayang gawin kasama ang barkada. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for solo travelling, too. It’s just that sometimes, happy memories like these become even more happier when you’ve got friends to share them with!