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Friday, April 5, 2013

Buruwisan Multi-Falls | A Place to go to chase Waterfalls


"Just Follow the Footprints"....this rule had helped my adventure together with my college friends in Mt. Romelo in Siniloan, Laguna. 
In the past few months, I've been seeing my college classmate/friend frequently. We jogged at Ayala Triangle and did some chitchat. This meeting allowed us to share and talk a lot of what we have been doing, our activities and what makes us busy, our sidelines and of course love life.(Hehe..ciempre hndi mawawala yun!) Eventhough social media become an easy access nowadays, it wouldn't beat the feeling of personal gathering. As an active  social media user, they knew what were my trips. My photos would show that. And that started a talk of my travels and invited them. We end up planning our backpacking as part of Ken's birthday celebration (one of my college friend). That was scheduled February in Island of Cagbalete,Mauban Quezon.


View of Lowland area of Siniloan, Laguna (photos courtesy of Alvin Torzar)

Unfortunately, Cagbalete Island was disregarded due to bad weather. Just to push the gala, 2 days before the date, I searched for an alternative place to go. Since my friends were looking for an adventure with water feature, chasing waterfalls would be ok. My first option is in Majajay but I read a blog that the falls there is a little crowded that you will not enjoy the area because of a massive flocks of people. I continued searching and there Mt. Romelo appeared on the list.  Bloggers would say that it was the best place for combined adventure of trekking and enjoying plentiful of water feature. Also, I considered that my companions were new to this type of activity. I want them to enjoy the place and introduce them to outdoors by starting in an easy yet adventurous one.


February 23, Saturday - Day of the Trip. 

Just like some of the trips, not all  were able to come even the birthday celebrant. It ended up, me and my three friends who proceeded (Alvin and a couple Sygrid and Darwin). We met at Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas Center at 6:00 in the morning.  We supposed to meet at Shaw Boulevard to ride jeepneys bounded to Binangonan but I realized that the logistic will be longer and harder because we'll  gonna have 4 rides. Then, we meet in Robinson Galleria instead. We waited there for Raymund Bus Lines (one of the transportation franchise passing to the Jump off). The said bus line come in an hourly basis, so we waited for over a half hour but the bus didn't come yet. 


Me and Alvin on bus going to Cainta

Boredom came on us and chose to hopped on a bus going to Cainta Junction and from there we rode jeepney routing to Siniloan, Laguna.  At exact 7:00 AM, the jeepney left the terminal. It was about to depart when we arrived and we were just on time. Along the way,  I enjoyed the view and try to familiarized the area. As usual, I got pleasure of the country scenery. Lush green vegetation filled my sight. Mountains on the far background, rice field on both side and boulevard of broad branched trees aligned on the national road.  Really, that setting was relaxing. The ride took 2 hours going to the town of Mabitac, Laguna


It was  past 9:00 AM when we reached the town proper. From the town, we caught time to buy supplies we need and ate local burger at very cheap price (egg sandwich is just P10 and burger is P15...cheap yet the taste is good!!!pede na talaga!!!). At 9:30 AM, we headed off to the jump off in Brgy. Macatad thru a tricycle ride. About 20 minutes we were there at the jump off. From the jump off area, locals were offering for a guide which cost P300. We  denied it and trusted on my trail instinct (ang yabang ko!!). We assumed that we can't be lost in the area because there will be another group of mountaineer we may go with and beside we want to save money. 


A welcome landmark you would see in the  jump off. It is along the national highway.



Me and Alvin descending  from the jump off.

At about 10:00 AM, we started our trek. While along our way, we met two mountaineers, one  with a very huge backpack,about 75 Liters and the other one is with a beat box (oh! Music!). Thanks God, that was really an answered prayer. I instantly introduced my self to them and my friends too. Their name were IDOL and Bench. We asked if that was their first climb to Mt. Romelo and said they been there for so many times. My ears was like clap! clap! clap! hndi na talaga kami maliligaw!! Without shame at all, I asked if we can go with them and relate that  it was our first time to go there and without hesitation, we got their YES!

About 10:00 AM, we reached the registration area and paid for registration fee. That cost P50 per pax. Of all mountains I have been, that was the most expensive so far. Sa loob loob ko, abusado naman tong mga to?!! But I claimed that P50 will go far and it will worth the price even more. Take note, they issued ID for every group. I really don't know what is the use of IDs??





Me on the middle, Alvin on the left and Darwin on the Right.




This river system showed us that as early that  time our trek will be muddy and slippery. 




Clockwise: IDOL, Bench a.k.a Asiong, JEWA, Me, Darwin and Alvin.

Me, IDOL and Alvin, far background is the lowland area of Siniloan and Fany, Laguna




Clockwise: Sygrid, Me, Alvin and IDOL




A distant view of said to be the tallest among the waterfalls in the area. At the same time, the most difficult to reach. It will require roping and passing through cliffs and gorges. 

Along the trail, a scenic view showed up and I saw my friends amazement. We did a lot of chitchat and took lot of photos while trekking. The rain poured the last day, so I knew the trail will be muddy. I underrated the trail. I anticipated the trail will be like Mt. Batulao trail, just muddy from the beginning but I was wrong. As we go through, it got muddier up to knee deep. The muddiest ever I experienced. There were instances that my sandals would stocked in the mud and I have to pull it back with my hand and there were areas that we prefer to crawl rather walking for us not to slip. That was hard, but we made fun out of that grimmy moment. Nicely, we managed to sip "buko juice" on stop overs. Ito yung isa sa nakikita kong benefits ng outdoor/tourism activities, the locals has the opportunity to create a source of income other than their rural jobs). 



There were stop overs  that allows climbers to take a rest and drink fresh buko juice.

We gradually heard the splash of water as we got near on the camp site. Along the trail, you could see one of the waterfalls that Mt. Romelo is boasting. It is tallest among the waterfalls and truly very beautiful from a distant view. We got more excited with this sighting. 
Our Camp site! Seen on the photos is cottages for rent worth 100 Php.

At 1:30 NN, we reached the camp site. (We came late because we tried to wait for IDOL's co-mountaineer but then decided to go just to accompany us. And there we met "JEWA" ,a young guide, whom we laughed with his epic stories of climbers he had guided and his term "Jewa"   for a couple). 

We then, unload our things and look for good location to pitch our tent. We pitched our tent near Manang's Store for some safety advice came from blogs I read. Obviously, the campsite was quite commercialized because of the presence of cottages and stores. The serene mood of the place was quite disturbed nevertheless it is still a paradise. Take note, free standing tent is ideal for camping due to rocky soil however we managed to pitch my single pole tent. After we pitched out tent, we then ate our lunch and rested for an hour.  
Camp site near Manang. Said to be the safest place to camp.

Our campsite is adjacent to a river flowing to Buruwisan falls. The said river system may overflow up to the area where camped during typhoon or when heavy rain fall. That threaten us. (So katakot takot na pray na wag sana umulan ng malakas!!)

Swimming Time!!! First Stop, Buruwisan Falls!!!


Descending from the camp  site. Darwin and Sygrid

Yours truly,  misting background brought by strong water falls Buruwisan!!!

Raging Water of Buruwisan Falls, the nearby Water falls from the camp site. On the photo is yours truly and "IDOL" the one we met on the trail who served as our guide.(photos courtesy of Alvin Torzar)
With full of thrill,  we concluded to explore the nearest waterfalls which is Buruwisan. To reach the waterfalls, you must go down from the campsite. It took 10 minutes for us to reach the place.   Cautions: the trail is rocky and a bit slippery brought by mosses grew on rocks. The slope is almost 90 degrees. Thanks to large trees in the area for providing us something to cling on while descending. 

Me and Alvin on the top of the rock .

Heavy rain poured last night that caused the water of Buruwisan Falls so heavy. I have seen photos of Buruwisan but not as raging as this. This made most of the area covered with mist and  so wet. The area is mossy  as well. We are lucky to witness this. 

We  took a dip  and swam in the cold water  of the  falls but we were not able to come near on the falling water because it poured heavily. Strong current and deep water also stop us in doing so. Rather, Me and Alvin walked on side ways to come near the falls and stayed on the cave like part. Because of the popularity of Mt. Romelo and due to commercialization,  few wastes and  garbages  stocked on rocks.  I saw plastic bottles, shoe soles and food  wrappers floating on the water. 

We stayed there for almost two hours, took pictures and did some socials. Fascinated and excited, all the the muddy-dirty moment has paid off! (also the the P50 reg. fee). 

At about 6:00 PM we ascended going to the campsite and prepared our meal for the night. IDOL and Bench were hoping that their friends/companion will still come. We ate our dinner and we shared it to our new buddy/guide. We owe them  our trek. Without  them, we might be delayed or worst lost in the trail.

8:00  PM , IDOL and Bench were surprised by their companion. The group were composed of 8 people plus a 12 year old kid. A very curios and naughty  kid. We just started our socials and done with our dinner when they arrived. As an act of welcoming, we allowed them to use our cottage for them to prepare their  dinner. I saw IDOL and Asiong's happiness, they introduce us  to their  companion. While they are eating dinner,  my  friends decided to stay in the tent and fall asleep. 

The night hasn't become quiet and serene. IDOL's group were still alive and singing medleys up until past 1 AM. The camp area became noisy because of their music session. To be honest, they  really are good singers and truly have skills in music. They were playing  guitar and beat box and  vocals. However, still that brought noise and let other campers got hard time to fall asleep. 

Exploring Batya batya falls!!!

The next day, I woke up at 6:00 AM though I have a little sleep. We then prepared and ate our  breakfast.

We decided not to  go with IDOL's group because that time, they were preparing their breakfast and we are already finished. We are chasing time and have to go after lunch. Good that   there's this other group going in  the said falls. We befriended   them and asked  that we'll be  going with  them. This  group were Christian youth went out for vacation. 

We started  trekking at 8:00 AM. Going to Batya batya falls took almost an hour. We have to passed through river and swim to it and gorges that darken the area.(quite Creepy!!). 


 Early Morning Shots!!! Me and Alvin




Meanwhile, waiting for  companion, we took time shooting photos. Above pic are us!!! Complete Shot.


While trekking, ciempre dapat may picture!!!


Batya Batya Falls!!! Situated Between  gorges and rocky walls, indeed worth visiting. Unlike Buruwisan, it is a lot smaller and lower but the pool is as deep as Buruwisan. Water is cold  and flowing strong  though I managed to swam near to it and jump from it. 



We stayed there  for over an hour  and then  decided to go back to camp site. 

We were at the campsite at about 12 NN. We ate our hefty lunch meal then started to break our camp. We put everything on our backpack even the garbage we brought from lowlands. I noticed that the sky was dark that is why I advised my buddies to waterproof everything. 

We planned to leave at 3PM assuming that we'll have fast pace. That's why we took another dip on the pool like-part of the river. I really don't want to leave yet because that feeling of being in nature, out of thinking of anything, just you and nature were communicating, make me feel that I'm really living. This is the moment when I hardly praise God. Thanking Him for creating  natural environment for us human to enjoy. 

2:30 PM we prepared ourselves to leave. We wave goodbye to mountaineers we met there most especially Asiong and IDOL. If without them, probably, we have a hard time of tracking the trail. Besides, I earned new friends who has same passion as mine.

At exact 3 PM, we left the camp site.  It was drizzling when we started trekking. It made the trail muddier. Descending was harder than when we ascend the last day. Basagan ng tuhod!!! At idagdag mo pa yung dulas nung trail!!!.... There were areas again that I have to slide down because I can't managed to walk down and for me not to slip. 

The sun almost  down and the sky started to darken plus drizzles and still we are halfway on the trail. It was really my concern, I don't want to trek in the middle of the night because I never experience it yet . It made my heart pound faster and faster as the surrounding was covered with darkness. What freaks me out more was the sound of wild animals that seems  they are watching at us and never heard and seen any signs that we are near to the lowlands. 

I was leading the pack and my pace was fast that I'm leaving my buddies behind. (sorry to my friends!!!). We turned on our head lamps and flashlights to lighten our way. The rain and mud trail had helped us to track the trails. In Mt. Romelo, especially at night, there are fork trail that may lead mountaineers to confusion. So be better to be with someone who know the trail or a guide most especially to first timers. 

Back to trek, we are in the midst of wilderness and still no signs of the barrios. We were looking for house lights and expecting another group to come but we failed. That moment, I felt like it was the longest trail. Also, that was time when my faith and prayer has bursted out. As if I was summoning all the angels to guide and lead us to our way. I know God gave us guides and that guide was the footprints made by locals through their beasts,-- their horses. We followed all the  footprints and few minutes later, we reached the first house. We had our glimpse of the FL lights coming from the first house and added to it was the karaoke sound system that rolled around the surroundings. 

That instances weakens my knees and relieve all my worries. (big sigh!!) I know my buddies felt the same way. We made a faster pace until we reached the registration area where we fixed up everything and wash ourselves up. 

There were shower cubicles provided in the registration for the amount of P10. per shower. (not bad except that it has no light provided!!) The water coming for the shower head was ice cold that has awaken up and freshen up our body. 

7PM. It was drizzling when we finished fixing up everything and other group came also. We left the registration area and headed to the main road where we rode tricycles going to bus terminals. This time, instead of riding on bus, we preferred van to bring us back to Manila. It is more efficient and convenient because only few numbers passengers will fill the vehicles. 



While waiting for other passengers, we treated ourselves dinner in a nearby carinderia to fill up our empty stomach and also for us to regain our strength. We ordered GOTO (rice porage with pork intestine), hard boiled eggs and pork and tofu soaked in vinegar. That was hefty and scrumptious!!!

We left the town at 8PM and caught nap while on the trip. We have separated our ways at Robinsons Galleria. Sygrid and Darwin boarded off to ride bus heading to QC while me and Alvin remain up until Sta. Mesa.

Really, we are exhausted, nevertheless, we really enjoyed this adventure. I know there'll be more and I am really glad that aside from my mountaineering buddies I had this close friends who are also into outdoors!!! Sa uulitin.... set na natin yan!!!

Note: 

As far as I could recall, we only had spent about 500 bucks for this trip!!! Sobrang mura but take note, be cautious lang since my incident of robbery in the area. Thank God didn't allowed that to happen to us.

Photo credit to Alvin and Sygrid. Need to buy my own cam!!!  




8 comments:

  1. hi galaero:) let me do the honor in posting ur first comment:) keep it up:)

    btw, we almost have the same blog..nice page


    - saturn

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  2. haha...Thanks!!! Inspired to record everythinng, my thoughts, travel, adventure and future plans. I just need to share that it might help to anyone! hehe...

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  3. Nice blog!:) I'll be posting too :) soon, I hope!:)

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  4. Set na ulit brad, mas marami mas masaya, mas maraming damay pag naligaw. haha

    -alvin torzar

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  5. I was assigned in Siniloan and Famy Laguna in 2005 - sayang hindi ko napuntahan yan :)

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    Replies
    1. Ang daming waterfalls dun kabayan. Well, pede namang balikan!

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