Mantayupan Falls (Barili, Cebu, PH)

Just let go, and fall like a waterfall. — Bob Ross

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Mantayupan Falls, a waterfalls that is approximately 61 metres (200 ft) wonder, is one of main tourist attractions in the town of Barili in Cebu.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

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Siniloan Waterfalls (Laguna, PH)

Waterfalls have certain charm that makes me want to explore more of them. So, one weekend, a few Instagram friends and I decided to explore some of the off-the-beaten path waterfalls of the easternmost town of Laguna province — Siniloan.

Although Sinoloan is primarily known for Mount Romelo and Buruwisan Falls, this town is actually home to innumerable, and not so well-known nature wonders that even locals are not aware of.

So here is a rundown of our itinerary:

05:00 — meet-up at Star Mall, Mandaluyong

05:30 — Van left Star Mall to Tanay, Rizal (we opted to take this route since we were quite unsure if the Raymund Buses at Legarda, Manila really leave on time. These buses go straight to Infanta, Quezon and would pass by Siniloan)

07:15 – Arrival in Tanay. We ate breakfast at Jollibee before going to the jeepney terminal.

08:30 – Jeepney left Tanay for Siniloan

09:15 – Arrival in Siniloan, Laguna (we took a tryke to the jeepney terminal going to Infanta)

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09:45 – Jeepney left Famy for Infanta. We asked the jeepney driver to drop us off at Km. 18, Brgy. Magsaysay in Siniloan (It is best to tell the driver that you be dropped off at TREKKERS. I think they all know this place).

10:15 – Arrived at TREKKERS. Enter the gate of an old house which serves as a registration site. The area is actually a private property. The lady owner of the house provided us 2 guides (one of them is Ka Laoyan, a native of Benguet).

10:30 – we started our trek. It was pretty easy at first until the trail becomes narrow and pretty challenging. Our first stop was Tulay na Bato Falls and an unnamed falls.

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After taking photos, we proceeded to the next falls, following a more challenging trail before we passed through Naga River). The river itself is picturesque. The river trek required us to pass through some large rocks, shallow and cool water. The trek gave us an opportunity to see another waterfall in the area (Hagdan na Bato Falls). We did exit a different route which was way easier than the trail we took earlier on.

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12:30 — We reached the highway, had merienda at a nearby store and off we went to our last waterfall in Brgy. Llavac, the last barangay of Siniloan before Infanta, Quezon.

13:30 — we continued on with our waterfalls chasing. We encountered some funny moments along the way. We had to stop and ask how exactly can we reach the waterfalls. We talked to several locals, each of which had a different thing to say (even their local leaders can’t give us a certain answer).

14:30 — Luckily, we found a person who knew about the waterfall we were talking about. So off we went to the hills of Llavac and see Kalawang Falls. The trail to the waterfall was relatively established and easy. After  20 minutes, we already reached the 4-tiered Kalawang Falls. To me this was the most beautiful waterfalls from among the falls we have explored. We quickly took photos before heading back to the national highway.

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15:30 – We headed back to the highway and waited for a bus bound for Manila. Fortunately, after only 15 minutes, a Raymond Bus passed by and so we were able to head back.

18:30 – We arrived in Ortigas, and we opted to eat dinner first at Robinson’s Place.

So there. For the budget breakdown:

Van to Tanay (from Starmall) — Php70

Jeepney from Tanay to Siniloan — Php 47

Tryke to Famy Jeep Terminal to Infanta — Php15

Jeepney to Trekkers, Brgy. Magsaysay — Php25

Guide fee per person (this is based on our discretion) – Php100

Bus from Llavac, Siniloan to Ortigas — Php140

Food – Php100

TOTAL — Php597.00

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

 

 

Tangadan Falls (La Union, PH)

“Behind the waterfall of love you’ll find me, hiding in a barrel.” — Jarod Kintz

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When you ask someone what should one do when in La Union, most often than not, that person will tell you to go to San Juan and surf. True enough, surfing at this coastal town is indeed the “it” thing to do in the Ilocandia’s smallest province. But, just like what I have mentioned in my previous “ElYu” blogs, there is more to La Union other than surfing.

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Slowly making abuzz among local travelers is LU’s well-kept secret (no more). A 40-plus feet picturesque and cascading waterfalls called Tangadan in the quiet and laidback town of San Gabriel. I, myself, have heard of this from a friend who hails from La Union.

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This natural beauty is located 3.5 kilometers from the boundary barangays of Duplas and Dagup in San Gabriel. Before trekking my way to this waterfall, I actually haven’t read anything that speaks about walking through some really luscious grounds and some bouldering and some knee-deep wading/river trekking. So there you go my friends, take that as part of the “expectation check”. So even before you decide to swim or jump off the pretty cliffs of Tangadan, make sure you are ready to get damp. Going to the waterfalls may take you an hour or so depending oin how muddy the terrain is and how good you are in maneuvering along the river banks. Nonetheless, once you reach the waterfalls, you will be mesmerized just like us.

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How To Reach Tangadan Falls:

From Manila, ride a Vigan or Laoag bound bus then inform the driver to drop you off at the San Juan municipal hall. In front of San Juan’s municipal Hall, there are jeepneys going to San Gabriel (this will take around 15-20 minutes). Once I San Gabriel, ride a tricycle going to the jump-off of Tangadan. Local guides are waiting there. If it is your first time to go to the waterfalls, I suggest that you take with you a local guide as the trail can be quite confusing.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Ulan-Ulan Waterfalls (Biliran, PH)

When we were young, there were times when my sister and I would storm our way out just to take a bath under the rain. And it was fun… it was a different feeling getting soaked, half-naked without any pretentions. Of course, we can no longer do that now that we are adults. I mean we still can if e want to minus the half-naked thing.

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The introduction I made has something to do with the rain. When I have visited the province Biliran, one particular sight I enjoyed the most was a visit to Ulan-Ulan Waterfalls in the town of Almeria. “Uan” in the local dialect means rain. It was named such because the water cascade appears to be rain shower – like.

The jump-off to the waterfalls is located in a barangay called Sampao. First, one would be required to ride a 20-minute habal-habal (motorcycle) and do a more or less 30-minute trek to reach the waterfalls. The trail is pretty easy except for some parts that could be really muddy when it rains.

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Upon reaching the falls, I was so excited to get wet by its flow. True to its name, it does look like a pretty heavy rain shower. The falls is about 90 feet high with a catch basin that is quite shallow. The verdant surroundings add up to the natural charm of the waterfall. I enjoyed taking a shower despite the freezing cold water. A lot of unusual frogs and dragonflies abound the area that made me happy taking photos.

Truly, Ulan-Ulan Falls is one of Biliran’s must-see nature secret. From here, there are other trek worthy waterfalls like Recoletos and Sampao Waterfalls.

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How to Get to Ulan-Ulan Falls:

From Manila, fly to Tacloban City in Leyte. From Tacloban, you have several options to get to Almeria, Biliran. The most frequent, and conducive way is to hire a van although there are also public transports like jeepney or taxi that will take you to the van terminal and get on a van to Naval (Biliran’s capital). Once in Naval, hire a habal-habal for a faster means of transport to Brgy. Sampao. There is a registration site where you can hire a guide. There are no standard fees for guide. The trek will also start from that area.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Bakhawan Eco-Park (Kalibo, Aklan, PH)

The province of Aklan gained world-wide recognition primarily because of the island of Boracay. But, aside from the enormous financial gains brought by the paradisiacal island through the years, this Visayan province has also contributed an immensely triumphant eco-tourism project through its mangrove reforestation.

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During  a 2011 visit in Aklan, I was fortunate to have seen this promising tourist attraction in Kalibo, Aklan’s capital. The Bakhawan Eco-Park is a 220-hectare mangrove forest that was once a mudflat. (The word bakhawan is a local term for mangrove). Since then, this amazing project contributed in the prevention of flood and storm surges in the community.

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The ecopark, which was created in 1990, now serves as a safe haven for diverse types of avian and marine creatures. The centrepiece of the park is a 1.3-kilometer bamboo trail that takes every visitor a leisure walk into the mangrove forest. Other features of this sanctuary include a watchtower, boat rides, souvenir shop, canteen, picnic huts and a Center for International Mangrove Studies. To date, this eco-park has set a standard for a more ecologically-sound Philippines and is even hailed as the country’s most thriving mangrove reforestation project.

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Looking back at my experience, I must say that it was indeed an invigorating stroll along the forest. As a nature-enthusiast, I was very happy to see verdant vista and feel nature’s fresh air. I still could imagine how ecstatic I was capturing the place. It was picture-perfect, it was romantic, it was amazing! Certainly recommended for both local and foreign visitors; for the young and the young at heart. Kudos to Kalibo, for this awesome project!

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Bakhawan Eco-Park

Brgy. New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan, PH

Entrance Fee:  Php20/ adult and Php15 for students and Senior Citizens.

The park is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

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How to Go to Bakhawan Eco-Park:

From Manila, fastest way is by plane bound for Kalibo, Aklan. Once in Kalibo, one may take a 15-minute ride to the Mangrove Forest. You have the option to hire a tour guide for P200 as you walk through the bamboo trail or you can also explore the mangrove via boat at P80/hr.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.