Because I’ve missed climbing so much, I decided to again use the weekend after Sembrano for another day hike. This time, my itchy feet led me to the ‘hidden falls’ called Buntot Palos in Pangil, Laguna.
Buntot Palos is grand, towering 80 meters. Locals refer to it as ‘hidden falls’ and it can be trekked for less than an hour, or approximately 40 minutes from the jump off point. This may actually differ from person to person or group to group. Some groups reached the camp site in two hours but we arrived at the falls (farther than the campsite) in an hour or less. I don’t know how to commute going to Pangil but the direction is the same as Mt. Romelo/Buruwisan Falls, and Mt. Sembrano. We brought two vehicles (preferably a pick up because of some rough roads en route) and left EDSA Crossing past 6:00 am. We passed through Ortigas Extension, Sumulong and then past Tanay, Rizal. The jump off point is a little tricky to find, but once you pass by Balien, the nearest landmark would be a bakery to the left. There’s a road that leads to a resort where cars would be parked, and this becomes the jump off point. Gas expenses are at 250/each two-way, plus 30 pesos entrance fee. Once you get to the resort, the caretakers would ask if you will hire a guide. Personally, I would opt not to anymore because the trail is established and easy to find.
I knew what I was going to expect from pictures I’ve seen online. I knew that it was going to be a sight to behold but it wasn’t until I got there that I realized the monstrosity of the falls and how one can really feel so little against it. It was more beautiful than its neighboring falls, Buruwisan, which actually boasts of 5 others (called Batya Batya). I’ve been to Buruwisan falls and have rappelled the 180-foot drop. But this is twice the size of Buruwisan and the place for swimming (the catch basin) is more extensive. Next time I come back, I will do some rappelling.
This is a perfect getaway from the heat of Manila. Two hours to reach Pangil, another 2 hours or less to get to the falls, and you can swim all day at your heart’s content! Be forewarned that the rocks are slippery and the water is very cold, but it is balanced by the summer heat.
We had lunch at the falls and went right back to swimming. There are parts of the falls where the water crashes against the rocks and when you get near to it, you get a free, cold massage! I’d have spent the whole afternoon here if not only for the fear of burning too much from the heat. But this is definitely worth another visit, and a better bargain for cheap adventure and fulfilling fun!
(with Gian, Rosalie, Kim, Danna, Rayjohn, Don, Xc, Rydell, Kuya Joel and Keren not shown in the picture)