Hinulugang Taktak Falls

We were visiting one of our friends who’s living in Antipolo, a city in the province of Rizal when our group decided to go on a quick stop at Hinulugang Taktak Falls.

Hinulugang Taktak Falls has a height of 21.5 meters from the water surface and width of 25.8 meters. It played a very significant role in the landscape of Rizal province while giving distinction to the historical and cultural heritage of Antipolo. According to the word of mouth of Antipolenos, in 16th century the local people forced a priest to drop a church bell into the river due to its unpleasant sound when rung during Angelus.

Since then, the waterfall was once a famous tourist spot in Antipolo. Sadly, as the years came by and more people resided within the area, the beauty of Hinulugang Taktak started to tarnish.

But let’s not fret! Like the continuous flow of the river, there’s also an infinite hope to revive the prime beauty of this waterfall. Through the joint efforts of the residents, local and national government agency, Hinulugang Taktak Falls is gradually becoming alive and more welcoming to its visitors.

Getting to Hinulugang Taktak Falls
Hinulugang Taktak is located in Taktak Road, Brgy. Dela Paz, Antipolo City, Rizal. It can be easily reached by land with several routes to choose from which are all budget-friendly. However, what I can share for now is the route my friends and I had taken since we visited a friend who’s been living in Cogeo, Antipolo.

  • From Cogeo Gate 2 Market, take a tricycle bound for Taktak Road. Tell the tricycle driver or barker that you are heading to Hinulugang Taktak. 
  • From the unloading station of Taktak Road, walk to the entrance of Hinulugang Taktak Falls. It may take you 2-3 minutes to get there.

Travel Expenses (Total Amount: Php 30.00)
Tricycle Rental – Cogeo, Gate 2 Market to Taktak Road (Php 60.00 / 4pax) = Php 15.00
Tricycle Rental – Taktak Road to Cogeo, Gate 2 Market (Php 60.00 / 4pax) = Php 15.00

Travel Photos

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you had already visited this waterfall, you can definitely agree with me that the place has a lot of things to improve on. To revive the grandeur and beauty of this tourist spot would require greater efforts not only from the local and national government but also from the visitors and residents.

If you have more time touring around the city of Antipolo, you may want to try combining this trip with the following travel destinations:

  • Mount Purro Nature Reserve
  • Mystical Cave
  • Pinto Arts Museum
  • Our Lady of Antipolo Shrine
  • Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa
  • Casa Santa Museum
  • Phillip’s Sanctuary
  • Shrine of our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage
  • Boso Boso Church

“Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.”

 

 

Mount Pinatubo

Located between the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales in the Cabusilan Mountains on the island of Luzon is where you can witness an active compound volcano called Mount Pinatubo, also known as “Bundok ng Pinatubo” or “Bulkang Pinatubo” in Filipino language.

In 1991, its eruption was recorded as by far the largest volcanic activity that took place in a densely populated area. It was extremely traumatic as it produced pyroclastic materials, giant mudflows and dark bed of clouds while it slowly grabbed the lives of every families who tried to evade the catastrophe.

The aftermath of this eruption unbearably escalated the death toll as Typhoon Yunya reached the area amplifying the effect of the disaster. Its effect also manifested on the agricultural livelihood of the locals while the entire nation felt the economic and social distress.

Although 25 years had already passed, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo did not miss to leave a trace – the ‘lahar’. As this ‘lahar’ solidified  and contoured the affected area, it is very inspiring to see and meet the resilient Filipinos of Central Luzon as they welcome all tourists who would want to see the beauty and calmness of Mount Pinatubo today.

Getting to Mount Pinatubo 
My friends and I decided not to make a DIY travel to Mount Pinatubo as we were suspecting the hassle of transferring from one PUV to another. In other words, we sought an assistance from a tour operator – Filipino Travel Center. Though we opted to have a private tour, I still did my research about heading to Brgy. Sta Juliana, the starting point of Pinatubo Trek. So, here it is:

Take a bus (Fivestar Bus Line) heading to Capas, Tarlac. Get off at Mc Donald’s in Capas. You may be wondering which Mc Donald’s branch you need to drop-off. I may not be able to remember but you can always ask the bus conductor/driver to drop you off at the right branch. Beside Mc Donald’s Capas, you can hire a tricycle for around 26 km ride to the tourism office in Brgy. Sta. Juliana.

The tourism office in Brgy. Sta. Juliana is  the starting point of the Pinatubo Trek and you must remember to complete the registration and leave the place on or before 6:00am. Otherwise, you may be asked to return the following day as they do not allow tourists to start their trekking later than the said time for safety reasons.

Travel Expense (Php 2,850.00)
As mentioned earlier, we sought Filipino Travel Center’s assistance for the sake of convenience. We had 10 members in the group and availed the tour operator’s promo for 10 pax with a visit to Capas Shrine.

Private Van, fuel, toll, tourist guide, 4X4 fees – Php 2,650.00
Visit to Capas Shrine (Php 500/10 pax) – Php 50.00
Food and Water – Php 150.00

The price of this tour may really vary depending on the number of your squad members. If you want to check the promo rates of Filipino Travel Center, please click here.

Travel Photos

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was my 3rd trekking experience but my friends and I all agreed that we were caught off guard because of the need to exert more effort walking on the sand. Be that as it may, the over-all experience was awesome! Seeing the grandeur of Pinatubo lake at the end of the course pays off the pain of walking on the sand while under the scorching heat of the sun. Indeed, it was another paradise that our country must be proud of.

Please spare a donation by hitting the share/like button and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

“Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints…”

Phnom Kulen National Park

I guess no one could ever argue with whatever is written on thick history books about the worshipping practice of ancient civilization, mountains are considered as one of the sacred places on Earth. In fact, religious activities are often conducted in such places since worshippers believed that mountains would bring them closer to the heavens.

Siem Reap is not only known for its Angkor Wat complex but also to historical carvings, jungle-type tourist spots, and waterfalls. I was having a conversation with the tuk-tuk driver I hired when our topic got diverted to mountains and waterfalls. When he knew that I am an avid fan of waterfalls, he did not think twice of helping me booking a tour to Phnom Kulen National Park.

Getting to Phnom Kulen National Park
According to Wikipedia, Phnom Kulen National Park is located in Svay Leu District about 48 km from the provincial town of Siem Reap and about 25 km from Prasat Banteay Srey via Charles De Gaulle Road. I can’t recall seeing any tourists or locals, dropping from one transport to another just to get to the national park. So, I am pretty sure that the public transport for commuting to visit the park is not yet established. In other words, you’d better be prepared to hire a private car or van. I traveled alone during my entire trip in Siem Reap, so I was a bit worried if I will be able to find group/s of travelers who may allow me to join them. Luckily, I met 3 backpackers who were also staying at my hotel and wanted to visit the park so we decided to share transportation expenses. Whew! What a relief!?!?

My new found friends and I decided to rent a private car instead of a van. The tuk-tuk driver whom I always hire whenever I am in Siem Reap, referred us to Mr. Shin. He was very accommodating to our questions and we felt very safe during our whole trip. Going to the park from the city center may take at most 3 hours. We were really impressed on how he managed driving the car considering the rough road we had to pass through. Dirt is everywhere, so it almost turned our white sedan car into a newly-painted car.  It may sound like an exaggeration but I am sorry guys, it’s not.

There are several spots to see in Phnom Kulen National Park – 

  • The river bed of ‘Thousand Lingas’
  • Wat Preah Ang Thom / The reclining Buddha
  • Phnom Kulen Waterfalls

Travel Photos

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Travel Expenses
Admission Fee (US$ 20.00 / 1 pax) = Php 940.00
Car Rental (US$ 65.00 / 4 pax) = Php 763.75

Travel Tips
While Phnom Kulen National Park is not really a “Super Wow” tourist spot, it is still an interesting place to visit. For those who wish to include this national park in their travel itinerary when visiting Cambodia, you may want to consider these travel tips:

  • Bring bottles of water;
  • Eat foods which are rich potassium;
  • Wear respectful/decent clothes when visiting temples;
  • Wear your comfortable hiking socks and shoes;
  • Never miss applying sunscreen on your skin when under the mad sun; and
  • Be nice and make friends with fellow tourists;
  • Make sure that your USD money is not dilapidated as some stores/merchants or even the drivers do not accept such; and,
  • You can combine your trip to Phnom Kulen National Park with a visit to Beng Mealea.