Todos Los Santos, or Undas. A holiday wherein Filipinos celebrate the dead by visiting them at the cemetery. It was after this, a no work day, on November 3 to be exact when me and my friends went DIY (do it yourself) nature tripping at Bukal, or Kilangin Waterfalls, at Majayjay-Liliw Laguna. There were five of us, who were curious and available that day. It seemed so long ago…
I remember leaving early to pick-up my friends in front of Jollibee Las Pinas. We were so excited with this new adventure since it was all our first time to hike going to a waterfalls. The drive going to Majayjay Laguna was quite uneventful, just a long 3 hours ride. We arrived before lunch at the registration site of Barangay Majayjay. The fees were cheap, ₱20 each for the environmental fee, ₱50 for one life vest and an assigned guide for ₱300. We were full of energy and anticipation in seeing a waterfalls; and started right away, as soon as, we parked my car.
We were talking to kuya Warren, our guide, regarding the hike. He said it normally takes 30 mins. of brisk walking to reach the falls. Easy-peasy, we thought. Cameras and cellphones were clicking as we went along. But not even 15 mins. later, we were all panting for breath. Kuya was very kind. He offered a helping hand with our carry-on lunch baon and water gallon during the entire hike. The normally 30 mins. hike took us more than an hour. Good thing, kuya didn’t mind stopping every now and then.
The first part of the trek was okay, just a slight incline; but because it was our first time, we were drench in sweat by the time we got to the midway pitstop, where you can buy supplies, or power up with turon or buko. It was the next part of the trek, the going down steps that was tricky. It was muddy and rocky, which made the descent really hard. But we made it to the stream…
… and with just a bit more upward ascent, we reached our destination, Bukal Falls. We changed in our swimming outfits and decided to eat lunch first. We had pansit (dry noodles), longganisa (pork sausage) and tuyo (dried fish), which we heartily ate. Kuya then helped us the few rocky steps to the cool waters surrounding the falls. We were happy to have reached the place and took our obligatory pictures. The falls was not that remarkable. Crestfallen. According to kuya, when there was no rain, only a small portion of the rocky wall had cascading water. The best time to go was after a rain shower, he said.
Anyway, looking on the brightside, we had fun at the rocky water banks taking wacky underwater pictures. We swam to the falls, and took a few more shots. I did the rock dive, wherein I slipped while jumping off the boulder. My butt hit the rock, but was fortunate that I didn’t hit my head on my fall down. Then swimming back to the banks, my legs cramped. But all was well, and I did not drown. I had to stay still until the cramps eased. We left after awhile and headed to the stream, where we ate again to power up for our hike back to the car.
I slipped on the rocks by the stream and broke a toe. But my main concern was my cell phone, which fell in the waters. We needed it for the Waze app. Whew. It still worked. My next mishap was going up the made up muddy, rocky, root grown steps. My leg gave way. Good thing my friends were able to help me up. We reached the midway stop and rested, while it rained. When the rain subsided a little, we finished our trek back, all muddied. We asked the house near the parking if we could clean up a little with their water. That was the time I realized the scrapes and bruises on my knee. Just thinking about it now, made me realize that baka minamatanda ako (maybe some supernatural being was playing with me) for my many mishaps. Scary thought.
We parted with our guide and drove back to Liliw, known for its affordable slippers and shoes. We walked the store lined street for a bit of window shopping and took a few group poses before heading home.
The trek was supposed to be an easy trail. But it was sweat drenching and a real leg workout. It was hard, but as I think about it now, it was worth it naman (I suppose). The cool water was refreshing, the nature all around us was quite beautiful, and lastly, we had a great time taking pictures and making memories. It was only the small crowd in the waterfalls that I did not like. But that was how it was… I didn’t mind the challenge of the trek. I wouldn’t mind doing it again.
Note: Baka minamatanda ako, translated as ‘maybe some supernatural being is playing with me,’ is a superstition of old to explain something they couldn’t comprehend; like in this instance, I was in a mishap over mishap. Something that never happen often. Instances that couldn’t be explained, why.