Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mt. Romelo | For the Love of Rambutan, Lansones and Cascading Waters

Isn't it nice, that after exactly one year, I returned to Mt. Romelo to hike again its muddy trails and visit again its hidden gems—the waterfalls? That's right, a Sunday packed with muddy, dirty, fun adventure on, not one, not two, but three of Mt. Romelo's waterfalls!


Sunday - September 29, 2013

In this hike, I was joined by 10 spirited individuals (actually 13 sila dapat, kaya lang hndi nagising yung other 3). We left Manila at around 5 in the morning and arrived at the jump-off of Mt. Romelo in Siniloan, Laguna in no more than 3 hours. It was just a quick drive via the Manila East Road in Rizal Province, and it's very scenic with the view of Laguna Lake to your right.

Nothing big has changed in Mt. Romelo from the last time I visited, registration fee's still high at P50, horses still pass by and join your trek, and the trails are still as muddy as ever. We started our hike at 7:40 in the morning,  dropped by at least 3 resting stations (tindahan ng buko), then finally reached the waterfalls at 09:40 AM. There's no tiring steeps or whatsoever, so overall, hiking in Mt. Romelo can be classified as easy and beginner friendly.

Mt. Romelo's trail, muddy as ever.
At 08:30 AM, we passed by the talahiban area which is the highest point on Mt. Romelo's trail system, thus considered to be the summit area.
the final kubo before the muddy descent to the waterfalls.
approaching Buruwisan Falls

The Hidden Gems of Mt. Romelo

Although Mt. Romelo in itself is quite unremarkable, it has several hidden gems—the waterfalls—that will surely take your breath away and make your hike a great one. At least seven are known and have already been explored in the area, namely Buruwisan Falls, Lansones Falls, Sampaloc Falls, Batya-Batya Falls, Old Buruwisan Falls, Twin Falls, and Sapang Labo Falls. Of all these cascading beauties, we were able to visit only three.

First is Buruwisan Falls, the biggest and most frequented among the waterfalls of Mt. Romelo. It is here where we spent most of our time, its large pool/catch basin was simply too tempting, swimming is a must. This waterfall is also a favorite for rappelling activities, so don't be surprised if you chanced upon people with ropes, carabiners and and all, in this area (hindi sila magbibigti).   

Buruwisan Falls
you will be tempted to swim on the cool pool for sure
another beauty shot of Buruwisan Falls
After an hour or so, we moved on to the second waterfall, Lansones Falls. It is located a few meters downstream Buruwisan falls, so getting there would probably take only 10 minutes at most. The shallow catch basin makes it swimmable for non-swimmers like me.

Lansones Falls
this waterfall isn't as big as Buruwisan, nor its catch basin is as wide. But its cascade is powerful enough to give you a good back massage. Also, non-swimmers will enjoy the shallow pool beneath the waterfall.
Third and the last waterfall we visited is Batya-Batya Falls, my favorite among the three waterfalls we visited. Since this waterfall is accessible only through a deep pool of water, getting to the falls would require a bit of skills on swimming. Those who can swim may treat it like a piece of cake, but for a non-swimmer like me, certainly it is a heck of a challenge. To reach Batya-Batya Falls, I had to cling on some slippery rock faces, then walk on the shallowest portion of the stream which was still neck-deep. Oh well, those challenges make this waterfall an exciting destination and a personal favorite.

A great obstacle for non-swimmers. There's no other way but through it.
Batya-Batya Falls
group shot
Before we trekked back to the jump-off, it rained heavily. Therefore, the dirty, slippery and muddy trail earlier became more slippery and muddier and dirtier. But who cares, that's Mt. Romelo's identity anyway—muddy and dirty— eventually, I just learned to loved it. 

My Personal Hidden Agenda 

September is the season of Laguna's rambutan and lansones.

Last year when I did the same thing, I noticed that the jump-off of Mt. Romelo is a depot for some of Laguna's delicious produce. Baskets of freshly picked rambutan and lansones were being brought down from the mountains and were sold at very cheap prices (P20-30 per kilogram of rambutan, and P40 per kilo for the lansones). To ignore these precious sweet gifts from heaven priced cheaply would be a sin, definitely! So I bought at least 3 kilos of Rambutan (yun lang kasi ang afford ko that time) and promised myself to return for these next year.

Next year is this year. So I returned to Mt. Romelo not actually for its waterfalls, but for the sweet translucent flesh of rambutan and lansones. Oh yes, for the love of rambutan and lansones!

I went home with 4 kilos of lansones and 8 kilos of rambutan, all for P360 only. Isn't that a steal?

Thanks to all who joined this adventure, 'til our next hike!


  1. Namangha ako sa falls , naubos mo ung rambutan at lanzones hehehe

  2. Hi Ivan, how much yung total expenses niyo not including yung pinamili mo?hehe the last time i was here 2011 pa. limot ko na yung fare. thanks in advance.

    1. since we hired a van, total damage of this hike around P500. Would be cheaper if you commute.

  3. ang saya naman maraming tubig yung falls! patak patak lang kase nung napuntahan namin he hahaha

  4. The pictures are great! Mukhang malinis na ulit ang Mt. Romelo...



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