Once again, summer is here. In a tropical country like the Philippines, this means another couple of months of dealing with some serious hot weather. And over the past few years, summer heat in the country has become nearly next to unbearable, especially during midday.
Fortunately, we live in a country where there are at least a thousand ways to beat the summer heat. With more than seven thousand beautiful islands, hitting the beach is among our top choices. In fact, summer is the time when beach resorts gets a great influx of guests and visitors. But at times, they could get little bit too crowded, especially those located near the city.
If you’re looking to beat the summer heat on a more peaceful setting, one great alternative is taking a splash on some of our fresh water wonders like rivers and waterfalls. Most of us may fail to notice, but just in Metro Manila alone, there are plenty of destinations which are only two to three hours away.
On our latest adventure, we visited one of the grand waterfalls not too far from the city. Hiding within the forest of Mt Romelo and the Sierra Madre, the Buruwisan Falls in Siniloan, Laguna is a perfect venue to escape the nasty humid weather while feeding your lust for adventure.
Getting to Mt Romelo and Buruwisan Falls
Buruwisan falls is located in Siniloan Laguna which is around eighty kilometers east of Manila. To get there we had to cross the long winding roads of Teresa and Bugarin to Mabitac.
By public transport
Take UV express vans bound to Tanay market in Starmall-Shaw terminal (P70). Then in Tanay market, ride a jeepney going to Siniloan (P47). In Siniloan, take a tricycle to Brgy Macatad (Mt Romelo’s jumpff) (P20).
By private transport
From Manila, Take the east-bound lane of Ortigas Avenue going to Antipolo. Then take the Manila-east route going to Famy, Laguna. From here jump off is less than 10 minutes away via Siniloan-Famy-Real-Infanta Road.
Sights and Scenes
At around 9 in the morning we arrived in Siniloan. The minute we stepped out of our tricycles, we were approached right away by at least three persistent locals, asking us whether we needed a guide. It wasn’t actually my first time to hike Mt Romelo, so we preferred not to get one.
The last time I’ve been to Mt Romelo and Buruwisan falls was in 2011, almost four years ago. What the local guide said might actually be true, that I may no longer remember the trails. But with the aid of GPS and an offline map, I am confident that we won’t get lost.
Still dizzy from the travel, we first had our breakfast on a nearby canteen as we prepped up for the climb. Then we headed to the registration and paid a fee of P50 each.
The trail to Buruwisan falls is considerably a beginner type of climb. With difficulty rating of 2/9 from pinoymountaineer.com, Mt Romelo is one of the beginner-friendly mountains to climb near Metro Manila.
The trail was mostly shaded with tall trees, so the summer heat was not much of our problem. Climbs were relatively gradual and steep portions were very short. There are also several rest stations along the trail where you can buy drinks and snacks.
On a normal pace, we reached the summit in a little more than an hour. Compared to most mountains I’ve climbed, Mt Romelo’s summit was pretty much ordinary. It was just a small flat grassland with a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape.
The real highlight for this climb is reaching its surrounding waterfalls, one of which is the Buruwisan falls.
From the summit, it took us another hour to reach the camp site in Buruwisan falls. Several other groups were already there, and the nicer spots to pitch tents were already taken.
Fortunately for us, we were in for just a day hike. But just in case, there were also nipa huts big enough for 4-5 people which can be rented for P300 overnight.
From the camp site, we climbed down a steep trail leading to Buruwisan’s catch basin. The path was slippery and dangerous so we had to be extra careful. Holding on to rocks and tree roots was really helpful.
There are eight waterfalls on this part of Siniloan forest : Buruwsan, Old Buruwisan, Twin, Sampaloc, Sapang Labo, Lanzones, Batya Batya and Diwata falls. Among these, Buruwisan is the most accessible.
We finally reached the waterfalls at around noontime. And instantly, we were captivated by its beauty. With a drop of around 100 feet, it’s one of the bigger waterfalls around.
We set up our things, had our lunch and spent the next few hours swimming on the cold waters of Buruwisan falls. Beating the heat couldn’t get any better than this.
On top of that, the fresh green view of the surrounding forest is just perfect to give you a total immersion with nature.
Sample Day Hike Itinerary to Mt Romelo and Buruwisan Falls
0600 ETD Starmall Edsa-Shaw
0715 ETA Tanay Market. Ride jeepney to Siniloan.
0830 ETA Siniloan, Laguna. Ride tricycle to jump off.
0845 ETA Jump off at at Brgy Macatad.
0900 Start trek
1030 ETA Summit
1115 Buruwisan Falls. Lunch, swim, picture taking.
1430 Start descend
1630 Back at Brgy Macatad. Tidy up.
1730 Ride tricycle to Famy
1745 ETA Famy, Ride van to Edsa-Ortigas
2000 ETA Manila
Budget / Expenses to Mt Romelo and Buruwisan Falls
- P70 – Van from Starmall-Shaw to Tanay Market
- P47 – Jeepney from Tanay Market to Siniloan
- P20 – Tricycle from Siniloan to jumpoff
- P20 – Tricycle from jumpoff to Famy
- P120 – Van from Famy to Edsa-Ortigas
- P50 – Registration
- P150 – Food
- P300 – Overnight hut rental
- P300 – One-way Horse service (for carrying bag and other things)
Total = P500 for a day hike
For inquiries, contact Mt Romelo’s registration officer, Mr. Peter Pontipedra at 09092861945
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