Five days ago, a photo of a waterfall I saw accidentally online challenged my curiosity. The image didn’t say much details about it. Neither the internet provided me another photo of the same place. The caption read; Tinago Falls of Laguna. Out of those 58 words the author used to describe the image he once captured, only 2 of them I found useful; Hulugan & Luisiana. Bringing only these two words, a 5 kilo backpack and Sam (my new friend), I am hoping to find this place myself. How does it actually look? Will I be able to see it with my own eyes? Is it really captivating? How far is it? These questions fuel my deisre to visit the place. And finding the answers excite me.
We were so adamant to see the main falls of Maapon and ended up discovering this. Our guide, a 69 year old Pahatanin, was so helpful. By the way, it was Sunday when we made our visit. And no single travel guide was available. Luckily, a kind man volunteered himself.
It’s roughly a 2 hour walk from the barrio going to Maapon. There are so many confusing paths along the way so getting a local guide saves you from getting bewildered. Our guide warned us beforehand that he hasn’t visited the area for more than a year. After an hour walk, we found ourselves on a pathless trail. Blossoming wildflowers buried our feet as we walked passed through them. I was thinking, “What if a snake suddenly bite us from nowhere?”. We’re so lucky that it didn’t happen.
There are seven waterfalls in Luisiana – Maapon alone. Racing against time, I only saw three of them. The main falls which we tried to see was unsuccessful. It’s one of the deadliest trail I have crossed mainly becuase I can’t swim and I hate heights. There’s an area where the river eats the whole path and by judging the color of the water, it’s immeasurably deep. We were forced to use the river walls, clasping on protruding rocks, to continue our assault.
I had to hop on huge boulders scattered in the area to see these natural wonders. I even made my way down traversing waterfall paths dried by summer. A single misstep will cause you to plummet down.
Most part of this river is naturally paved which makes walking on its surface easier. Some areas are knee deep but the basin where the waterfall pours its water has a blackish green color. Jumping on it is highly discouraged. I’m sure everyone knows what that color means. This is the last and the third falls I saw.
On our way home, we met an old man. He said the remaining 3 falls next to this one are the most beautiful. It’s taller and wider. But how do they do it? Seeing them would mean jumping into this water. I didn’t see any other way to continue. So I stopped in this area and retreated, hoping someday I can go back and travel what is said to be the beautiful three.