“It’s not here in San Salvador. It’s in San Jose. Not my jurisdiction.”
This was what Kapitan Coco, the Barangay Captain of San Salvador in the town of Luisiana in Laguna, told us when we showed our interest in side tripping to Aliw Falls. Hulugan Falls, the hottest attraction in Luisiana right now, can be found in San Salvador, and in a short span of time, they were able to set up a system to register and assist the influx of tourists.
The barangay officials admit they are still working on it, the sudden popularity of Hulugan caught them by surprise. And it is understandable, that while they are still struggling to work on their own waterfalls, they usually don’t have an assurance of assistance to tourists who plan to go to Aliw Falls which is in the other barangay.
Barangay San Jose seemed to not have any system unlike San Salvador. And we couldn’t blame barangay San Salvador if they hesitate to help since they according to them, they don’t have any talks or agreement with the other barangay.
But you know, we were persistent. As what the “pabebe girls” said, “hindi niyo kami mapipigilan!” LOL! (Nobody can stop us)
So what we did was, we went to the municipal hall to coordinate, looked for the barangay captain of San Jose, and when we finally found him, he just advised us to seek help from brgy. San Salvador. What?!
With the assistance of some friendly police officers in Luisiana, we went back to Kapitan Coco’s house. And at last we were assisted.
Our plan was to explore Aliw Falls that afternoon. Then we’ll trek to the camp site and stay there overnight in the middle of the forest, then by morning we’ll go straight to the majestic Hulugan Falls and another side trip to Talay Falls.
Our guide ,Nico, accompanied us going to Aliw and all throughout the entire travel until the next day. I have to commend the guides in San Salvador, they were really helpful and kind.
It turned out that the entrance to the trail going to Aliw Falls is just near the house of Kapitan!
When we went back to the main road, just a few minute walk and you will see this gate on the left side of the road beside the bibingka stall. The signage showed “Bibingka po.” That’s the landmark beside the gate.
Nico shared that the gate is actually an entrance to a proposed subdivision but the housing project didn’t prosper because of low sales of lots, I suppose. Upon entering the gate and passing through some narrow road, you’ll be welcomed by a thick forest and hills, and that’s where the actual trekking starts.
It was raining hard that day so the trail was muddy and slippery. We were very careful, and it was just nice that Nico, our guide, was really concerned about us,his guests. He told us, “Sir, ok lang ba? Kaya ba ang mahabang lakaran?” (Sir, I hope you all can endure a long hike)
“Of course, we can.”
Again, it’s nice to think that people of San Salvador still treats their visitors as the usual tourists, eventhough most of the people who go there are used to mountain climbing. The guides are very well-trained, or maybe they’re just natural nice people.
Nico shouldn’t worry. As for me, I am huge (LOL!) and all but if I’ve been to some hard climbs and trek so I can manage, but I am a newbie, I still have a lot to learn and experience. And as for my travel friends, all four of them are legit hardcore mountaineers. They never cease to amaze me with their stories and adventures.
After about thirty minutes of passing through muddy trail and slopes, we started to hear the splash of the water.
We were all like, “whoah! We’re in ALiw Falls already?”
We never expected that the trek would be that fast. LOL! By the concern showed to us by our guide, we prepared ourselves mentally for a gruelling hike (you know) LOL! But it was relatively fast and easy trek going to Aliw.
And man, by the time we were in front of the waterfalls. Wow, it was beautiful!
No wonder it was named “Aliw.” This waterfalls is a perfect form of entertainment for the stressed corporate workers who have been through a hell week at work, or for someone who just wants to get a taste of nature’s beauty away from the busy city life. Naks! LOL!
Be careful with the rocks full of moss, that when added with rain can be very slippery. After a few minutes, we all found our own spots to take some photos.
Looking and marvelling at the falls isn’t enough. To get the best of its beauty, you need to experience to be on top of it. Yes, you see the view on top of the falls, we all climbed up there.
Aliw is more the 25 meters in height, and at the left side of it, there’s a trail going to the top. But man, the way up there was really difficult. There were parts that the climb was almost 90 degrees, you just need to rely of the twigs. I am thankful to some strange travel buddies there who helped me when they saw I was having a hard time lifting my heavy ass up. LOL!
Once you get on top of Aliw, the view was even better. We did not just take some photos and all, it was also a chance to experience the cold and relaxing water flowing from it. One of the best!
I just sat there while enjoying the cold water when a thought came across my mind. Man, this is beautiful and we almost miss this because of some problems with jurisdiction among the barangay officials.
I hope they can fix this as soon as possible.
This post is not just to show you and convince you to experience the waterfalls of Luisiana, Laguna. Our country has an immense beauty that we Filipinos should experience it. This is also a call for the barangay and local government to have a better system in assisting travelers and boost the local tourism.
It’s either the Barangay San Jose should create their own system or process like San Salvador did. Or if they are unable to do as of now, better have a talk or agreement with San Salvador in terms helping the tourists for them.
There were some reports that there are travelers who are not allowed to go Aliw because of this, I hope we can fix this. As a traveler, I understand the struggle of the barangays, but tourism also helps alleviate the lives of the locals by providing them opportunities for business and jobs.
This is a win-win situation for all of us…for the town, for our own country. Just exert a little effort, we are willing to cooperate.
READ: Best Waterfalls in the Philippines
Travel Guide to Aliw Falls
How to Get There
- JAC Liner, HM Transport, Greenstar and other bus companies have direct trip to Sta. Cruz Laguna for Php 140 pesos. In Sta. Cruz, look a jeepney bound to Lucban. It will pass through the welcome Arc of Barangay San Salvador. Just walk straight to Kapitan’s House.
- Again, There is a possibility that you will be discouraged to side trip to Aliw Falls because of the same reason I shared in this blog post, but you can politely ask them. Be persistent but be nice okay. Don’t be a bitch and bossy. LOL!
- If you feel you’ve done your best but they didn’t allow you, like if they said it’s closed to people, or whatever reasons. Just drop it, and don’t argue. Maybe it isn’t your right time to experience Aliw Falls yet. Just go straight to Hulugan Falls. Still, I hope they can a find a way for this…