Bukal Falls, Majayjay, Laguna — Philippines
0600: ETD HM Bus Terminal Cubao
-Fare: php 140
-Cubao to Sta. Cruz Laguna
0900: ETA HM Bus Terminal Sta. Cruz
-From Bus Terminal cross the street and Ride a Jeep to Liliw
-Fare: php 30
0930: Attend Mass at St. John the Baptist Parish Church (Filipino: Simbahan ng Parokya ng San Juan Bautista), also known as Liliw Church or Lilio Church
-After the mass you can go around the Church area for Slippers Shopping or Food Trip
-Take Tricycle to Brgy. Bukal Office
-Tric Fare: php 200/tric (max 4 people)
1130: Brgy. Bukal / Registration Area
-Reg Fee: php 20
-Guide Fee: php 300 (that time its Optional and not really necessary for me)
-Theirs only one way going to the falls from the Brgy. Hall, which is why a guide is not necessary for me, especially if your a budget traveler.
-The road going to the falls are mostly paved and it’s an easy 30-45 minute walk.
-Camping is aloud however camping site is very limited.
1210: Lower Area of the falls. Lunch.
-Our guide told us no eating is allowed near the falls.
1235: Hello refreshing Bukal Falls!
0400: Start Descent
-Our guide asked us if we wanted to take a ‘shorter’ traverse route going back, however we will be going out in a different Brgy.
-NOT a shorter route, it took us a good 1hr and 15min……. and passing in a different Brgy. we had to pay another 100 (for group of 6).
-The view was wonderful though.
0515: Wash Up Time! (in some random persons house, the guide told us we can use the bathrooms — and we did. LOL)
0600: Sun is still high up. Tricycle hunting mode going back to Liliw proper.
-Fare: php 200/tric (group of 6 + konsehal)
0630: Liliw Proper – Dinner
0700: Catch a Jeep to Sta. Cruz
-Fare: php 30
-Liliw to Sta. Cruz Bus Station
-Note: Jeepney’s hard to come by so if it does, find a way to fit yourself in or top load baby!
-Note: Most Bus Company’s last trip STC to MNL is 7PM (we were lucky to catch the LAST and ONLY Bus going to MNL, Buendia though not Cubao, still I’m going home)
1030: Magallanes MRT Station
-To take a bus going to Cubao.
Personal Note. Personal Opinion, Personal Observation:
People are nice however they seem to be very used to tourists and try to rip them off.
Scenario 1: From bus terminal you have to take a jeepney going to Liliw. A jeepney passing by with a signage “Magdalena” (note the jeepney route on the side is Sta. Cruz – Liliw) stopped in front of us. Before riding the we asked the driver and the barker if it will pass by St. John the Baptist Parish Church or Liliw Church — they both said yes.
We asked the driver how much the fare would be and said php16, after about 10 minutes he stopped and pointed to a church. “Ayun na po ang Simbahan Ma’am”. Thinking that it was the church we intended to visit we alight and walked for about 2 minutes — then I realized it’s not the place I intend to see. Still a very good place to pray and also very old like St. John the Baptist Parish Church, it was The Santa Maria Magdalena Parish Church (also Saint Mary Magdalene ParishChurch).
Though not as planned, I couldn’t complain because its worth the visit and misadventure.
Scenario 2: Jeepneys hardly come and if they do, it’s full. So, we hired a tricycle instead. The driver charged us php300 Magdalena Church to Liliw Church. Considering the distance, the 300 was fair. (I don’t think this is a rip off)
I couldn’t find an itinerary like ours (Liliw Church – Bukal Falls) so we weren’t sure if we can walk going to Brgy. Bukal’s brgy hall, so we asked the locals. We meet a local ‘konsehal’ and offered to guide us — I had a bad feeling about it so I immediately asked How much it would cost if he guides us, his response was “E konsehal naman ako dito ay wala nang bayad iyon, sasamahan ko nalang kayo” (I’m a local councilor so you don’t have to pay me). Then we hired another tricycle Liliw Church to Brgy. Bukal php 200 per tric and they only allow max of 4 pax each because the road is ascending.
When we reached Brgy. Bukal registration area, paid our dues and were provided (another) local guide (because ‘konsehal’ is not an officer of Brgy. Bukal and thus unknown to Brgy. Bukal officials). One of us said “Edi dalawa na yung guide namin?” (Now, we have 2 guides?) [This again is very unnecessary]. That time I told ‘konsehal’ he doesn’t have to come with us anymore since they have provided us with a guide, telling him we didn’t want to cause anymore inconvenience for his time — which he responded with “ay okay lang iyan wala naman problema iyon sa akin, samahan ko pa din kayo” (No, it’s okay. It’s not a problem. I’ll come with you).
Long story short: By the end of the day we paid for his Dinner (which was fine) and asked for a compensation (“in whatever amount we feel like”). We paid 100 each .
With this experience I realized that PEOPLE ARE NICE TO YOU BECAUSE THEY NEED SOMETHING FROM YOU.
In whatever scenario I will visit Bukal Falls again, next time with my camping gear 🙂