Date of Visit: November 29, 2015
Taytay Falls, also called Imelda Falls, is one of the favorite waterfall destinations in Laguna. It has a height of 10-15 meters and releases pristine, icy cold spring waters coming from Mount Banahaw. According to history, it was named after the ex-First Lady Imelda Marcos who funded the promotion of tourism of this spot.
Before the Waterfall Adventure
Here’s a funny story before setting foot at Taytay Falls…
We left early for Laguna in one drizzling November holiday to visit the famous Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna. From Dasmarinas, Cavite, my friend and I arrived at 7:30am at the plaza in Sta. Cruz, Laguna and waited for a jeepney bound to the said town. Unfortunately, we were told that the jeep scheduled on that hour left already with nobody noticing it. And so, we waited patiently (…and impatiently…) for two hours until we got a ride; thanks to the friendly dispatcher who entertained us with more stories to kill this thing called “boredom.” 😀
Right after getting off the jeep, the barangay official expressed the sad news that visitors could not visit the falls that day due to the continuous rainfall. The creeks and rivers became swollen and it is not safe for everyone. Imagine, more than fifty visitors were there on that very hour. Some traveled a long distance just to get there.
A man called our attention and offered an alternative trip to Taytay Falls in Majayjay. Three friends chartered a jeepney and also invited others to take this option. Without second thoughts, we acceded to the invitation as the excitement for “waterfall adventure” was so much alive within the both of us. 😀 It was a long and spacious jeepney that it has accommodated 40 passengers, and braved the long stretch to Brgy. Taytay, Majayjay, Laguna.
Guide to Taytay Falls: Lessons from our Adventure
From Luisiana, it took us another hour to reach the Multi-purpose Hall of Brgy. Taytay. Here, we registered our names and paid an entrance fee of P20.00/person for daytour. Visitors who wish to stay overnight are charged with P30.00. There are two options for an overnight stay: (a) if you want closer connection with Mother Nature, you may do camping beside the riverbank, or (b) avail of a room accommodation within the vicinity.
Since we came by ourselves, my friend and I joined three new friends. We dropped by at the local stores (near the parking lot) selling grilled foods (e.g., barbecue, hotdog, eggplant, etc.), snacks and drinks. Hence, if you do not have baon (food), there’s nothing to worry.
We trekked the cemented pathway leading to the campsite for around 20 minutes (the faster you walk, the earlier you will arrive). The pathway was designed with a waterway for the rushing water from the falls, and is surrounded by lush vegetation on both sides.
We arrived at the campsite at 11:30am and we’re a bit surprised to see a lot of people camping side by side at the riverbank. Since Taytay Falls has become a famous destination, expect a crowd during holidays, weekends and summer days. At first, we had slight difficulty looking for a place, so, I suggest that you come early in the morning to find a good spot for picnicking.
We rented a tent for P250.00 to keep our belongings and pitched it with the prompt assistance of two locals. We thought about staying overnight but we’re not ready for it, so we decided otherwise. Some tips for an overnight stay at the riverbank: there are no lights in the camping area so you need to bring flashlights and lamps. Also, the weather gets cold at nighttime so bring thick clothes and blankets.
After lunch and being recharged, we first went to the river then hurried to the waterfalls. It was a beautiful, breathtaking, and tranquil sight! The spring water coming from Mt. Banahaw was clear despite the outpour of rains in Laguna. Online, the blogs described the waters as “icy cold” or “very cold,” and I affirm that it really is! Can you remember the feeling when ice-cold water touches your skin? You move away from it, right? That was what I did when I dipped my foot in the water. Anyway, my friend plunged into the cold water, so I also did. 😀 Once you’re in it, your body adapts to the cold (remember sensory adaptation in your General Psychology class?).
Two of my friends and many others, who are good swimmers, tried to reach the rock that protrudes in the deep plunge pool. We also swam towards a rock shelter which is about 5-6 meters away from the waterfall, but extra care is needed since the bedrock is uneven and water is deep in some areas.
The shower rooms and comfort rooms are free of charge. It is hoped, however, that the management add doors to the cubicles and maintain its cleanliness since the falls is a tourist destination.
Also, we adjure the tourists and visitors to practice the “Leave No Trace” principle. As observed, the place gets dirty because of trash despite the presence of signages posted by DENR and the local government of Majayjay. Let us be more responsible in cleanliness. Who else could protect and preserve nature but us who enjoy from it?
Before you leave, you might want to take pictures at the bridge overlooking the other side of the river. Souvenir items and shirts are also available at the local stores near the parking lot.
To sum it up, we had a memorable and reinvigorating experience that day – from the breathtaking sight of the waterfalls and the pleasure in meeting new friends.
Who wouldn’t appreciate the idea of chasing waterfalls after trying Taytay Falls? 🙂
How to get there (via commute):
From Manila to Sta. Cruz, Laguna – Ride buses like DLTB Co., JAM transit or HM Transport bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (around P140.00).
From Dasmarinas City (Cavite) to Sta. Cruz
- Option 1 (via Calamba): At the Terraza beside Robinsons Pala-pala, the van terminal has daily trips to Calamba starting 4:30am. The seats get filled up immediately due to the influx of passengers bound to the town. So, it is ideal to get this ride if you have a hectic itinerary. Drop off at Waltermart (P60.00). From there, ride a jeepney (P35.00) or bus (P25.00) going to Sta. Cruz.
- Option 2 (direct to Sta. Cruz): The van terminal is located in an open lot beside the overpass near Robinsons Pala-pala. I haven’t tried taking their trips, but we went there very early one time for a different trip and there were less passengers than I expected.
From Sta. Cruz to Brgy. Taytay
- From Sta.Cruz, ride a jeepney to Majayjay (P35). From Majayjay town proper, wait for a jeepney going directly to Brgy. Taytay (P16).
- By tricycle, the fare from Majayjay town proper to Brgy. Taytay is P150.00.
Important: It’s better to make an earlier arrangement for transportation back to Majayjay town proper, especially if you are leaving at past 4:00pm. Few jeepneys to Majayjay pass by the main road late in the afternoon. Hence, renting tricycles, which entails a higher cost, would be the most possible means to get to the town.