This Mountain Has 21 Waterfalls

…But the average hiker can reach only 3 to 4 a day.

Mt. Romelo in Laguna is considered a minor hike and has a difficulty rating of 2/9, but as we learned firsthand last weekend, this “easy” rating applies only to the two-hour trek to the Summit. Exploring the waterfalls after the summit is a whole different ballgame, and I give that part a rating of 5/9.

En route to Lanzonez Falls. It’s not a walk in the park.

Lanzonez Falls




Our guide told us that there are actually 21 waterfalls in Mt. Romelo. I asked him if it’s possible to catch all 21 in one visit. “No, it’s impossible. But we locals have seen all 21,” he said in Tagalog. The average Mt. Romelo hiker sees 3-4 waterfalls a day. You need to camp overnight to be able to explore at least seven falls.

The ice-cold temperature of Lanzonez Falls is good for your aching limbs.

The most famous waterfall in Mt. Romelo—Buruwisan Falls

Here’s a rundown of the 9 most frequented waterfalls in Mt. Romelo:

1. Lanzonez Falls
2. Buruwisan Falls
3. Sapang Labo
4. Sampaloc Falls
5. Batya-Batya Falls (a.ka. Guiling-Guiling Falls)
6. Diwata Falls
7. Binaytuan (a.k.a. Old Buruwisan)
8. Sebakon Falls
9. Twin Falls

Don’t be tempted to dive from the top. Buruwisan Falls has already claimed a number of lives.

See the small opening on the left? It’s a cave full of bats.

For you to catch all 21 falls, you need a bigger game plan, like camping for an entire week at Mt. Romelo, or returning several times to pan out your exploration. Unlike the Mt. Maynuba-Cayabu Circuit where the 8 waterfalls are located close to each other as you descend, Mt. Romelo’s waterfalls are more complex. They’re hours away from each other, are on varying elevations, and involve steep assaults and slippery traverses.

Minutes from Sapang Labo Falls

Sapang Labo has two levels and a shallow catch basin below.

The third and final waterfall stop of my group: Sapang Labo

My group of intermediate climbers took two hours to get to the summit of Mt. Romelo, plus another 8 hours (food breaks and swimming stops included) to explore three waterfalls—Lanzonez, Buruwisan, and Sapang Labo. Tired and weary, we decided to skip the fourth, Sampaloc Falls. A revenge hike is in order.

Mt. Romelo is located at Siniloan, Laguna, Philippines.

Date of hike: May 20, 2017

May 27 update: I made a video.



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