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Friday, May 4, 2012

Ditumabo Falls aka MOTHER FALLS in San Luis Aurora

People have this misconception that Aurora is only about surfing.You'll be surprised to know,like I did, that it's more than just surfing.There is another attraction --that on top of all the historic sites i.e. museum,Baler Church and the ancestral houses of Aurora Quezon---- that you should not miss. Ditumabo Falls popularly known as MOTHER FALLS in San Luis Aurora.

I knew about this waterfalls even before we came as I have read it in many blogs in the past.But seeing it myself made me realize that Mother Falls is  indeed a gem.

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 Ditumabo Falls aka MOTHER FALLS in San Luis Aurora


Ditumabo Falls is located in another Municipality outside Baler ---San Luis. To get there, you need to hire a van or tricycle on a separate day tour.In our case, we took the latter mode of transportation.Rates are non standard so be ready to haggle.

The tricycle driver we talked to offered us 800pesos inclusive of the Mother Falls in San Luis, the Giant Balete Tree in another town and Baler Church and Museum downtown. Our friend Mitch was able to haggle and bring down that cost to 500 pesos. Marx, teh other blogger and his companion who stayed in the same house --KL JAVERS HOMESTAY ----  got their ride for 800pesos inclusive of Ermita Hill which we didn't include in our itinerary that day.
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We realized that San Luis is quite far from downtown Baler---say, 30 minutes-----and there is this section where the ride should navigate through a rough road.The bearing of tricycle we hired  was too low it hits the rocks we had to go down and push the tricycle a couple of times.At times, we had to walk for a couple of meters because we were too heavy for an ascend.

It was raining that day and it made the situation extra difficult for the driver.I was wet even before we got to the set-off point.Fun experience! :)
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the set off point

Once at the set off point.We decided to hike up despite the rain.I almost decided to leave my dslr in the barangay outpost as I was also warned that the water crossing would go as deep as my waist.I insisted to bring it.I am glad I did.

ENTRANCE FEE

This I noticed.A few men in civilian clothing asked us to sign in a logbook and ask for donations.I asked why they don't assign a standard entrance fee instead.They couldn't answer.I pressed on asking where the donations go, they were not able to answer.My guess therefore is that this is an unorganized underground .It's not to say that they are but guys but my hunch is that the local government has yet to organize things.Personally, I prefer that the local government take over and assign a standard rate for the entrance fee.A minimal fee is just proper.The beauty of the place justifies for a minimal amount so long as we are guaranteed there's somebody who will maintain it.It's easier to look for somebody responsible if they organize a group in charge on keeping the place.

This is another case of a potential tourist spot on danger of decay due to the local government's inability to step in and take action.
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There were so may people on that particular Saturday so I guess the one's in charge of collecting the donations were overwhelmed.To be fair, some of them said they go around collecting garbage which we saw downstream.Even so, one could still notice a couple of wrappers tourists leave on their way up or down the waterfalls.I think our local tourists still have a long way to go in terms of respecting the place they visit by not leaving garbage behind. My wife, having been to an environment seminar just recently took the initiative to pick some trash on our way down.......
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That said, the place is still clean.Very clean compared to our standards in Manila.I wouldn't have noticed the very few clutter should we didn't specifically looked for it. It's very easy to go up the waterfalls-----if it's about navigating where to go. All you need to do is follow the river.That means, criss-crossing trough it and being careful with the heavy current and the big rocks.

You will be okay as long as you don't hurry. Although the rocks are big, they are not slippery.That's good. The water is also very clear so you can easily see where you are stepping at.As I said, some areas could go as deep as the waist so be sure to assist the kids if you bring them.
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very clear water---and cold too. :)
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big rocks but not slippery.Just be careful with your footing of course.
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We enjoyed our hike towards the main waterfalls.If you go here and happen to be with nobody, make sure you follow this giant pipe which will lead you all the way to the waterfalls. This giant pipe turns out to part of  SAN LUIS MINI-HYDRO POWER PLANT. They are tapping into the waterfalls and diverting some of its water trough this pipeline to generate electricity.Cool!

At least it didn't feel like the pipe ruined the place.I find it complimentary.It took us around an hour to get there because we stopped  a couple of times for picture taking and the large crowd going up and down the route means waiting patiently for your turn to hug those rocks and cross the river.

When you get to the waterfalls, all the effort will be worth it. TIP: be sure to enjoy the hike as it is part of the fun experience.
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Since I mentioned that they are tapping the waterfalls to generate electricity to the local community, they put up this dam on its mouth. My guess is that the spot where the water drops was originally deep but when you walk to it,most part is shallow due to rocks collected as a result of the dam which blocks them from going downhill. And since the water is very clear, the sunlight is being reflected and it gives you the feeling of walking though a crystal pool.Ang linis linis ng tubig aat malamig!!!!
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 mother falls-san luis aurora

We stayed for a few minutes and tried to feel the power of the waterfalls and the millions of droplets it spills around the area.I was busy taking photos for a while making sure not to keep my camera open too long as the splatters got into my lens after a few seconds of exposure.It was therefore a challenge to get a clear shot.I paked my camera inside the bag and went to join my group for a dip.The water is really cold so were standing there in the middle of the pool chatting,grinning and grining our teeth.

I marveled at how beautiful the place is.I've been to a couple of waterfalls before but this is by far my best. Why is it my favorite so far?Because going here means you have to interact with the waterfalls.As soon as you hike up, you get to feel the water as you have to cross the stream a couple of times.And when you get to the main waterfalls, you will not be intimidated to take the dip, thanks to the accumulated rocks on its mouth.Some waterfalls are beautiful but they are only for the eyes.Ditumabo Falls aka MOTHER FALLS in San Luis Aurora is not just for your eyes but for all your senses. :)

_____________________
and they have a website ha!galing!
http://sanluisaurora.ph/

9 comments:

  1. nice naman jan.

    kakalungkot ng slight yung donation-donation thingie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. such a nice place. worth it
    buti di nagpatuloy ang pag-ulan....

    ReplyDelete
  3. anlakas ng tubig... was there about a month ago, di pa sya ganyan kalakas... malapit na talaga tagulan..

    http://www.limbonis.info/2012/04/balete-park-after-2-months-and-5-missed.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember yung mga kwento ni Mich about sa pinababa kayo and ung nalunod sya ng few seconds. Hehehe! :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. ganda ng view!

    andami ko pang di napupuntahan haha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! Magandang falls. Nakakatakot nga lang gamitin ang slr sa ganitong trip. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Magkano po ang pag hire ng tricy per head?

    ReplyDelete

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