Tayo Na Sa Antipolo: Hinulugang Taktak Falls
Tayo na sa Antipolo translates to let us go in(to) Antipolo and I could not agree more. Antipolo tempts me every time with her majestic waterfalls, fresh mountain air, beautiful country homes and delicious suman. I often ask myself why we haven't been brave enough to bite the bullet and move out there. Hinulugang Taktak Falls is just another point on the scales for Antipolo. There is a serious amount of pride and history in Hinulugang Falls. It was so fun reading up about it and seeing that a whole song is devoted to the scenic place and a movie was even filmed there way back when.
"During the 16th century the residence nearby complained for boisterous sound produced by the bell during Angelus. The people demanded the local priest to remove the bell. And so the priest had to take it to the nearby river. This explains the name "Hinulugang Taktak" which means "Where the bell was dropped". Cool isn't? Antipolo is known for being a religious place and Hinulugang taktak also became a tourist spot and remarkable target for it's beautiful ambiance and environment. During 1980's the government acknowledged it as a National Park."
In the last few decades the national park began to gather trash and was not well maintained. In early 2015 it was reopened with a green approach and strict guidelines but the best gift, free entrance for all! This place really is a hidden gem. It is well maintained and they ask that individuals have the utmost respect for the natural beauty. As marvelous as the falls are the spacious and resort style public pool is worth the visit as well.
Upon entering all you have to do is register and read the massive sign with the rules/guidelines. I loved that there was a tourism tent with employees waiting to help or take complaints at the complaint station. It made me laugh a bit but also showed that they care!
There is a large paved space on the side of the road used as a parking area. From the parking it is under a five minute walk down the stairs to the base of the falls. This was an easy walk with a big pay off. As you can see our kids ages two-eight had no problems on their own.
If you stand close enough and in the right spot, the mist will get you. Heads up, it is just a little ripe smelling by the water. However, the water is really clear and there was very little garbage to the side of the falls, which was the huge complaint that motivated the clean up and reopening last year.
It's the Niagara Falls of The Philippines, just kidding but almost! The grounds are large and so well maintained. The view crossing the canal reminded me of that one season called fall. I love the trees streaming in a line. Across the bridge are heaps of covered tables and a meditation area. Ah, I love this Catholic country. I may not be Catholic but I can certainly appreciate. This was the pretty and peaceful meditation area. And the view of the falls from the other side.
There is a massive courtyard in middle of the grounds. It is big and clean and has a roof made of trees. It was pure joy. I believe you can rent this space and be used as a function area for events. The other fun surprise, the completely free of charge and free of people pool! We did come on a weekday and before 9 am so I think that had something to do with it. We stayed until 12:30 and only shared the pool with a handful of people.
They are very serious about their rules at the pool, which I think is a good thing. They are strict about swimming attire and you MUST shower completely (not soap, just rinse) before you swim. The pools was well maintained and clean and they happened to be cleaning it that day too. So, two thumbs up for cleanliness in the big pool. Do remember that this is a public pool so I imagine on the weekends it is pretty crowded.
We parked ourselves right outside the pool gate at a covered table that held our belongings and where we eventually had lunch. From our table you could see the view of the waterfall through the courtyard. They do ask that you take all your garbage back out with you, pack accordingly. *There is a first aid station that we unfortunately had to use on a little friend who fell. They were very prepared and helpful.
There are multiple bathrooms onsite and the ones near the pool have toilets and shower/changing spaces. Can we all please give thanks for the Filipino creation which is known as the tabo? Bless you tabo. I even wrote a love letter to the tabo. If it seems gross to you, don't worry I was there once too but now we are BFF.
Things To Know:
For the best experience go as early as you can on a weekday. Pack a lunch and everything else you might need for a swim day trip.
Make sure to bring a plastic bag for your garbage to take back with you out of the park.
Entrance is free.
If you have never been to Antipolo, this is the time. Suck it up, gear up, woman up and come out. It is really simple to get to, map below. From Pasig to the falls it took exactly one hour. Coming home was only 45 minutes.