7 Stunning Falls Near Manila are Found in Mount Romelo
There are countless lists of falls near Manila, but more often than not, they’re nowhere near each other. It would take a solid week to visit them all—but not these falls. Tucked away in a corner of Laguna is Mt. Romelo, home to countless stunning waterfalls all within proximity of each other. Fall-jumping is a common activity on the mountain, which is located in the heart of Siniloan, Laguna.
Campsite of Mt. Romelo
It’s a three-hour drive from Metro Manila to Laguna, but unlike many falls near Manila, Mt. Romelo enjoys relative seclusion from big crowds of hikers like other mountains. At the arrivals area, found at the base of the mountain, hikers are given rice bags for trash collection. The people of Siniloan make one thing clear—their mountain must remain as pristine as when you arrive.
At just 300 meters above sea level, Mt. Romelo is a relatively easy hike, but it can get steep and muddy. But it’s well worth it to reach the crown jewels of the mountain—its waterfalls.
Once you depart from the base, hikers will arrive first at the campsite near the summit of Mt. Romelo. From there, you can start your fall-hopping adventure as most of the falls are located an hour away from the campsite. One of the first to visit is Buruwisan Falls, which lies just below the campsite. Hikers and campers can jump off the top into the waters below. Buruwisan is the most popular falls on the mountain due to its proximity to the campsite, and perhaps also because it is the most majestic.
Diwata Falls is located near Sampaloc and Batya Batya, but it's far more relaxed compared to the nearest falls. It has a relatively gentle cascade and a small basin at the foot of the falls.
This is another relatively gentle waterfall located near Buruwisan and Lanzones Falls. Similar to Batya Batya Falls, there are levels to Sapang Labo. The gentle flow of the water over the rocks makes for a striking view.
Sampaloc Falls is probably the hardest to get to. It’s about a 30- to 45-minute trek from the campsite to the base of the waterfall depending on which route you take. It’s probably the most fun to hike to considering the number of huge rocks you need to hop on and thick foliage you need to cut through. The effort is worth it though as Sampaloc Falls, with crisp blue waters, is one of the most secluded and pristine falls in the mountain.
Batya Batya Falls
While there’s less water falling from Batya Batya, it’s not the waterfall people hike to see. It’s the rocky cliff face, which is a favorite among free rock climbers and cliff jumpers. It has three levels and hikers are welcome to climb up the small waterfalls to reach the very top of Batya Batya. But more than a couple of accidents have happened here considering the deep waters and slippery rocks, so visitors are reminded to be careful.
Located downstream of Buruwisan, Binaytuan requires a long and challenging trek. Called the “Old Buruwisan,” Binaytuan is the larger, more intense version of Buruwisan. It’s known to be a dangerous area to go to when the rainy season hits and the falls become a thundering torrent.
Only the truly dedicated can head to Sebakon Falls and still have the energy to tell the tale. However, the majestic cascade makes the steep, slippery trek downhill worth all the struggle.
Probably the most elusive of the waterfalls on Mt. Romelo is Twin Falls, which is meant for only the most experienced—or daring—hiker. It’s the sleeping giant of the mountain. Twin Falls is named after the two side-by-side waterfalls that have a height of over 50 feet.
Lanzones Falls is just a few meters away from Buruwisan as the waters of both falls meet in the same river. Lanzones is smaller than Buruwisan, but is known to be much colder. The rocks that close around the falls create a sort of cocoon where hikers can feel the forceful winds produced by the falling water.
The base of Mt. Romelo
Mt. Romelo is truly a gem of Laguna province. Every inch of the mountain is worth all the effort, from the stunning view going up and down the mountain, to the waterfalls near the summit, to the large river that marks the base of Mt. Romelo, home to some of the best falls near Manila.