Unknown waterfalls near Tacloban

I mentioned this before to some of my photo colleagues at leysamfoto.com: During an aerial photoshoot around Tacloban City, while circling the general area near Camp Pitik at the Diversion Road, I was able to snap these photos of a huge waterfalls.

And, funny, but nobody could tell me its name!

Someone from the Dept. of Tourism, though, claims she has been to it and I suggested we do a photoshoot of this unknown site. Imagine, it’s just at the back of Tacloban City and I am sure only a few know of its existence! (Could it be just me who’s unaware?!)

Can anyone provide us with more info about this waterfalls? More importantly, can anyone tell us how to get there? What is the name of this waterfalls? My guess is it’s located somewhere between Palo and Sta. Fe and Tacloban City.

Sorry, I know I should have asked the chopper’s pilot about it but I failed to do this after the aerial shoot. Bad. 😦




~ by gerryruiz on 3 December 2008.

29 Responses to “Unknown waterfalls near Tacloban”

  1. Hello. When I was in College, our Theology class in DWU took us to this retreat place called Soliman Village. It’s a gorgeous place to have retreats. Anyway, on our way to that place, from a distance I could see a large waterfalls that resembles that photo. We could see the falls from the rugged road. I remember it to be like the Amazon trails. According to out local guide, that was the bigger of the two falls. Anyway, after the retreat we went back with my classmates (MedTech Batch 94) to that place but settled for the smaller falls because there was no trail available for us to get to the big cascades. The smaller falls is called “Balugo Falls”. It is a very nice tri-level cascade. We even went to the very top to where there is a great basin as the source. I would have loved to go to the big one.

    I remember getting there by a road off the main highway that leads to San Juanico. It’s right where the SOS village is. I believe there is a quick left by the sardines canning (well, this was 1994). I remember our guide telling us that if we continue with that road, passing the 2 falls and passing Soliman Village, it will reach the town of San Miguel. I remember seeing a jeepney that had the San Miguel sign on it.

    Gerry, hope this gives you an idea where the place is. Take care. Please give me updates.

    With much respect,

    Richard White

  2. New discoveries..Great job Gerry..I hope it will be developed soon.. To Richard White, how is your sister(?) Victoria?

  3. LOL… This falls is one of the hidden, inaccessible (then) beauties of the Tacloban mountains. In my Tigbao-Sta. Fe post I mentioned that this used to be my trampling (?) ground during my “aktibista days”/1970s. I dropped out from school and worked full time as “organizer” of a “legal” farmers organization. If I remember right, it was during one of my travels (walking the trails) from the northern barrios of Tacloban towards a barrio in Alangalang that I reached these falls. Richard W. is right, there are supposed to be two of them. After all these years (more than 30 years) and the massive development (was it really??) undertaken by the Leyte Sab-a Basin Development Authority… The Leyte Sab-a Basin Dev. Authority covered the city and towns of Tacloban, Alangalang, San Miguel, Jaro, Barugo and Babatngon and parts of Palo, too. I do not know what happened to this authority after the dictator Marcos was thrown out since I left for the US in 1986.

    I could not believe that the falls still exists. We used to have contacts in almost all the northern barrios of Tacloban but the most helpful and knowledgeable guide we had was somebody from Barrio Sto. Nino, Tacloban City. This colorful man/guide was reputed to catch “deer” by running after it and wrestling it to the ground (all in his 5feet and 120lbs) and he literally walked in fire (during Good Fridays). LOL He taught me how to move in the trails, how to make animal traps for food and other useful know-hows in a jungle environment.

  4. Wow I’d love to see that place before it becomes famous and polluted.

  5. The area must be accessible now or much easier to get to now than before. When the area was under the Leyte Sab-a Basin Development Authority (LSBDA) there was a lot of road construction in the area. The main purpose, according to some, was to make it easier to transport out the different valuable minerals that will be found in the area…LOL!! Ka Gerry, you used to be a govt media bigwig, what happened to the old LSBDA?? Is the area still under the Sab-a Basin?

  6. LOL!!! Kaedong, I almost fell off my chair! Govt media bigwig? LOL!!! Balitaw, kidding aside, I really have no idea what happened to that LSBDA project. Your guess is as good as mine hehe 😉

  7. Mano Gerry,
    Now that we’re on it, in Palo, I remember going to Guinhangdan Hill one time as a teener, ha bukid, and taking a bath in a “small” sized falls. Yes, there are a few un-discovered treasures in and around Tacloban and Palo. Try also a rowboat trip from Palo to Baras Beach via the Bangon River … who knows what the camera will see … I am speaking of course of a viewpoint of some 20 years ago, so things must have changed!

  8. mano gerry maupay nga aga, firelady here (from skyscraper) we are going to try our luck today to find this waterfalls – am still traveling around with my guests. i will give you updates about the place – where it is, how to get there, so mga kababayans will get to visit this place as well. wish me luck.

    • Hi firelady! Thanks for dropping by and wishing you all the best in tracking this BIG one. Please note most other feedback point to Balugo Falls (some say there are 4 of them in the vicinity of Brgy Salvacion) but none so far has actually been to this BIG one. Even at youtube, what’s shown are those of the smaller Balugo Falls. Good luck!

  9. Hello, Mano Gerry. We went to a falls yesterday which is behind Camp Pitik. Passing by Leyte Provincial Jail past Kauswagan. We went to a falls called Mahanlas Falls in Barayong. It is not the same falls that you stumbled into during your aerial shot. This falls you saw is really bigger and grander than the one we went to yesterday. So, yes, as per your post – unknown la gihap inin. We are beginning to suspect this is the big falls that one of our friends discovered – according to him it’s a 30-foot drop, though he said this is somewhere in Salvacion (an unknown aside from the 4 little ones? – perhaps). We have the map to the place – handsketch but we haven’t made it there yet. Someday, perhaps.

    • Hi firelady! Thanks for the prompt feedback you gave not only for me but for the blog viewers here closely monitoring this thread (there are many of them, you’d be surprised to know.) 😉 More than anything else, I am also gladdened with your enthusiasm and driven interest to seek out this “unknown” falls which, I’ve told friends, is such a shame considering it is just lying out there in our backyard and yet not much is known about it. Thanks again and do keep in touch.

  10. Firelady, paghinay la kamo hiton “LIMATOK”..LOL.. ambot la kun mayda pa hito dida nga lugar??.. siguro waray na ada kay year 2008 naman… lol….ambot la kun kanan ano ito nga bungto or siyudad.. kun kana Sta. FE -Alangalang – Palo or Tacloban ba ito nga falls… Balitaw Firelady.. goodluck and I hope you find the big falls..

  11. Hindi ba ito ang falls ng brgy pagsulhugon – located between tacloban-batbatngon?

  12. maupay nga gabi, kaluoy han panahon waray man limatok, amo gihapon an siring han taga didto nga amon upod- waray daw limatok though we nearly disturbed a pukyutan hive, haruy! an am pangarit..

    this big falls, amo ini it birilngon yana, hala it mga sabid hin karaglakat – go

  13. Hello Gerry! Ini nga waterfalls is located somewhere in Brgy. Salvacion, Tacloban City. I am very sure coz I was assigned in that barangay 4 years ago and even now still keep on going there… Though I have been in that falls but medyo mawawara-wara ako kay masyado hin ka surodlon. I just forgot the name of it but it is definitely located in Brgy. Salvacion, Tacloban City. Mayda gad ito nga falls ngaran among the locals there. Ayaw la kay pamaki-ana ako buwas. Basta aada ito located ha Salvacion.


  14. Good morning…Mahanlas Falls is situated at Barangay Barayong, Palo, Leyte about 7 kilometers from the urban area. The municipal mayor of Palo is Teodoro M. Sevilla, M.D.

  15. hey!!! riya here… i agree that this sumkinda waterfalls is located sumwer in salvacion. u can go there in palanog-tacloban jeepney. its a 7 kilometer walk from the highway. been there during my engineering days.. getting samples of drinking water in shallow and deep wells of salvacion. we then side tripped to that falls.yeah it is called BALUGO FALLS..and yeah we use the metal thingy as a landmark. u can reach it also if we pass from alangalang-san miguel short cut. but that road can only be accessible to motorcycles only…. i am 90% xure!!!! eheheh!!

  16. way back in 4th year high school, around 5 years ago, i was able to hike to that body of water together with my high school friends. it took us nearly 4 hours to get there from bliss area, maybe around 3 hills and some long walks. but i never really got the name of the falls. (^_^) nice photos!

  17. That waterfalls you featured is beautiful from the air. I wonder how it will look from the ground. You made a fantastic shot from a helicopter to capture the granduer of the falls. Well done.

    Please holler when the leysamfoto group decides to venture into this amazing waterfalls for a photoshoot.

    Another good vantage point looks like the site where a tower and
    a bunk house is seen on the picture. Any idea whose tower and
    house that was?

    All my life . . .first time kong nakita ito and discovered it from you.

  18. hala karisyo.
    waray pa mag attempt nga mountaineer
    nga kadaon ito?
    grabe ka husay..

  19. d la unta ma develop para
    waray bayad tas para diri

  20. hain daw la ini dapit.
    (i wonder)
    tsk tsk
    nice shot sir.

  21. If your shot was taken from the east, I think it’s the Balugo falls (Sta. Fe, Palo and Tacloban Corridor). If the shot was taken from another direction, I think it’s the Mahanlas Falls (I have been there). The falls is located between the Palo and Sta. Fe boundary. FYI, the Sta. Fe – Tigbao road is comparable to the Kennod Road of Baguio albeit of lower altitude. I am just wondering, what happened to the Leyte SAB-A Basin area? Great potential for Eco-tourism?

  22. This particular waterfalls is in Salvacion area right at the back of the prominent building in your aerial photo. Locals call it “Bangon” falls (actually a series of waterfalls going upstream acording to the locals). It’s actually a relatively short hike off the road (say 20- 30 minutes), about 600 meters approx in hiking distance through a very narrow trail, although you’ll have to cross two streams and some portions of the trail are sligthly steep and slippery. But it’s a beautiful site, great opportunity for photoshoot. The upper portion can also be reached through the same entry but on a steeper and longer route. Coordinates are 11 deg 14min 15sec North, 124 deg 57min 46 sec East. Best to tap a local as a guide though. The entrance is approx 300 meters after the said building (when travelling towards Salvacion proper).

  23. It is definitely NOT Mahanlas Falls of Brgy. Barayong, Palo. We went to Mahanlas Falls last January 28, 2010. See my latest post. 😉

  24. hi gerry,
    i finally went to both of those falls mentioned. “bangon falls” (the one you posted above) is truly impressive, although hardly any water in there right now. watch out for ants there, the nastiest bites i’ve ever experienced, lasting up to 36 hours and burn like hell!!!
    “balugo falls” is certainly nice with its many pools upstream and surrounding forest is partly pristine, which really surprised me.
    so all in all, those 2 places ,and maybe more around this area, are definitely worth visiting.
    anybody needs a local (german) tourguide? lol
    thanks to gerry domingo, who gave me directions to find the falls, also thanks to you gerry ruiz, who got me inspired 2 years ago, after i saw your pix!

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