If you live in Quezon City and would like to commune with nature without the hassle of eternal bus rides, then going to Antipolo would be your most favored bet.
Let me tell you a story of how we spent 300.00 Php and had the mid-week adventure we never expected. The original plan was to visit the series of falls along the Antipolo-Quezon Transverse. We didn’t have the budget for anything spectacular. We were just scratching the usual wanderlust’s itch. We will just take a peek at the areas and blow all our budget on local delicacies.
We started our trip with an FX ride to Cogeo and ended up asking around where to go next. We were told to ride the jeep to Sampaloc and advise the driver to drop us off at the nearest point where the first waterfalls is located. That we did!
The Palo Alto Subdivision was where we ended up. The guard pointed which way to the falls and since it’s not that far (and that there’s a significant absence of transportation), we decided to just walk.
It was a sad lot, though, because what greeted us the moment we stepped in the entrance of the falls was one of the caretakers advising us that the premise is close for the day for its routine cleaning and maintenance. Disappointed, we begged to just do what we really came for: have a peek of the falls’ grandeur. To this they concurred.
The flight of stairs going to the waterfalls was extensive! To add to the challenge was the rain, making each step unreliable. The good thing though, was Palo Alto’s Management Team’s idea to cement each step of the way making it easier for the general public to climb. Like any other falls, it is a given that the inclines can be tremendously extreme–or it’s just me being out of shape. Please consider stretching before the climb. Let’s avoid any untoward injuries.
Now let me share my two cents. Despite the comfort the stairs propose to the tourists, I felt a dismal tug as I was looking at it and climbing it. The feeling just got worse as we arrived at the falls. It was everything BUT natural.
The water coming from the falls is welcomed with open arms by a man-made pool. When I say pool, I meant that, like the stairs, there was cement to accentuate the location and cabanas for the tired visitors. For some, it can be that thing they can let go. However, on my end, I was a little put off. Imagine how much more when I found out that sooner or later, the public will no longer be allowed to enjoy the place as they will be making Palo Alto Falls exclusive to the tenants of the subdivision.
It was sad. For the developers, it may be the plus factor in their marketing pitch. For the locals, it may be a different story. Sure, there is Daranak and Batlag nearby, but still, nature should be accessed by all. My partner and I headed back with a heavy heart wishing we didn’t know about their plans.
As we were going home, reality struck us with the unavailability of public transportation. From the falls, we realized that it was easy walking to it because the road was going down. Returning is going to be a strain. After around 5 minutes of walking, I just had to throw the towel. Fortunately for us, there was a truck passing by. Guess what? I hailed it and we hitched a ride. It didn’t have any place for passengers so we just climbed aboard and held on for our dear lives! Later did we found out that it was a truck carrying a septic tank (LOLOLOL!!!~~~)
We asked the driver to dismount us near the entrance. Now going back to bayan is a whole different story. My partner and I waited for almost an hour and no jeep passed by! Luckily, by some fateful grace, a private L300 passed by as I was waving my hands frantically. Oh yes, we hitched again!
Turns out, the people inside were from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. They were a nice group of people and they even offered us something to eat. They even joked that they were on their rounds looking for people to apprehend–with that they showed us their handcuffs.
The adventure soon ended when they dropped us off an area we can grab a ride back to Cubao. Sure, the visit to Palo Alto is a little bit disappointing but we are considering ourselves lucky to have seen the wonder before it was deprived from us. It is not yet too late for you. Witness her in all her glory and I sincerely wish you a wonderful time!
How to go to Palo Alto Falls:
1. From Cubao, ride a UV Express bound to Cogeo Gate 2 and alight at, you know what it is….COGEO! – Php 50.00
2. From Cogeo, cross the footbridge and walk your way pass the market.
3. Ride a Sampaloc Jeepney and ask Kuya Driver Beshie to drop you off at Palo Alto Subdivision. – Php 25.00
4. Walk your way from the subdivision gate to Palo Alto Falls. It’s 1km far but roads are paved.
Budget of a Typical Wanderlust (Public Transpo + Tipid Tips):
UV Express Cubao-Cogeo – Php 50 x 2
Jeepney Fare Sampaloc-Cogeo – Php 25 x 2 (Wag mag trike– mahal!)
Palo Alto Falls Entrance Fee – Php 100 (on a normal day — this is if you will swim. it’s free if you’re just there to look)
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Total: Php 250.00
**Palo Alto Falls is located at Valle St. Tanay, Rizal. For inquiries you can visit their Facebook Page or contact them at (0905) 515-4778