“Where are you going?” the bus conductor said. “We’re going to Hagimit falls,” I responded. He punched a couple of tickets and handed them to me. As I paid for our fare, I told him to kindly drop us off at the closest point to the falls.
“No problem,” he said. “It’s in Barangay Cawag, Penaplata. You wouldn’t miss it, anyway. There’s a big sign on the right side of the road.”
I sat back and opened the plastic of pancit which we bought from a road side carinderia on our way to the bus station from Kaputian beach earlier. We forgot to bring forks and there were no plastic forks available for sale at the carinderia. I put the plastic near my mouth and began eating the pancit inside, much like the way most people in Lucban, Quezon eat their famous pancit habhab. I saw a few passengers looking at us, possibly intrigued and amused by the primitive way two grown up men were eating pancit inside the bus. I pretended not to notice though. This is just one of the many things I never thought I would do before I started travelling. After a few gulps of water later, I turned to the window and admired the beautiful and refreshing rural scenery outside.
“Hagimit Falls na po!” the bus conductor announced after roughly 15 minutes, just as I saw the falls board sign. The bus stopped and we got off. There was no habal habal drivers around. At half an hour past 7 in the morning, we might have been too early. We decided to trek. From the main road, it took us about 15 minutes to get to the main entrance. After paying the P40 entrance fee, we went inside and found the concrete stairway leading down to the waterfalls.
Hagimit Falls is actually a small waterfall that flows over big rocks creating a series of cascades and natural pools in a beautiful natural setting. A nature park has been developed within the area and several huts and picnic tables have been made available for guests and visitors to rent. Despite these developments though, the owners were able to maintain the natural beauty of the place. Nature lovers could still enjoy its tropical rainforest scenery along with the cool and refreshing waters of Hagimit falls.
Since it was still early in the morning, we had the whole place to ourselves. My friend Jim wasted no time. As soon as we had put down our backpacks on one of the picnic tables in the area, he went into the water and swam towards the waterfall where he enjoyed a refreshing natural shower. I, on the other hand, struggled to take good pictures of the falls using a slow shutter speed to show the silky smooth flow of the waters. I kept on reprimanding myself quietly for my decision to not bring my tripod. Majority of the pictures I’ve taken turned out to be blurred.
We really enjoyed our time at Hagimit Falls and Nature Park. When I thought I’d taken a few decent shots, I put my camera aside, took a deep breath and dove into the cool waters. It felt so great to have my back and neck and shoulder massaged by the waters each time I stick my head under the falls.
After more than a couple of hours, other visitors started to arrive. One of the caretakers of the park approached us and asked if we were going to use the picnic table where we put our bags. “It’s for rent,” he said. I told him we were just about to leave. And just after he left, we got out of the water, took a rest for few minutes, then went back to the entrance, which was quite a challenge since we had to go up the stairs this time.
This may help: From Hagimit falls, you may ride a habal habal to take you to the different resorts and other destinations within the island. The picture below shows the fares to each destination. Please note that these are just one way fares and if you decide to hire a habal habal to tour you around the island, the charges would be different since the driver would have to wait for you in each destination. This however will give you an idea in haggling for a good package tour.