Tayo na sa Antipolo
At doon maligo tayo
Sa batis na kung tawagin ay
Does this song ring a bell? Well, it was the song we usually hear and sing along when we were kids. According to my mother, who lived in Pasig and who visited Antipolo often before, Hinulugang Taktak is so famous that this song was written for it. Maybe, that’s the reason why she suggested this falls after attending mass in Antipolo Cathedral. It’s to remember the good old times.
Hinulugang Taktak is a waterfall in the province of Rizal. The waterfall area has been designated as a National Park and has been proclaimed as a National Historical Shrine. It got its name from a legend telling that during the 16th century, a local priest was forced by the local people to drop the bell in the river due to its harsh and unbearably loud sound when rung during Angelus. So it was named “Hinulugang Taktak,” which literally means “where the bell was dropped.”
The song invites us to take a dip into its stream. My mom also mentioned how enjoyable it was to swim in its waters, but not anymore. During our last visit, I could sense the disappointment sketched across her face as we witnessed the polluted water, the mountain of garbage and the foul smell. The falls was beautiful. There’s no doubt about that. But the stream below the falls is rubbish. When you see it now, it’s hard to believe that it was once paradise.
But at least, Hinulugang Taktak still lives and is open to public. Many people visit the place up to this time. Although the waterfall itself is a sore in the eye and a pain in the heart, I’m glad that they maintained the cleanliness and liveliness of the park surrounding it. In fact, they restored the park and added resort amenities. They also lend the place as venue for events and occasions. Actually, they were decorating the spot for a birthday party when we got there.
But in order to enjoy their desired rest and recreation in this place and to get a relaxing view of the waterfall, guests have to first climb down a lot stair steps. For elders who wish to have this experience but can’t take the stairs, I saw that the government is making a mini elevator for their convienience. And I think that’s so good of them. The nature park also offers picnic tables for your picnic adventure and cottages if you’re planning to stay overnight.
The park is indeed a perfect place for your family bonding or team building. Apart from that, the amenities include this narrow and short hanging bridge that connects one part of the park to another sandwiching the river of Hinulugang Taktak. Sadly, it was closed or maybe, it was under construction on the time we visited so I wasn’t able to experience walking through it. Once it’s open, surely, it will add stars to the good ratings of Hinulugang Taktak.
While it’s unsafe and nasty to swim under Hinulugang Taktak Falls, it’s all pleasure splashing around the park’s swimming pool. Yes! There’s a swimming pool beside the waterfall – a small one for the children and an eight-shaped onge for the adults with a small slide beside it. I like that it’s clean, clear and obviously well-taken care of. With a nice view of the waterfall, guests will surely enjoy it. But that wouldn’t beat the fun of swimming in the lagoon of Hinulugang Taktak.
The grotto of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage stands still beside it. And did you know what I prayed for? I prayed that the beauty won’t continue to vanish. I wished that the government won’t stop saving and bringing back the original beauty of Hinulugang Taltak. I wished that the people will support the rehabilitation program. If they can’t, simple taking care of this part of nature is enough. It has been Antipolo’s and Philippine’s pride. I hope that it will continue to be.
I took a photo of the rates. Don’t get me wrong. I’m so glad that at only 15 pesos, I could visit one of the wonders of Antipolo. But I’m wondering why on Earth would they charge six times higher on foreigners? As far as I know, tourist spots abroad has the same entrance fees for both their locals and foreign visitors. I’m sorry for questioning but I think this is just unfair. If this is for the rehabilitation, Filipinos should be willing to pay the same amount as the foreigners, but not 100 pesos.