Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mt.Famy (really Mt.Romelo in Siniloan, not Famy), Laguna

Aling Esther is dead. She has been dead for over 2 years now so you cannot register with her anymore. Registration is done at the shack accross the river. There is a 20peso fee per head and what used to be a "donation" is now a mandatory fee. The registration shack GPS COORDINATES are N 14°27'17.82" E121°28'09.36" Altitude 33.8meters. Campsite GPS LOCATION is N 14°27' 15.9 by E121°29' 24.3 Altitude 237.8meters. Most of the materials on the net indicate to hikers favoring late evening or early morning hikes. That way one gets more time to enjoy the river at the campsite and have time visiting the various waterfalls up and down the river.

What hikers refer to as Mt.Famy is actually Mt.Romelo and its in Siniloan and not in Famy. We decided to go on a friday evening but most of us had to work late so we ended up leaving UP Diliman at about 10:30pm. We reached the parking area at about 2am and started our hike at 2:30am. Even at this late hour we came accross a group of guys making their way to the campsite as well. The path is very muddy! Some areas have knee-high mud so wear the right hiking shoes or you will be sorry.

CAMP:Besides being an easy climb, there are 4 or 5 sarisari stores at the campsite selling food and drinks. There were about 20 tents propped up ,/approx 100people, when we went but during the summer months this number goes into the thousands of people so be warned. I heard the numbers exceed 2000 campers and so barangay tanods and police camp up here as well to keep the peace. Even with just this hundred or so campers we were not able to sleep because a group was singing and talking loudly the whole night so it felt like we were beside the market. If you want peace and quiet then you should establish camp well away from the stores and tables.

STORES:Canned goods, liquor, softdrink and bottled water prices are sold at almost 200% of the original price. (1.5liter coke is 50pesos, eggs are 7.50 each ) Most of the campers bring raw or half cooked meats and cooking utensils. That way there is less garbage generated. Remember that what you bring up, you MUST bring down with you.
(photo right: sari sari store, above: camp site with sari sari stores at the far end taken by FrancisAtendido on Panasonic FZ-20, Jan.20, 2007)

RIVER:There is little algae blooming on the rocks at the river beside the campsite. This is the top of buruwisan falls. The bottom of the falls, however, is a different story. Sobrang lumot sa mga bato. I guess the water is not as clean as it used to be. Buruwisan falls and Lansones falls are located downstream while BatyaBatya falls and Sampaloc falls lies upstream.

COOKING: Humidity is very high and it frequently rains. Thus its hard to gather dry wood. You'd best bring a portable burner or some charcoal to cook your food.

PEOPLE: Campers are very friendly. I think this is one of the attractions of the climb. I really enjoyed striking up conversation with the campers. Of course one must avoid the rowdy ones but those are scarce.
(photo right: friendly campers, taken by AllanBarredo on NikonD50, above: buruwisan falls taken by FrancisAtendido on Panasonic FZ-20, Jan.20, 2007)

HORSES: For those too lazy to climb, horses can be rented at 200pesos for one way trip. Another 200 pesos when you are fetched for your trip home
(photo left:boy on horse atop buruwisan falls, taken by AllanBarredo on NikonD50, below: Laguna lake at 5pm taken by FrancisAtendido on Panasonic FZ-20, Jan.21, 2007)

To get to Mt.Romelo BY CAR:you have to drive through Antipolo and around Laguna Lake towards Famy. At the Famy intersection (landmark: CALTEX) turn left towards Infanta, Quezon. You will pass by 2 check points. About 2kilometers from the intersection you will see a sign for "BURUWISAN FALLS" going to the right, and downwards. At the bottom you must turn left and actually drive over that small stream of water. Don't worry, its shallow. Further up the stream is a cemented road, take that road and drive straight. You will eventually intersect a bigger river. There is a good parkingspace just in front of that river at your left. You have to go inside through this makeshift gate and the area is pretty wide. There is space enough for about 20 cars. Its a community establishment that provides seedlings for treeplanting and its run by a Mr.Rodel De Guzman (cell# 0910-687-2617) . Wake someone up so they know who's parking there. You can ask for a guide there too if you need one. They charge 200pesos/guide so just get one guide.
PUBLIC TRANSPO: take the LRT2 to Legarda Station, When you go down Legarda St., walk 30meters or so towards the flyover. (opposite the side of the Arellano school) Board the RAYMUND BUS going to (Siniloan) FAMY, INFANTA RD. INTERSECTION. Buses leave every hour, 24hrs/day (alternate aircon and non-aircon) and the fee is PhP 96 pesos for non-aircon and a few pesos higher for aircon. When you reach the Famy/Infanta Intersecion (CALTEX), go down and ride one of the tricycles just beside the Caltex gas station. Just tell them you wish to go to "buruwisan falls" and they will take you to the jump-off point beside the wider river. The tricycle fee is 15pesos per head and they operate 24hrs a day too. Cross the river (there are stepping stones if you don't wish to get your feet wet), and walk along the path to the bamboo shed (you'll cross a tiny bridge). There is a house just in front of the shack, wake someone up and ask to be registered. Going back home: walk to the main road from the river and get a tricycle back to the Famy/Infanta Intersection (CALTEX). You can easily get a ride to Manila from there.


Ton Garcia said...

I'm from Siniloan and nothing could make me more proud than to know that the falls are recognized as being part of our town. Most often than not, Buruwisan is mistakenly referred as located in Famy or sometimes identified as Mount Famy.. I guess part of the responsibilities of a mountaineer or any traveler at that are found in their ability of telling other people correct informations alongside the wonderful experiences that they have to share. I find your post really informative as much as it clearly pictures out almost everything to expect from the journey. Keep up the good work. :)

demeter said...

Thank you for your kind words Ton. You come from a very beautiful town! So rich with natural beauty like Buruwisan falls! I'm glad you found my blog helpful.

Anonymous said...

Of all the blogs and forums and I've been to discussing Siniloan and everything that it has, especially the Buruwisan Falls, which appears to be one of the main attractions of the town, this is the best one.

Thank you for all the information you have provided.

The place is getting too popular especially for hikers and mountaineers.

Now I can just forward and share this link to my friends whenever they ask about Buruwisan Falls in Siniloan [and not in Famy].

Silly that I am from Siniloan but I do not market our town much.

Now I am inspired to create a blog for our town.

Thanks for your nice post!

demeter said...

Thank you for visiting.I agree that the place is really popular especially near holy week.Reports say that over 3000campers go up everyday then. Wow. But its pretty quiet the rest of the year naman so don't be discouraged. I'm glad my blog served as an inspiration to you to write more about your lovely town, Siniloan. Good luck!

Ryan said...

how can i get to siniloan ( Mt. famy ) if i'm here in sta.rosa laguna

Anonymous said... much po ung rent s tent??..planning to go there on 26..please reply..thanks

demeter said...

@anonymous - sorry, we never rented tents. I suggest you invest on a good tent now. You will save a lot this summer by bringing your tent with you sa mga outings ninyo. There are SO MANY tent campsites now sa Zambales and Pangasinan. Pristine, beautiful and peaceful beaches all of them. Try Tambobong(Pantalan camp site) and Magalawa Island (Ruiz resort camp grounds, not the armada resort)

ayala land Laguna said...

I never do this pero sa tingin ko napa ka exciting mag sleep over sa bundok na naka tent. I want to try this hiking in Mt. Famy next summer with my friends and I'm pretty much sure na mag eenjoy kaming lahat. Thanks^_^


demeter said...

@Kirstz - thanks for visiting. Thats great! But be a responsible hiker so remember, no littering and bring your garbage down with you. Have fun!

ayala land Laguna said...

Hi demeter, I am thankful for your kindness and I won't forget those reminders you've given on us. Ngayon pa lang I'm so excited na na makapunta sa Mt. Famy.


demeter said...

@Kirstz - you're very welcome. have fun! tell me about your experience!