Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bollero Dam and Ambon Ambon Falls


If you are looking for a nice nature adventure slash picnic spot, then you ought to go to Pangil, Laguna. You will find a beautiful and unadulterated place in the name of Ambon-Ambon Falls and the Bollero Dam. It is a perfect place for a weekend getaway!
That’s exactly what we did last November 13, 2010, with friends Faust Ferdinand Eusebio, Igmar Iris Francia, Arriane Diocales and Oliver Veh.

(Click here for an update on fees)

Pangil is a one-hour drive from Los Baños. You would pass the towns of Bae, Calauan, Victoria, Pila, Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan, Lumban, Kalayaan, Paete and Pakil. You won’t have to pass the town proper of each of the towns, you just pass by the National Highway. There’s no traffic. (Hurray! Thank goodness for provinces!)

Pangil, Laguna
We arrived at the place and went straight to the office to pay. Apparently, there was a family reunion being held at the pavilion (which can accommodate around 300 people). No bother; there are about 20 small cottages that can accommodate us. We were actually a bit surprised to learn that the entrance fee per person is only PhP 42.00! If you are from Pangil, you only have to pay PhP 12.00! (Which Ferdie took advantage of since he hailed from Pangil). They even said the entrance was a bit expensive because they are trying to improve the facilities. Expensive? No way!


We were informed that we can go for a little adventure and trek to Ambon Ambon Falls. Ambon means “little rain” or “light shower”. The price per person was PhP60, minimum of 6 people per batch. Half of the payment shall be for the facility and the stuff we will be using, the other half for the lifeguards who would accompany us. This means for every batch of trekkers, the lifeguards and the facility should each get at least PhP180. Since we were only five, we had to pay for the remaining PhP60.


We left the main hall and went to search for the cottages. There were around 20 nipa cottages on the river banks. Each side of the river bank has 10 cottages, which were maintained and managed by two separate individuals. We settled for a cottage on the side we were on. The rental fee for a cottage that could accommodate 6 to 10 people is PhP 200.

Pangil, Laguna


But we can’t leave without eating, right? Yeah! We had lechon manok, lechon kawali, and chopsuey. A hearty lunch!

Pangil, Laguna


Pangil, Laguna
The maintenance personnel agreed to guard our cottage for us while we trek to Ambon Ambon Falls. Veh brought a water-proof bag with him, where we placed our phones and the camera. We left our other valuables in the car, just to be sure. We went over to the other side of the bridge and saw two lifeguards who were waiting for us. They will be our guides. They gave us a life vest and a hard hat each. We were so excited! The falls was 800 meters away from where we were at. We gladly started our hike.



If you are a nature lover, you would enjoy walking by the riverside. You might even catch a glimpse of monkeys living freely in the woods. Hikers should not expect much from this trek, while a person who doesn’t hike much would find the trekking difficulty to be above average. We crossed the river several times. We had to ride three balsas (singular: balsa), which are rafts made out of bamboo.


After 25 minutes, we were finally at Ambon Ambon Falls! You can actually see why they call it Ambon Ambon – we found it hard to get a clear shot because of the light shower, even if the camera was around 15 meters away from it.
Pangil, Laguna


After several minutes of enjoying the cool waters of Ambon Ambon Falls, we started to head back to camp. But not without a slight dip in the middle of the hike! We were allowed to swim through calm waters. Some can go as deep as 16 feet, others as shallow as a couple of feet.

Pangil, Laguna

Upon arriving at the pavilion, we took a rest at a small free-for-all cement table. By the way, since the lifeguards were so nice to us, we each gave them tips. We then headed towards the hanging bridge (which is not scary at all, it was so sturdy!) and took some pictures.

Pangil, Laguna


Once we were back to the cottage, what else was there to do? But of course! It’s time for a little drinking session! The place allows such activities. They only have one golden rule: don’t break the bottles. Do this and you will be brought to the nearest police station, and you won’t be allowed to leave unless you find every last piece of the broken glass!

Pangil, Laguna


After drinking, chatting, swimming and laughing, we finally realized that we had to get home. We were told that we can stay for the night; we only need to pay an additional small fee. They would open the lights and even a spotlight for the river so we could swim. But since we had not planned on staying overnight, we bowed down from the offer.

Pangil, Laguna


All in all, our little adventure in Pangil, Laguna was a really wonderful one. We even planned on going back (they say there is a “Hidden Falls” a couple of kilometers away). I will surely anticipate our return to this wonderfully untouched part of the province!

Pangil, Laguna


If you want information about the place (contact number and email), check this other post about coming back to Pangil! Check out more of our pictures!

21 comments:

  1. Hi Jairene just need help, do you have any contact numbers from the Eco park? Im planning to take my family there for an overnight, just wondering if they can suggest rooms where we can stay. Thanks for the help : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ambon-ambon or "piit" for the natives of Laguna esp. Pangileños

      Delete
  2. Hello Yvette! Unfortunately I don't have any contact number of the Ambon-Ambon Falls and Bollero Dam management.

    One thing I'm sure though is that there are no rooms for rent in this place. But you can spend the night here by pitching a tent (they have a campsite) or staying in the cottages for rent. You would need to pay an extra for the cottage rental if you will stay overnight. Don't forget to bring a mosquito reppellant, though.

    The place is pretty safe, they have a police station at the very entrance and they make sure an officer is keeping watch especially when there are people staying overnight.

    I'll be going back this May 14 to visit Hidden Falls. I'll make sure to ask for a contact number. When do you plan on going?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Jairene

    Just want to ask, if you manage to visit the Hidden Falls?Is it also in Laguna?I'm not yet decide if I'm going to ambon-ambon falls, since what my family prefer is overnight.If you do have there contact number, can you please let me know so I can inquire...


    Thank you very much for the help.Hope to hear from you soon.

    Cecil

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Cecil and Yvette!

    I have recently visited the place and found out that there are 2 new inns and one small resort/hotel in the vicinity of Panguil, Laguna. I didn't have a chance to get their contact information, but you can easily locate them by asking locals or the tricycle drivers about the hotels in "Tawiran", this is the spot where the road to the Bollero Dam and the National Highway meet. The locals know this very well.


    Anyway, I finally managed to get the contact information of the Panguil River Eco Park (where the Ambon-Ambon Falls and Bollero Dam are located).


    Here they are:
    email: panguilriverecopark@yahoo.com
    telefax #: (049) 557-0977
    mobile #s: 0915-379-5866 (globe)
    0948-384-7618 (smart)
    0932-372-9861 (sun)

    ReplyDelete
  5. By the way Cecil, Hidden Falls is situated in Panguil, Laguna and yes, you can visit it via Panguil Eco Park.

    However, it is a very long trek. Tourists are estimated to reach the place in 3 hours time from the Eco Park (taking into consideration the frequent rest and picture-taking stops), and then 3 hours back.

    The management wouldn't allow you to trek to the Hidden Falls after lunch, so you better be there early in the morning.

    Hope you enjoy your stay as much as I did! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. bangkasasaya... walang ka abog abog na kasiyahan...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello Vergel! Glad you enjoyed your stay at Pangil's Amobon Ambon Falls. You are right - "walang ka abog abog na kasiyahan" is the perfect description!

    ReplyDelete
  8. is there a fee for trekking?we are planning to go there by April. More or less 10-20 pax..is How can we get there from Manila?are liquors allowed?how much for sat night stay until the sunday morning?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Trekking to Ambon-ambon falls is per group of 6, so you have to divide your group. Each trekking group is required to pay P360.

    You can get here from Manila by taking a Laguna provincial bus (Greenstar or DLTB) to Sta Cruz. The fare would be somewhere between P140 - 170. From Sta Cruz, take a jeep to Siniloan (you can find loading jeeps somewhere beside the church in the plaza of Sta Cruz, better ask the people where you can ride a jeepney to Siniloan).

    Make sure you tell the driver to drop you by the church of PANGIL (make sure you stress that out because the municipalities of Pangil and Pakil are close to each other, plus they sound alike). Fare is somewhere between P30-35. Once you are dropped off in Pangil, ride a tricycle to the Bollero Dam.

    You can stay at the newly established inns near Tawiran. I am not sure how much it costs to stay there, though. I haven't tried yet. You can camp at the Panguil River Eco Park. They have tents for rent. But you can also bring your own, if you like. Or you can rent the cottages for overnight stay.

    Liquor is allowed, yes. However, make sure you don't get drunk enough to smash the bottles in the park or in the river itself. Else the authorities will charge a fine plus they won't let you leave unless you have found all the broken glass. They want to make sure the safety of people bathing in the river is maintained.


    I hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Jairene ask lang po mag kano pamasahe sa tricycle to the Bollero Dam? pag dating dun sa Bollero Dam dun na ba yun?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Steve! The last time we went there, it was PhP10 per person. It can hold 6-7 people. Check out this other post to learn more:

    http://www.lagunapinas.com/2011/05/ambon-ambon-falls-in-panguil-laguna.html

    Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Juine!

    When we went there last year, River Tubing was worth PhP60 per person. I have no idea whether the price is still the same or not. You can contact Panguil River Ecopark's management. Check this post for contact info:
    http://www.lagunapinas.com/2011/05/ambon-ambon-falls-in-panguil-laguna.html

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi jairene,
    I would just like to ask if its ok to go to panguil with a car? i mean bringing a car there and going to the falls is safe? or the roads are clear for a car to pass towards the river? im planning to go there tomorrow.. thank you

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi jairene i want to ask if a car could be brought there in panguil? or if we have to leave the car how far would it be? Im kind of curious cause i want to go there but i was wanting to bring a van with my friends.. Is it possible? thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello RJ Samson and Kevin Chu!

    Yes, it's possible to bring a car or van to Bollero Dam and Ambon-Ambon Falls. You would need to ask for directions though. When you reach the town proper of Panguil, ask the tricycle drivers how to get to Bollero Dam. The road towards the Eco-park is made of concrete, so you'll be assured of a smooth ride.

    The Eco-Park is more or less 2 kilometers from the town proper of Panguil. The park also has it's own parking area, so tourists are actually encouraged to bring their own vehicles. The parking area is just a few steps from the river itself.

    Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete
  16. thanks for the info.., my friend and I are planning to visit ambon ambon falls this May.

    ReplyDelete
  17. wanting to go there .. exciting nmn yan pde pa update ng mga fees o kea magkano magagastos mula sa starmall alabang papunta sa ambon2 falls.. tnx



    ReplyDelete
  18. hi, i would like to correct the first word of the 2nd paragraph... You mentioned "Pakil" instead of Pangil... :) Thank you!

    P.S. You can delete this message afterwards... Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need to delete.. Thanks for letting me know! :)

      Delete