Pilar: Dunsulan Falls
After being educated and entertained in the historic Dambana ng Kagitingan, we decided to have a side trip in one hidden falls of Mount Samat – the Dunsulan Falls.
Aside from a small sign, there are no further details about the site. Even our companion who lived in Balanga is not familiar with it. Undeterred, we still pushed through our voyage by following the arrow sign along the highway.
After ten minutes of traveling through a slightly rough road, we stumbled on a marker pointing to a trail. A cow herdsman whom we met confirmed that this is the right way. Because motor vehicles are not allowed in, we left it behind and walked the trail on foot. The road is quite grassy and filled with tall talahib, implying that only a very few people had walked on this path.
After a long descent that seemed to take almost twenty minutes, we finally heard the rushing flow of waters from the falls. At first, we were dismayed by the slightly murky waters. But because we were already here we hurriedly changed our clothes and bathed. As we swam closer to the falls’ drop-off point, our initial disappointment slowly turned into joy. At this point, we can see the clear water, and like in the other natural falls, it is very cool. The place is serene, and the waterfalls’ color compliments with the forests surrounding it.
The falls is five meters tall and is 40-feet deep. We weren’t able to determine or asked where the waters are coming fall. But what brought our attention are its natural rock formations.
Moments later, a group of youth arrived and the otherwise quiet place was filled with joyous laughter. We later learned that these youth are actually locals. The falls is the favorite swimming place of the locals, and the number of visitors increases during vacation.
Though there are no cottages, designated changing rooms or assigned caretakers, the environment is neat and there’s virtually no trace of commercialization.
After swimming through its waters (and washing out our exhaustion in the process) we decided to pack up, as we have to leave before sunset. As we walked back through the trails where we passed through earlier, I observed the giant cross at the top of the mountain not far away.
By 2016 a zip line was installed, leading from Mount Samat going to the falls. You have to shell out PhP450 to experience the 540-meter one-way zipline.
From Manila, the falls can be reached via the North Luzon Expressway (Balintawak Cloverleaf) and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (at the SCTEX exit). Follow the signs to Subic and exit at the Dinalupihan, then turn right at the Roman Highway. Take the Mount Samat Road and along the road, a large billboard will point where the falls is.
A twenty-minute walk is needed to reach the falls.