I thought I had everything figured out. With the sweet sound of gushing waters, I thought we were on the right path to catching one of Cebu’s highest and most underrated waterfalls – Udlom Falls. At last, I’m going to get an up close look of Udlom Falls, after a failed attempt. Ever since I first laid eyes on it on my visit to Hidden Valley, I’ve been itching and dreaming of seeing it up close. A surreal mixture of a cave and a waterfall, it is absolutely an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
And, even though it was a little late, I did like our chances. I’ve always been confident of my crew’s ability to face and conquer any challenge.
Yet, in an unexpected twist, we didn’t see any trail leading to Udlom Falls. From the get-go, we heeded every word of advice that the locals shared to us. Still, we couldn’t find any trace of the trail. Maybe, we were just too tired, to analyze and sort it out. Hours of non-stop walking, with heavy backpacks, under the scorching heat of the sun did, after all, drain our energy. And, perhaps, our weary spirit and aching muscles clouded our minds, preventing us from seeing things clearly.
Even worse, it was getting late, with the sun about to make its exit.
I was compelled to make a not-so popular decision. Upon the recommendations of my fellow hiking enthusiasts, I aborted my mission to Udlom Falls.
And so, we went back to the base, turned around, said these words to Udlom Falls:
One day, I’ll have another shot of seeing you up close. Just because I failed twice, it doesn’t mean I’m giving up on you. The thing is, I don’t give up on my dreams easily, even if it’s a mere getaway to a nearby waterfall.
A couple of months later, I got another opportunity to hit Udlom Falls in Lamac, Cebu. This time, I wasn’t nonchalant, and we made sure that we can finally tick off one of the entries on our never-ending Cebu travel wish-list. Like my first two visits, Udlom was just a side trip to my adventure. But with its unique beauty and sheer size, it felt like it was the highlight of our day hike.
My Udlom Falls experience
My buddies and I just finished exploring one of the breathtaking natural hidden gems of Toledo, Cebu – Lapos Lapos Cave. At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, we thought it was just too early to call it a day. And luckily, we found out that Udlom Falls was just a 2-hour hike away from Bunga, Toledo.
Once the first half of our day hike was over, we hit the concrete road leading to Hidden Valley and the elusive Udlom Falls.
We’re no strangers to long hikes. As a matter of fact, we can hike, with limited amounts of rest, for over 12 hours. But, walking on concrete or a hard surface can be pretty painful and stressful on the body. In one of the health magazines I’ve read, I found out that walking on concrete can cause some serious side effects to the body, like foot injuries and back pains. Yikes!
There was an easier and faster way or a shortcut to Udlom Falls, and that’s taking the habal-habal ride to Hiddey Valley. We, however, are budget-conscious or tihik in Visayan dialect. Whenever we hike or travel, we try to limit our expenses as much as possible.
And besides, we believe in the saying “anything beautiful is worth getting hurt for”. Char!
Even with the moderately hot weather and hard walking path, we remained optimistic and excited on our way to Udlom Falls.
A few minutes after splitting up with Vera’s gang, we saw a local store where we took a breather and quenched our thirst with cold and delightful soft-drinks.
To keep our momentum going, we resumed with our hike and passed by some wondrous mountain caves.
Hopefully, I’ll have an opportunity to explore these unique caves in Toledo and Pinamungajan.
Soon after, we got treated to a gorgeous panoramic view of Lamac, Pinamungajan. From limestone rocks to rice paddies (ugh, my favorite countryside sight), it was truly nothing short of breathtaking.
In my book, we were still a little far from Uldom Falls and Hidden Valley. Even so, I could already feel the excitement and adrenaline in my veins. In other words, I was excited AF.
With huge grins on our faces, we went on with our hike, and caught glimpses of a handful of interesting sights.
Although we were walking at a leisurely pace, we arrived at the gates of Hidden Valley so much earlier than I’ve expected.
We took a short break, refueled a bit, and headed to the pathway leading to Udlom Falls.
The last time we went to Udlom Falls, we got lost, in the midst of a bushy area.
That’s why we asked a little help from our young buddies who were more than willing to lead us the way to Udlom Falls.
With the youngsters leading the way, we followed the familiar looking trail that would eventually take us to Udlom Falls.
And, guess what? It was the same trail we took on our first foray to this towering and awe-inspiring cascade.
As it turned out, we were just a left turn (the trail wasn’t very visible at that time) away from discovering the path to Udlom Falls on our previous attempt.
And, as we got closer to the falls, I could feel a sense of excitement from all my buddies.
The sounds of gushing waters and the cool atmosphere were signs that we were a short stroll to this majestic natural wonder. Enchanted and psyched to see the waterfalls, we kicked our pace up a notch.
Moments later, I found myself gazing in awe at the sheer size and grandeur of this cave waterfall.
Of course, I couldn’t let this moment pass by without snapping a myriad of photographs.
Later on, the rest of the gang caught up with us, and were also mesmerized by the beauty of Udlom Falls.
And, the waters of Udlom Falls were also so tempting.
Truthfully, I wanted to take a dip!
But, as most healthy experts say, it’s unhealthy to take a cold bath, following a tough hike under the scorching heat of the sun.
Nevertheless, it was totally fine with me! At least, the views from here were great and Instangram-worthy.
Not to mention, I felt a sense of accomplishment, after seeing it up close on the third try.
Personally, it’s easy to get to Udlom Falls. But, it felt rather sweet since I failed a couple of times to reach it.
While everyone was taking shots, I spent some time, chilling and savoring the moment of our hike to Udlom Falls.
With the sun about to set, we all decided to get back to the base, and catch a ride to Naga-Toledo Highway.
On the way back, I took a final look of the falls, to bid farewell to this bizarrely wonderful natural wonder.
And, our way to the highway, we got treated to the area’s dramatic countryside scenery with orange and red sunset hues adding to its visual appeal.
What a perfect day to end a perfect day in Cebu!
How to get to Udlom Falls:
The truth is, you don’t have to take a long 7-kilometer hike to Udlom Falls. To get to the falls, just take a bus ride bound for Toledo, and ask the conductor to drop you off at “Lutupan Ladingan”. Travel time is 40 minutes to 1 hour, and fare is PHP 40 to 50.
Once there, hop on a habal-habal ride that will take you to Hidden Valley. Fare is PHP 60 per person, and travel time is about 30 minutes. Upon your arrival, ask the locals for directions to the falls.
Things to take note:
- Practice the LEAVE NO TRACE principles.
- Bring trail food/snacks.
- The cascade is best visited during the rainy season.
- Entrance to Udlom Falls is FREE.
- There are locals who can show to the way to Udlom Falls. Don’t forget to tip them.
- 07:00 AM: Meet up at South Bus Terminal
- 07:40 AM: Depart for Toledo City
- 08:40 AM: ETA Poog Church/picture taking
- 09:15 AM: Depart for Bunga Barangay Hall
- 09:40 AM: Start hike to Lapos Lapos Cave
- 10:45 AM: ETA Lapos Lapos Cave
- 12:20 PM: Start descend
- 12:40 PM: Lunch/rest
- 01:00 PM: Resume hike
- 01:30 PM: ETA Milgrosa Cave
- 01:40 PM: Resume hike
- 02:00 PM: ETA Main road/start walk to Udlom Falls
- 04:20 PM: ETA Udlom Falls, Lamac
- 05:16 PM: Depart from Udlom Falls
- 06:00 PM: ETA Toledo highway (Bunga)/Depart for Cebu City
- 07:30 PM: Home Sweet Home