Makko’s Adventures in: Majayjay, Laguna (September October 2013)
Majayjay, in a Wikipedia article, is “a fourth class municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is located at the foot of Mount Banahaw, and stands 1,000 feet above sea level. It is 120 kilometers (75 mi) south of Manila, and bounded by the municipality of Magdalena on the north, by Lucban in Quezon province on the south, by Luisiana on the east, and by Liliw on the west.”
It is a pretty laid-back place, conducive for someone who wants just hanging around, exploring its 40 barangays located at what you could say to be around 40 kilometers apart. The central town is filled with narrow streets in angled directions, an old church, stores for lambanog (an alcoholic drink derived from coconut), restaurants, jeepneys and tricycles to bring you where you might want to go. Though the most probable place that you might ask drivers would be the way to barangay Taytay, where the Taytay falls is found. You won’t get lost so easily, as long as you have the municipal hall and the old church as your reference points.
As to why it was called Majayjay, the description you could read at the entrance of the municipal hall (seen below) states that the effort required by the Spaniards in reaching the area caused loud audible breaths (due to fatigue and exhaustion), sounding like “haaaih.” To make the short story shorter, the “haaaih(s)” became Majayjay!
Once you have done your asking on what road leads to Taytay, you’d be passing a bridge (or bridges depending on your point of origin), zigzagging roads, trees and rice fields. On clear days, you would see the mountains of Banahaw and San Cristobal. After a “few minutes, a signage could be read “Taytay” and you’ll be going almost downhill. There’s a steep road too, but no worries, as soon you would be at the barangay hall of Taytay.
Going to Taytay falls requires a payment of P20 pesos, as nothing is free nowadays, and actually ever since the world began. There is always a price for something, and it’s not necessarily monetary. Just pay the fee to help maintain the orderliness in the place. On the other hand, other blogs (at the end) post varying fees. At any rate, there’s a fee and it’s not free. You might as well should pay more, especially if you just go there and leave your plastic bags and empty alcohol bottles. (Though I feel bloggers rarely do that [leaving trash behind], so maybe let’s just make a personal advocacy).
It takes around 15 minutes walking to the falls. As of this time, the pathway is lined with concrete slabs covering the irrigation canal that carries water to three nearby barangays, including Taytay. Though the pathway is a good thing for tourists, farmers are complaining that they cannot clean the canal underneath once debris blocks the water flow. You could also see dilapidated and rotting structures near the falls, a result of an ill-planned, corruption-laden project funded by the World Bank. Ayta ukin!
Well, during hot days and summer months, the place could be really crowded. It was fortunate that we went there swimming during the rainy months (June to November) thus we had the pristine waters to ourselves. At any rate, enjoy the really hot waters of Taytay falls! And if you really feel the chill, just shout a big and loud ‘haaaaaiiiii!’ One final message, spread the word for others not to contribute to the solid waste already overflowing in the area, since we are basically destroying the place that we are enjoying.
And please, no littering! And always pay the entrance fees. It’s something we trade off for the sights that we enjoy.
Check out these blogs too!
http://tripideas.org/majayjay-falls-philippines/ <<<———————– great pictures