My first time visit in Biliran last year was truly an awesome experience. I get to mark off one of their waterfalls which is Tinago falls and explore some of their beautiful Islands. That very instant, I know that I’ll be going back and explore Biliran again. Truly, that thought of dreaming to traipse my feet in Biliran once again has happened.
Ulan-Ulan Falls is derived from the visayan dialect which means “rain“. The sturdy force of the falling waters over the wall shape rocks which creates a cold mist will surely give you a natural touch. Ulan-Ulan falls is peacefully hiding in the lush scenery green forest of Sampao, Almeria, Biliran. Peacefully standing about 90 feet high and owns a shallow catching basin, but truly majestic in its own right.
Getting to this waterfall from the jump off area will take you around 30 minutes of a smooth trek and provides you a beautiful scenery that would surely mollify you. The stream of water that flows in the mountain of Almeria is somehow creates and hides a lot of amazing waterfalls and an awesome spot for Canyoning and river trekking. No wonder that Biliran is a home for a great adventure which will surely unlock your wanderlust soul.
Sending my inner thoughts and peacefully bridging it to my untypical reaction has given me excitement the minute I read the itinerary that was given to me 2 days prior to our trek to Mt. Tres Marias which happens to be my first major ascent. I never guessed that we could drop by at the stunning beauty of Ulan-Ulan falls. During my first visit in Biliran, I was supposed to check this waterfall, but due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to see it. Truly, a perfect time has come to collide with my long lost desire to flirt with the innate beauty of Ulan-Ulan falls.
From the drop off area where we get to register for our trek going to Mt. Tres Marias. I can’t conceal my happiness and excitement as it is limpidly shown on my face without bothering to ask. Apart from being excited to reach the summit of Mt. Tres Marias, I can’t wait to see the astonishing waterfalls along the way.
As the right way to start our trek, we had our stretching exercises to elude muscle problems along the way. We then embarked on our trek and we truly have enjoyed the beautiful sceneries going to Ulan-Ulan Falls. Shortly enough, the inviting sound of Ulan-Ulan falls has welcomed us.
From where my feet stood, I have watched the partial view of Ulan-Ulan falls that seemed to be so shy cause of the green leaves that covers it from afar. I put my backpack down, and ran straight to the Falls and gazing at its innate beauty is what my natural reaction dictates. Truly, the name itself speaks, the cooling mist that peacefully arriving on my surface has rendered me a refreshing feeling. It brought back my colorful childhood memories, where I used to dance and play while the rain pours. I can’t seem to stop gazing at its beauty from its slender brink where the water started to go down and how it was naturally becoming wide before reaching the catching basin. The presence of green leaves where some of the water fell is what gets it like a painted picture hanging on the same wall shape rocks. It was simply beautiful and naturally captivating.
On the other hand, Ulan-Ulan falls is secretly unruly in some way. The rocks that surrounded the waterfalls can be really tough, coming down to the river and passing over the immense rock could be a dangerous attempt. I overlooked the immense rocks as I went down to the river to get a good spot to get a good photo, but eventually it gave me bruises and a small wound on my knees. It was very slippery because of the mist from the waterfalls that makes the rock surface always wet. I didn’t expect it to be that slippery until my whole body touching the huge and wet rock. It didn’t happen once, but twice and it was scary.
Getting close to the waterfalls is also a struggle, but truly worth it for you get to experience the cold mist touching your surface. We didn’t stay long cause we need to trek and reach Mt. Tres Marias before the evening arrives. But before continuing on our major trek to Mt. Tres Marias, there’s another waterfall that is waiting for us. It’s barely a few meters away from the Ulan-Ulan Falls and they called it Recoletos Falls.
- Recoletos Falls: A quick douse in its cold natural pool before going up to Mt. Tres Marias
- Mt. Tres Marias: Reaching the summit means overcoming my doubts about my first major climb
HOW TO GET TO Ulan-Ulan FALLS
From Naval Town Proper
Ride a motorcycle (habal-habal), or bring your own vehicle to take you to Barangay Sampao. Travel time is about 20-30 minutes going to the drop off area. At the drop off area, you’ll be finding out a signage leading to the waterfalls. You can trek all by yourself if you’re traveling alone going to the waterfalls or you can hire a local guide just near the drop off area.
DIY Travel Guide to Ulan-Ulan Falls
Motorcycle from Naval going to the Jump off area of Ulan-Ulan Falls in Sampao is Php 80 to Php 100. Mostly, when you get back to the jump off area after exploring Ulan-Ulan Falls, you probably be struggling to ride a motorcycle going back to Naval. I suggest that you better hire the motorcycle driver for your entire time of visiting Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls since both are just close to each other. The price is around Php 300 or you can haggle the price. If you also decide to hire a local guide, Php 100 is I guess enough.
- Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls (Local and Foreigners) – Php 20
- Climbers (Mt. Tres Marias) – Php 50
Things to do in Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls
- River Trekking
- Be careful with the wet rocks, for they are very slippery.
- There is no mobile signal in these places. Just make sure your phone or camera is fully charged for picture purposes.
- There are no cottages along the sides of the stream and it is not a place to stay for overnight.
- Don’t ever go River trekking alone. Wrong direction of your feet could lead to bruises or anything that would cause you regret.
- Make sure you stick to your guide’s instruction. Don’t create your own system, then follow.
- Better halt the activities when the sudden rain arrives because the water can create fast currents that would result to dangerous situation.
- Hypothermia can be a real risk. If you’re the person who’s not used of staying long in a cold water for too long, then you better wear wet-suits and pay attention to your body’s response.
- Wear your comfortable trekking shoes.
- Bring enough water, and make certain to have your stomach filled before going to Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls
- Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.
- Above all PRAY before going to the waterfalls for God’s guidance and protection.
Note: This is part of our Independence adventure that happened last June 9-12, 2017 from summit to sea. Trekking to Mt. Tres Marias and exploring Sambawan Island and Lake Danao.
POSSIBLE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
- Boat fare from Cebu to Ormoc via Roble – Php 510
- Cebu Port Terminal Fee – Php 25
- Ormoc to Naval via Van- Php 130
- Breakfast – Php 60
- Ormoc to jump off area via Van – Php 70
- Lunch – Php 50
- Entrance Fee (Mt. Tres Marias)- Php 50
- Fare from the Drop off area of Tres Marias – Cawayan – Php 100
- Food, Guide Fee and Boat going to Sambawan Island (Food – Php 289, Boat (2,500÷12) = Php 208, Guide (1500÷12) = Php 125) = Php 622
- Entrance Fee Sambawan Island – Php 100
- Cawayan to Ormoc City – Php 250
- Snacks – Php 75
- Ormoc to Cebu – Php 420 (sitting)
- Jeep rental from Ormoc to Danao Lake (Php 1,500÷9) = Php 167
- Lunch – Php 115
- Lake Danao Environmental Fee – Php 5
- Lake Danao Entrance Fee- Php 25
- Lake Danao Cottage, mini Boat and Life buoy, (Cottage – Php 150, Boat Php 100,Salbabida or Life buoy Php 50 = Php 300 ÷ 9 = Php 58) – Php 58
- Dinner in Ormoc – Php 55
- TOTAL – Php 2,987
Note: All expenses are split up into a number of people who joined during the entire trip. We are around 12 excluding our 1 guide to Mt. Tres Marias during this trip.
ITINERARY FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
- 10:00 PM – Boat ride going to Ormoc City
- 04:30 AM – ETA Ormoc City
- 04:40 AM – Depart for Naval, Biliran
- 06:30 AM – ETA Naval, Biliran
- 07:00 AM – Breakfast
- 08:00 AM – Buying food for Lunch
- 08:20 AM – Depart for Tres Marias Drop off area.
- 08:50 AM – ETA Drop off area
- 09:00 AM – Registration and Stretching
- 09:30 AM – Start trek
- 10:00 AM – ETA Ulan Ulan Falls
- 11:00 AM – ETA Recoletos Falls
- 11:40 AM – Depart for Lunch site
- 01:30 PM – Lunch
- 02:30 PM – Depart to Camping site
- 04:30 PM – ETA Camping site
- 05:30 PM – Prepare for dinner
- 07:00 PM – Dinner
- 09:00 PM lights off
- 05:00 AM – Prepare breakfast
- 06:00 AM – Breakfast
- 06:45 AM – Trek to Tres Marias Summit
- 09:00 AM – ETA Mt. Tres Marias Summit
- 09:30 AM – Depart for Camping site
- 11:00 AM – ETA Camping site
- 11:20 AM – Prepare for Lunch
- 12:20 PM – Lunch
- 12:45 PM – Depart from Camping site
- 05:20 PM – ETA Jump Off Area
- 05:30 PM – Depart for Cawayan
- 06:30 PM – ETA Cawayan Port
- 07:00 PM – Depart for Sambawan Island
- 07:45 PM – ETA Sambawan Island
- 05:00 AM – Waiting for Sunrise
- 09:00 AM – Breakfast
- 10:00 AM – Depart for Cawayan Port
- 11:00 AM – ETA Cawayan Port
- 11:10 AM – Depart for Ormoc City
- 01:20 PM – ETA Ormoc City
- 02:00 PM – Depart for Lake Danao
- 02:30 PM – ETA Lake Danao
- 05:45 PM – Depart for Ormoc City
- 06:30 PM – ETA Ormoc City
- 07:20 PM – Dinner
- 08:10 PM – Strolling around Ormoc City
- 09:20 PM – Ormoc Port
- 10:00 PM – Depart for Cebu City
- 04:00 AM – ETA Cebu City