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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Bunga Falls » The Mysterious Face Behind the Twin Waterfalls

View of Bunga Twin waterfalls behind some wild grass and flowers
When "faces" suddenly appear in unexpected locations they are often considered as mystical, like the mysterious appearance of the image of Padre Pio in a church wall - even more improbably the appearance of Christ’s image - on a public market wall in Cebu.

How about a strange face on a rock?

I was flicking through the photos on my mobile phone from our side trip to Bunga Falls during our HAKAMS basic mountaineering course to take some of the good ones for my blog and then I came across few particular shots with really interesting face-like rock formation. 

Photo of Bunga falls during the rainy season with its deep catch basin
View of the serene Bunga Falls
The particular photo of the rock between the dramatic twin waterfalls, with its gray dents and dark mosses, shows a protruding rock that looks like a face.  I wasn't quite sure what to make of it because I don’t actually saw it when we were there enjoying a cold swim. 
Bunga Falls mysterious face on the rock protruding behind the twin falls
Do you see the mysterious face?
This is of course unusual, and maybe that’s why the locals considered Bunga Falls  mysterious and believed to be deadly.

Mysterious twin falls

Bunga falls is a 15-meters twin waterfalls located at Brgy. Bunga in Nagcarlan Laguna. Its unique charm is the fact that it is a twin identical waterfalls descending side by side.
Full view of the deep catchbasin of the Bunga Falls
Locals said it got its name from a type of betel nut tree called “Bunga”. I’m familiar with this tree because our old folks in Mindoro used to chew its nut, mixed with “apog” (lime) and “ikmo” leaves. The mixture is popularly called “nga-nga” which can make the teeth stronger as our old folks believed – though it makes the teeth black. 

Bamboo poles used by visitors to get across Bunga Falls river
Bamboo poles used to safely get across the river
Anyway, there’s also a local folklore that there is a creature that dwells in the pool of Bunga Falls, snatching into the deep waters some unsuspecting “dayo”, or outsiders like us. Though I don’t actually believe in folklores, we avoid swimming on the deep catch basin just to be sure.
Signage posted at a tree to give warning to swimmers in Bunga Falls
BABALA: KAILANGAN ANG LUBOS NA PAG-IINGAT, MALALIM ANG TUBIG
It is really deep and eerie - perhaps these tales were inspired by this unusual depth of the pool.
Entrance fee area going to Bunga Falls
Entrance Fee: P 5.00: Kubo where visitors are asked to pay the entrance fee.
You can hire a tricycle from Nagcarlan town proper going to the falls. Five minutes from the falls is a bahay-kubo where you will ask to pay 5 pesos entrance fee. There are also a number of makeshift bamboo and coconut leaves shelters around the river should you wish to bring food and enjoy an afternoon dip in the cold and refreshing water.

Just enjoy it

Upon reading some related articles about Bunga Falls, I was fascinated to learn that the mysterious face is also believed to be a nature spirit guarding the area.

There are also some local reports of people who experienced “being gripped by a hand and pulled down” in the pool. 

These stories are of course debatable although there are recorded deaths in the area. We can argue that these are urban legends meant to scare visitors so they should respect the area. Or we can rationalize that the feeling of “being pulled” is maybe due to the sudden plunge of the twin falls making a downward current in the catch basin.

But whatever it is, we should just enjoy nature, but take precautions.
HAKAMS trainees swimming at Bunga catchbasin
HAKAMS sidetrippers enjoying the waters after the Basic Mountaineering Course
By the way, while you are in Nagcarlan, don't forget to drop by at the historic Underground Cemetery, just a tricycle ride away from Bunga Falls.


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Related stories: 
» Bunga Falls - Pinoy Mountaineers
» The Face Behind Bunga Falls - Pinoy Mountaineers 
» Side Trip to Bunga Falls - Rom-a-holic






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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan freethinker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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