Malinao Albay and the Vera Falls

We arrived in the Municipality of Malinao in between the City of Tabaco and Tiwi in Albay at around seven in the morning. We went there because firstly I want to see the church and secondly I thought it is the way to Vera Falls. Half-truth though, Vera Falls is located in Municipality of Malinao but the easier route going there from Tabaco is from Brgy. Quinastillohan, Sabloyon Road in Tabaco Albay. Sabloyon Road is the highway from Polangui to Tabaco. Then from the intersection, take a habal-habal down to Vera Falls. You couldn't blame me, most people that we've asked in Tabaco said that Vera Falls is in Malinao and you have to take a 20 minutes jeep and a habal-habal or tricycle. 

Vera Falls is located at the foot of Mt. Malinao or Malinao Volcano a baby brother of the majestic Mayon Volcano. Mt. Malinao has no history of eruption. There was a time that Bicol Region benefited from the energy from the mountain through the Tiwi Geothermal Plant. The plant was decommissioned due to decreased in steam supply. 

St. Anne Parish Church

Locals Celebrating Palm Sunday

But before we soaked ourselves in the cold waters of Vera Falls we visited Malinao Church or the St. Anne Parish Church. The church was simple but it has a rustic feel from the outside. It doesn't have any loud marker like in other big and known churches in the Philippines. It is just St. Anne Parish Church of the people of Malinao Albay.        

We were there just in time after the mass and we witness the people waving their palm leaves to remember Jesus Christ and His triumphant entry in Jerusalem. I whispered Lana that the event signifies that the Lord had already won the battle even before He was crucified on the cross. 

Municipal Hall of Malinao

I haggled tremendously with the tricycle driver to bring us to jump off to Vera Falls. We agreed to certain price but it gave me guilt when we were traversing barrios and fields overlooking mountains. It was really far coming from Municipality of Malinao! When we reached the highway (the road from Polangui to Tabaco vv, Sabloyon Road) we had to hire a Habal-Habal for a scenic drive down to Vera Falls.

You know that you are nearing a falls when you see a river with cascading water down from the mountain. The road to Vera Falls is smooth yet rough on some portion. But whatever the condition of the road is, there is a promise of a scenic ride. It a good time to remember how bless you are when you hear the river silently and unbroken flowing life for human consumption, the hill and the mountain giving existence to our breath, the people smiling at you whenever you pass them by and the animals that will make you stop simply because they will cross the road. Life is simple, you will see, yet beautiful. 

We reached the spacious parking lot at the end of the road. The rolling road had stop and it was time for us to soak our body to the water. We went down further on a paved and trailed pathway that will leads to the falls. Your ears will be tickled in excitement when you hear the sound of the water falling from the mountain. A majestic mushroom-shaped falls will welcome you as you stepped on a small bamboo bridge. 

Although there were a good number of visitors not to mention the pre-nuptial shooting, there was a moment of silence in my heart. I allowed myself to hear the voice of nature singing through the splendid melody created by falling water, humming birds and whistling winds.          
Miss Lingayen loving the Falls

Staged by large and small rocks Vera Falls is unique as every human being that visited her. Obviously there are minimal human activities in the vicinity of the falls to take care of her visitors and to take good care of the her. We will always make things comfortable for us humans to enjoy the nature. There are cubicles of comfort rooms, a sari-sari store that sells goods little above the price in the market, cottages for family outing and a barbecue stand for the hungry human beings. The caretaker expect (I mean accept) donation for any amount your heart wants to give. Well with the facilities they offer and the work he does (well he’s hospitable) a Php30.00 - Php50.00 per head is enough.

 After a little chat with the caretaker we went back to the Falls try the water. I did not immediately jump into the water, I had to touch it by my feet to see if I can bear the cold. True enough as the wind dictates, the water was freezing and it complements the hot temperature of the season.

There are about 7 mini water falls in the large stone wall. Don’t be secured because the falls are "mini" the current is so strong. I let the water brush off the heat of my body and let the cold water from the mountain filled me with the spirit from the mountain. Surely I was. I was braving the deep water and main falls cascading beauty

Then I saw a spot adjacent to the falls with a perfect scene of cascading waters. With all my intuition and instinct I braved myself to the deep water and sat on the rock beside the falls. There I sat and smiles looking at the water down from the mountain. I gave in to the Spirit and can't thank God enough for His creation. I closed my eyes and meditated with nature.    

How to go to Vera Falls
  • Take jeep/van/bus bound to Tabaco Albay
  • Tell the driver to drop you in the corner street going to Brgy. Quinastillohan
  • From the corner ride a habal-habal bound to Vera Falls. Fare is Php50 per head one way.

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