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Lulugayan Falls | Chasing Waterfalls in Calbiga, Samar

Lulugayan Falls in Calbiga, Samar is neither the widest nor the highest waterfall in the Philippines. It is also not the most famous. But it is certainly one of the prettiest cascades you wouldn’t want to miss in your travels around the country.

lulugayan falls

I first learned about Lulugayan Falls back in 2013 when I cruised around northern Samar & the islands off the mainland like Biri. I attempted to visit it twice but for some reasons, snags always hampered my plans. And on my latest swing by in Calbiga, the heavy rains almost ditch it again.

Everything seemed fine when I was still in Calbayog City — ziplining in Malajog, waterfalling in Bangon & food tripping around the town’s Spanish quarter. But by the time I rolled the next day, the weather shifted quickly. Dark clouds settled in the horizon, only to give way to a heavy downpour later.

Elusive Lulugayan Falls

The rain seemed not going off anytime when I arrived in Calbiga. I even missed taking a photograph of the town littered with beautiful heritage homes. Heartbreak loomed before my eyes. So I decided to go on a food trip instead. To be honest, their native tinolang manok is more popular than its waterfall.

calbiga samar

But with every slurp of its gingery broth, the thought of Lulugayan Falls was also hammering on my head. As Lola Rosing was unstoppable in consoling me with her third helping of tinola, I came to a decision to push thru with the trip against all the odds.

Fortunately, the staff at the local tourism office was so quick to organize everything. After settling all the fees, permits & coordinating a habal-habal ride, I snaked uphill through the 15-kilometer ribbon of narrow road to Brgy. Literon.

Lulugayan Falls, finally!

lulugayan falls

I’ve never chased a waterfall this bad. Imagine running through a maze of farms, loose forests, dirt roads & gorges. Imagine racing against the harboring light—-quivering in the rain.

I was doughty. But I also prayed so hard for a little sunshine, even for a short time just to take a photograph. And as our bike coughed through the last climb, the sky cleared! OMG, God was so quick to grant my begging.

lulugayan falls

I didn’t waste time. I got a tour guide & a porter to carry all my stuff so I could trek fast. Opps, sorry, I lied. I also hired another porter who followed us to the falls with hot 3-in-1 coffee, sandwich & chips.

Finally, there she was, secreted away in the verdant landscape, plummeting from a rock plateau. And the best part of it, I owned Lulugayan Falls all to myself!

lulugayan falls

Spanning 50 meters in breadth, it joins the rank of the widest waterfalls in the Philippines. Alright, the highest drop may just be about 30 meters or so, but the smaller cataracts that stretch 15 kilometers of rapids from Lake Kalidongan, all together creates a combined might that is truly astounding!

On the trail to the falls watch out for butterflies & colorful birds, listen for howling monkeys or spot lovely ducks wallowing on the ponds. You can crawl to the edge of the precipitous overhang or plunge into the whirling pools of cold flow.

Finally, I made it to Lulugayan Falls. And that brief letup in the stormy weather was an unforgettable 30-minute shot to seal a dream before it rained again. Maybe, I’ll explore it again—farther, higher, deeper. Maybe not. But just so, this first & short experience was a chase worth all the chances.


Important things to remember when visiting Lulugayan Falls:

Secure a permit from the Calbiga Tourism Office. No permit. No waterfall.

Access Fees
Tourism & Eco (P50); Entrance (P20 for local, P200 for foreigners)
Tour Guide (P300); Cottage (P300 optional)

Four-wheel drive cars are best for its terrain. Otherwise, hire a single motorcycle.

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