Secrets of the Lakeside: The Waterfalls of Laurel and Talisay (Batangas)

Taal Lakeside

Nested at the foot of the hinterlands of Tagaytay and Nasugbu are the towns of Talisay and Laurel. Both sit at the coast of Taal Lake and are known to be the staging points for those who wish to scale Taal Volcano.

More than Taal Lake and Volcano, little do we know about these lakeside towns of Batangas which are just stone throw away from Tagaytay ridge. Unbeknownst to many, they hide secrets known only to locals and lucky few. Secrets such as Ambon-Ambon ng San Gabriel, Malagaslas Spring and Ambon-Ambon ng Bagong Pook, all in Laurel; and yet another Ambon-Ambon Falls of Talisay.

Taal Lake and Volcano as seen from the lakeside.

Ambon-Ambon ng San Gabriel and Malagaslas Spring

Located in Sitio Salipit of San Gabriel, Ambon-Ambon Falls is a towering two-layer cascades, possibly the tallest in Laurel and the entire Batangas. The water drops from a height of approximately 60 meters into a shallow catch basin. The drop resembles drizzles, thus its name “Ambon-Ambon”.

Along the trail to Ambon-Ambon ng San Gabriel is Malagaslas Falls (also called as Malagaslas Spring). A multilayer waterfalls with small cascades and natural pools. It is a popular destination for locals, approximately 10 minutes walk from the trailhead at Sitio Salipit and another 10 minutes away from Ambon-Ambon. Entrance Fee to Malagaslas Spring is P10/person.

To get here, make your way to Poblacion Laurel and catch a motorcycle otv tricycle to Salipit / Malagaslas. Fare is at least P60 per trike, one-way.

Ambon-Ambon ng San Gabriel
The towering Ambon-Ambon ng San Gabriel.

Ambon-Ambon ng Bagong Pook

Also in Laurel is another Ambon-Ambon in Barangay Bagong Pook. It is a tall cascade, approximately 30 meters high, also with a shallow catch basin. The drop also resembles drizzle, thus “Ambon-Ambon”. During dry season, this waterfall dries up.

To get here from Laurel Poblacion, catch a motorcycle or tricyle (at least P70, one-way) along the main highway in Barangay Balakilong, next to Poblacion Laurel. Trek for at least 20 minutes to reach the falls.

Ambon-Ambon ng Bagong Pook
Ambon-Ambon ng Bagong Pook during summer.

Ambon-Ambon ng Talisay

Yet another namesake, located in Barangay Miranda in the the neighboring town of Talisay is another waterfalls named Ambon-Ambon. It is made up of two levels, the first is at least 15 minutes of downhill trek from the trailhead. It is approximately five meters drop with deep natural pool that serves as local’s go-to place for a quick dip. Others refer to it as Pulang Bato (Red Rock) since the water flows against a red wall.

The second level is a bit offbeat as it requires at least 30 minutes of trekking but for adventurous souls, it is a worthy treat. It is made up of four layers, the last resemble a small version of Asik-Asik Falls. Getting here though means scrambling ang climbing from the base which is a bit challenging due to slippery walls. Do it on your own risk.

To get here, make your way to Talisay Municipal Hall and catch a motorcycle or tricycle to Ambon-Ambon. Fare is at least P50 per motorcycle, one-way. Alternatively, you can walk for 30-45 minutes downhill from Mama Mary Foundation along Calamba-Tagaytay Road to the trailhead at Barangay Miranda, Talisay.

Ambon-Ambon ng Talisay
Second level of Ambon-Ambon ng Talisay.

How to Get to Talisay and Laurel from Manila

Via Tanauan:

  • Bus to Batangas City via Lipa / Tanauan, get off at Tanauan Bayan (P96)
  • Jeep to Talisay (~25) or Laurel (~P40)

Via Tagaytay:

  • Bus to Tagaytay City, get off at Rotunda / Olivarez (P83)
  • Public tricycle to Ligaya Drive, near market (P10)
  • Direct jeep to Laurel (~P50) or habal-habal / tricycle to Talisay Munisipyo (at least P100)
  • Jeep to Laurel (P25) or tricycle (at least P100)
Ambon Ambon ng Talisay
The last wall of Ambon Ambon ng Talisay.

Note: First trip of jeep from Tanauan to Talisay and Laurel is at 5AM. From Tagaytay, the schedule is usually late and unpredictable.