Capistrano Falls - The Twin Waterfalls of Olongapo City

It was a good yet special Sunday when my friends and I decided to do something aggressive, vigorous and fun, then all of a sudden we talked about Christian's hike at Talisayin Cove and Larry’s’ trip to some various waterfalls around our locale. Of course, I have had my own journey but not as exciting as they have had. Then we finally decided to go to one of the most hidden waterfalls in the city, probably five to seven kilometers away from the city proper.

Capistrano Falls Hiker
Ron and Larry

The Long Walk to Angeles Falls (Capalngan Falls)

This outdoor fun was planned during the onset of typhoon Henry, insisted by Kathrine that we should go to a waterfall somewhere in the mountains of San Antonio to be able to add it in our list of visited waterfalls in the province of Zambales. She was eager to explore and contacted her friends, including me, to make this trekking happen.  I expressed a different opinion on this and suggested to try Dunsulan Falls in Pilar Bataan because when the group visited the Shrine of Valor we didn't have the time to see it.  This time I lost the group's vote and somewhat realized that we should be focusing on visiting the province' less visited waterfalls of Zambales. Now, we will take the chance to impart the experience we had and some tips on how to get to this hidden waterfalls.

As accustomed, playing tourist members started the trip in Olongapo City Victory Liner terminal. By 8 o'clock in the morning, we were ready, and this time we have a new recruit from the nearby town of Dinalupihan in Bataan province. We boarded an ordinary bus bound to Iba, Zambales at 8:10AM. From Olongapo City we passed the towns of Subic, Castillejos, and San Marcelino. Along the highway in Castillejos to San Marcelino, the mountain of San Antonio is visible to the left when traveling north - this is where we are bound to.

At 9 o'clock in the morning we arrived in San Antonio, roamed around the market, looked for a grocery store for drinking water and food for lunch.  We dropped-by at Paul's house in Barangay Angeles which is also our jump-off to the waterfalls. By 9:30 in the morning we were off to see the waterfalls.

The trails were intricate whoever attempts to see the waterfall will have to scratch his head and think like answering a puzzle. We spend half an hour before reaching Old Pamatawan River.  Crossing it was a surprise to some of us because its wideness and the water was almost waist high not to mention the strong current often pushes us to unbalance. We overcome this obstacle, keeping our gadgets safe from getting wet though we had our zip lock plastics for our gadgets.  Buddy system also helped us on crossing the river.

Capalngan Falls Trekking Pictures
The Pamatawan River
We then traversed a swampy area and some puddles of mud with fishes trapped in it. Gradually, there were trees and grasses that made us relieved, the sticky and loathsome part of the journey has ended but we still have to cross it on our way back. After more than an hour of walking, we finally reached a dry riverbed close to Mount Capalngan.  We followed the dry river that connects to another river but this time it has flowing water. Then we reached the waterfalls and it was great.

A waterfall close to Pundaquit Falls
The three-basin Capalngan Falls
Since it was almost twelve noon when we reached the S-curved waterfalls with three basins, we decided to have our lunch first before swimming. Like most waterfalls, the water is cold that we even submerged our drinking water for quite sometime to make it cold.  After finishing our lunch we took the plunge.

Angeles Falls
Enjoying the cold water of Capalngan Falls

It's about six feet deep on the first and second basin.  At the top it has four feet depth of water but climbing is an issue, the rock wall is almost vertical.  Be extra careful when exploring the topmost waterfall because it was slippery. At the top, i think what we saw was Lake Mapanuepe (sadly we didn't take pictures).

Pundaquit Falls vs. Capalngan Falls
The Second Tier of Capalngan Falls

We spent three and a half hours at the waterfalls swimming and taking pictures.  A day before the trekking, I browsed the internet for pictures and instructions on how to get here but I didn't find any.  Quite surprising because this mountain range of San Antonio is one of the favorite place for mountaineers as seen from numerous local websites.

Angeles Falls Third Tier
The topmost waterfall of Capalngan

If you're planning to visit this place, I suggest you contact a local guide from San Antonio or someone who lives close to the area.  You can check the link below or contact Paul on this number: 09394685707.

Name of Waterfalls - Capalngan Falls
Location - Mt. Capalngan in Brgy Angeles San Antonio, Zambales
Jumpoff - Brgy Angeles
  
Travel Time 
Olongapo to San Antonio - Victory or Mini Bus (50 - 60 minutes)
San Antonio Town to Brgy Angeles - Tricycle (15 minutes)
Brgy Angeles to Capalngan Falls - Trekking proper (2 hours | 4 hours to and from jumpoff)


More waterfalls in Zambales - Olongapo - Subic area:



Dambana ng Kagitingan - Shrine of Valor

With the strong suggestion from a friend, we visited the Shrine of Valor at Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan. We started our journey in the morning hoping to arrive at the site early.  From Olongapo City, we took a mini-bus bound to Balanga City.  One of the group suggested to stop at Layac Junction and take Genesis or Five Star bus since their route is Roman Highways where it intersects with Linao National Road going to Mt. Samat.

We stopped at the junction of Roman and Linao Highway -the landmark is the Petron Gasoline Station. There we took a tricycle for four hundred fifty pesos to and from the summit of Mt. Samat.

While the noise of the tricycle's engine made us silent during our trip, one of us exclaimed: "there's the big cross!" Then all of us were thrilled and got so excited we didn't realize we were talking with each other on top of our voices. We were four in the group.

Shrine of Valor
The 302 feet Cross.
At the gate of the park, we paid twenty pesos each for the entrance and another 10 pesos for elevator fee. The latter is optional when you don't intend to go to the arms of the cross to see the view of the park from above but I suggest everyone visiting the shrine should.

Dambana ng Kagitingan Interior
Inside the big cross
Luckily the place was not so crowded we had the chance to take a picture of the interior of the cross' arm. After some time, visitors keep on coming until both arms of the cross were filled with amazed people while looking down the park from above.  Then everyone got busy taking pictures - selfies and usies. 

Dambana ng Kagitingan Round Window
Geraline - through the looking glass
Museum Dambana ng Kagitingan Bataan
Bird's eye view of the museum
After spending an hour at the cross, we decided to go down and stroll the rest of the park.  At the base of the cross, we scrutinize the sculptured slabs of Rizal, Lapu Lapu, and Luna, to name a few.  There are kiosks where you can buy food in the vicinity as well as souvenir items.
Shrine of Valor Pictures
My crazy picture in the middle
It was fun visiting this historical place so visit now if you haven't.