I have long evaded the eastern part of my hometown province Laguna. Most of the time my thoughts are plagued by it being just within proximity where I live. But then, I know that this area is abound with cultural treasure just waiting to be discovered. Paete is one of several towns straddling southern parts of the Sierra Madre Range while Laguna de Bay can be seen at the northern part of the town.
As in most old towns, the church is in the center. Paete Church stands along Quesada St., erected facing the waters in the early days.
Mt. Humarap and its Three Crosses
My main goal upon visiting this place was to conquer the peak of Mt. Humarap where the Three Crosses or Tatlong Krus, as called in the local language, are built.
A minor climb, the hike can be done less than an hour. The pathways are covered by lush foliage. It was an enjoyable walk as we were presented by several glimpses of the peaceful town below. Once we reached the peak, we were given a commanding view of Paete and its surrounding areas. I was glad that the weather cooperated for the sun didn’t play hide and seek. We ate our packed lunch in one of the cottages for free but there was actually a fee (thanks kuya!).
We decided to visit Matabungka Falls on our way down since we missed the marker on our way up. We wanted to finish the climb first because it got a bit hot already since we started late, past 11 am.
I think it was a good decision as the hidden falls was a welcome view. The calming effect of the silently falling waters cooled my tired nerves. After spending another hour here, we went back to town and hit the shops and looked for Kape Kesada but too bad that it was closed. On our way down to the market, we saw kuya selling pansit habhab at only P 5 per serving. Tastes yummy and it is tummy-filling. : )
Paete deserves a second visit to me. I need to explore more of the town proper and its stores of wooden crafts. Maybe a visit during its fiesta will be more interesting.
How To Get Here
From Cubao/Manila, ride a Sta. Cruz-bound bus. Greenstar, DLTB and Jac Liner have buses going here on a daily basis. Cubao-Sta. Cruz fare is at P 140. Alight at Sta. Cruz town proper and hail a jeepney with the signboard Siniloan – Paete Loob. Fare is at P 29.
Mt. Humarap and Matabungka Falls is accessible via the wet market or what locals call talipapa located in Brgy. Ilaya. Follow the path leading to the mountains. After crossing a couple of water arteries, you will reach a blue waiting shed. Note that the way to the falls is at the right turn (going down) while the left turn leads to the peak (going up). The sound of shy the falls is unmistakable. The climb is doable at an hour or less, depending on your pace.
The church, Kape Kaseda and shops are all located along Quesada St. Don’t forget to look for vendors of the delicious Pancit Habhab at only P 5. : ))
Itinerary and Estimated Expenses
Cubao to Sta. Cruz P 140
Sta. Cruz to Paete P 29
Paete Church Free
Packed Lunch Free
Tatlong Krus | Mt. Humarap Free
Table Rental Free (though there is payment)
Matabungka Falls Free
Pansit Habhab P 5
Key chain souvenier P 35
Paete to Sta. Cruz P 29
Sta. Cruz to Cubao P 140