Hiking Gems of the North: Bulacan’s Hidden Hiking Destinations

MANILA, Philippines – The North is a wild gem that can literally be a quick breather for residents of the bustling metropolis of Manila.

Bulacan, which is only a few hours drive from the metro, has particular country charm, as well as accessible convenience with its proximity to the urban side of the capital region. It also boasts of cultural highlights for a scheduled group visit, as well as recreational spots worthy of a place in your outdoor travel itinerary. But did you know that Bulacan is also home to some super cool hiking destinations?

For now, let’s focus on the exciting outdoor activities you can do in Bulacan. If you want to discover new hidden hiking trails just a few hours from the metro, Bulacan is your best bet.

As the travel industry begins to recover, North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Lakbay Norte hopes to help the industry spark that travel dream and satisfy that wanderlust again. As the main gateway to the progressive north, the NLEX-SCTEX highways provide the safest, most comfortable and efficient way to access areas like Bulacan.

So, with a 4am pick up time from Buendia Metro Station (MRT), we started our tour heading towards Bulacan. A few hours on the road later, we found ourselves in the NLEX traffic control room, where we could see how NLEX is supervised with control screens.

Later we continued our tour with a visit to the Municipality of Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT). Considered the province’s “last frontier”, DRT can surprise tourists and outdoor enthusiasts with an epic ride – from challenging trails, scenic views to local delicacies.

Terrace overlooking the hills of Digo

The first stop was Digo’s Hills View Deck, located in Barangay Talbak. Offering panoramic views of the Sierra Madre Mountains, Digo’s Hills is a perfect place to unfold tents and pause for a picnic. With its fresh air and lush greenery, you will definitely forget about the hassle and smog in Manila.

Whether catching the sunrise or chasing sunsets, Digo’s Hills is a wonderful escape from the city. Digo’s Cafe is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of Talbak coffee, a local DRT brew, so you’re sure to be pampered with the beauty of the Sierra Madre and a relaxing coffee session.

Pari Talon Falls

Our second stop is Talon Pari Falls, just a 20 minute drive from Digo’s. The heat and humidity will surely make you want to soak in the cold waters, and a short walk or even drive can get you to Talon Pari Falls. The many layers of large natural stones form a large series of mini waterfalls of blue-green crystal clear water. Swim in the waters and you will totally forget the fatigue you feel after hours of hiking. Such an exhilarating experience to soak your body in the super cool waters, especially this summer. When we arrived the waterfalls didn’t have strong currents, but that didn’t stop us from dipping our toes in the water for a quick cool down.

Tila Pilon Hills

After lunch, we prepared for a 45 minute hike to Tila Pilon Hills. Nicknamed the Chocolate Hills of Bulacan, Tila Pilon is an easy day hike for beginners with its gradual ascents and descents over more than half a kilometer. The brown hills certainly did not disappoint, as they make a good backdrop for your nature selfies. Tila Pilon Hills is also a great place to hike for an easy day out, perfect for beginners exploring mountaineering in the future, but already craving to burn some calories in nature.

Indeed, the Philippines is a tropical paradise made up of the best waterholes and trekking destinations. Even Bulacan which is considered so close to the metro, you can surprise yourself with unique outdoor experiences that don’t require you to splurge on plane tickets.

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