Two years ago, I wrote my regrets about the polluted state of the Philippines’ most famous waterfall, the celebrated Hinulugang Tactac (now usually spelled as Taktak, but I still prefer the original because ). It’s a pity that, for several years, Hinulugang Tactac remained forgotten and disrespected by the people surrounding it. What a political slap in the face because back in 1990 it was proclaimed as a National Historical Shrine under Republic Act 6964. Once a picnic haven for backpackers, tourists, and pilgrims of nearby (and equally famous) cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje, it’s fast becoming another Pásig River: the place is now filled with unspeakable filth and garbage.
If José Rizal were alive today and have seen the pitiful state of Hinulugang Tactac, he would’ve fainted in disdain (he used to visit the place; his mother, Doña Teodora Alonso de Mercado, was a devotee of the church of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage).
But all is not lost. Hinulugang Tactac is not yet considered biologically dead as compared to the ill-fated Pásig River. And the good news is that –finally– the local government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will collaborate with concerned groups to bring back to life our country’s beloved and historical waterfall:
The city government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) are working with private groups for a P100-million makeover aimed at restoring the glory of the Philippines’ most famous waterfall in 10-20 years.
With an amount like that, cleaning up Hinulugang Taktak shouldn’t even go beyond three to five years.
I’ve never been to this place. But I plan to visit it of course. And when I do get there one day, I hope that Hinulugang Tactac would have gotten back its pristine beauty. The money, the clean-up project, and the people/groups concerned are all set. All it takes now is political will and loads of discipline to save the waterfall. Thus, in due time, we can all sing with genuine cheerfulness once again this famous song:
♪ Magbihis na cayó ng pinacamagandá
At cayóng lahát ay sa amin sumama
¿Baquit? ¿Saán ba tayo pupuntá?
¡Sa Antipolo na laguing masayá!
Tayo na sa Antipolo
At Doón maligo tayo
Sa batis na cung tauaguin
Ay hi… hi… Hinulugang Tactác
At doón tayo cumáin
Ng mangá, suman, casóy at balimbíng
Cayá’t magmadalí ca
At tayo’y tútuloy na sa Antipolo.
Doón sa Antipolo inyóng maquiquita
Ang mapanghalinang tanauing cay gandá.
At sa mayuming mga dalaga
Sa sulyáp laang mabibihag ca ná. ♫