Magpupungko Rock Pools aerial view
Magpupungko Rock Pools aerial view

My road trip around Siargao continues after that fun spelunking at Tayangban Cave. I didn’t bother to change to dry clothes as I know, the hour-long trip to Sta Monica, north of Siargao is enough to air me dry. It was a scenic ride passing by the beaches of San Isidro. Our stop was Taktak Falls, the only known waterfalls on the island. Then later head south again to cap the afternoon at Magpupungko Rock Pools.

Taktak Falls in Sta Monica
Taktak Falls in Sta Monica

Taktak Falls

Going north, there were picturesque hills and high cliff side roads. Siargao’s circumferential road is well paved, I thought. Not until we got off the main road after seeing the Taktak Falls signage. We’re 500 meters away it said. And that dirt road was rocky and rough that we had to leave our habal-habal halfway and walk to the falls.


Taktak Falls has an entrance fee of P20 pesos. The area is already developed with a few cottages and cemented areas. The falls itself was simple and nothing spectacular really if you have been around the Philippines and seen the other waterfalls. But it does have a large pool area. The for swimming. Wasn’t really enticed enough to swim nor stay longer. After a few minutes of taking photos, decided to leave.

The Magpupungko Rock
The Magpupungko Rock

Magpupungko Rock Pools

It didn’t take long to reach Mapupungko Beach where the rock pools are located. We passed by the turn heading to the Mapupungko Rock Pools earlier on our way to Taktak Falls. We went off-road again but this time on a paved road. The area is pretty commercialized now but still manageable in crowd numbers. Stalls line the cream-colored beach. There’s a pathway behind the rocks that leads directly to the rock pools.

Magpupungko Rock Pools is one of the destinations where you have to time your visit right to truly appreciate the place. Low tide is the ideal time as that is when the natural earth cavities become natural rock pools when the tide recedes. The clear turquoise waters is really inviting and depths vary. Visitors even climb the rocks for a fun cliff jump.

What made this place extra unusual are the rock formations above water. Especially the one that looks like a squatting rock. A large rock that looks like its gonna tip over soon but it won’t. People call it Magpupungko, a Visayan word which means “to squat”. I looked at it face to face. Like standing in front of the guardian of this natural wonder. I spent the rest of the afternoon here until sundown swimming at one of the pools. A refreshing end to a long day of road trip in Siargao.

Location of the rock pools
Location of the rock pools
Face to face with the rock
Face to face with the rock
Spending the rest of the afternoon at the rock pool
Spending the rest of the afternoon at the rock pool
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Ferdz
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.

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