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One Minute Plan B : Daraitan Challenge

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Who would have thought that Rizal Province is not just merely a highly urbanized community, home of some of the Philippine’s National Artists and cradle of celebrities’ rest houses. The long Sierra Madre Mountain Range passed this province. And when you say mountain range, chains of beautiful mountains dotted the line. If you’re planning to have a quick escapade near the busy Metro Manila, try going to Daraitan just 3 hour drive from the Metro and the splendor of Nature will greet you.

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(Travel buddies)

Six in the morning off we went to see this paradise west of Manila. Together with my travel buddies from Santolan Station we rode Fx to Tanay Public Market. The three hour drive was not boring because we never ran out of stories to share to each other. Laughter. Gossips. Chitchats. We didn’t notice we’re already at Tanay. From Tanay, we bought things we need . Catching or getting a tricycle is quite hard because you need to have a good bargaining skills. Tricycle drivers charge expensive fares. After minutes of negotiating, we rode tricycle bound to Daraitan.

IMG_5472(Farmville in Daraitan.)

The road to Daraitan is challenging for the tourists. Rocky, muddy and concrete. But nevertheless we didn’t mind. Upon arriving at Brgy Daraitan, we crossed the river to get to the other side. We rode tricycle again going to Barangay Hall. We registered and secured a guide in Barangay Hall. The original plan of climbing Mt. Daraitan was changed since we arrived too late and the weather is not good for hiking. Few minutes of orientation and we were ready. We decided to spelunk, swim and rock hop at Tinipak River instead.

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The trail was muddy that day. But then again, we didn’t mind. Hehe 🙂 . After 15 minutes of walking…

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The bedazzling marbled jewel of Tinipak is really spectacular. Awed on how the water sculpted the rocks, on how the green hues blended perfectly on white marble, on how the noise of rushing water can calm your weary soul. Trailing the way along Tinipak River was fully jampacked adventure. Slippery intermittent muddy rocks, wall climbing, rapelling is present. Few minutes more and the paradise of Tinipak River greeted us.

IMG_5455(Scattered white rocks. Serene water)

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(Columns of marble. Traces of past mining activities)

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(Just perfect!)

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(Green green green.)

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(Mountains over here. Mountains over there.)

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High walls of stones, giant trees, colored of scattered big boulders of marble crowned the Tinipak’s main seat. Tired and hungry we settled on sandy area of the river and we shared canned tunas, rice, eggs and water. After eating we made our way to spelunk in Tinipak’s underground cave.

IMG_5459(Icing of the cake)

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The underground cavities are really dark. Illuminated by flashlights crystals glow and the chandeliers of Nature hanged above us…

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(Beautiful than any swarovski crystal, right?)

Inside the cave water clean water is flowing. So lamig!

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And the highlight of this trip? Swimming of course. 🙂

How to get there?

1. Ride FX or jeep bound to Tanay. Alight at Tanay Public Market. (Php70)

2. Ride tricycle or jeep to Daraitan. Jeep to Daraitan leave at 1 pm. (Php100 tricycle fare. Php60 jeep fare)

3. From Daraitan cross the river to get to the other side by riding a raft. (RT Php)

4. Ride tricycle to baranggay hall. (Php10)

5. Register and secure a guide. (Php50 registration. Php500 guide)

6. Start adventure 🙂

Secret of Panguil; The Beauty of Buntot Palos Falls

(It is given. Laguna is a province blessed with unique landscapes, green mountains, cool bodies of water and rich historical treasure. We all know the mighty Pagsanjan Falls, Mount Makiling, Rizal Shrine and so many attractions that you must see. But ever heard of Buntot Palos Falls?)

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If you think that Pagsanjan Falls is the only must-see waterfalls in this province you are very much wrong. Buntot Palos (Eel’s Tail) is the hidden grandeur located in the town of Panguil. Finding a perfect place for weekend escapade have made me browse hidden wonders of Laguna; and Buntot Palos Falls not that famous like Pagsanjan Falls topped the list. With my curiosity and wandering feet itching to see this wonder made me plan and write-down itinerary for the whole trip. Together with my officemates, off we went to see and marvel in this hidden beauty one fine Saturday morning.

We met-up in EDSA Shaw and upon completion of the group, we rode jeep bound to Tanay, Rizal. It was still early when we depart from Shaw yet traffic was all over. Non-stop chitchats and celebrity gossips, healed our boredom of being caught in traffic. It took us at least one hour to reach Tanay. From Tanay, we need to ride another jeep bound to Siniloan. Since it was weekend, the roads in Rizal were not congested.

On the way, I just realized that Rizal boasts good landscapes, beautiful view of Laguna de Bay and bursting green hues from trees. It was already 10 a.m when we arrived at Siniloan. The driver of the jeep helpfully assisted us to ride again on the jeep that will pass Banlian Panguil. Our driver aided us to alight at Banlian Barangay Hall. You have to pay for the registration fee which is 20Php and have a guide that will take you to the falls. Since the way through that awesome falls is full of robbery stories, securing a guide (complete with walkie-talkies) is a must.

So it was 11 a.m when we started the hike. The trail is shady since trees are lined up and it was a little bit cloudy when we went there. On the way, we encountered farmers with their horses transporting their crops (bananas and coconuts) down on the plains.

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(View while ascending. Mountains of Sierra Madre, ricefields of Siniloan and the peaceful Laguna de Bay)

Some part of the trail are easy, some are combinations of rocks and boulder and some are muddy. We were so hungry because we didn’t take our breakfast yet. Since it was too late for breakfast and upon finding a very shady area we ate our packed lunch. Our guide being accommodating never lost stories to share about the place. (Sorry, I forgot his name). When we were nearing the falls, the booming sound greeted us. We were hyped at the moment upon realizing we were already near on our motive. A few minutes more, we already saw the river and the falling waters. But before reaching the waters you have to descend on the steep ravine which you can’t hold anything but twigs and rocks. Few minutes of rock hopping and…Tadahh!

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(The mighty and grand Buntot Palos. Standing in approximately 80 meters.)

Marveled in beauty and stunned in awe. This 80 plus meters falls is simply breath taking. The clear and cool waters, irresistible and shame if you don’t plunge.

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(Boulders filled with moss, vines and creeping shrubs carpeted the walls of rocks.)

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(Camera wh*ring. Yours truly in the basin ground of the falls. Glad no falling stones!)

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(Playing like a kid. Just excuse my facial expression.)

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(One more photo!)

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(Simply breath taking)

How to go there?

1. Ride any jeepney bound to Tanay, Rizal. (Jeeps and FXs are available in EDSA Shaw or Santolan Station LRT2.

2. Upon reaching Tanay, ride another jeepney bound to Siniloan. Ask the driver to alight you to the terminal of jeep that will pass Banlian.

3. From Banlian, register on the Barangay Hall and secure your guide.