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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 🙂

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Talamitam: The Teletubbies Mountain of Batangas

After our climb at Pico de Loro, we traverse the trail for us to reach the bus station that will bring us to Bayabasan. (Bayabasan is the entry point on reaching Talamitam) Since we were advised that traversing the way to Talamitam is not as hard as Pico de Loro, we have to wear comfy clothes that will block the sun rays. And so my get up is…. Image   Talamitam have a reputation of having a hot trek and sun piercing trail. And also, being compared to Teletubbyland. As we ascend upward, the beautiful view below surprises you. The locals said the mountain’s color during summer is brown due to dried grass that blanketed the mountain floor. But during rainy season, the mountains turned into beautiful green because new grass carpeted the mountain. Image

(The mountain could turn into farmland, the grass are little bit dried-up. Maybe because it’s summer here in the Philippines)

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 (Ascending. Looking in this view. Dehydrating)

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 (SO glad that more Filipinos are now becoming aware and participating in tree planting activities of private and public institutions)

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 (With the rest of the team. Getting closer to the summit!)

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 (Wild flowers scattered everywhere)

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 (Just a little more!)

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 (No. Still not the summit, but I’m looking at the vast surroundings 630 meters above.)

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 (Getting there!)

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(Summit at last! Never mind my belly! Haven’t exercise for a month. My abs are gone 😦 )

Check out more photos in my Facebook page.