This post was made by THH Jon and THH Louie.
I’ve always wondered what it feels like to be at the summit of Mt. Daraitan. After all, the usual destination in Brgy. Daraitan is the jaw dropping Tinipak River. After much thinking, #TeamHartHart finally decided to conquer the controversial Mt. Daraitan Summit. Why controversial? Well this mountain is not as easy as it looks. It is considered a minor climb and can be hiked within a day. The thing is this mountain is mostly assaults. There are very few flat areas where you can properly take a rest. It is not exactly “a walk in the park”. Is it minor or major? We would soon find out.
95% of the trail was going up! It was extremely muddy so our pacing was quite slow. I would rather take it slow than risk an accident. Good thing there are many branches that you can hold on to and some railing that the locals made for hikers. It rained during our hike but I actually prefer this compared to the scorching heat and humidity. As long as you’ve got a good pair of hiking shoes, it should be alright to climb on rainy day. We reached the summit after 3 hours of continuous assault. According to our guide Kuya Greg, it normally takes 4 hours to get there. The summit was a bit a small, it can only hold up to 6 tents so you should start climbing early if you want the best view. There are other campsites below the summit but it’s a little far away and the view is not as good. The view at the summit was just amazing. I have always loved Tinipak River but seeing the winding river from a different angle is just wow.
We were starving after that climb so as soon as we finished setting up our shelter, we ate our left over trail mix while Darwin and I cooked dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast. Binagoongan na baboy and adobo were on the menu. I think the other campers were quite envious because they were just eating spam for their dinner. For the record, we did offer but I think they were being polite.
Everyone was already asleep by 8 p.m because of sheer fatigue but after about 3 hours of power napping (and pork belly for fuel), everyone was back on their feet. We spent the rest of the night at Trixia’s
tent gazeebo playing games and drinking Emperador Light and a sip of pure Calamansi juice for chaser. There is no water source at the summit and we were running low on drinking water so we had to be resourceful. ☺ I think we stayed up until 1 a.m. before we decided to call it a night.
I don’t know about the other’s but I swear I experienced hypothermia that night. I was swearing at myself for not bringing thicker sleeping clothes. I actually used my hiking bag as a sleeping bag to feel warmer. Lesson learned. We started our descent at around 8 a.m. after eating our breakfast and sharing a cup of coffee. The trail was different from the ones we used to climb up. This trail led to Tinipak River. The trail was exceptionally slippery as it rained all night (and morning). A few of us slipped in the mud while other’s were pricked by thorny plants. You really have to watch your footing and be aware of what you grab on to. One of us actually slipped and accidentally grabbed on to a plant covered in needle-like hair. Good times eh?!☺
After going through “Jurassic Park”, we reached Tinipak River where we ate lunch and refill our empty water bottles. We looked more or less like people who just had a relaxing mud bath. I could not have been more glad to finally step on flat ground. We were thinking of having a swim at the river but it wasn’t a good idea at that time as it was raining heavily so instead we decided to just head off home. This hike literally had it’s ups and downs but I am glad we did it. Now I don’t have to imagine what it’s like to climb Mt. Daraitan.
The mountain itself is not very far away from Manila. Just a jeepney and tricycle away from EDSA Shaw.
Tinipak River is just below the mountain. The rive is very welcoming especially after a hard descent.
The trail is quite clean and there are many of branches you can hold on to.
The guide fee is a little pricey. (P1250 overnight)
The trail is extremely slippery during the wet season
There are very few flat areas for resting.No water source anywhere near the summit.