This is a post by THH Louie.
I was once asked by my superiors to create a presentation about anything that interests me and present it to my co-event managers at work. I had a week, a week to think and decide. I want something that will have an impact. Something that will also define me. That’s when I thought of sharing my love for the great outdoors.
I presented the basics of backpacking and told them that you don’t have to spend a fortune when travelling. I gave them a glimpse of what it’s like to be at peak. To be on top. To feel the wind whistling right before your ears.
As I was about to wrap things up, they asked if I could set a day hike for them. I was more than happy of course. 🙂
We decided to meet up in Eastwood City at 5 a.m. Because of unforeseen circumstances, we arrived at Tanay around 10 a.m. (actually one of my co-workers arrived there at 6 a.m. Sorry Chad!) As soon as we got off the jeepney, tricycle drivers started swarming us in a way like how flies swarm poop. This is a good sign. It means that you can haggle with them. Let the lowest bidder win! (The tricycles usually fit 4-5 people and usually cost P500) We got ours for P400. ☺
It takes more than an hour to get to Brgy. Daraitan from Tanay. The first half of the journey is quite smooth since the roads are well paved. As soon as you get to the outskirts of Brgy. Daraitan however, it gets seriously bumpy. Don’t be surprised if you see your driver hanging off the side of the tricycle as if his wind surfing. It makes the front wheel stable especially when going uphill.
After what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the river bank where a wooden bridge is constructed. This bridge is only present during the summer season when the river is shallow. The usual way is to ride a platform-like boat to get to the other side. I like the latter better since it’s more thrilling. ☺
They were quite talkative and energetic at first since the first part of the trail is quite easy and very scenic but as soon as we started scrambling on a rocky trail beside the river, they started to get really quiet. 🙂 I cannot blame them, the sun was scorching and the trail was quite challenging especially for 1st timers. I gotta say though, the scenery along the trail is breathtaking.
The original trail is closed at the moment because of a territorial dispute between Daraitan and some Barangay in Quezon. You have to pay P20 if you want to use the original trail or you can take the scenic (and more challenging) route.
It took us almost an hour to reach the river, we rested for a while before heading to the cave since there was quite a lot of people there. (It is Saturday after all) The cave’s entrance is more or less the size of a manhole so be sure to mind your head. The rocks are quite sharp so don’t rush it. As soon as you get into the cave, things start to get more interesting. What seemed like a small cave outside is actually quite big on the inside. Decorated by lustrous stalactites (c = ceiling) and stalagmites (g = ground) and accompanied by the gushing sound of the underground river, the cave is definitely worth the visit (info provided by THH Jon☺).
We almost forgot that we haven’t had lunch yet. By the time we noticed it, it was already 4PM. The beauty of the place made us forget about our rumbling tummies. We ate by the river while Jon, Chad and Des decided to cliff dive. 🙂 Such brave souls! I always wanted to try, but I don’t know how to swim in deep waters 😦
At 5PM we started to trek back, everyone felt exhausted from all the walking and bouldering but I can say that they really enjoyed the adventure. 🙂
It’s not very far from the metro. Just ride a jeepney (from Shaw) to Tanay and then hire a tricycle to Brgy. Daraitan.
The water is clean and there are plenty of springs where you can refill your bottles
The guides (required) are very friendly and helpful.
The scenery is just soooo beautiful ☺
The overnight guide fee is a little pricey (P1250) so be sure to have some friends with you.
The original trail is closed due to a dispute. You can use the easier for a fee of (P20)