There’s nothing more thrilling than spontaneous adventure. It eases the burden of planning, alleviates the stress of packing provisions and it can steer you away from all the mumbo-jumbos associated to concocting a strategic game plan for a strenuous journey.
One Thursday morning, my niece and I were randomly discussing some of the coolest places on earth. Then from the recesses of her brilliant mind emerged her own list of must-see-places near the metro. It was a ‘eureka’ moment when she blurted out this Masungi Rock Formation located in Tanay, Rizal.
I have lived in Pasig City all my life, a stone throw away from the Province of Rizal, but I have never heard about the aforementioned rock formation. Curious! The adventurer in me awakened, my curiosity was piqued. The next thing I knew, my fingers were excitedly tapping away on the keypad of my phone searching for images and articles about Masungi to see whether it was as cool as my niece claimed it to be. In my humble opinion, she was right.
Ultimately, we decided to check the place out the following Saturday. But I’d like to believe it was a spontaneous trip because after our verbal agreement, we both spent the day and the next dealing with our own individual lives without any further discussion of the trip.
Saturday morning arrived in a blink of an eye. We pushed the plan through, not as prepared as we would have liked but not entirely without ammunition. Because baby, we were equipped with information gathered from travel blogs we perused Thursday morning. However, on our way to Tanay, we had a change of plan. Spontaneity? Fickle-mindedness? Instead of Masungi Rock Formation, we decided to take a detour and chose Daraitan to be our first pit stop. And boy, was I glad?
So you ask, what can we do there?
In case I haven’t mentioned, Daraitan, Tanay is a hidden paradise on earth. And it is less than two hours away from the busy metropolis. Hence, if and when you decided to get-away from your arduous city life, no sweat! Take a day off. Dash towards the loving arms of mother nature for solace and tranquility. Or if you simply wanted to pump your adrenaline, live up to your outdoorsy lifestyle, stretch those legs and breathe fresh air… you can rally to Tanay and leave it all behind even just for a day.
Basically, the best treat Daraitan, Tanay has to offer is hiking. Owing to the fact that Sierra Madre Mountain Range stretches towards this region. You can choose which mountain to climb. The one for the beginner? Or the one for the pros? Would you prefer the day hike or would you rather stay the night out there in the camp and commune with mother nature the next day? The choice is yours.
How can I find my way out of those labyrinth of trees if a map isn’t available and a GPS isn’t possible up in the mountain? You ask. Don’t worry! Upon reaching the Baranggay Hall, you would be provided a tour guide to escort, educate and help you through the exhilarating hike. (One tour guide can accommodate up to 10 people for 500 pesos.)
Beaches and swimming pools are slightly overrated. Well, I guess because rivers in the metro aren’t exactly inviting. To be blatantly honest, they are mostly polluted. Lucky for you, Tinipak River (also known as Daraitan River) is one of the cleanest in the Region. But don’t take my word for it, check them photos and see for yourself. You can swim to your heart’s content without endangering your health.
For someone who grew up hero-worshipping Tom Sawyer, caves have some sort of magnetic pull on me. Like it’s calling me… inviting me to take a leisurely stroll along its damp and dark halls. At the back of my mind, while wandering inside Tinipak Cave, I was wishing to find some treasures the way Tom and Becky did. Sure enough, I came across some priceless treasures, not jewels nor golds but minerals. Stalactites and stalagmites that took hundreds of years to form. Not to mention the refreshingly cool jacuzzi (as locals affectionately call it), inside the cave.
Feast your eyes on these limestone boulders. Climb some and strike a pose. Take some Instagram-worthy selfies.
Filipinos are known for our hospitality but I have never experienced the warmth and welcoming attribute of our people ’till I went to Daraitan. From the boatmen, to the tricycle drivers, to the hikes we met and bumped into along the way. There was nothing but sincere kindness and polite words in this place. The locals were very friendly and accommodating.
How to get there:
Step 1: Edsa Crossing Terminal-Tanay Terminal / Starmall Terminal-Tanay Terminal (jeepney: 58 pesos, bus:60 pesos)– Travel time approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes but still depends on the flow of traffic.
Step 2: Tanay Terminal-Baranggay Daraitan
Option 1: Tricycle (500 pesos)– According to the drivers they charged that staggering fee due to the distance between the terminal to Daraitan and of course, there is a rough road.
Option 2: Jeepney (100 pesos)–There’s a jeepney bound to Daraitan but it starts boarding at 1 pm and won’t leave until it is full of passengers. If you are traveling in a big group, you could probably talk the driver into renting the jeep so as not to waste time.
Option 3: Jeepney from terminal- Sampaloc (28 pesos)
Take a tricycle from Sampaloc-Baranggay Daraitan (50 pesos)
Note: Take the tricycle parked opposite Shell Gas Station not the ones park by the road.
(The one we took, and the one I encourage you to take to be able to save money.)
Step 3: Cross the river by boat (5 pesos)
Step 4: Ride a tricycle to Baranggay Hall for registration (10 pesos)
- Environmental Fee: Province of Rizal (20 pesos)
- Environmental Fee: Province f Quezon (20 pesos)
- Tour Guide (500 pesos
If you have any questions, anything at all, leave them in the comment box and I’d answer them as best as I could. Happy Travel!