It’s exactly two weeks since we hiked at Mt. Daraitan. Up until now, I still can’t imagine how we survived everything. It felt like a dream I never want to remember again. I will definitely come back but not with the same weather when we went there. It rained at 3am while we’re on the middle of our trek, a fog welcomed us at the summit and our foot was soaked at the mud for 10 hours straight.

I truly enjoyed that moment even though it wasn’t a good experience for some of my friends who are a beginner. Deep inside me I felt guilty for inviting them. But I guess life is too short to regret, right? Instead of looking at the negative side, let me share to you our experience to serve as a lesson for everyone. Below are the information that you need to know and tips that could help you for your next hike. Enjoy reading!

We availed a package tour at Juan Journey for the second time. The first time was at Luisiana, Laguna Trilogy: Hidden Falls, Taytay Falls and Hulugan Falls. Meet up for most travel agencies will be at Cubao, while Juan Journey is at Alabang which is so convenient for us. Another thing that I like about Juan Journey is their good customer service. We are supposed to be on a group exclusive tour that requires 12 people. However, we only reach 10. Ate Cari, the travel agency owner, were so happy to help us push through with our tour.

We met at Jollibee Alabang Junction at 10PM. It was a long 3-hour drive for us who didn’t get enough sleep. Upon arriving at Rizal, the roads was so bumpy and the only light that guided us was our van. If you will be commuting, most of the transportantion will start at 5AM. I suggest to take a travel agency if you want a more convenient and safer trip. Not only will you arrive early with less people at the summit, but also witness the sea of clouds if you’re lucky enough.

It was already 1 AM when we arrived at the junction of Barangay. Daraitan. People usually passed by the wooden bridge to get through the other side of the river. During our time, it was destroyed by the rain. Our only option was to ride a balsa that can accommodate 10 people worth PHP 10.00/head. Everybody was okay with the idea because it was all our first time to try this different kind of transportation.

The Barangay

We started warming up for an hour before our trek. We prepared ourselves as we had our short orientation upon arriving. They also required us to buy headlights, gloves and rain coats for a very affordable price. If you have your own, you are free to use it. We started the tour at exactly 3 AM.

The Trek to Summit

Our real adventure started when it rained at the middle of our trek. Just when I thought that my boyfriend’s headlight could provide enough life for the both us, we f u c k e d up. I was facing down watching my steps while trying to survive the entire time. And those moments felt like the worse for a person who likes to capture everything. I wasn’t able to bring out my camera and take pictures.

The Summit

We arrived at the summit at around 6 AM. All this time I was hoping for a sea clouds, but it was instead a foggy sky that welcomed us. I still thank God that it stopped raining and the skies slowly cleared up when we got there even though it wasn’t really the view that I hoped for.

Two of the things that amazed me about Mt. Daraitan is the limestone rock formations and the view of the heart shape river from the top. No wonder why mountaineers don’t want to miss visiting this place. I’m glad that I was finally able to witness it myself despite of the bad weather.

The Trek to Tinipak River

I’m sure nobody would want to leave Mt. Daraitan without witnessing the most popular Tinipak River and the Cave. You will have to take a different trail going there; much harder than the trail that you took going up to the summit. Hike from the summit to Tinipak River will take 3-4 hours depending on your expertise level. We started the hike at 8:00 AM.

Note: Kwento ko yung experience ko in tagalog para ramdam na ramdam niyo nanyari sakin mga beshy!!! Grabe talaga yung mga oras na yon!!!

Nakaka isang oras palang kami, bumubuka na yung swelas nung sapatos ko. Hindi lang isang sapatos eh, dalawa besh! dalawa! Yung paa ko dumudungaw na parang nagsasabi na “hello master, uwi na tayo” habang naglalakad. Since sobrang maputik dahil umulan nung morning, ilang beses nalublob yung paa ko. Mahirap na nga yung hike, mas humirap pa lalo!!

Nakita ni kuya Oliver na kelangan na talagang gawan ng remedyo yung sapatos ko. Naisip nung kaibigan ko na gamitin yung tali dun sa hood ng raincoat. Buti nalang diba may matalino akong bestfriend. Nasira din kasi yung sapatos niya kaya parehas namin need ng saklolo. So agad naman kinuha ni kuya Oliver yung tali then pinalibot sa sapatos namin.

Stay strong padin yung sapatos nung kabigan ko, pero sakin nag give up na talaga. Sabi ko kay Kuya Oliver na itali nalang ulit pero instead inoffer niya yung boots niya. Sabi niya na “Mahaba haba pa lalakbayin natin. Okay lang ako kasi makapal na kalyo nitong paa ko.” Sobrang nahihiya ako tangapin that time pero wala na din naman ako ibang magawa.

After ilang “Yan na ba?” at “Ilang minutes pa kuya?”, nakadating na din kami sa tinipak river sa wakas!!!! Pagdating dun, minadali agad kami ng mga tour guides namin dahil baka tumaas na daw yung tubig at mas lalong hindi kami makalabas. Grabe yun beshy! Kung saan saan kami lumusot at umakyat na bato!

Pero what happened to me is a reminder to appreciate our tour guides. These are the people na willing isakripisyo ang mga buhay nila para lang makatulong sa kapwa. Nakakatuwa din dahil sila ang nagbibigay satin ng lakas ng loob para tumuloy kahit hirap na hirap na tayo. Nagagawa pa nga nila mag joke or magpatawa sa kabila ng pagod na nararamdaman nila.

Isipin niyo nalang din na hindi din ganon kataas kinikita nila mga besh. Tinanong ko kasi sila kung lagi ba sila may hike. Usually daw every friday-sunday lang tapos nakaka isang akyat lang sila a day. Kaya wag na kayo mag reklamo sa 500 pesos na bayad at bigyan niyo din sila ng tip pagkatapos.

Beginner ka man o hindi, kelangan padin natin ang tour guides sa pagakyat ng bundok okay? May iba sa inyo na batak ng umakyat kaya di masyado na appreciate yung pressence nila. Di ko din sila ganon na aapreciate dati pero dahil sa nanyari sakin, narealize ko na not all heroes wear capes talaga. Some are found in the mountain.

Kuya Oliver at Kuya Archie, sobrang thankful ako at nameet ko kayo. Natuto akong maappreciate ang maliliit na bagay.

At dito na po nagtatapos ang kwento ko. Sana tumagos sa inyong mga puso ang nanyari sakin. Maga batang baguhan sa hiking, wag niyo po akong tutularan! Mag invest sa sapatos!

Tinipak River and Cave

Tinipak river and Cave is famous for its crystal clear water, a white marble rock formation and the view of Mt. Makiling. I suggest to go here during summer to experience the place on its best days.

River is really muddy during the rainy reason and the strong current of water will not allow you to enter the cave. Too bad we missed a lot of things. Not sure if my friends are still willing to come back with me, pero sigurado ako na babalikan kita Mt. Daraitan!

How to get there:

VIA Commute:

Option 1: Cubao from Tikling

  1. Ride a Jeep that bounds to Binangonan and drop off at Tikling: PHP 25.00
  2. From Tikling, ride a jeep and drop off at Jollibee, Tanay: PHP 40
  3. From Jollibee, Tanay, ride a trycicle going to Brgy. Daraitan: PHP 100.00/head

Option 2: Cubao from Marcos Highway to Cogeo

  1. Ride a jeep going to Antipolo Cogeo and Drop off at Cogeo 2 or Cogeo Public Market: PHP 35.00
  2. From there, wall to Cogeo City Mall Terminal. Ride a Jeep and drop off at Brgy. Sampaloc: PHP 65.00
    Note: First trip for is 5:30 AM
  3. From Brgy. Sampaloc, ride a trycicle going to Brgy. Daraitan.

Option 3: Shaw Boulevard, Edsa: 2 hours travel time

  1. Take a van beside starmall and drop off at Tanay Public Market: PHP 70.00
    -You can also take a jeep if you are coming from Ortigas, Cainta and Taytay: PHP 45.00
  2. From the market, take a trycicle going to Brgy. Daraitan: PHP: 500/Maximum of 4 persons. Fixed rate even if you’re only a solo traveler.

Upon arrival at Daraitan Junctions:

Option 1:

1.Cross the wooden bridge
2.Ride a trycicle going to the barangay: PHP 60.00/ Maximum of 4 persons. Fixed price.

Option 2: (Depending on the weather condition or availability)

  1. Ride a balsa: PHP 10.00/head
  2. Walk for 15-20 minutes going to the barangay hall.