This was our first time to go hiking with mountaineer friends. Shan, Dhez, Tyland, and Maricar are members of HAMOG (Haksonero Mountaineering Group). They joined numerous climbs of the said group. We headed for Daraitan to celebrate Shan’s birthday. Tyland and Maricar led us all throughout since they had been there once.
Daraitan is a trekking destination within the Sierra Madre mountain range in Tanay, Rizal. It’s well-known for river trekking, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and spelunking. The trail is mainly rocky though ground level only. Locals called the river, “Tinipak.” It’s no wonder! The trail is full of big chunks of cream-colored rocks along the river. Parang tinipak na mga bato talaga.
We gathered somewhere in Shaw, Ortigas then took a jeepney going to Tanay, Rizal. It took 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the traffic. We’re few hours behind our itinerary so we weren’t able to catch up on the public transportation to get to the jump off site. However, we had luck to get 2 chartered tricycles for the seven of us. It was getting dark. We bought ingredients at the public market before taking off.
The tricycle ride was more or less 1 hour of on and off dark and rocky road. First half was meant for sightseeing. Rizal is indeed a beautiful province. Then, I was quite thrilled in the second half. Darkness unfolded and we see nothing but the light of the vehicles and silhouettes of trees and occasional houses. I stopped myself imagining things because I have that kind of habit. Creepy.
Arriving at the jump off site, there was a dim view of the river. We got ourselves ready with our head lights and flashlights. Like most of the trekking destinations, we headed to the barangay hall to register our names and pay for registration fee. We were told that there were plenty hikers before us so we could expect others along the campsite. They were concerned about night trekking since we didn’t hire any guides. (Note: The trail was merely straightforward, however, there are available guides if you need one.)
At the beginning of the night trek, we were stunned after seeing a number of tombs in the beginning of trail just right after passing by houses in the barrio. Just look straight, though. Hehe. But then after, we could hear the lush sound of the river. The wind was chilly and the sky was full of stars. What a sight!
After approximately 1.5 hours, our feet set off the campsite. We saw others pitched in their tents in the riverside. Quite scary, we thought. Obviously, there’s water source nearby so cooking and washing stuff were just easy. Boys were pitching the tents and we, the girls, prepared dinner. We did the socials right after dinner.
At last, here comes the photos!
Good morning, Daraitan!
You can appreciate it more in daylight, indeed. We did break camp right after having breakfast and decided to enjoy a little in the river.
How serene it is? You will be a nature lover in a glimpse. That’s why we have gone this far because of this trip. We owe it all to Daraitan and to our hiking buddies. Nostalgia brings the fun memories and vivid scenery I was able to capture in my mind.
We had our lunch along the riverside and dipped in the water. It’s deep and has strong current. We saw local kids diving from a tall standing rock. We learned that the main inhabitants in the mountain are called “dumagat,” indigenous people in Southern Tagalog. We met some children and gave them our spare breakfast (sopas). They also collected our plastic bottles for recycling. They are very different from the people in the town. Everything was just basic. Some of them were still waiting for their parents who went out farming. I remembered a protest song we knew way back college. It was entitled “On Potok.” A local indie band, Talahib People’s music made their own cover of it. It’s all about the struggles of dumagat people against mining, land grabbing, and the violations of indigenous people’s rights. Hear it in soundcloud.
To sum up my very first hiking outside the metro, it was truly fascinating. Night trekking, enchanting river, new faces, overnight getaway, it was all superb! Thanks to Shan and Dhez who invited us over. We got into hiking because of this unforgettable experience. More camping trips in my next entries. Imagine, I had blogged about this after 4 months of hectic schedule and occasional getaways. Whew!
How to get there:
1. From Shaw Boulevard, take a jeepney bound for Tanay Rizal. Travel time is around 1.5 to 2 hours, fare is approximately Php 50 pesos.
2. Get off at Tanay Public Market and proceed to the jeepney terminal located at the back. Take the jeepney going to Brgy. Daraitan, fare is around Php 60 pesos. Travel time is about an hour. You can also rent the whole jeepney for Php 1,500 pesos.
3. Upon reaching Brgy. Daraitan, look for the Barangay Hall and have yourselves registered in the logbook, pay Php 10.00 pesos each as registration fee. Guides are also available here for Php 250 pesos per guide. (Pinoyadventurista)
We need a life,