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Daraitan Adventure: Tinipak River Trekking and Maytuntong Cave Spelunking

I first saw the beauty of Tinipak River in Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal from a friend’s Facebook post. Since then, I told myself “I will go visit this place one day.” Months had passed and that picture was still in my mind so I decided to ask a mountaineer friend if he could accompany me together with my daughter. I was so glad he said yes. We went two times; the first one was with a group of four and then after posting our photos on Facebook, a fellow member/admin of our group, “We are Funtastic Philippines,” suggested that we make it into a FUNLakwatsa so we thought, “Why not? The beauty of Tinipak River and Maytuntong Cave is definitely a sight worth sharing to others.” We made preparations and invited group members who would want to join.

The day finally came and all 21 of us were raring to go. The first two hours was an easy drive, but upon nearing Brgy. Daraitan, we had to slow down. It was approximately a nine-kilometer stretch of major rough road with sharp rocks so it’s best to drive slowly. At the Barangay Hall of Daraitan, one has to pay P20/person for the registration fee and P500 tour guide fee (good for eight people). A short briefing, with special emphasis on leaving no trash behind, was given just before the hike.

A few minutes into the trail you would see beautiful river scenery with rocks and boulders, trees and clear running water.

View along the way

View along the way

It took us twice the time of the usual 20-minute walk because we would stop, most of the time, to take photos plus a rest break before we descend down the major point of Tinipak River by way of narrow wooden (seemingly rickety) bridge and ladders, and climbing down the huge, white boulders by the riverbank.

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The descent to the river – Photo by Romina Dumlao

It was around 11 a.m. by the time we reached the major point of the river. We were all amazed at how awesome this place was. Even though it was my second time, I still marveled at its beauty. There were overnight campers, mountaineers and plain lakawatseros like us, curious about this hidden gem and who were game for a day’s adventure.

View of Tinipak River - Photo by Art Soriano, Jr.

Tinipak River – Photo by Art Soriano, Jr.

We found a spot near the entrance of Maytuntong Cave (commonly called Tinipak Cave) where we settled and ate our packed lunches…

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Enjoying lunch by the boulders

Kuya Bitoy with the reliable Daraitan tour guides.

Kuya Bitoy and Jumbo with the reliable Daraitan tour guides.

…dipped in the brook nearby while chit-chatting the time away as we enjoyed our lunch break.

Usapang sirena (mermaid talk) - Photo by Bitoy Labaniego

Usapang sirena (mermaid talk) – Photo by Bitoy Labaniego

Mineral water ready for drinking straight from the brook. Tinipak River was awarded as the cleanest inland body of water by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG),

Mineral water ready for drinking straight from the brook. Tinipak River was awarded as the cleanest inland body of water by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the whole Region IV.

At 1 p.m., it was time to go spelunking. The first time I went here, I wasn’t able to go in the cave and I promised myself I will not fail the second time around.

Going spelunking at Maytuntong Cave

Going spelunking at Maytuntong Cave

The entrance of Maytuntong Cave is different from the ones I've seen; you need to climb down into a hole on the ground which is approximately 20 feet deep.

Entrance of Maytuntong Cave

The cave entrance is different from the ones I’ve seen; you need to climb down into a hole on the ground which is approximately 20 feet deep with the rugged rocks as stepping stones/ladder.

As we went deeper into the cave, we saw glittering rock formations on the walls and ceiling scattered all over.

Glittering rock formations...they actually look a lot better when you're up close

Glittering rock formations…they actually look a lot better when you’re up close

Those white specks actually glitter like gold and diamonds in the dark.

Those white specks actually glitter like gold and diamonds in the dark, again, better when you’re up close

Woohoo! We made it this far. Photo by Art Soriano

“Woohoo! We made it this far!” Photo by Art Soriano

Farther on, we heard the sound of gushing water.

Clear water flows on the cave floor. Photo by Art Soriano

Clear water flows on the cave floor – Photo by Art Soriano

Soon enough, we have reached the cave’s natural pool. The water was so clear and cold, but it sure was refreshing. At first glance, there seems to be a deep black hole in the center but it’s actually black sand and it was only waist deep so no worries there.

The highlight of our spelunking was reaching the natural, waist-deep pool in Maytuntong Cave. Photo by Art Soriano

The highlight of our spelunking was reaching the natural, waist-deep pool in Maytuntong Cave. Photo by Art Soriano

The water in the pool is simply crystal clear!

The water in the pool is simply crystal clear!

At 3 p.m., we started our hike back. We were made to pass a different route on the opposite side of the river, with no paved trail, due to a territorial dispute between the barangays of Daraitan and General Nakar. We, the inexperienced trekkers, were literally bouldering! It was really difficult and it took us almost two hours to get back. Thank God, nobody was hurt (except for a few scratches and one of us suffered a dead toenail thereafter – not mine).  Nevertheless, the experience was really awesome and memorable. We were all charmed by the enchanting Tinipak River and the awesome Maytuntong Cave. Together, we enjoyed the beauty of nature as well as the camaraderie through the funny and difficult times of going and leaving this place. New friendships were born among us and our Daraitan Adventure never failed to bring a smile on our faces each time we reminisce… and so off we look forward to our next adventure!

WAFP Daraitan Trekkers

We are FUNtastic Philippines (WAFP) Daraitan Trekkers

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Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite

Located along Tirona Highway in Kawit, Cavite, is the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine, known as the site for the Declaration of Philippine Independence. It was built in 1845, making it a 170-year-old mansion at the time of this blog’s publishing. Aside from it’s rich background, this mansion holds secret passages and escape routes, hidden compartments in cabinets and shelves, which add proof of its role in revolutionary history.

Located at the ground floor is a museum with and a miniature bowling alley which was the first in the Philippines.

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Old canyon at the museum ground floor.

On the second floor are the bedrooms, the grand hall, the dining room and kitchen. Most of the furniture are varnished in Philippine hardwood that are the hard-to-find and expensive kind these days.

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Bedroom on the second floor

This bedroom has a secret passage leading to one of the halls. One of the cabinets has a peephole where one can monitor the comings and goings of people while in hiding.

This bedroom has a secret passage leading to one of the halls. One of the cabinets has a peephole where a person in hiding can monitor the comings and goings of people.

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General Aguinaldo’s receiving room which also served as his office.

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A map of the Philippines on the ceiling

Gen. Aguinaldo called the patio as the “Balcony of Sinners” where the Revolutionaries planned their strategies.

Gen. Aguinaldo called the azotea as the "Balcony of Sinners" where the Revolutionaries planned their strategies.

This patio also served as the family’s lounge on lazy afternoons.

The dining table with a secret — it’s size and heavy weight act as a camouflage while it serves as an entrance to a tunnel leading to a church.

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Side trip:

After touring the shrine, we decided to have refreshments on the way back via Bacoor route…

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Refreshing halo-halo

Refreshing halo-halo

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There is no entrance fee but donations are highly appreciated. I was quite impressed with the place; the house and grounds were well-maintained.

When to visit: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 8am-4pm, March to June are the perfect months with not much visitors from school field trips.

Map:

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A Photowalk at Pasig City Hall

I just recently joined the photowalk of FUNtastic Philippines group on Facebook and last weekend we went on a photowalk, “Discovering Pasig.” The first stop was the rooftop and the grounds of the city hall. This is the first part of the series of places we went to around the city and will post the succeeding ones in the days to come.

Capturing the busy photographer

Capturing the busy photographer

The rooftop of Pasig City Hall

The rooftop of Pasig City Hall

Green Rooftop

Green Rooftop

Entrance to the Session Hall

Entrance to the Session Hall

A very convenient overpass at the City Hall linking to the public market and other main roads.

A very convenient overpass at the City Hall linking to the public market and other main roads.

Mini Park

Mini Park

View from Pasig City Hall's rooftop

View from Pasig City Hall’s rooftop

Viewdeck

Walkway behind the main building

Flowers Along the Walkway

Flowers Along the Walkway