Batlag + Daranak Falls: When I go chasing waterfalls

Batlag Falls – sitting at the upstream of the more popular Daranak Falls, unassuming yet charming. How we ended up there was a bit of a novelty. 

 

The song goes… “Don’t go chasing waterfalls…please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to…”

 

But the heart yearns for adrenaline pumping adventure…always.

[Back to reality] I couldn’t recall how the convo ended up with taking a plunge in a waterfalls. One thing after the other led me and two fairies from work to cook up a plan to chase the waterfalls of Tanay, Rizal last Friday (01/22/2016).

The Eerie Ride

Lay and I went out of our Makati office a little after five (5) in the morning to catch an early trip to Tanay, Rizal. We had a quick snack stop at Pan de Manila before jumping on a jeepney along Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong.

Now I am not familiar with the roads going east of the metro but somewhere along Ortigas Extension, a group of kids wearing PE uniforms came to load the nearly filled jeepney. As opposed to the usual practice, Tanay-bound jeeps have fare collectors situated at the rear of the vehicle. One of the kids handed some paper bills and coins while stating their destination – Tanay. I took their fare and handed it to the nearby collector. I told Lay, “ang layo naman nila mag-school” (their school is too far!) and she agreed. Not too long after, the jeepney ride became cramped as it has gotten full with passengers. It’s when we noticed that the kids were gone! Not a trace! It was fairly impossible for us not to notice them alighting the vehicle because they’d have to pass by us…creepy!

Arriving in Tanay and the unspoken ‘are we there, yet?’

Other than the early morning eerie ride, we arrived in Tanay, Rizal passed eight (8) in the morning after over two hours of butt-numbing jeepney ride. Apparently, the town is prepping for the grandest “fiesta”  in the province of Rizal [yun ang sabi ni kuya] making the navigation to the town center a bit tasking. Lay and I met Matet in front of 7-11 where we bought some essentials before flagging a tricycle to Daranak Falls which was still a bit far and deep into winding and hilly roads of both concrete and dirt.

The Epic Fail

We dragged ourselves out to Tanay on a Friday morning because we wanted to evade the typical weekend crowd. And there we were staring at about 4 jeepneys parked in front of the Government managed park. We paid the fees and started to trek the concrete path towards the grand waterfalls. With 4 jeepneys parked outside, we were not completely surprised to see a whole lot of…well, kids! It’s some sort of extra-curriculars for the Pasay students. We settled in a table in a little nook overlooking the huge falls, ate the home cooked menudo from Matet’s kitchen and mull over how we were to enjoy this trip. Lay’s plan on shooting with her gown/dress with the waterfalls was slipping away pretty fast.

Hello Batlag!

In our effort to enjoy the trip, I offered the more private “Batlag Falls“. It’s some 10-minute hike on a concrete pathway up the hill and a bit of downhill trek to reach Batlag Falls.

Batlag Falls sits in a dense forest fitted with some tables and bamboo benches. As of this writing, camping is allowed it Batlag falls. We saw a tent in the not so distant clearing.

The water falls in an unconventional rock formation. This gives this falls a unique look and undeniable charm. With a rustic charm and cool, refreshing water, one cannot  help himself but to indulge and embrace nature’s pure love flowing [kahit hindi ako marunong lumangoy].

My praying Buddha pose feigning  serenity

The boulders and the waterfalls inspired me to take that [Buddha] shot! It was refreshing while the sound of flowing water and the strength of the rocks assured me of peace and unwavering determination to achieve what I believe is rightfully mine.

We are not afraid of what lies beneath nor what is ahead of us in the dark.

 

Ang Diwata ng Talon (The nymph)

Enjoying the water!

With the waterfalls all to ourselves, we enjoyed doing all the stuff we wanted.  Nobody seemed to want to leave. Well, who would?!

On the left side of the grand yet unassuming falls is a solitary drop with a more silky water cascade and a bluish pool that is so inviting. Later we learned…it’s 15 feet deep. Being that I am not born a swimmer, let alone a diver (at 15 feet), I settled for the view and left the swimming to the seasoned. 🙂

 Just when everything seemed to settle, time has it’s own way of reminding us that there is work when the sun sets. We headed down where the overfill of the enchanting Batlag flows – Daranak Falls.

Coming from the very private Batlag Falls, Daranak is crowded.  Lay did not have that opportunity to wear that pink dress like how we did in Batlag. Surprisingly, the water was refreshingly cold! In addition, because the falls itself is big, its catch basin is bigger and deeper…something suitable for cliff diving (oh don’t even think about diving from the top of the waterfalls because that’s not allowed!)

Oh! It was fun sharing the waterfalls din naman pala! LOL…We even forgot that manong trike  will come back and pick us up at 2PM and it was already passed 3 in the afternoon![we even saw kuya driver watching us from the cliff]. So we headed to the shower room to clean and get dressed. Yes, they have clean shower rooms for a minimal fee of P5.00. We asked to be dropped off at the palenke to ride a UVExpress  back to EDSA Crossing.

Total Damage for this waterfalls chase P 683.00

  • EDSA Crossing to Tanay – P 58
  • Tanay Trike to Daranak Falls – P 200 (3 of us get to split the cost)
  • Entrance Fee (Daranak) – P 50 (per person)
  • Entrance  Fee (Batlag Falls) – P 100 (per person)
    • if you prefer to rent a table/cottage – P200
  • Shower Room use – P 5.00 (per person)
  • Trike back to Tanay Public Market – P 200 (3 of us get to split the cost)
  • UV Express to EDSA Crossing – P 70 (individual fare)

**Food courtesy of Matet’s kitchen

Getting There

  • From EDSA Shaw, you can take a jeepney plying the Crossing Ilalim – Tanay – Crossing Ilalim route
  • Alight at Tanay town proper and flag a trike to Daranak Falls
    • you may want to get kuya trike’s number if you want to secure your ride back to the town center or take the ~3Km trek to the highway where you can find public transportation available
    • Bringing your own ride is an advantage. Daranak Falls has an available space for vehicle parking

Daranak Falls is a State-managed property.  More details on their facebook page –  Daranak Falls and Resort

This little adventure wasn’t too bad after all! There was no big drama on planning. Everything we needed was our nagging drive to get away from the hustles and stress of the city life and some guts to venture into a new sport we now call #chasingwaterfalls

Until the next big chase! #Laguna #waterfalls

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