Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River Adventure

July 4, 2015 - Good Morning Manila! This will be an another exciting day for us as we are scheduled to climb for the first time the mountain range of Rizal province. Our climb was scheduled just days before to make sure that it will materialize, of course equipped with relevant information from other blogs. This is as well the first time we are going to share our thoughts and experiences in our come what may adventures. Hope you find this blog helpful and relevant :)!

0530H - Rendezvous:
We are 30 minutes behind from our scheduled time of meeting in Pasay Rotonda as we prepared for the contingencies in our logistics (the baon). Originally, only the three of us including Rommel and Kuya Jo who are the original HAFEEX buddies were scheduled to leave for the adventure but nice thing, coming with us is the first timer in trekking, Josua (my brother).
We took MRT heading to Shaw Blvd station to avoid possible traffic and to compensate the time, kudos that MRT is in good operational condition.

0600H - Travel:
We took Jeepney going to Tanay, Rizal (van is also an option) for Php 58.00 each. Travelling in Jeepney by 6am heading to province lets you feel the natural breeze of morning air. It took us 2 hours before we reached Tanay public market where we looked for sandals in case mud will be intolerable during the hike since rainshowers were already felt.
We arranged for transportation going to Brgy. Daraitan. We opted tricycle for Php 500.00 good for the four of us plus  Php 30.00 bridge fee (toll fee) when crossing Daraitan river. Oh well, we are told later by the guides that Php 30.00 bridge fee should already be inclusive in the trike fee. It took us more than an hour before we reached the Brgy. Hall of Daraitan. Along the tricycle ride, rough and muddy road will be experienced, great that the driver is able to manage the road and no need for us to take off from the trike and walk down the road.

0930H - Jumpoff:
Before we arrranged for guides and register. We need to fill in first our stomach for the required energy. We ordered Daraitan version of Lomi which is quite sticky. Daraitan officials were very organized from registration to guides. We paid Php 20.00 each for the registration while guide rate is fixed at Php 500.00 for dayhike. Guiding us in our adventure is Kuya Facundo, who enjoys chatting his experiences as seasonal guide.

We started our trek at 1030H.
At the Brgy Hall, from L-R (Rommel, Kuya Jojo, Josua, Jason)

Are you ready to Assault?

The trail in Mt. Daraitan is mostly ascent with helpful holds. It will be very tiring for the first timer in hiking like Josua but to our surprise and leaving us behind who are used to trekking, he can easily deal with the assault trail coping as well with the guide's trekking pace (well, thanks to the training he gained in the academy).

Arrival at station 1...will be further developed to be a Grotto per Kuya Guide.

Arrival at station 2...half the trail to summit!

After an hour of trekking we finally made it to station 2, which is referred to be the half of the trail. We are expecting another two to three hours of trekking to finally reach the summit based on the normal pace and required time. Maintaining our trekking pace, we can already reach the summit from station 2 for just another hour. Yey :)!

HAFEEX PH with Josua and Kuya Facundo, the guide.

Approaching Summit!

1230H - Summit:

At last! After the sweating and losing a number of calories, we are welcomed by the overlooking scenic Sierra Madre mountains and the majestic Tinipak River, at times partly covered by the fog. Weather was great though. Mt. Daraitan standing 739 MASL with a difficulty of 4/9 is becoming one of the popular mountain near the metro manifested by the number of climber we met at the summit. We actually waited for about 5 to 10 minutes just to have our photo ops. We likewise took our lunch at the summit. After spending two hours of picture taking and appreciating the scenery, we prepared to descent.

Flag pole, the summit marker.

Individual moments at the summit.

Like a band!

To maximize the dayhike, we hasten our pace advancing other climbers who first descended. We want enough time to enjoy the Tinipak river while the sun is up, of course to appreciate its majestic offering. We reached the river for more than an hour and refill our empty water bottles for rehydration in a water spring. We paid another P 20.00 each for the registration fee in the area. We then headed to the cave where we swim. The cold water inside the cave gives us a relaxing feeling taking away the endurable pain from the climb. We stayed for about 30 minutes in the cave before returning back to Brgy. Hall.

Limestone formation...

Going down the river.

Mt. Daraitan.

Will be back!

We are brought by our guide in an area where we can freshen up. It was already dim when we left Daraitan. We again rode a tricycle for Php 500.00 back to Tanay public market and van for Php 70.00 going back to Manila. Energy is used up and everyone are knocked down throughout the travel.

As what is written in the back of one post in the summit "Babalik ka rin!". Will surely love to visit again the place. Till next time Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River!

Happy Feet Explorer Philipines

Emilio Atabay Jr./Rommel Montalan/Jason Arnoco

Thanks to:
Josua Arnoco/Kuya Facundo

Disclaimer: This article is the first ever written published blog by the writer.

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