Your guide up: Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River

Location: Tanay Rizal

Major jumpoff: Brgy. Daraitan Village Centre

Difficulty: Minor climb, 4/9, 739+ MASL

Mt. Daraitan is one of the most popular and stunning mountain in Tanay, Rizal. She is a complete package. A majestic waterfalls, pristine river, dark hollowed cave and a perfect limestone formation.

Back in 2015, a friend asked me” Aakyat ako ng Daraitan sa weekend, sama ka?. Hiking is my dream so without hesitation  I answered “Sure!“. This is where my mountain escapade begins.

Since I wasn’t blogging yet during my first hike, I ended up inviting my friends to Daraitan ~ my mother mountain. Main reason of my climb-back is “doing it for the blog“, I’d like to document details and photos for my blog and videos for my VLOG, Seth tried to vlog for you guys. Watch it here:

The climb-back was more than worth it. But this will be the last. I’m not gonna climb Daraitan again. You might have seen our cool photos in social media but behind that was an effin** leg-breaking climb. I’m not complaining though 🤗. I actually super enjoyed it, I was laughing the whole climb because my friends are cursing and shouting “**** Seth, sabi mo pabebe hike lang!” hahaha! That’s how hard the trail is.

THE TRAIL

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Balsa ride. This one is necessary as there is no bridge in the area due to the rainy season. The water level tends to get high thus they decided not to put back the bridge and just use this one as a service. Php5.00 only to get to the other side then ride a tricycle to reach the brgy.

Kuya joanson, my local contact organized everything for us. From the balsa ride, tricycle and registration but he wasn’t able to guide us up due to personal matter.

You have two trail to choose from. The short trail – short but extreme and the long trail – long but easy. We decided to take the long trail going up.

We started our trek at 6am.

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The trail to the summit is forested and steep, not to mention, it’s raining, so the sand is muddy and slippy. Just imagine that!

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We didn’t regret taking the long trail up because we got to see this majestic waterfalls along the trail. It’s more beautiful when you see it in person, swear! ✋🏻

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We reached the summit at 09:35am. Thanks to Kenrick for remembering the exact time of our itinerary 😅

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Breathe in, butt out! 😂🍑

15-minutes more walk after the peak so we can take our lunch already.

We took the short trail going down and the rain started to pour! Gaaaaawd! It’s super steep and slippy! But I really enjoyed the hike because it’s a new experience for me. It’s my first time to hike while raining. I’m starting to fall in love with rain 😁

When i was looking down the trail, i was like “wooooaah! babain ko ba talaga to?! Like seriously??!!! Kaya ko kaya to??? Medyo nalula talaga ako sa pagka assault niya beshy. 😁 Mountaineers call it assault ( the steep final leg of the trek).

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We were back at the jump off at 3pm. It took us 3 hours to go down.To date, this is the most extreme climb I’ve ever done.

5-minutes rest as we reached the brgy, then we ride a tricycle going to Tinipak river for a little relaxation. We stayed there for an hour only and went back to brgy. to wash up.

Tinipak river is one of the highlights of Daraitan. You can go there directly without climbing the mountain.

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dav

 

 


SAMPLE ITINERARY

0200 Meet-up Bonjour Pasay
0500 ETA Tanay
0600 ETA Brgy. Daraitan Registration Site
0630 Start Trek
1100 Summit/Photo Ops
1200 Descent to camp 2/Lunch
1300 Start Traverse to Tinipak River
1500 Tinipak River/Cave (cave optional)
1600 Wash Up
1700 back to registration/jump off


MONEY MATTERS

  • Jeepney fare (MNL-Tanay) – P140
  • Trike fare (Tanay-Brgy. Daraitan) – P500/6 (trike can accommodate 6 pax)
  • Balsa ride – P5
  • Tricycle ride from Balsa to Brgy. – P60 per tricycle
  • Guide fee – P750 for a group of 5
  • Registration fee – P20
  • Tinipak River fee – P20

HOW TO GET THERE

Commute – Ride a van in front of Starmall to Tanay or a jeepney along Shaw Boulevard. Get off at Jollibee Tanay and hire a trike going to Barangay Daraitan. Ride a balsa to get to the other side. Then ride a tricycle again going to the registration site.
Private – waze is your trusted friend! 😉


TIPS

  • It’s always better to hike during weekdays though it’s not always possible because of work. But if you have the chance, go climb up on weekdays to avoid crowded peak 😉
  • If you also have a chance, I highly suggest to stay overnight. You may contact Kuya Joanson how. Contact number below. More chances of seeing sea of clouds if you start early.
  • Tinipak river can be reached without climbing Mt. Daraitan. You just need to ride a tricycle and walk a few steps.
  • A trekking sandals or shoes is necessary especially when climbing on a rainy season, well in every hike actually. I’ve seen a lot of hikers wearing slippers and maong pants. I don’t know what’s happening, maybe they thought they’re going to the mall or watch cinema, or maybe they were not informed that they’re going to climb one of the most assault mountain in Tanay! Lol 😂
  • For those who have a private car or those who rented a van, the road is a bumpy one. Get ready drivers! 😁
  • Parking and comfort rooms are available in the area.
  • Lastly, be a responsible tourist. Leave no trace!

CONTACT

  • Local guide – Kuya Joanson : 09353129588
  • Van rental – Kuya Demet Antonio: 09062939746

It took me nights to finish this article. Care to share some coffee?

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Aside from coffee, I also sell online to keep my travel goals going. Check out my instagram page for more >Jewelry Seth

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Bicol Bucketlist

Bicol Region or simply known as Bicol is consist of 6 provinces; Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate. These are in my bucketlist!

I’m a pure bicolana, yes, uragon ini! Transferred to Pampanga to study college. Now I’m currently working in Manila. Hotelier on weekdays, traveler on a weekend.

I’ve been to bicol many times and yet I’m still having a hard time completing my bucketlist. Bicol is really a big region, you can’t explore every place in just a snap!

This blog is basically a summary of my bicol trip. This will be updated from time to time.

To date, here are the places I’ve ticked off in my list:

  1. Sun flower farm, Ligao Albay
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This sunflower farm in Ligao is situated on top of the kawa-kawa hill. Best time to visit is every summer.

Click link for full post: Kawa-Kawa Hill, Ligao Albay 

2. Caramoan Island, Camarines Sur

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So, this is my favorite place in Bicol. I’ve been here twice. Read blog below to know why.

Click link for full post: Caramoan, where my heart is ~ 

3. Sumlang Lake, Daraga Albay 

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Working on the itinerary for this one. Stay tuned!

4. Trinity Island, Oas Albay 

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This one is just a side trip. Can be reached thru habal-habal from our house in Pioduran. I will try to research details about this and share it to you.

5. Cagsawa Ruins, Camalig Albay

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Cagsawa Ruins at my back. I haven’t finished my blog about this one but I promise to work on it real soon.

6. Burias Island, Masbate 

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One of the best island in Bicol Region. I’m not blogging yet when I visited this island. I’ll try to blog about this place also.

7. Cagsawa ATV Extreme Adventure 

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Cagsawa is not only for site seeing. An extreme adventure like this is waiting for you.

8. Legazpi Boulevard 

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I would reccommend to visit this place at night. The place is very romantic.

I hope my photos inspire you to visit my hometown. Magayunun po sa bicol! 😁

Stay tuned for more photos and places.

 

Sharing is caring 😉😝

– Seth ❤️

Travel guide: Mt. Gola + Mt. Manalmon Twin Day Hike

198+masl, a very easy hike ideal for beginners. I call it pabebe hike 😁 This mountain is perfect for over the weekend getaway. Biak-na-bato National Park offers not only climbing, there are other activities like spelunking, monkey bridge crossing and swimming at the very refreshing Madlum river.

It was my first time to organize a hike. I climb with my workmates yearly. We started last year, our first mountain was organized by someone at Mt. Maculot Cuenca Batangas. Now we’re on our second mountain, the Mt. Gola + Mt. Manalmon in San Miguel Bulacan organized by yours truly 🙅. Days before the climb I was a bit nervous because I’m hearing so much incidents about this place. I thank God for keeping us safe all throughout the climb.

I’m proud and thrilled to share my very first DIY climb 👇

ABOUT (source: Pinoy Mountaineer )

MT. GOLA + MT. MANALMON
San Miguel, Bulacan
Major jump-off: Sitio Madlum, Brgy. Sibul, San Miguel
LLA: 15°15.11’N; 121°1.22′ E; 196 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: Half-day / 1 hour
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 2/9, Trail class 1-2

HOW TO GET THERE

Commute

  • From Cubao ride Baliuag Transit or any bus to Gapan or San Miguel. Ask driver to drop you off at San Miguel Kamias, from here take a tricyle to Madlum.
  • Travel time is about 2 – 3 hours from Pasay.
  • Since we’re on a big group, we rented a van to avoid hassle in commuting. 

Van contact: Carlos Antonio (+63917 786 2672) or Darwin Macaisa (+63915 797 2586)

SAMPLE ITINERARY

2am – Meet up Mcdo/Bonjour
Breakfast, buy baon, NO STOPOVER.
3am – ETD Pasay to San Miguel Bulacan
6am – ETA Sitio Madlum, Prepare, Register, Secure guide
6:30am – Start to trek to Mt. Gola
8am – Summit Mt. Gola, rest and pictorial.
9am – descend; start trek to Mt. Manalmon
10am – Summit Mt. Manalmon
11am – descend; LUNCH
1pm – Cave Exploration, Bayukbok Cave and Madlum Cave
2pm – Monkey Bridge – photo ops
3pm – Wash up
4pm – Pack up, uwian na!
8pm – ETA to PASAY

EXPENSES

  • Bus fare = Php117.00
  • Tricycle = Php240.00 good for 4 pax
  • Entrance fee = Php20.00 per person
  • Registration fee = Php10.00 per person
  • Guide = Php600.00 per 10 pax
  • Bayukbok cave = Php200.00 per 5 pax
  • Madlum cave = Php150.00 per 10 pax
  • Monkey bridge = Php50.00 per pax
  • Parking = Php25.00

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • If planning to hike this mountain, ensure to email MADLUM Inc. stating your intent to climb. Securing permit is necessary.
    09195746470 – Carlito “Tata Carling” Carpio President M.A.D.L.U.M. Inc.
    09950595100 – Rexel Marketing and Promotions officer M.A.D.L.U.M. Inc.
  • Bring extra clothes and toiletries, there are rest room in the area with minimal fee
  • Prepare your packed lunch, there are carinderias in the area but are open on weekends only.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunblock, trail to the summit is very easy but not forested so you’ll be exposed to Mr. Sunny.
  • I suggest to wear trekking sandals as you’ll be crossing a river along the trail
  • Bring headlamp for spelunking. Headlamp for rent is also available in the area at Php30 per item

 PHOTOGRAPHS

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You’ll be crossing this hanging bridge to the registration / jump off

Yes, you are taking the right path

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Our cool guide
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My bestie posing at the summit of Mt. Gola

Trail to the twin peak

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And together we’ll cross the river

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Chasing sunrise, chasing dreams.
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Happiness is sitting under the tree
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Mt. Manalmon Summit
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Mt. Gola Summit
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Yes, camping is possible. Make sure to coordinate with MADLUM Inc.
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Mt. Manalmon

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The highlight, swimming at Madlum River. Clear crystal! Promise me to dip in this very refreshing river!

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Travel guide: Caramoan Island, Camarines Sur  

Location: Brgy. Paniman Caramoan Camarines Sur, Philippines

Living in Manila may be fun and exciting but eventually the fast paced city will tire you. December is one if the most busy month, hence, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’ve been wanting to get away because of the busy corporate life and packed paper works in the office. And so, vibed my beshie then planned a trip to bicol, my hometown.

Of course, bicol trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting Caramoan again. Yes, again. It’s my second time here.

How to get there?

From Manila, ride a bus to Naga. A 12 hours butt-numbing ride. From Naga, Caramoan can be reached in 4 1/2  hours through land. A bus terminal near SM Naga City is offering a trip that starts from 3am as first trip and 2pm as last trip.

You may also opt to ride a boat. From Naga ride a van to Sabang port. Last trip at Sabang port is at 2pm. 3 hours boat ride to reach Caramoan.

Tip: As a second timer, I highly suggest to take the bus trip. You can relax and sleep in the bus comfortably. Taking the boat ride is a good idea but very tiring, seating uncomfortably with more than 50 passengers for 3 hours in a boat is not a joke. So yeah, just take the bus!

The backpacker experience

The plan is to spend Christmas eve in Caramoan, we’d like to experience a Christmas by the beach lol, but then again, the weather didn’t permit us. So, we went straight home in Pio Duran and spent our Christmas eve with parental.

Where is everyone spending their new year? 

Plan A was cancelled, but no one can stop us lol, New Years eve by the beach, yeah!

Spent our new year with the locals of Caramoan. It was “5 days no electricity” stay because of typhoon Nina. The whole bicol region has no electricity. We had to look for generator so we could charge our mobile phone and powerbanks. The only source of light was a flashlight, candle and gasira (as we say it in local language, sorry I don’t know what you call it in tagalog or english word). 

The place was very quiet until the most awaited twelve midnight, locals went out of their house  shouting and making noise using their motorcycle. There were firecrackers but very minimal.

We’ve seen no fireworks display, but star gazing-by-the-beach was more than enough. Celebrating new year’s eve in other community is a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.

Although I’ve been here before, the weather didn’t permit us to see the stunning islands of Caramoan. Coast guard didn’t allow us to do island hopping for our safety. A good sign that tourism office here are very strict when it comes to the security of tourist and locals itself.

The place has so much to offer. Roaming around the town via habal-habal, visit the St. Michael Archangel Church, 524 steps climb to reach the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, swim inside Omang cave’s super cold water and immerse with the locals. I’d love to discover more on my third visit and I will update this blog

The locals are so genuine. It somehow keeps you coming back for more.

The Stay

We stayed at Kuya Ambo’s home, He’s a friend of friend. A friend from last year’s stay here, Kuya Ramer. He’s in Palawan during our visit. So he endorsed us to Kuya Ambo. If you’re planning to visit this place, please be sure to contact Kuya Ambo, He’s gonna take care of you 24/7, promise. Super nice and gentleman guide. We’ve recruit Him already, He’s now our friend 😁

You may contact Him at 0919 946 7983 or message Him in facebook: Ambo Concepcion.

Money matters

  • Bus fare (mnl-naga) > 1,000php
  • Bus fare (naga – mnl) > 640php
  • Bus fare (naga – caramoan) > 230php vise versa
  • Accomodation > room per night starts at 400php per person
  • Land tour via habal-habal > 300-400php
  • Island hopping short trip (3 island) > 1,500php
  • Island hopping long trip (5 island) > 2,500php
  • Tent rental > starts at 300php (you may also bring your own tent)

Islands to visit

Short trip: 

  1. Minalagos Island
  2. Cagbalinad Island
  3. Matukad Island / Lagoon
  4. Laus Island

Long trip:

  1. Lighthouse
  2. Cotivas Island
  3. Manlawi Sandbar
  4. Sabitang Laya

Photographs

“Gabrielle”

Enjoying my fresh buko by the duyan 🌴
Siesta mode
Kuya Ambo, the guide, now a good friend
The view after typhoon nina, still beautiful though
Campsite. We own the island.
The lagoon at Matukad Island, where you could see the majestic bangus
Sitting pretty on top. The view was mesmerizing
Promise me to not miss out this amazing view
I feel like I’m in Batanes. We were like “Thank you so much Kuya Ambo for bringing us here” paulit-ulit na nag tthank you kay Kuya Ambo. That kind of feels.
The lighthouse
Blending with the locals
My favorite travel buddy
I love you more than my ootd
Sa hirap at ginhawa. Glad to have witnessed this breathtaking view with you
At Manlawi sandbar. Our kind of playground
Running like a kid at Minalagos Island
Our comfort zone, travelling.
Visited Groto again after 2 years. Stunning view from the top. Overlooking the islands of Caramoan
The whole trip was worth the uneven skintone & sunburns
Sea-panx

We are already planning for a third visit. If you’ve seen Caramoan before, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I’ve been to many places, but this is where my heart is.

Thank you for reading my travel diary. Did you like it? Follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK  to get more travel update. Be inspired!

Xoxo ~

Seth